Ailsa Festival organiser,  Elaine Samuels

Come to the new, Ailsa Tavern Festival, July 5th - 7th, and hear top live bands, jams, workshops, an open mic, real ales great Mediterranean inspired food and a hog roast. There is also going to be a music talent contest, called “Rising Stars”! Everything musical is free to attend except the talent contest which is only £5.

There are three SUPERB bands being featured over the festival weekend; on Friday night we have the three-piece “Be Sharp”; blues rock in style, of the same quality (in my opinion) as Eric Clapton’s three piece, “Cream”. They play a stunning mix of numbers from groups like Steely Dan, Cream and Jimi Hendrix as well as great originals. They are being supported by the amazing “Nessles”, a powerful singer / song-writer / guitar player. On Saturday, after the workshops, jams and talent contest, we have the hugely popular and soon to be mega-famous, “Carnabys”, a local, teenage five-piece boy band, who recently won the Hard Rock Calling contest and are now going to be playing at London’s Olympic Park alongside acts like Bruce Springsteen. See their recent article from the Evening Standard

Supporting the Carnabys is the wonderful, up-and-coming, local, teenage singer, Amy Longden Rogers. On Sunday afternoon, after more workshops and jams and before the evening Open Mic is a superb jazz quartet lead by Evan Clegg.

So far we have guitar and ukulele workshops being run by qualified, local music, vocal and instrument teacher, Surya Cooper - so you can continue having lessons with her - if your taster workshop gives you the bug! We also have a drum workshop from professional drummer and percussionist Ed Spevock, who has performed with artists such as Cat Stevens, Jimmy Cliff and Jack Bruce, to name a few. There is also going to be another instrument workshop - so check the web site for more details and timings!

The aim of the “Rising Stars” talent contest, starting at 3pm on the Saturday afternoon, is to help discover new, mostly local, music artistes, keen to make a career in the music business. The festival hopes to have 3 judges with music business contacts. One of the judges will be Jack Mercer, from “The Carnabys” and the others are being arranged. The judges will be commenting on each acts performance as well as coosing the winner. The winner will play a longer spot on the night, receive a cash prize, two festival spots on stage (at the Twickenham Green Fair and St Margarets Fair), a free years membership to band listings sites Lemonrock and Gigall and a spot on Brookland Radio’s “Under The Radar”, where the winner will be interviewed and have songs recorded and filmed in HD for broadcast!

If you are interested in taking part in the talent contest, now open for applications, find out more from the festival web site link:

– from Elaine Samuels