THE 26th annual Shipston Proms has ended in success.

The final week of the Shipston Proms has had some wonderful musical events, culminating in Wired headlining the packed Street Party in Shipston-on-Stour’s main square on Saturday 6th July.

The week started on Sunday (June 30) with the 10th anniversary for the Cotswolds Distillery and its musical event culminating in some smooth jazz from the Clare Teal 5 and some great blues from Oliver Darling & The Living Legends. 

On Tuesday we had the return of the Mrs Porter’s Chamberpot Pourri including Nick Gill on piano and Caroline Watsham on musical saw and percussion.

Moved due to the general election was the Folk Music Session hosted by Keith Finlay and his Celtic band Brimstone at the Black Horse.

On Wednesday the excellent Young Musicians Concert took place in St Martin’s church, Barcheston with a great line-up of young talent performing.

Thursday brought us Betsy Harmony at the Methodist church with the Warm Hub with the Stour Health & Wellbeing Partnership.

Friday brought us a brilliant Opera Night at the packed Townsend Hall where at very short notice (due to illness) Soprano Alexandra Ferrari and Tenor Dominic Bevan, accompanied on piano by David Eaton, entertained as well as explaining some of the pieces in the program. 

This took us to the Saturday where the Proms committee battled with the heavy downpours in preparing the site ready for the evenings musical action, along with local Shipston company Clearsound Productions preparing the stage with lights and sound.

At 7pm the Shipston Proms chair Charlotte Haines introduced herself and then brought on the first of the two Shipston Introducing winners, with Grace Rushbrooke getting behind the piano and mic. 

After a short changeover the band winner from Shipston Introducing Mad-thingz (Rowan Thompson -guitar, Charlie Jones – bass, Alex Gillitt – drums and Archie Griffiths – guitar and vocals) took to the stage with a set that included ‘My Hero’ by Foo Fighters but also three songs of their own with ‘Dreams’, Lyrics About Liars’ and ‘Tapestry of Skulls’ which was written in the week leading up to the Street Party. They finished by inviting 12-year-old local guitarist Sam Conisbee to join them on guitar with ‘Johnny B. Goode’. They finished to great applause from the crowds in the square.

Next up we had the Stratford-upon-Avon group Three’s A Crowd take to the stage (Nick Gough – rhythm guitar & backing vocals, Jonathan Price – lead guitar and vocalist Suzi Kelly) with their up-tempo rock and pop covers including ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and ‘Tainted Love’ with vocalist Suzi getting in the moment with the growing enthusiastic crowds in the square  and they finished with Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.

Then while the next band Papa Nui (Dave Noble – guitar & vocals, Wotjeck Domalgski – bass & vocals, Matt Morton – harmonica & vocals, Joel Bassuk – drums, Finlay Dove – trumpet & vocals, Andy Smith – trombone & vocals and Sam Tusk – trombone & vocals) were starting the setup and final soundcheck the power cut out. So, while this technical issue was sorted out the brass section and drums led the crowds on ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘A Closer Walk’.

Then with all systems back running the band played a selection of songs they had written in their unique style with a ‘deeply organic yet original stew made of all the danceable moments’. The set included ‘Round n Round’, ‘Bird and the Worm’ ‘Wildfire in Babylon’ and ‘Feet Too Hot’. The crowds really enjoyed their set and there was lots of dancing down the front!

Then with the crowds wanting more local band Wired (Mark Jervis – drums & vocals, Barney Porter – guitar & vocals, Richard Norris – bass & vocals, Elliott Rooney keyboards & vocals, Mike Gunn – sax, Chris Proctor – sax and Chris Walmsley - trumpet) took to the stage.

Their set contained some storming numbers including Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ as well as ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’, ‘Blurs ‘Parklife’ and finished with a medley ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.

This was a superb ending to the two weeks Shipston Proms festival with the 2025 event scheduled to take place in mid to late June on dates to be announced, along with who will headline the next year’s event.