July 13, 2024


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Photo album & Live review: An engrossing performances by any standards at Forest Live – Delamere Forest 2024: Video

Forest Live is a major annual music event presented by Forestry England and held across a range of unique woodland settings in the U.K. It has become a staple event in the music calendar.

Income from ticket sales helps look after England’s forests for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive. Forest Live concerts have been attended by over two million people in the last twenty-three years and provide a unique platform for premiere and emerging artists.

JB was at the Delamere Forest concerts to cover the headlining sets featuring A-listers Becky Hill, Nile Rodgers and Bryan Adams.

Issey Cross Kicks things off with a punchy half hour performance that gets the crowd moving. The set highlight is her distinctive Bittersweet Goodbye that has amassed over 40M listens on Spotify and is (obviously) worth checking out if you are not familiar with it. More details HERE.

Headliner Becky Hill is celebrating her new album “Believe Me Now?” charting at number 3 in the UK chart. She show-cases a selection of tracks from the release in her dynamic 90-minute performance, including passionate renditions of “True Colours” and “Back Around” early in the set. Also renowned as an accomplished songwriter, Hill has an infectious stage presence and addresses the crowd collectively and individually calling out those who have prepared banner messages in advance.

Flanked by her band that includes a brass and strings section together with three part backing vocals this is a powerful on-stage mix. Elsewhere in the set “Geko (Overdrive)” and ”Crazy What Love Can Do” sees Hill orchestrating the Delamere crowd who by now is a sea of dancers. Hill is a masterful performer who paces the set perfectly and has the crowd onside throughout. She has a string of arena dates coming up across the UK. Europe and the US with some dates already sold out. More details HERE.

Deco is an emerging Midlands band with an engaging 80s vibe. Their set features mainly original songs but also includes a creditable cover of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. Their album “Destination I Don’t Know” is released in September and includes “Photograph” that when played this afternoon, provides an opportunity for the crowd to take a selfie with the band.

The on-stage energy generated by Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s performance is infectious. With an impressive career spanning over 20 years she is more than adept at getting a crowd in dancing mood. She is constantly on the move while belting out a rich mix of songs from her own back catalogue and well-chosen covers. Opening with her 2001 hit “Murder on the Dance Floor”, and including songs from Abba and Madonna she creates a special vibe in the forest. During her set, Nile Rodgers makes his first appearance side of stage and is obviously enjoying the energy she is generating.

Nile Rodgers is a music business legend. Celebrated as a performer for his dazzling guitar and song-writing skills, he has also produced some of the premiere rock and pop artists. As co-founder member of Chic, he graced the charts with an array of premiere dance floor hits. Tonight’s set is a career spanning journey through the Chic catalogue along with renditions of his collaborations with some of the biggest names in Blues, Rock and Pop music.

The on-stage Chic line up is made up of stellar performers including the outstanding Jerry Barnes on bass and the powerhouse vocals of Kimberley Davis and Audrey Martells.

Opening with the classic “Le Freak”, the Delamere bowl became a sea of movement as the crowd breaks into dancing mode. “Everybody Dance” and “Dance Dance Dance” have the fans in overdrive. Covers of hits from the array of rock royalty that Rodgers has produced include “‘I’m Coming Out” (Diana Ross) “He’s The Greatest Dancer”, (Sister Sledge) and “Let’s Dance “(David Bowie).

He muses with the crowd in between songs about his landmark achievements including Grammys, a host of platinum hits and his studio collaborations with artists including Madonna, Sister Sledge and Daft Punk.

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