Basildon Festival 2005
Gloucester Park, Basildon, Essex
- 24 Jul 05

 

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Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich


Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

The Troggs

The Troggs

A view of the large audience

The Troggs

Jacqueline Ryan, husband Liam (hidden) and Jacky Walaston (in yellow) enjoying The Troggs' performance.

The Basildon Festival 2005

As I drove along the M25 and then the A127 on Sunday 24Jul05, accompanied by my wife Nicole, the rain continued to fall. We were not going to let the weather spoil our afternoon, however. Turning off the A127 into Basildon, we had no trouble following the clearly signposted route to Gloucester Park, and the entrance into the Basfest (Basildon Festival) car park. Many car park attendants, suitably dressed in waterproof clothes directed us along the side of tennis courts onto the area of Gloucester Park field that was assigned for parking.

We had arrived safely and to my surprise the car park was free! Walking from the car underneath umbrellas to the entrance of the main arena we were handed programs, and again they were free of charge! I had to feel sorry for the couple endeavoring to keep, not just themselves dry, but also the boxes containing the programs dry.

Entering the show ground and passing the "display arena" it was impossible not to notice the funfair with it's flashing lights and loud music. Our goal however was to make our way to the far end of the site to the stage area. Walking past the "Only Fools And Horses" exhibition and yellow Del Boy "Trotter Independent Traders" Reliant Robin, we found a nice spot in front of the right hand side stage, "Stage 1", where 'Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich' were busy setting up their equipment. To the left, on Stage 2, 'Black Ash' were entertaining a sizeable crowd of mainly teenagers. Having staked a claim to this small section of grass, the inviting smell from the burger marquee called to us. In true British barbeque fashion the husbands cooked the burgers while their wives served them. Costing just 2 each, we both enjoyed our delicious 1/4 pounder cheese burgers that were packed with onions and tomato sauce, huddled together under our large 'Ford' umbrella.

As we waited for the first main act to begin their performance, the weather was beginning to brighten up. The grey clouds begun to turn white and the rain turned to a drizzle before finally stopping. It was time to fold the umbrellas down and shake the water off the umbrella canopy. Before long the sun began to appear through the large white clouds.

3.45 finally came around and Dave 'Dee' Harman (vx), Dozy (bs), Beaky (gtr), Mick (dr) and Tich (ld gtr) returned to 'Stage 1' having changed from their jeans into smart blue, black or green suits. I had seen them on Saturday 7th September 1968 when, at the height of their fame. I remember that they put on an excellent, entertaining show. Would they sound as good 37 years later? In short, yes. The sound team had the sound balanced just right, with every instrument and vocal clearly heard. They had spot on harmonies and had a very full sound. Having worked together as a team for so long showed, in a polished, entertaining performance. They performed all their hits, "Hold Tight", "Hideaway", "Bend It", "Save Me", "Touch Me Touch Me", "Okay", "Zabadak!", "The Legend Of Xanadu", "Last Night In Soho" and "The Wreck Of The Antoinette". Also they featured two medleys of songs made famous by "The Everly Brothers" and a medley of "Roy Orbison" hits, that they used to perform when they were called Dave Dee & The Bostons, prior to their hit making days.

After Dave Dee and Co. finished their performance, they came to the front of the stage and signed autographs. Nicole not only got their signatures, but, also received a kiss from each member of the group!

Now we had an hour to wait, until the top of the bill took to the stage. Meanwhile local rock covers group "Wall To Wall" entertained on "Stage 2", while The Troggs equipment was set up on "Stage 1". As "Wall To Wall" ran through their set to the delight of the small crowd in front of "Stage 2", more and more people took their place in front of "Stage 2" to await the top of the bill. Children, teenagers and adults of all ages excitedly awaiting for the Troggs to begin. By this time I had introduced myself to Jacqueline Ryan with whom I had only previously spoken to on the phone and by email. It was nice to have an opportunity to talk to her about my friend, Trogg producer and arranger Colin Frechter (now living in Spain), as well as catching up on the latest Trogg news. Nicole and myself were also introduced to Jacqueline's husband Liam and Trogg fan Jacky Walaston.

The time passed quickly and the clock had ticked around to 5:45 and some activity was now happening on "Stage 1". Seats had been placed just inside the security fence in front of the stage and Sandra Hillier, Chairman of Basildon District Council and other dignitaries came and took their seats. A roar erupted from the now sizeable audience as Chris Britton, Pete Lucas and Dave Maggs, dressed in black trousers and black tee shirts walked on the stage and readied themselves. The audience watched expectantly.

Chris hit a soaring note of E on his guitar, that rose majestically into the early evening sky. The excited audience easily recognised the intro to this Troggs anthem and the trio played the opening introduction to "Wild Thing" which brought a loud cheer from the now large crowd. This was just a teaser, however, and the band now started the intro of their 1967 hit "Give It To Me". Another large cheer went up as Reg Presley, also dressed all in black, walked on to the stage, and, taking his place in front of his microphone started singing the opening words "Give it to me_e_e", to load applause and cheers.

Standing close to the speakers at the right hand side of the stage, however, I noticed that the vocals could only be heard through the speakers on the left hand side of the stage. There were no vocals, just instruments sounding through the speakers on the right hand side of the stage. I went up to the sound engineer at the mixing desk, some two to three hundred yards away from the stage and advised him of the problem. Initially, he did not believe me. The meters were showing that everything was okay, the pans were correct and no mute buttons had been selected by accident. I insisted that there was a problem and he reluctantly agreed to get his assistant to check the speaker leads.

The Troggs possibly didn't realize that there was a problem with the front line speakers, at least they didn't allow themselves to be distracted by it. Next up was a track from their first LP 'From Nowhere The Troggs' "Louie Louie". The problem lead on the speakers was changed and now everyone could enjoy the Troggs performance superbly. After this tune Reg spent a few minutes talking to the audience, asking the question, "Did you vote for Tony Blair?" "Who voted for Tony Blair?" he asked again. "You b*****ds!" he continued. In this way he started his humorous political dig at our Prime Minister. Someone in the audience shouted "Sing!" Not hearing the heckler clearly Reg shouted back "Si! Si! Senor". "Sing" he cried again, only to hear Reg repeat, "Si! Si!"

It was back to the music, and as master craftsmen they entertained with great finesse, performing one hit after another with added surprises. "With A Girl Like You", "Any Way That You Want Me", "Love Is All Around", "Strange Movies", "Walking The Dog", "Feels Like A Woman" and "Evil".

How quickly time flies when you are enjoying yourself. It was now time for the Troggs to end the show. Once again, Chris hit a soaring note of E on his guitar, that rose majestically into the summer evening sky. A - A - D - D - E - E - D - D, the power chords rung out as the audience greeted the 60's anthem "Wild Thing" with loud cheers and applause. As Reg sang "Wild thing, you make my heart sing", the large crowd sang along. It was an excellent end to the show and, after taking a bow, the lads walked off the stage waving at the crowd. With shouts of "More! More!" filling the warm evening air, the group returned back to the stage and performed "I Can't Control Myself" as an encore. It had been another excellent, entertaining show from the Troggs.

As Dave Dee and co had done earlier Reg, Chris, Pete and Dave went to the front of the stage to sign autographs. Again Nicole was in the autograph queue. She had enjoyed the two excellent 60's bands, and as an added surprise we went back stage with Jacqueline and Liam to talk to the band, who as always were happy to answer any questions. While talking to Pete, the subject of Reg's fascination for crop circles came up. "Many say that Reg has spent thousands of pounds on crop circles", commented Pete. "He's probably not even spent one hundred pounds" he continued. "His friend owns the helicopter, so it doesn't cost him anything to have an aerial view of the crop circles." "Maybe the price of a pint of larger!" I commented.

Saying good bye to the band and congratulating them on a great show, it was time to walk back to the car and begin our journey back home. It had been a wonderful day.

Well done Basildon, you have done yourself proud ! A wonderful, extremely well organised concert and fun day, all paid for by the council for the people of Basildon.

Dave Barber

| DD,D,B,M&T Pic 1 | DD,D,B,M & T Pic 2 | DD,D,B,M & T Pic 3 | DD,D,B,M & T Pic 4 | Troggs Pic 1 | Troggs Pic 2 | Troggs Pic 3 | Audience Pic | JR Pic | Review |

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