The Knebworth Prom is coming to Hertfordshire this summer to wow thousands of concert-goers with anthemic tunes performed by globally renowned performers. Here, we talk to some of the artists about their experiences and what the Knebworth crowd can expect from two very different concerts…
It all starts on 19 August when the Knebworth air will be filled with dance music anthems at Classic Ibiza, the event that was branded “the best night of the year” by those that witnessed the concert’s first outing at Blickling Estate in Norfolk last year. The evening brings together Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) and DJ Goldierocks, both of whom are excited to be reforming to perform again. As Sam Hall, AKA DJ Goldierocks recalls:
“It was definitely one of my absolute favourite events from last year, so much fun! The crowd was fantastic, so passionate and up for it! I can’t wait to perform in front of the Knebworth audience and see their reaction.”
Sam who has a busy year ahead with opening parties in Ibiza and festivals including Glastonbury, Common People and Bestival, works regularly with “great friends” USO. They first met at a private function on a yacht in Monaco for the Grand Prix about five years ago and have since performed all over the world, including supporting Tinie Tempah and Jess Glynn.
Stephen Hussey, founder of USO, has performed with his orchestra for the rich and famous all over the world, so what is it about Classic Ibiza that makes it so special?
“The Classic Ibiza formula works so well because it is something new and different that appeals to so many people: Ibiza dance tunes meets classical orchestra; stunning stately home meets music festival. There is something for all ages to enjoy, whether you wanted to sit back and relax with a glass of bubbly over a picnic in the evening sun or get up and dance the night away – everyone is guaranteed a great time.”
The track-list is going to be jam packed with Ibiza classics, including: “Sandstorm” by Daruda, “Waves” by Mr Probz and “Superstylin’” and “Easy” by Groove Armada. USO has played with Groove Armada before, so they’re delighted to be performing two of their tracks at Classic Ibiza.
Commenting on why he chose “Superstylin’” by Groove Armada in this year’s set, Stephen said:
“I love their mix of steppers meets house, with some killer dub horns and amazing vocals. I remember them playing it to me at the studio when we were recording other tracks on the ‘Goodbye Country, Hello Nightclub’ album. It blew me away at the time, and has done ever since.”
For Leanne Wren, violinist with USO and a local Hertfordshire resident, the concert will be a particularly memorable performance:
“Many of my friends are attending the event and it’s always exciting to have a connection with your audience and feel supported. Knebworth House has special recent memories for me as, together with my husband and little daughter, we have spent many an enjoyable day there.”
20th August is going to bring a completely different vibe to Knebworth. The Great British Prom, is promising a very special formula with the National Symphony Orchestra, Classical Brit award-winning Only Men Aloud and soprano Annette Wardell leading the way with a programme of iconic music from around the British Isles. The first half will include “The Dam Busters March”, “Bread of Heaven” “Danny Boy” and “Flower of Scotland”.
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is renowned for being one of the very best in the country and has performed Opera Evenings with artistes such as Dame Kiri Ta Kanawa and Lesley Garrett; it also enjoys a special relationship with current chart-topping vocalists Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins.
Justin Pearson, General Manager and Artistic Director of the NSO said:
“NSO is thrilled at the prospect of performing at The Great British Prom. I feel sure that the attractive programme, especially devised for this year’s concert, will delight Knebworth. We have a 50-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis, who has conducted more concerts at the Royal Albert Hall than any other living conductor. We shall faithfully recreate the buzz of the Last Night of the Proms under immense Hertfordshire skies, thrilling to 1812 Overture, being charmed by the dazzling diva Annette Wardell, an entire band of pipers, fireworks, Only Men Aloud and a full symphony orchestra. Unmissable!”
NSO has performed before with the Classical Brit Award-winning Only Men Aloud (OMA). A couple of years ago, they did a summer series of Last Night of the Proms across the UK and as Craig Yates, a baritone in Only Men Aloud says:
“We love performing with a live orchestra and the NSO are one of the best.”
Formed in 2000, with the aim of injecting new blood into the Welsh choir tradition, OMA came to prominence in 2008 as BBC One’s Last Choir Standing. Following a reinvention of themselves as a “honed and toned vocal ensemble” in 2013, they toured and established a considerable fan base worldwide.
We all know there is an unmistakable tug at the heartstrings when you hear the collective sound of powerful men’s voices singing together. So why is it so emotive?
“It’s something very special to hear, and even more amazing to be part of. Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a choir, it’s incredible to stop and listen to the sound around you. It’s almost tribal it’s so powerful. OMA would be nothing without the incredible tradition of the Welsh Male Voice Choir that has been going for so many years. It’s in the blood of the people of Wales – after all we are the land of song.”
The Band of the Home Counties Pipes and Drums will also be joining The Great British Prom, bringing a special sense of tradition and uniqueness to the Scottish pieces, before walking up the centre of the crowd to mark the end of a what will be a truly memorable first half.
Tony Hurst, Event Organiser of The Band of the Home Counties Pipes and Drums, commented:
“There is nothing more stirring than the sound of the pipes and the Knebworth audience are in for a real treat as they will be able to witness the band in full No1 Dress Ceremonial uniform, performing some truly iconic Scottish tunes. We are really excited to be performing alongside The National Symphony Orchestra, and band members will travel throughout the Home Counties, some further, to be part of this spectacular event. Many of us also have family and friends in Hertfordshire, including myself, so it will be great to perform to them and the rest of the audience in this amazing setting.”
The second half will see a fabulous rendition of all the Proms favourites including “Rule Britannia”, “Land of Hope & Glory” and British anthem “Jerusalem”, which will be performed by the winner of The Knebworth Choir Competition. The concert culminates in a truly spectacular fireworks finale.
The Knebworth Prom is proud to be supporting local charity Garden House Hospice Care. The charity will receive £2 from every ticket sold to their database of supporters, £1 from every programme sale and on-site promotional and fundraising opportunities.
Visit www.revival-productions.co.uk or call 01630 674342. Tickets are £35 in advance (£38 on the night). Car-parking is free. Bring a picnic or take advantage of onsite street-food vendors.