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Grace Jones wows the crowds at the Hop Farm Music Festival while Deacon Blue are forced to pull out

By Angela Cole

The Hop Farm Music Festival concluded in spectacular fashion Sunday night with Jamaican diva Grace Jones giving a scintillating headline performance.

With almost as many costume changes as songs, the statuesque singer belted out crowd-pleasing hits such as Pull Up To The Bumper, Private Lives, Williams Blood and Love Is The Drug before hoola-hooping her way through Slave To The Rhythm to complete the hour-and-a-quarter set.

Grace Jones bringing proceedings to a close

Jones was not surprisingly 15-minutes' fashionably late on stage, but the delay only added to the anticipation - and she didn't disappoint.

Video: A round up of some of the acts at the Hop Farm Festival 2014

The headline act brought the three-day festival to a closure and silenced many disappointed Deacon Blue fans who learnt just hours before they were due to play that illness of an unnamed band member had forced a last-minute cancellation.

A Hop Farm Festival spokesman said organisers were equally disappointed, but that the venture - the first under new management - was a resounding success, despite not reaching its 20,000 capacity.

Dr John also disappeared from the line-up, with organisers only citing 'unforeseen circumstances' for the no-show.

Billy Ocean holds his microphone out to the crowd

80s' soul stalwart Billy Ocean stepped up to replace Glaswegian greats Deacon Blue, with a bravura performance of sing-along classics such as Get Into My Car, Lover Boy, Red Light Spells Danger and, of course, his signature tune When The Going Gets Tough.

Chas & Dave, who were forced to make a change of date after running late at Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth on Saturday, took to the main stage on Sunday to start the musical trip down memory lane.

Marc Almond performs on the Sunday

The cockney duo had the appreciative audience singing along to the likes of Rabbit and Gertcha before former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond kicked it up a gear with timeless tracks including Bedsitter and Tainted Love.

Sophie Ellis Bextor

On Saturday, Beach Boys' legends Brian Wilson and Al Jardine were reunited on stage.

The former bandmates wowed the thousands who had turned out to the second day of the three-day event held near Paddock Wood.

Brian Wilson. Picture: Martin Apps

They originally performed together more than half a century ago, in Brian Wilson’s bedroom as the Beach Boys formed, before going on to become one of the most successful bands of all time.

Brian Wilson at the Hop Farm Music Festival. Picture: Martin Apps

Also taking to the main stage was James Blunt and Squeeze.

James Blunt. Picture: Martin Apps

The three-day extravaganza, which has the capacity for 20,000 fans, kicked off on Friday, with former Kinks frontman Ray Davies headlining.

Crowds on the Sunday

Music lovers have already been treated to Echo and the Bunnymen and the Lightning Seeds, former Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton, 10cc and Eliza Doolittle.

Watching the acts

The previous organiser, Vince Power, attracted stars such as headliners including Prince and Bob Dylan to the Hop Farm, and is this year set to hold a rival event.

For full story and more pictures, see this Friday's Kent Messenger.

Hop Farm Festival

Acts and audience from the three-day music festival at Paddock Wood

Click to view

Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds takes to the stage. The crowds are entertained at The Hop Farm Music Festival. Ian McCulloch from Echo & The Bunnymen Enjoying the music 10cc on stage Paul Heaton, who performed with Jacqui Abbott Lightning Seeds Enjoying the entertainment in the sun.
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