Late St Valentines Party 2018
23rd, 24th & 25th February 2018
Romance was in the frosty air with the hardy stalwarts this weekend as Britain, including Folkestone was frozen in the grip of the coldest February week on record. The Grand Burstin’s heating struggled to cope but as one could of anticipated, the festival goers improvised and overcame the elements. Wrapped in layers, blankets and not a few hot water bottles between dances became the norm. I’m pretty sure I saw some ‘medicinal’ nips being taken between the flasks of hot tea (I think that’s what was in them). Many dancers with coats and gloves on but still having a great time and laughing in the face of adversity! The smiles illustrated the resilience of the Country music dancers and listeners who attend this excellent festival.
The entertainment line-up for the weekend was as follows:
• TREY JACKSON
• FOOLS GOLD
• SHAYNA (and Angie)
• ROOTS & WINGS
• KAY 'D'
• JOHN DOHERTY
• KY RIVERS
There are very few Country music festivals where you can see 9 artists in a single weekend and that’s just one of the reasons this festival hosted by Ky Rivers of ‘Cheyenne’ has such a strong following of regulars who just keep coming back. Combine with this the line and partner tuition makes for a full (if exhausting at times but that’s probably just me!) weekend of fun.
The line dancing tuition and our Compere for this weekend was the stylish Roger Shepherd of Absolute Country.
Partner dancers were capably looked after by Paul & Madeleine Jones teaching 4 dances, 2 of which Madeleine had choreographed herself.
‘Tennessee Whisky’ a great slow 48 count Waltz to the song of the same name by Chris Stapleton,
‘Indian Reservation’ an easy 64 counts danced to the original 60’s version of the song of the same name by Don Fardon.
along with :
‘Lovin’ You’ to “Just Got Started Lovin;’ You” by James Otto a 40-count starting in Sweetheart that was choreographed by Jim Vivis,
‘New Horizons’ I must confess to not being a big fan of this music (“Country Sings Disney”, the track is “A Whole New World” by Colin Raye). However this is a nice dance by Ann Williams (Country Cousins Western Dancers) that will go to many tracks.
I have been attending this, and other festival’s when time allows, for many years as well as being a regular at several Clubs local to us, which means within an hour’s drive. So it is always a very pleasant surprise to see new artists that I haven’t seen before as well as those established in the area, of which we are very lucky to have such talent.
Trey Jackson has been building a very good reputation in this part of the world for a while now but this was my first time seeing this talented young man. Great voice and an excellent choice of tracks kept the floor busy through his 2 excellent sets, alternating with the new Fools Gold with Melissa working with her father full time now. It’s wonderful to see exciting new talent coming onto the circuit. I did see this Fools Gold line up last year in an early gig together but now I understand it’s permanent and we were treated to 2 great sets.
Onto Saturday and following the teaching in the morning and a quick lunch our entertainment was Shayna, this is Ky and Angies daughter who has inherited their great voices and we are seeing her confidence and personality grow every time we see her. We were lucky enough to see Shayna at one of her first ever Solo gigs at the Westcott club where she provided 3 full sets of music for dancing and listening and went down a storm. Many classics as well as some very modern Country. What it is to be young and talented? I was one of those once. For Saturday evening we have 2 of the best duo outfits on the circuit who are also so different. Roots & Wings with Mike and Kelly providing many of my favourite tracks. This husband and wife couple work so well together, Kelly has a perfect country music voice and Mike plays a great guitar and backing vocal. As always a highly polished and enjoyable performance. Alternating with Calico who have been on this circuit for long enough to be well established and are among the top line dance acts around. Modern, professional and delivered with an exhausting amount of energy and entertaining as always.
Moving onto Sunday and our afternoon act was Kay ‘D’ who is another one of my favourite acts who never fails to provide the quality sets that we have come to expect. On her way home from the Isle of Wight, she explained that we were not the only hotel whose heating was not coping well but she sang for 2 hours except for a short break in a ‘sleeveless’ top. As always Kay ‘D’ kept the floor full from beginning to end. Excellent sets but then home to her poorly Daughter, hope she has recovered fully and was delighted to see Mummy get home.
That brings us to Sunday night and another of the new acts on me, John Doherty and my first time seeing him certainly won’t be my last. This is a young man definitely worth seeing, great voice and some excellent, different tracks to those we often hear many times over a weekend. This was one of the pleasant surprises as over this weekend there was very little repetition, and with our host Ky Rivers bringineing an excellent weekend to a close in his own inimitable professional style that never disappoints.
Ann Hinder and Bernie Underwood visited the festival on Saturday evening for a couple of hours. Very nice to see both of them.
The raffle, with many prizes kindly donated raised a fantastic total of £216 for the NSPCC. So very well done to all everyone.
Paul did his usual professional job on the door and Westernview Western Wear with their wonderful stall make this the complete package of a festival.
Next festival is in June contact Ky Rivers for more information.
Photos from Maureen Lincoln
Additional Photos may be found here