Ashley Cross Green, Parkstone

Grooves On the Green 2016

Grooves on the Green is always a much-anticipated event in the summer’s festival calendar. Local Solid Air promoter Conrad Barr spends almost 12 months planning for the event, carefully selecting acts that will give the party just the right vibes. This year features a mouth-watering line-up of local artists, all who have impressed Conrad with their commitment and performances throughout the last year. The event is also about raising plenty of money for the local Poole charity Diverse Abilities, it is the only charity that supports children and adults with profound physical and learning disabilities.

In past years we have found that the weather is a very critical factor in the event being a success or not. The blue skies and sunshine had been ordered but as the first band took to the stage, a light shower of rain started to fall. However, as they finished their first number it stopped and thankfully did not return for the rest of the weekend. The gates were opened at noon and the place filled up quite quickly with chairs and picnic blankets being placed on the grass in front of the stage ahead of the afternoonís entertainment. The bars were serving a rather tasty Strawberry and Rhubarb cider, which was going down very nicely amongst the revellers.

Saturday afternoon kicked in at a nice leisurely pace with The Darwins, a three piece band from the local area who have brought along their ‘for Special Occasions only’ the evolutionary brass section. Their gentle blend of soul-infused jazz got people’s feet-a-tapping and heads nodding. They are a self-confessed originals only band and usually stick rigidly to their mandate with a string of well-crafted numbers. There is a skilful combination of bass, drums, and acoustic guitars combined with the brass section’s Saxophone, trombone and trumpet. They ended their set with the appropriately apt “Who Stole the Sun”; which included a snippet of “Papa was a Rolling Stone”, breaking their originals only rule perhaps just this once.

The Darwins
Grooves On The Green: The Darwins 1

Next up is possibly one of the area’s premier female vocalists Kaia Vieira, a young lady who has been wowing audiences with the delicate sound of her impressive vocals. Today Kaia has a full band comprising of handpicked musicians to complement her own very original style. Grooves on the Green is a perfect platform to reach out to an alternative audience of people who are not always regulars on the local music scene. As the full extent of Kaia’s vocal is unveiled I could hear lots of people around me saying how impressive she sounded. The set includes a 10-minute dreamy tune called “Castaway” that infused percussion with drums, bass and Kaia’s own electric guitar. A perfectly balanced set ideal for a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Kaia Vieira

Grooves On The Green: Kaia Vieira 1

It is unbelievable to think that “Pachango” have never played at Grooves on the Green before. With their very danceable ska; combined with Latino, Reggae and Hip Hop they are an instant hit with the Parkstone audience and many are straight up dancing moments after the band arrive onstage. The 10 piece band include percussion, keyboards, brass, drums and guitars with MC Joseph Selby and Sarah Wilson bringing it all together on vocals. The set includes many newer numbers including the uplifting “We are Animals” and an epic Latino/Jazz fusion number called “Happy Sol”, which is an instant hit with the dance hungry audience. The band leave the stage to a terrific amount of noise and appreciation from the well-entertained crowd.

Grooves On The Green
Grooves On The Green: Pachango 123

Dubheart have recently been part of a BBC TV show “Uk’s Best Part-Time Band”; where they got through to the final, impressing the judges with their passionate brand of reggae and dub. The band have the boast of being Bournemouth’s only reggae band; and due to this they are always in demand, playing many gigs and festivals each year. The sun is now shining and as the bass kicks in, a wave of people march toward the front and start moving. Frontman Tenja introduces a string of tunes including an excellent original “Cool Under Pressure”, as well a couple of reworked versions of Sugar Minott’s “Good Thing Going” and unbelievably a reggae version of The Beatles “Hard Dayís Night”. The band are incredibly tight and deliver a very memorable set full of highlights.

Grooves On The Green
Grooves On The Green: Dubheart 12

Freefall Collective are an urban fusion band who create music by mixing electronics with live instruments together to create a unique danceable sound that when they arrive they pull people like a magnet to the stage. Frontman MC Manic directs the crowd like a master of ceremonies and whips up a whirlwind while behind him Gareth Salmon provides the breaks and the beats which keeps the momentum high and the crowd dancing. The band mix things up by bringing on different vocalists first there is the delightful voice of Vida’s Kristy Kurowski and then Dubheart’s Tenja arrives back to the stage to provide some more reggae influence to proceedings. Freefall Collective have certainly pulled one of the biggest crowds that this festival has witnessed and also provided one of the best set witnessed here, certainly a great way of closing the day.

Grooves On the Green 2016


Band Links


Videos, Pictures & Words by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
The Darwins video courtsey of The Darwins Youtube Channel.

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