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Penton Proms – Penton Mewsey 2013

  • Written by Sub Editor

Penton Proms for James's Place
Saturday 14th September 2013

I can't tell you how glad I am that we came out to the Penton Proms. In aid of James's Place, Penton Proms put on a killer event with some great acts.

You know how it is when you come to event, go half up the drive and then get accosted by the security team intimidating and officious? Well what a complete contrast to that and a pleasant surprise it was here! We saw the security guards, we made our introduction, saying that we were from Andover and Villages website as we'd already spoken to one of the organisers via our rapidly growing Twitter page. Justin Wright – or Geordie, as his colleagues call him – said that he'd heard that we were expected and immediately set to work trying to patch through to let the organisers know we were there. We had a good banter with fellow security guard, Tim Davis who was checking new arrivals, what a refreshing change to see such a friendly security team. It took a little while, but what was nice was that they didn't make us wait for the 'okay', they let us park up and get ready. Not something you frequently see from security.

We arrived as most of the stands were closing, but it was clear that it had been a busy day, with a busier evening to come. The beer tent was still open, though, so all was very well! We grabbed a couple of drinks from the well stocked bar with three bar staff members servin.

The Warminster Military Wives Choir

Drinks in hand, camera at the ready, we headed into the astonishing vista of Penton Lodge Gardens, to the sound of gorgeous voices from The Warminster Military Wives Choir. The conductor took control, bringing in the ladies' voices with great mastery. They were all clearly well rehearsed as was the conductor, as she controlled the levels and length of notes. I was lulled by the arrangement of such songs as Rule the World by Take That and one of my persona favourites, U2's With or Without You. It was just so good to hear all the beautiful chords played out through the medium of beauteous voices. And then we had the weather on side – as though they had lulled the rain to sleep, too.

The conductor Donna chatted to the crowd between songs and encouraged them to get up and dance, she also managed to get Jake Ward up on the stage and we almost had an auction for him after he had told Donna he had a girlfriend but as she wasn't there, it didn't really count!

The Wives ended the set with Sing, which they had performed at the Queen's Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace. Stealing myself away from the stage, I was greeted by an audience in awe. It was clear that everyone whose ears were graced by such melody were encapsulated. I overheard that the Military Wives may be rebooked for next year's event which is such great news.

Daniel Farr

Daniel Farr is 18 and is a terrific singer. Dressed in a black tie, he took to the stage and eased himself into the favour of the audience with Let Her Go, Passenger. He sang this so well, with a gentle vibrato that, I have to say, I preferred to the original.

Next up was Everything by Michael Buble and again, it was smooth and soulful, in a way that really captured the Buble essence.

He finished with Elton's Your Song. His performance of it was excellent and couldn't have ended his set in a better way. His passion for music was clear through every song.

Jake Ward

I have had the pleasure of performing with Jake before, so I knew how good he was before he got on stage, and he delivered, in spades. Watching him again, I was reminded of just how good he really is. In fact, I was reminded and then impressed all over again. He's just got that way of completely drawing you into what his show, like he's got you in the palm of his hand. Even considering the fuss at the start of his set, with the sound problems, he held his nerve and stayed calm, keeping the crowd calm, too.

He started with Feeling Good, Michael Buble's version, which he performed 'to a T', dishing out the suave and the sophistication, as well as the subtle niceties. The roar of the crowd was testament to his performance and then he fired into Mack the Knife, a collaboration of Kurt Weill's upbeat music and Bertold Brecht's dark and contrasting lyrics. I heard it come on and immediately knew that he was going to do it justice. He did. From the start to the finish, where his confidence was so rich that he finished it sitting down on one of the deck chairs. Jake is such a hit with the ladies, suave, sophisticated and with a glint in his eye.

Thank you Jake. Fabulous!

Victor & Albert

We could only stay for first bit of the these two guys' set and, from what I heard, it was very good and very funny. They play on their original looks to their advantage by pretending to do something classical and then stopping, changing the key to something modern. It was catchy and surprising and I found myself enjoying it not just because it was different, but because it was done well, with clever lyrics and interesting music.

It was a joyous evening and I can't wait for next year's event!

 

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Visitors sat in deckchairs to watch the performances

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

The inflatable stage

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Swaying to Rule the World (originally by Take That and performed by the Military Wives)

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Prosecco and Real Ale sold in the beer tent amongst other drinks

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

An absolutely beautiful evening in a perfect Penton setting.

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

The crowd really got into the Military Wives music

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Dancing the night away

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Jake Ward joins the Military Wives for some fun! Apparently if your girlfriend isn't present, it means you don't really have one!

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Milkshakes, tea, coffee, cakes and lots more available from MMM Coffee who are based in Gloucestershire - Milkshakes were the biggest seller of the day!

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Rebecca Stephens and Maree Stephens 'doing' the shark with the Military Wives.

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Security - Tim Davis and Justin Wright

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Security - Riff Ali

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Beautiful Military Wives voices swept over the Penton grounds

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Gorgeous Jake Ward wowed the ladies

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Enraptured crowds watch the Military Wives perform in the Penton Lodge Grounds

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Military Wives perform

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Look natural Ladies!

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Zoe Franklin and her future Mother in Law Ruth Phillips enjoying the Proms

Military Wives at penton proms

The Military Wives Choir, featuring 'Chewie' and joined by event organiser Danielle Rolfe

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Penton prom Host, Steve Randall from The Breeze Radio

 

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Jill Scrambler, local Penton resident who attended Penton Lodge when it was school, aged 3-5 and again from age 7-14.

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Daniel Farr, looking like he has come straight from drinks with Frank Sinatra

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Isabelle, Aged 4 enjoying the music

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Debbie, Isabelle and Sarah

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Mark Lazenby, part of the 3 Amigos Charity Productions who co-organised the Penton proms event with Danielle Rolfe

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

What a beautiful night

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

The Suave Daniel Farr fresh from the stage

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

The yummy Jake Ward singing to the crowds

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Who needs Strictly? Tom and Joan Patterson get up to dance

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Lots of flowers

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Danielle Rolfe presents flors to the four members of the Three Amigos Chaity Organisers

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Cheeky!

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Victor and Albert perform their quirky set

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

The Perks team serving up Hog Roast and then a BBQ

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Poppy the dog came out for a hello

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Still smiling at the end of the night!

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Sarah Rampton and Rebecca Ann Crothall dancing the night away

Penton Proms for James's Place Nr Andover

Danielle Rolfe should be so proud of this amazing night and how well it turned out