Report on March Summer Festival 2005

Despite the torrential rain early in the day, over 200 people turned up for the young bands Friday evening part of March VE/VJ Festival in West End Park. Music for the evening was provided by five different acts playing a varied selection of music for the younger audience. The evening kicked off with soloist Rob Paling who delighted the audience by performing a selection of original songs for which he also played the guitar. He was followed by ‘Muse’ cover band Bemused whose sense of humour and engaging manner enthralled the audience, and local rock metal band Spikestrip who expertly set off the ‘heavier’ part of the evening. Deliver Earth’s Angels To Heaven (DEATH) were next, performing a lively and enthusiastic set with a line-up that included the only female performer of the evening. The evening ended with the Homestead Greys whose casual style and hard rock numbers led the audience to call for more until the lights were turned up and the stage cleared. Les Chappell, one of the sound engineers and an Music Development Worker with Norfolk Music Works described it as “a most enjoyable evening which started off with one of the most original, witty and entertaining performers I have seen in a while and ended with the audience calling for more…”

On Saturday morning the weather was changeable but still a large number of people came out to enjoy the Car Boot Sale and Charity Gala and the presentations of the Gala Princess and attendants. After this came the arena events which included the charming local majorette troupe ‘March Militaires’ and the World War Two themed Fancy Dress Competition which was won by Councillor Bernard Keane dressed as ‘the Bank Manager’. Medallions for the winners, designed by Qualitetch Components Ltd were presented.

Lisa Dickinson’s ‘Dance Mania’ attracted the largest crowd of the afternoon when around 2000 people enjoyed the expertly choreographed performances by many of Lisa’s pupils. Lisa was followed by Badwell Ash from Cambridge, who played “soulful indie rock with a blued undertone” and an entertaining set by the Neale Wade Swing Band. .As the day ran into the evening many of the crowds of the afternoon went home for tea and to get warmer clothing, but many returned to hear The Nigel Portass Rock and Roll Band which had quite a few members of the audience up and dancing to tunes from the 50s and 60s. The evening was completed by the ever popular Scirico who kept the crowd of over 200 people happy despite the cooling temperatures. Doug Westbrook helped the stage events run seamlessly with his entertaining banter and problems translating the 24 hour clock times!

Rodney Crabb, main organiser of the stage events said after the event “it has been a great weekend, for which grateful thanks must go to all the helpers, sponsors, stewards, charity stall holders and especially to all who came along to the park for the festival come rain or shine!