The concert. Well. It was good. But not as good as I thought it might be.
Rose Royce, in my opinion, were excellent, with good music, strong vocals, some classics, some covers and something new, all presented in a way that engaged the crowd and got people dancing and applauding.
Boney M were less good. They had a total wanker on stage prancing about and doing the male vocal parts. Starting the set out with singalonga version of Amazing Grace is unlikely to get the crowd kicking. And there were fewer classics (although to be fair, Boney M probably only had three hits?) and more stuff that I certainly didn’t know.
My biggest gripe was with the sound quality. Rose Royce didn’t seem too interested in doing an encore because of it (and, in fact, didn’t do one) – you could barely hear the backing vocalist at all, who was left on stage as something of an ornament. There was quite a bit of feedback, and the sound style seemed to be to go for volume and to hell with the awful distortion – by all accounts it could be heard in Oving, three miles away. Perhaps if the mixing desk was situated at the back of the auditorium like it is in most venues instead of on the right hand side of the stage, the engineer would have a better idea of what was going wrong. I think that removing one of the corporate hospitality areas at the back and putting the sound desk there would improve the event for everyone.
Honestly, for twenty quid a head, I expect something better.
But the Real Ale and Jazz Festival (they keep the brand, but the content bears no relationship these days) is still one of the great Chichester social occasions of the year. I saw just about everyone there, and I’m going to be brave and attempt to list them: Paul F, Alison, Paul the other one, Xena, Bren, Greg, Aris, Julie, Jo, Julie, Fi, Julie (spotting a pattern yet?), Karen, Ted (with Samuel L Jackson hat and great shades and medallion), Nikki (in the biggest wig ever), Helen (smaller wig but danced on stage), Hamish, Ruth, DJ (who looked "great" at the end of the evening), Leah, Kristian and loads of others too.