Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 2 – Friday 4 August 2023

Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 2 – Friday 4 August 2023

By Graham Hiley

If you thought the Saw Doctors could not get any better than they were at Wickham last year, then think again!

Singer Leo Moran told the crowd: “Last year was our first big gig back after six years so we were a bit nervous but we have been practising hard and have some different songs for you.”

And practice made perfect as they produced a polished and powerful set which had the Big Top bouncing… with the occasional lapse just to keep it real and raw – and to give the fans and band a smile.

Leo laughed: “Some of us have been practising harder than others!”

But what a great night – from the melodic opener Green and Red of Mayo right through to the high-octane finale of Hay Wrap, this was a real treat.

Davy Carton’s voice is as strong as ever while Leo Moran’s infectious enthusiasm got the party in full swing as they rattled through most of their big hits plus a couple of rarities in Sound Sham and Me Without You.

And just to round off a great night, they were joined on stage by Steve Wickham of Waterboys fame. He tuned the fiddle for Joyce Country Ceilidh Band before the surprise of the night when the band played Fisherman’s Blue during the finale Hay Wrap.

It crowned a night with a real Irish theme. Mary Coughlan received a rapturous ovation for her superb set followed by Frankie Gavin and De Dannan excellent array of Irish tunes.

That set up an appearance by legendary Irish singer Mary Black in one of only three UK dates on her 40th anniversary tour. Her voice has lost none of its purity and power in that time and the crowd loved it.

Meanwhile over on Main Stage 2 Ian Prowse and Amsterdam got the place jumping as they followed  on from Steve Wickham who teamed up with Ray Coen for a high quality set.

That led in to the Olllam who were excellent before folk legend Eliza Carthy rounded off the evening with her usual high quality performance.

And to complete a perfect day… it stayed dry and largely sunny.

However fans are being urged to keep a regular check on the Saturday forecast which is very unpredictable. So might be best to dress accordingly!

Tickets for the remaining days of Wickham Music Festival are still available, see for more details.

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