I was hoping that this year, at the Cornbury Music Festival, it wasn’t going to be too hot. So, luckily, it was just right. Nice and bright but temperature- wise, it was perfect. Added to the fact that so many performers on the main stage were our friends. We arrived quite early and got sorted backstage. We spoke to Joyce & Sam Moore who were being driven up from London. Whilst backstage, other artists were arriving. Alfie Boe, The Beachboys, Paul Carrack, Chris difford and others. It was a bit of a love in as we all seemed to know each other rather well, which was nice. There is quite a lot for me to say about this day, but, due to the fact that I am in a bit of a rush right now, I will make it brief - ish. Highlights for me? Well, the whole day! The Staks Band are on another level. They kicked off on the main stage with the brilliant Robert Hart, who is normally with Manfred Mann, standing in for Steve Overland, who would have normally been with us, but, he was perfoming with Slash in Spain. Then, another amazing singer, Vanessa Haynes, from the band Icognito joined Staks. Robert and Vanessa then did a few songs together which was brilliant. Next on and standing backstage was someone I am proud to call my friend, Grammy award winning, Soul Legend, Sam Moore. The band started up with one of Sam’s hits from when he was with ‘Sam & Dave’, Hold On. Then, followed by ‘Soul Man’. Sam ended The Staks set and his guest appearance with a stunning version of ‘Imagine’. Now, I have to say, it was the best version of Imagine I have ever heard, really, yes, the BEST. Something that none of us knew was about to happen at the start of Imagine was, Sam called out over the crowd ‘Sarah’, who is my daughter, ‘where’s Freddie?’ [my grandson that is]. They waved from the front of stage in the family encolsure. He then dedictaed imagine to Freddie, who’s 8th birthday was the next day. I was gobsmacked! None of us had any idea that was going to happen. We had been having dinner the night before in London with Sam & Joyce and I guess that Freddie’s birthday had been mentioned at some point. But, no way we knew that Sam would dedicate a song to Freddie.
After the set, The Staks Band, Sam & his and my family all headed back to our backstage camp. There we started to meet up with The Beachboys, Mike Love, Bruce Johnstone and the briliant & very funny, Beachboy drummer, John Cowsill. Paul Carrack arrived with his wife and kids. It was so funny as my kids, who were all there, grew up with Paul’s kids as well. We were all quite close. Then the wonderful Chris Difford arrived and that seemed to complete the ‘Love In’. We stayed on to watch Paul’s set and then we all watched The Beachboys. That was hit. after hit after hit………. amazing.
What a day. Thank you Staks, Robert Hart, Vanessa Haynes and of course, the legend, Sam Moore,