REVIEW: Sophie Ellis-Bextor at Priory Park, Chichester

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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Can it really be 16 years since Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Groovejet was THE dance soundtrack blasting out of speakers everywhere?

Even she was struggling to believe that when chatting to the audience in between numbers at Chichester’s first Priory Park Festival.

A lot has happened to her since (she recently had her fourth child), but she’s still out there making good music and loving being up on stage.

The packed marquee was clapping and singing along as she and her band rattled through a medley of her disco hits, from Groovejet to Take Me Home and Murder On The Dancefloor. But there were also slower, emotional songs such as Young Blood and the kind of folk-style ballads that signalled a change of direction on her last album, Wanderlust.

Festival director Robin Bextor (her dad) clearly had an advantage when getting Sophie to play at Priory Park. But she seemed to really enjoy the experience. Let’s hope she and the weekend festival are back next year.

It certainly got off to a promising start, with Seth Lakeman, Courtney Pine and Chichester’s own Zoe Rahman, plus The Feeling and the ageless Paul Jones and the Manfreds among those contributing to an enjoyable and eclectic experience that included poetry and talks alongside the music.