First let me set the record straight, Lytham is NOT the faded genteel “god’s waiting room” as has been its reputation. It’s a vibrant, modern town with entertainment & activities for every age, that’s why it’s a great place to hold such a festival which in 2015 was extended to 8 days & encompassing Music, Comedy & Culture!
Lytham Festival (formerly know as Lytham Proms) in its current form has been staged by local friends and business partners Daniel Cuffe & Peter Taylor since 2011
Day 1 Sunday 2nd August
Superb start to the whole proceedings with local (Blackpool) singer Rae Morris with support band We Are Kings at the Pavilion Stage at Lowther Gardens. I managed to miss most of the support, which you will see is a running theme of the whole festival!
Blackpool singer- songwriter Rae supported by her band play a superb set to a packed crowd plus ALL her friends and family, including super proud Mum & Dad! I took along my sister who wasn’t that familiar with Rae, but loved it! We swayed along to the music, our favourite being Love Again
Her voice is effortlessly expressive and distinctive.
Day 2 Monday 3rd August – Woofers does Lytham Festival /Tenors of Rock
Local Comedian Phil Walker who runs a monthly Woofers Comedy Club coordinated and compared two days of Comedy,
Monday’s line-up in the VIP area of the Main Stage included
Salford lad, Steve Harris is SO happy to be Married, but not so you’d notice
Simon Bligh with great tips about bedtime stories & hyperactive kids
Wacky Canadian Wes Zaharuk I’m bringing back the word zany as I cannot think of a better word!
Steve Shanyaski, Silly is the word here, oh and musical as well
Brilliant night to rival any Comedy Roadshow
Meanwhile at the Pavilion Stage the real embodiment of a “Man Band”, looking more like Rugby Players than “Rock Stars” the Tenors or Rock bought Lytham to its feet for the second time after smashing it on the Main Stage in 2014. Wasn’t too sure how they would come across in a smaller covered venue……….but they raised the roof belting out Rock classics with their own inimitable twist.
Day 3 Tuesday 4th August – Comedy Club-Terry Alderton /Rebecca Ferguson
Second night of comedy…could my sides take it!!! The brilliant and completely bonkers Terry Alderton …apparently doesn’t do stand-up that often so completely honoured to have in Lytham.
Terry’s act is hard to describe…..it really is a case of “you had to be there”, his hilarious talking to himself with back to audience, the phone call from the wife and a polarised personality that swings from Danny Dyer hard man to Julian Clary camp and sometimes within the same sentence. Plus sorry to be a snitch but I think he stole the chairs on his way out!!
At the Pavilion Stage
This Liverpudlian Lady, really did Sing the Blues, her distinctive voice lends itself so well to this genre which is a tribute to Billie Holliday and Etta James but also to her new songs from album “Heaven”.
“Summertime” was particularly poignant yet powerful track
Supported by singer/songwriter/pianist AJ Brown with the looks of a future James Bond, and an enigmatic voice that easily takes on jazz/blues/pop/classics
Day 4 Wednesday 5th Aug – Scouting for Girls
Again proving that the Pavilion Stage was an excellent idea, this London BRIT Award winning pop/rock trio didn’t not disappoint with a heady mix of old and new and of course the crowd went MAD to “She’s SO Lovely”!
Day 5 Thursday 6th Aug – Faithless
The most amazing and emotional set, that is up there on my list of all time performances, the bass was felt through my chest and heart and there was a real audience wide feeling of experiencing something special together. Looking around the crowd the age range was literally 7 to 75 and all so absolutely absorbed in the music……….at at the end we did in fact We Became One!
Supported by local DJ Danny Howard our sand grown boy at Radio 1 and Pendulum it was and is the most remembered & talked about night of the Festival
The tag line was “They come North” ………….We are so grateful that they did!
After Show @ Pavilion Stage – Chicane
Chicane are categorised as Trance music……not too sure what that means, but had a bloody good time, was only going to stay for while….think I was one of the last out! The energy was electric.
Day 6 Friday 7th Aug – 80 v 90’s
Ok, I’m all for fun, I like a laugh…… which I got with some questionable outfits on let me say middle aged women, and if we REALLY wore outfits like that, I’m embarrassed for my younger self!!
Managed to miss Sinitta, The Venga Boys and most of 5ive but so glad I didn’t miss Jimmy Sommerville and completely divided camp on whether he, or Billy Ocean was the best. Both were amazing and often wonder if the artists can actually hear themselves over the crowds singing???
Aftershow Adam & Eve DJ’s
Reliving MY regular weekend nights in 80’s & 90’s at the Adam & Eve, leading Blackpool Nitespot (yes it WAS spelled like that, we were SO cool) with the now Adam & Eve Radio Show with local DJ’s playing the best sing a long, boogie to tunes, took me back to my youth even if for a short time…before my feet and legs were killing me!!
Day 7 Saturday 8th Aug – McBusted
I really had to pass on this one as just too tired, I asked my 24 year old daughter to go along to review. She was embarrassingly excited but then admitted they were her guilty pleasure.
Opened by Britain’s Got Talent singer Callum Scott, Irish boy band Hometown, and Say Something chart star Karen Harding
The age range was young (mid teens) Mc Busted fans and older Busted/McFly dies hards. The crowd bounced and sang along to the classics ending up with, Five Colours In Her Hair, Shine A Light and Year 3000.
The guys obviously had great rapport and banter on stage, some of which might have been a bit risqué for the age of the audience but one highlight was when Matt Willis, raised Dougie Poynter in a Dirty Dancing-inspired lift to audience singing I’ve Had The Time Of My Life.
Another great tick in the something for everyone check list!
Day 8 Sunday 9th Aug – Last Night of the Proms
After a week of standing up (and swollen ankles) Sunday is traditionally the night when you can take chairs (and tables, candelabras or just about anything is de rigour) plus your own food and drink, leading to be a very civilised affair with feasts to grace the most elegant tables. Awash with champagne & prosecco the mixed age crowd enjoyed songs first from the Tootsie Rollers, and then Songs from the Musicals from Jon Antoine, Laura Wright, Elaine Paige, Marti Pellow, Royal Philomonic Concert Orchestras with a surprise drop of Parachute Team and to wrap up a fantastic double encore of Land & Hope & Glory to amazing fireworks
Tinged with a complete exhaustion, but sadness that it’s all over……until next year!!
A huge thanks to friends and family that shared the week with me, plus those that I coerced into writing reviews
Massive thanks to Cuffe & Taylor and their fabulous support team, the “satellite” venues and the people of Lytham
Get your tickets for next year at http://www.lythamfestival.com/
There was lots more to the Lytham Festival that I’ve not even mentioned but this blog is long enough already! Watch out for more!