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No squeeze for Jools Holland at Castle Concerts gig

By Chris Hunter

Fans hardly needed to squeeze into the grounds of Rochester Castle to watch Jools Holland.

With the Towns consumed by football fever, the crowd turning out to see the rhythm and blues maestro at his Castle Concerts gig on Wednesday night was notably smaller than usual.

Jools Holland with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at the Castle Concerts 2018 (3043174)
Jools Holland with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at the Castle Concerts 2018 (3043174)

But the show proved a hit with fans, who had a much better night than those who chose to skip the gig and watch England crash out of the World Cup instead.

Posting on the Castle Concerts website after the gig Susan Tandy wrote: "Thank you Medway Council for a really great evening. May have been a smaller audience, but all seemed to enjoy it. A lot of hard work goes into these events and we are lucky to have them on our doorstep."

Judith Farmer added: "Was a good night but such a small crowd because of the football. The pubs were packed, if they had put screens up it would have been a better night. There would definitely have been more men there. Our partners went to the pub and came in late. It must have been hard for Jools playing to such a small crowd!"

Those that did go were also treated to a performance from Marc Almond who joined Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

Verne Sanderson, Operations Manager for festivals and events at Medway Council, said: “Castle Concerts has a great line-up this year, full of different acts to suit lots of music tastes.

This year’s concerts kicked off with The Australian Pink Floyd Show, which was a brilliant night. Then Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra lit up the stage and entertained the crowds throughout the evening. It was unfortunate that the concert clashed with England’s World Cup semi-final match but, in true English spirit, Jools kept the crowd updated on the score.

“The audience was smaller than what we would normally have anticipated and there is no doubt that the football game had some impact on this. However, people grasped the opportunity on the day and bought tickets at the gate to enjoy the open air concert in the castle grounds. Our temporary box office in Boley Hill car park, Rochester, will again be open until 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for those wanting to buy tickets to see Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Megan McKenna perform on Thursday and to attend Proms on Saturday.”

The concerts continue tonight with Ronan Keating, who will be followed by UB40 featuring Ali Astro and Mickey on Friday night and the Proms on Saturday.

Visit www.thecastleconcerts.co.uk for information and tickets.

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