The REAL moraira Music festival review

It is one year ago that this article started to get noticed (and probably read) with the review of the 2nd Moraira music festival. At that time the comments were overall it was ok but the sound let the whole show down. You may remember there was a couple of running debates.
So Sunday 4th July 2006 saw the 3rd Moraira Music Festival with a different line up of sorts and a professional sound system. But would it be enough to make the difference or would this be another let down.
We got there at 7:45 and unfortunately missed the first band “Manhattan Jazz” –the festival started on time – a commendable start. The first thing that we noticed was the complete difference in sound, it was almost crystal clear, balanced and sounded like the person behind the desk actually knew what he was doing – it makes such a difference and it showed. There were times throughout the evening when the sound peaked (and it wasn’t just when Anthony Rivers was playing – sorry Ant had to get that in after your comment on the night) but  overall it was a marked improvement


A very welcome diversion to the events was the appearance on stage of none other than Terry Bennett – his first live performance since his stroke. Although he didn’t sing, our hearts go out to him and we hope it isn’t too long before he is back – it must be frustrating to be sitting by watching, knowing you want to be up there but can’t at present. Good luck Terry on your recovery.



So onto the music.


First up was Mahanttan Jazz, This is a 5 piece jazz band who play traditional jazz and swing. We didn’t get to hear them as we were late, but I am reliably informed they were excellent – and who am I to doubt it. It would also be unfair not to mention them just because we didn’t get there in time.


Next up was Izzy – star of last years show. This year she brought her newly formed Rock Skool Academy of kids ranging from 6 -16 years old. Izzy has an absolutely amazing voice and it is easy to see why her concerts are sell outs. She started the evening off with an Aria from Madame Butterfly and it made your hair stand on end.


Throughout the set (she was on twice) she did a couple of her own songs which are an eclectic mix of rhythmic dance and opera – think opera meets Ibiza. Imagine you have a dance track and this beautiful Soprano voice comes in over the top of it - perfect. This lady has class written all over her. On stage with Izzy were her troop from the Rock Skool.


One young lady – I believe she was called Amy, (I apologise for my lack of research but this article is being written at 2 in the morning and I didn’t have time to ask her name) sang a song she wrote herself called Guardian Angel. A song written about a friend of hers who sadly passed away last year. Full of emotion and delivered with excellence – she has obviously learnt a lot from her teacher.


Well done to Izzy and her crew they gave an excellent performance – and most of these kids were younger than ten. Future stars in the making.


Next on were our old favourites - Zodiac Duo. Keith and Gary form this vocal duo who play a range of hit songs that people can get up and dance to. Their flamboyant style soon got the crowds going. This year I am happy to say that the backing tracks sounded much better.


The boys themselves did an excellent job of entertaining the crowds. For pure entertainment value they are worth hiring for your venue – they have a good following and will get the audience moving. Well done Zodiac. By the way Keith and Gary are selling their house so if you want to buy a piece of local history and grab a bargain celebrity pad then now is your chance – I am sure it wont be long before it goes. Good luck gents.


Next up was our daddy of them all Tony (complete with bus pass) and son Anthony Rivers. Playing a mix of songs from the 60’s right through to today, Tony and Anthony can be mediocre sometimes and excellent at others. Tonight they were on form – especially with James Blunts “You’re Beautiful” which Ant sung with great emotion.


This is another one of those songs that you would think was written specially for him. Where these boys really come into their own is the vocal harmonies, they specialise in songs from Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys and other great tunes. And although on the night one of the songs didn’t come out right from where I was standing nevertheless they made up for it with the rest of their show.


Overall a good performance from Tony and Ant, and well worth going to see at one of the many venues they frequent in the area.


Next - Stage Door Performing Arts. Based in Benitachell they performed a range of Abba songs. Again there were many children on stage along with adults and this was a singalong to Abba tunes. It was great to see the kids enjoying themselves  - especially the two little devils at the right hand end of the stage who seemed to have their own style and way of doing things. The act themselves were good and sang well.


Roll on – Wayne Horne and the Hornets. Musically they are good – they play Rock and Roll with music from the likes of Eddie Cochrane, Elvis Presley and so on. However, what I found strange was that the singer never opened his mouth in between songs – this was left to the guitarist. Little point in having a shy front man. This was another of those bands that do not grab the attention and left you feeling cold. They are technically good but lacked any sort of passion and certainly made no attempt to entertain. Billed as the Rock and Roll band of the Costa Blanca – I shudder to think what lesser bands are like. One I think I will miss out on.


And on to the next act Theatre Express – which was based on students of the classes of Theatre Express based in Javea. They performed to theatre classics and two particular performers shone out. Voices like Angels when they did their solo performances. Very lifting indeed.

Next we had Double Impact taking up the graveyard shift – the last but one act -consisting of Ian Henry and Terry Jae. They started off with “We Will Rock You” and continued with such classics as “Mustang Sally”, “Young Hearts” , “That’s the Way I like it”. But the highlight of their show had to be when Terri did her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I will always Love You”. Absolutely amazing and this one sent shivers down your spine. Terri really has got a fantastic voice. As an act Double Impact are good with a mix of wit and entertainment and they also managed to keep the crowds going when everyone was tired and wanting to go home.


Finally we had Calpe Rock – a four piece Spanglish band from somewhere on the Costa Blanca. They started off with “I feel fine” but by this time I was very tired and to be honest this was another band that didn’t grab me or make me want to stay around, so I left. They may well have been great later on – but it didn’t show through. As musicians they were fine – no notes out of place, but there was really no audience participation or any passion. This could be unfair as I said I didn’t stay till the end.


So overall was it worth going to see?

Yes it was.

There was a marked improvement on last year. The sound was a lot better than before and the difference in having a professional set up was very clear. It is also clear a lot of effort went into trying to make this a success and credit should go to Eric Taylor and Dodge – and all those who helped to organise this – the operation went smoothly and this time it ran like clockwork. The audience enjoyed it for the most part and although reluctant at first to get up and dance – once started there was no stopping them.


However on the downside I think that having choir music and theatre music may have been politically correct choices perhaps, there was a little too much kid power – especially given the time that these kids were on at. Also we were promised more “Live” type of acts which didn’t materialise.


I am aware though that some of the booked acts decided not to play for financial reasons – which is a great shame – and shame on you Chloe Elena especially as you were headlining, but perhaps it is about time that the Moraira Music Festival found a good sized sponsor to support the efforts of those involved who really do a thankless task .


Then perhaps there will be more live music acts on – and pay the artists a going rate. From what I understand the Teulada Town Hall were boasting that they had put some €130,000 into the pot – so surely they can divert a small proportion of that to go towards what could easily be a top draw for local artists in years to come.


Finally it’s a shame that Janet and Billy Brink were missing this year as I feel they would have made a welcome addition – but apparently they were surplus to requirements. When I saw Janet she told me that I had got her sacked because of my comments last year. Although tongue in cheek I wonder how true this was – Eric please feel free to comment. Whatever I may have said about her singing Pink Floyd songs they are still a good act to entertain the crowds – and one thing we were sadly missing in my humble opinion this year was lead solos. Don’t need them for every act but one or two would have been nice.


Other than that though sterling effort all round. It was enjoyed by most if not all. It had its high points and its low points – but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Well done to the organisers, the artists, the bar, the local restaurants who helped out by allowing us to use their toilet facilities, and of course a big well done to all of you who attended to make it a great night out!!



Keep it Live!



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