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Acts ensure Blakefest is a big success

A TRIUMPHANT first night for Blakefest was crowned by Dodgy.


The English power rock trio delighted the sell-out crowd of about 500 at Legends on Bognor Regis Pier. The headliners enjoyed 12 Top 40 singles in the Nineties.


Among them were Staying Out for the Summer, If You’re Thinking Of Me and Good Enough, which reached their highest chart place of number four. The audience were also treated to a superb set by David Devant and his Spirit Wife as all the scheduled acts for the opening day of the William Blake tribute took part except the injured Tobias Churton.


The youngest performer on the bill was 14-year-old Bognor Regis singer-songwriter and guitarist Bella Estelle. She performed 35 minutes of her songs with her three-piece band in the biggest indoor gig of her growing musical career.


Up to 200 people showed their enthusiasm for her catchy songs and pognant lyrics by singing along to her self-written Still Crazy In Love. The Bishop Luffa School pupil said: “It was good to see how an audience reacted to my songs. It was weird to hear them singing the words but great as well.


“You certainly don’t think about that when you’re in your bedroom writing them.” She combines her pop/rock-style of music with her studies for ten GCSEs, which she will start to take next summer. “I’ve been writing songs since I was 12,” she said. “The lyrics mean different things to different people, depending on their experiences.”


Sunday’s performances took place in front of up to 150 people in and around SeaFish in Aldwick Road. The building was too small for original headliners The Lightning Seeds but all the other intended acts took place.


Deborah Rose, Sounditions, New Gentlemen of the Old School and Skye pleased those who still attended in spite of the last minute change of venue. Its first floor also housed an art exhibition devoted to Blake.


Blakefest co-organiser Sean Parker said: “The first day was really good and today is looking to be the same. “We just wanted to make sure the time spent in Felpham by Blake, who is an international figure, was recognised.


“He is an inspirational person and we wanted to have a festival which reflects that. We will look at holding another festival next year, probably outside, because it will give us enough time to get it together.”


Blake lived in Felpham from 1800-1803 when he famously wrote the words which became Jerusalem.

Posted in Festival, Music, News.