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We review Simply Red at Hop Farm near Paddock Wood with Lisa Stansfield in support


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Something Got Me Started last night at the Hop Farm because I didn't stop singing and dancing for hours.

Not only was it the brilliant tunes and vibes of legends Simply Red, but also singer Lisa Stansfield took me back down memory lane.

Lisa Stansfield performing last night
Lisa Stansfield performing last night
Lisa Stansfield performing at the Hop Farm
Lisa Stansfield performing at the Hop Farm

The band, fronted by singer Mick Hucknall, were top of the bill at the site in Beltring, Paddock Wood and if you didn't have a ticket, then, I would say you certainly did miss out.

We all basked in the glorious evening sunshine as we waited for Lisa to hit the stage. There was a friendly, happy atmosphere all over the site and for once, the beer was a reasonable price at £5.50 a pint.

Special guest Lisa really did get the party started and her worldwide hit All Around The World which got the eclectic mix of people in the audience singing at the top of their voices.

It was great to see so many people enjoying her set and being out enjoying a gig in a field in the sun again.

Lisa Stansfield performing at last night

I'd actually forgotten how many hits she sang including This Is The Right Time, Affection, People Hold On and more and I'd never seen her perform before, but I'd pay to see her again, she's still got it.

As the heat of the sun subsided and Lisa finished her set, the anticipation of Mick Hucknall and Simply Red coming on stage to belt out hit tracks like Holding Back the Years, Stars, It’s Only Love and more, was just too much for some revellers.

Mick Hucknall delighted crowds at the Hop Farm
Mick Hucknall delighted crowds at the Hop Farm
Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm last night
Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm last night

One man who I heard getting excited about the prospect, had travelled from Bexley with his life-long buddy to see the band.

Both were rather inebriated and loud and the first guy kept shouting: "We love you Micky...I want to have your babies." I guess he was happy about the prospect of hearing perhaps his favourite track, For Your Babies? Both guys made me and the people around us laugh.

Mick Hucknall on stage last night

And it wasn't long before Mick and his band who formed in Manchester in 1985, got on stage and they didn't disappoint as he belted out their smash hits including single Money's Too Tight To Mention, Something Got Me Started and a whole load more.

The audience were singing each and every lyric at the top of their voices and it was good to dance with strangers who were equally as happy as me.

No wonder the band have sold more than 60m albums worldwide, have had five UK No.1 albums and more than a billion views on YouTube.

Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm
Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm
the audience loved Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm
the audience loved Mick Hucknall and Simply Red at the Hop Farm

He still delights the crowds and the band are brilliant and the set was just perfect.

I was lucky enough to see Tom Jones there last year an thought it was a well organised gig then.

However, this year organisers had made some slight tweaks to the site, (like not having to buy beer tokens just to get a pint and getting the crowds into the gig quicker and more smoothly) and I can say this year's set up was an even better experience than I found it last year.

It's a great venue for a gig and I even got out the car park afterwards within about 25 minutes, last year it took me more than two hours.

Tonight Paul Weller is headlining at the Hop Farm and on Sunday, Keane play at the venue.

For tickets, see here.

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