Summer’s arrived! Not that you can tell by the weather. But you can when several hundred music fans make their annual trip to the Sherwood Pines for the summer concerts.
The first one featuring Will Young, who nonchalantly strolled onto the ample stage on Friday night, in a pink and white seersucker jacket that a least suggested sunshine and warmth.
A couple of songs later, from fifth album ‘Echoes’, and the crowd were basking in hotness.
New release, ‘I Just want a lover’ sounded like another big hit on the way.
Relaxed and joking, Will tipped his hat (he wasn’t actually wearing one), to local legend Robin Hood, singing Robin Hood riding through the glen, and proclaimed his favourite Jubilee moment.
He went on to announce that his daughter, “When I have one” would be named Flotilla.
Smiling and waving to the crowd, through the song ‘Changes’ Will worked the audience, energetically bouncing round the stage, his band and backing singers unleashing their power.
A change of clothes, shirt and jacket from the backdrop of his stage design from which hung hundreds of items of clothing, and the affable Will assured us all that “We’re all in this together”.
I wanted to hear him sing ‘Grace’, prompted by a bank advert on the TV, but got so much more - Losing Myself, Who Am I, Light My Fire, All Time Love, The Game - for which he made a second costume change and gelled his hair all in full view of his fans.
You’re absolutely right, I thought to myself, as he sang ‘I Thing I’d better Leave Right Now”, and headed out to avoid car park crush, but oddly enough, not the cold or damp as Will said “we’re English, we like tea, Robin Hood and wet summers!”
The forest tour was launched in 2001 with Jools Holland and the Levellers performing at four Forestry Commission sites – Sherwood Pines, Dalby Forest, Bedgebury Pinetum and High Lodge, Thetford Forest.
The concept was to attract major acts for a series of concerts in outstanding locations.
Over the years the tour has grown to the extent that the Forestry Commission is now a major promoter of concerts and, with the addition of Delamere Forest and Cannock Chase Forest.
Live Music events are regularly staged at seven forest venues.