As summer finally arrived and the aerodrome basked in clear blue skies and sunshine, the two day concert of popular and classical music got off to a fantastic start as the crowd went ‘Ga Ga’ over the Bohemians on Friday night.
The renowned tribute band played a foot stomping 90 minute set of classic Queen songs, including Radio Ga Ga, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Kind of Magic, We Will Rock You and We are the Champions.
On Saturday families sat in the sunshine, enjoying picnics, as Jive Connection put on a lively display of Jitterbug and Boogie Woogie dancing to some classic war time and big band tunes.
To add to the nostalgia of the evening and entertain the crowds a variety of World War II Military Vehicles were on show ranging from a 1941 Ford F15 to a 1944 Bedford MW, as well as a 1940’s display including a crashed Messerschmitt Bf 109 and personnel in 1940’s military, RAF and Civilian Police Uniform.
The main show opened with a carefully choreographed display from a Spitfire and Hurricane, iconic symbols of the Battle of Britain, as they danced in the skies to Spitfire Prelude and Fugue. Carl Davis put in an energetic performance conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, who delighted crowds with renditions of old favourites, including The Battle of Britain, The World at War and Schindler’s List.
Claire Sweeney was a vision in white as she accompanied Carl and the Orchestra, putting her heart and soul into singing timeless greats, including The White Cliffs of Dover, When the Lights Go On Again and We’ll Meet Again.
The night culminated in a sea of waving Union Jacks as the show closed with a dazzling firework spectacular arranged to The Great Escape and Claire got the crowd singing Run Rabbit Run, Hey little Hen and Roll out the Barrel.
Jamie McAllister, Event Director, comments: “We’ve had fantastic feedback from everyone and are delighted by the success of Strings & Wings. People really let their hair down at the Bohemians and threw themselves in to dancing to classic Queen tracks. Saturday was a more emotional evening; as we commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain; as the concert climaxed there wasn’t a dry eye on the aerodrome. To attract over 4,000 visitors to our first concert is a huge achievement and we look forward to building on this success in the coming years.”
Commenting at the end of the evening Mrs Drayson said: "We came from Purley which was a bit of a drive but definitely worth it, what an excellent evening!"
Mr Harris said: "It’s a nice area for the venue, we had an excellent time, good value for money and we'd definitely come again."
Michele Auker on holiday from South Africa said: “Friday night was fabulous, we had such a good time. Having read about the Saturday night concert, we decided not to miss it and come back. We’ve had a great holiday and really enjoyed the weekend.”
For pictures of the night visit the gallery on our website www.stringsandwings.com