Exciting opening weekend at the Shipston Proms 2024

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The 26th Shipston Proms has had an exciting first weekend with its range of music events in Shipston and surrounding villages. This included the launch night featuring The DropOuts, Baby Jools & The Jazzaholics on Saturday and a very exciting Shipston Introducing on Sunday.

The weekend started with a launch night in the Townsend Hall with one-man band Thom Kirkpatrick entertaining the crowds by building layers of music using loops of well-known pop songs, before local Gloucestershire band The DropOuts entertained with their mix of rock classics including ‘White Wedding’ by Billy Idol and ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ by ZZ Top. Their enigmatic performance was led by lead singer and bassist Warren Trueman, supported by Ben ‘Benny’ Arthurs on lead guitar, Chris ‘Bear’ Arthurs on Rhythm Guitar & vocals, and Tim ‘Bert’ Sheasby on drums.

Also, on the same evening, we had the Shipston Introducing 2023 band winner Amber Liadan performing her original Folk and Indie songs to a very appreciative audience at the Howard Arms in Ilmington. In Shipston Fields Apart entertained the crowds at the Lazy Pug.

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Starting off on Saturday the Shipston Town Band played in the town square entertaining the shoppers and visitors alike. Then we had some excellent jazz at the Townsend Hall with Baby Jools and the Jazzaholics with their New Orleans influenced sound with songs such as ‘Tin Shack Blues’, ‘Way Down Yonder in New Orleans’, and ‘Jambalaya’. Completing the evening The Stoned Hillbillies performed to a welcoming crowd at the George Inn in Lower Brailes.

The Dropouts perform at Shipston Proms 2024 (Photo by Chris Roberts/Widerview Visual Media)The Dropouts perform at Shipston Proms 2024 (Photo by Chris Roberts/Widerview Visual Media)
The Dropouts perform at Shipston Proms 2024 (Photo by Chris Roberts/Widerview Visual Media)

Then on Sunday, we had the very exciting Shipston Introducing contest, in its 3rd year. This year we had performing Charley Clark with his folk-influenced songs, 12-year-old Emily McCarthy with her powerful vocal rendition of some soul & country classics, 12-year-old Sam Conisbee with his excellent guitar work, mentored by Greg Brice, a four-piece teenage band Mad-thingz Band (Rowan Thompson -guitar, Charlie Jones – bass, Alex Gillitt – drums and Archie Griffiths – guitar and vocals) with their take on Rolling stones classic as well as an original track ‘Dreams’. Finally, we had 16-year-old Grace Rushbrooke who had rushed from a vocal exam to perform on keyboard including songs from Fleetwood Mac and Adele.

While the Shipston Proms committee went away to decide the two winners, the 2023 solo winner of Shipston Introducing Honor Isabella Gerrard-Pickering entertained the crowds with a selection of songs including the country classic ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton.

After discussion, the unanimous decision was that the two winners were the Mad-thingz Band and Grace Rushbrooke, who both will win £50 and perform on the last night of Shipston Proms on Saturday 6th July in the main square.

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Coming up in the first full week we have the Proms Open Mic at the Black Horse, Dirt Road Band at the Cotswolds Distillery, the IBIZA-on-Stour dance party with Radio 1 DJ Dave Pearce, the Cotswold Singers at the Townsend Hall, and the popular pubs and cafes music trail on Saturday.

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