Review – Festival of the Sixties

The sights, sounds and styles of the sixties seem to have an endearing quality about them–at least that was what 5,000 people thought this past week at Butlin’s Southcoast World in Bognor Regis.
Billed as the largest festival in the world, the Festival of the Sixties, which began six years ago at Barry Island, was attended by old and young alike some came to remember, some came to experience, but all came to enjoy. Staged once again by Barry Collings Enterprises, the festival took place over a three day period, with acts appearing daily from 12 till 3:00. 50 acts performed throughout the duration of the festival with big names such as Marty Wilde, Alan Price, the Dreamers and the Merseybeats topping the bill. Other festival favourites in cluded Mud, the Rapiers, Bootleg Beatles, the Platters and Salute the Supremes, with acts such as Screaming Lord Sutch and the Rockin’ Berries thrown in for variety.

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend were the impromptu performances of Kim Wilde and Ray Lewis. Kim Wilde, who had accompanied her father to watch his evening’s performance in the Gaiety Theatre, was brought on stage to rapturous applause and jubilation. Allegedly her final per formance, the family duo then performed a unique rendition of Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On. If it was to be her last performance, it was certainly a fitting end to a successful career, and one that conjured a hint of sentimentality. Ray Lewis was received in much the same enthusiastic manner as Kim. The former lead singer of the Drifters was plucked from the Gaiety Theatre audi ence by compere and comedian, Mike Lee Taylor, and gently persuaded to perform. He chose to sing Ben E King’s Stand By Me, rounding off his brief set with a melodious rendition of Save the Last Dance For Me. He set the stage for the reputed Salute the Supremes.