Sunday Sessions Norwich – Reviewed
Sunday Sessions Norwich – Earlham Park 27thMay 2018
This was a brand new festival for Norwich – an extension of the established Let’s Rock festival held the day before – and the understandable lure of the best band in the world (well, in my opinion anyway) convinced us to book tickets and give it a go for our 8 year old son’s first festival. We weren’t disappointed!
On arrival, we set up camp in glorious sunshine, applied the factor 30, utilised the still-clean toilets and then had a listen to “Ducking Punches”: a local band with a metal edge. They sounded great and set the atmosphere for the day ahead.
Following on was Lucy Spraggan, a singer-songwriter who made her name on the X Factor. She calmly and confidently entertained the crowd with an enjoyable set of songs including “Last Night” and “Tea and Toast”. She plays at the LCR later in the year which should make for a good evening’s entertainment.
There were very long gaps between the acts on the main stage. The reason for this was to enable those who wanted to move between stages the opportunity to see all the acts on the bill, but the waiting proved frustrating for those of us patiently in position at the front of the stage awaiting the next act. My husband and son wandered off at this point; firstly to go on some fairground rides, and then to watch Goldie Looking Chain on the second stage, where they had a big crowd keen to hear their hip-hop-parody hits such as “Guns Don’t Kill People (Rappers Do)” and “Your Mother’s Got A….”.
Next up on the main stage was Gabrielle Aplin, who played a laid-back set of gentle songs. Spots of rain were detected towards the end of her set. Unfortunately, the rain continued…
Eventually, after a long four hours wait at the front, our occasional compere for the day Dave Benson-Phillips announced the arrival of the “legendary” Bluetones. ‘Legendary’ may not quite be the right word, but this is a band at the top of their game; they recently completed a sell-out UK tour (ending in Norwich just a week previously) and have a solid catalogue of ‘90s and beyond hits which many of the crowd would have recognised, most notably “Slight Return”. Mark Morriss’ flawless vocals against a colourful video backdrop must have been the highlight of the day for many. Certainly was for me; a great way for my son to see my favourite band for the first time. Worth every raindrop… and there were a lot of raindrops.
The rain didn’t let off afterwards, but it was not quite time to go home yet. After a food break we caught a little glimpse of Tom Odell’s crowd-pleasing set – delivering his hits whilst standing atop his piano. Feeling cold and damp, we roamed about to keep warm and caught snippets of the Circa Waves at the second stage who had attracted a young and energetic crowd.
Then it was back to the main arena for the headliners, Kaiser Chiefs. The Leeds band, led by Ricky Wilson, rattled out their hits including “Ruby” and “I Predict a Riot” to an appreciative, but thinning, audience at the end of the night. We missed the very end as we didn’t want to take any chances with the Park and Ride service, which was running efficiently at that point.
All in all, despite the weather going from one extreme to the other, this was a great day out with something for everyone; a good event for Norwich. Will be interesting to see if it returns next year.
My son’s verdict: “Best day ever”.
Review By Rebecca Frost