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REVIEW: Forest Live host Rick Astley, and Elbow at Bedgebury Pinetum, Goudhurst

PUBLISHED: 10:55 20 June 2017

Crowds gathered to watch Rick Astley on Friday, June 16

Crowds gathered to watch Rick Astley on Friday, June 16

Archant

‘A great start to the summer, and definitely worth returning to’

Forest Live hosted Rick Astley, and Elbow, in Goudhurst at the weekend, and what a great start to the summer it was.

The concerts at Bedgebury Pinetum, which are organised by the Forestry Commission, were a million times better, and more fun, than I thought they were going to be, if I’m being honest.

When I turned up on the Friday evening to see Rick Astley, I’d been at work all day, and the thought of an evening in front of the TV in my pyjamas was almost more appealing, but how that changed once the music began.

Admittedly there were a few songs of Rick’s that I didn’t know, but they were all upbeat 80s anthems that had everyone, myself included, shamelessly dancing throughout.

Then, as a nod to the artists of today, he played Ed Sheeran’s current hit Shape Of You, and had the audience in fits of laughter when he struggled and admitted it may be “a bit too fast” for him to sing.

ACDC’s Highway to Hell also made an appearence on the set list, something I never thought I’d hear, but that Rick absolutely, even if suprisingly so, did justice.

Of course he had to keep the best song until last. The thousands-strong crowd went wild when Never Gonna Give You Up was performed last. Everyone was on their feet, singing at the top of their lungs.

As someone who’s been to a lot of concerts, and festivals, it was without a doubt, one of the most entertaining gigs I’ve ever been to. Afterwards, I was so excited to come back for Elbow the next night.

Saturday night was more packed than Friday, with people of all ages gathered to hear Elbow perform.

A different vibe from the night before, there was a lot of arm waving, and singing along as Guy Garvey engaged the audience in a roundup performance of all their big hits including Any Day Now, Mirrorball, and The Bones of You.

Being from Manchester, the band also paid tribute to the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack with their song Station Approach.

Like Rick the night before, Guy and the rest of the band, waited until the very end to play their best-known track, One Day Like This. Queue avid fans, and those who only know that song, singing in harmony together.

A fantastic and charasmatic show that’s left me wanting to return to Forest Live and see Elbow again.

Not only were the acts brilliant, but so were the facilities.

If I ever had to queue, the lines were very short and took no longer than a couple of minutes - for everything, the toilet, alcohol, food.

There was a good amount of alcohol to choose from, which for a picky person like me, is fantastic.

Drinking did bring out my hungry side, and I endulged in some chips, but also a coffee to sober me up before leaving. Both the chips and coffee were tasty, my other half even stated the coffee was “one of the best I’ve ever had.”

All in all, the concerts had an outdoors festival vibe, the music was fantastic, and I would undoubetly pay to visit another Forest Live concert in the future.

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