Ashley Cross, Poole

For nearly twenty years Ashley Cross Green has played host to its annual live music event “Grooves on the Green”, the event is one that wholeheartedly supports the area’s local music scene. After a hiatus last year due to the pandemic the organiser Jan Crump (Landlady of The Bricklayers Arms) along with Hangover Hill’s team of Mel Berkhauer and Matt Black have resurrected the event once again with a stellar two-day music line-up, Host/DJ Alan Turner Ward along with children’s entertainment and a host of stalls/bars providing refreshments.

Saturday Featuring: Saints of Sin, The Jimmy Hillbillies, Jazz Wran and The Ruby Welts, Mischa and his Merry Men & Chris Payn

Grooves on The Green opens on Saturday at 11am and even with the weather forecast predicting heavy rain showers, the site is soon busy. With day tickets priced at just £7 and the majority of the money going to the Diverse Abilities, everyone’s a winner. The live music starts at noon with local rocker Chris Payn who delivers a set full of well-known material including “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, Prince’s “Purple Rain” and a fantastic Medley of Queen hits; which just shows what a fine set of vocal chords this young man has.

Chris Payn
Chris Payn 1

Mischa & His Merry Men are up next and they always bring the feelgood factor to any event. The ever-smiling frontman has an absolute heart of gold and through the lyrics of his original tunes you can just tell he cares so much. The 7-piece band including keyboards, trumpet and saxophone play through a series of original tunes despite the sporadic rain showers. The crowd are clearly not bothered by a bit of inclement weather, compared to everything we have gone through this last 18 months. They deliver in all areas with a set full of varied uplifting tunes including “Help A Brother Out”, “Save Our Souls” and the wonderfully upbeat “Break From The City”.

Mischa And His Merry Men
Mischa And His Merry Men 12

Jazz Wrann and The Ruby Welts are up next and today they are just a slimmed-down version from their normal 5-piece. They feature Jazz on Guitar/Vocals with local hero Si Genaro on guitar/vocals/harmonica and a recent addition Lou Sawdy on Cajón. They entertain the crowd with a series of classics including Jolene, The Cure’s “Lovecats” along with an impressive original tune called “Let It Go”. The set ends with Si Genaro doing what he does best with some improvisation of beatboxing, along with some freestyle harmonica.

Jazz Wrann And The Ruby Welts
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The Jimmy Hillbillies follow them and the crowd needs no excuse to get up and dance to their infectious style of Americana/Bluegrass, infused with modern-day influences and distinct artistic license. The five-piece (who today are sadly missing banjo player Ski who is apparently on holiday) plow through tunes like “Cornfield Countdown”, “Shake It” (which is dedicated to the Wardorf and Statler of the local music scene: myself and DJ Tim Heywood) and a popular Abba-inspired disco song. This got everyone up from their picnic blankets/chairs and dancing around.

The Jimmy Hillbillies
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This afternoon’s headline band is the mighty Hampshire 4-piece “Saints of Sin”, who bound onto the stage with loads of energy. They are greeted by a small army of fans who get moving to their opening number “Heart Attack”. These guys mix their Rock influences with popular music styles, creating a uniquely entertaining mix that audiences just seem to love. For example; today due to the inclement weather we are treated to rocked up versions of Rhianna’s “Umbrella” and also a surprising cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”, which goes down a storm with all ages. Rui, Josh, and Brothers Sparxx and Ash are a tight unit who really know how to entertain a festival crowd and end today with plenty of styles and much swagger.

Saints Of Sin
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Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery
Pork Pies & words of wisdom by Tim “The Hat” Heywood
60th (really!!) Birthday wishes to Lynn Bert (Mrs. Bert to her Rock Star Friends)

Grooves On The Green