2018 Shows Confirmed So Far

We’re hitting the ground running in the New Year with the following shows already confirmed:

Sunday 4 February The Tannahill Weavers at Chidham Village Hall

Monday 26 February  Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, and John Doyle at Emsworth Baptist Church

Friday 16 March Kanda Bongo Man & Kwasa Kwasa at Chidham Village Hall

Friday 23 March Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain at Emsworth Baptist Church

Saturday 14 April Namvula (and band) at Chidham Village Hall

Friday 27 April The Strawbs (acoustic) at Emsworth Baptist Church

Wednesday 17 October Dave Kelly (The Blues Band) and Maggie Bell (Stone the Crows) at Chidham Village Hall

Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 October Acoustic Blues Festival TBC at Chidham Village Hall

Future Shows (subject to contract) include: Vikki Clayton (6 July), Oysterband (October), Show of Hands, and the return of Front Country, and hopefully Estas Tonne !

Kanda Bongo Man !!

It might be Winter outside but on Friday 16 March it’s going to be hot, hot hot !  In association with our friends at African Night Fever we proudly present:

Congolese superstar Kando Bongo Man and his band to Chidham Village Hall (they’ve dropped Hambrook from the hall title) for what will surely be an evening of great dance music and full-on entertainment !  Tickets will be available shortly as a great Christmas Present from www.wegottickets.com, Bookends in Emsworth, or directly from ourselves at

wemsfest@btinternet.com/07802500050   £15.00 in advance, loads more on the door !  There’ll be a bar of course

Julian Sluggett RIP

Julian sadly lost his battle with cancer, and associated conditions, on Wednesday 23 August.  He and I knew each other several decades ago when he was Director of  ‘The Westy’ in Aldershot, and the The Wilde Theatre in Bracknell.  We lost contact  and then he popped up again in 2012 at the first public meeting to discuss forming WemsFest.  From there we never looked back as he took on the role of developing not just the Rogues & Vagabonds Theatre Company, but also the P G Wodehouse Festival, not to mention our D-Day Commemorations, co-writing the Racton Follies revues, and productions outside of WemsFest itself.  These activities merely scratch the surface of someone who lived life to the full and touched so many lives, of all ages, in very positive ways.  Charismatic, and determined, his passing has left a legacy second to none.  We send our condolences to his immediate family, former wife Christine, and his many friends and colleagues.


Future Events

Friday 16 March 8pm Kanda Bondi Man & Kwasa Kwasa at Chidham Village Hall (presented with our friends African Night Fever)

Friday 23 March 8pm Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham at Emsworth Baptist Church

Saturday 14 April 8pm Namvula at Chidham Village Hall (presented with our friends African Night Fever)

Friday 27 April 8pm The Strawbs (acoustic) at Emsworth Baptist Church

Thursday 14 June 8pm Tunde Jegede at Chidham Village Hall

Friday 6 July 8pm Vikki Clayton at Chidham Village Hall

Wednesday 18 July 8pm Yves Lambert Trio (Quebec) at Emsworth Baptist Church

Wednesday 10 October 8pm Dave Kelly & Maggie Bell at Chidham Village Hall

Saturday 13 October 8pm Djabel Cissoko at Chidham Village Hall (presented with our friends African Night Fever)

Thursday 15 November 8pm Oysterband Emsworth Baptist Church

All these shows are on sale through Bookends (Emsworth), online through www.wegottickets.com (a 10% handling charge applies), or by BACS – email wemsfest@btinternet.com for details.




WemsFest 2017 Festival UPDATE

We’ll have the programme printed and available in late July but meanwhile I thought we’d share some information.

Sadly we won’t have a contribution from Rogues & Vagabonds Theatre Company due to the ongoing illness affecting my Co-Director Julian Sluggett.  This means that Racton Follies, and P G Wodehouse commemorations will have to be put on the back-burner for now.  I’m sure you’ll join with me in hoping that Julian will make a full recovery.

By no means a replacement, but something I has already set-up with Julian’s blessing, I’m delighted that we’re presenting 4 performances of Bench Theatre’s ‘What Ivy Wanted‘.  Having been a very long-time admirer of their work I’m more than pleased to include this fast-moving, poignant, and often funny, 4-hand play which deals with bereavement and retirement within a very short space of time.  It’s one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying in decades and will resonate with many in a very positive and humorous way.


Major Scoop for Chidham Village Hall

Tunde Jegede Testimony Tour
21 Concerts in 21 Cities  – including Chidham on Sunday 25 June !!!
Yes, it’s true. We’re delighted to see Chidham up here among London, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Bristol !

21st Century Renaissance Man Who Bridges African & European Musical Traditions 

Tunde Jegede is a 21st century Renaissance man who bridges African and European musical traditions. An internationally renowned kora player, cellist and composer, whose soul-stirring music blends the ebb and flow of traditional kora-playing with his own dynamic contemporary compositions. 

In this unique solo concert we are taken on a journey to the heart of Malian griot culture bringing Tunde’s sound worlds and rich musical legacies to life. With re-imagined cinematic imagery of ancient Africa, it is a meditative musical experience that touches on the very essence of our being. Tunde Jegede’s music is at once an intimate and personal reflection – a cultural expression that transcends boundaries. 

Tickets for this 7.30pm show are now available, £12.50, from www.wegottickets.com, and Harbour Records (Emsworth)

Dervish Confirmed for WemsFest

Top traditional Irish group Dervish have been confirmed to play at Emsworth Baptist Church on Thursday 5 October.

For several years it has been a tradition for a female artist to open WemsFest and with band member Cathy Jordan we’re delighted to carry this on.  Cathy could actually be a stand-up comedian if she were to chose an alternative career – her onstage banter is worth the ticket price alone.

Dervish are playing only a handful of UK dates this year and we’re delighted to have bagged one of them.  Tickets are now on sale through the usual outlets.Dervish

Emsworth Goes Funny for Money !!!

Emsworth Comedy Club


Friday 24 March 8pm


‘One of the 10 Best in the World’ Stewart Lee

NB: Due to an administrative cock-up on my part (and somewhat ambiguous Licensing information – they state 5 working days in order to obtain a TEN but Friday 17 doesn’t seem to impact on this) ….please bring your own booze tonight ‘BYO’


Saturday 25 March 8pm


The Hewitts @, South Street, PO10 7EG

Licensed Bar.

Tickets £12.50: Harbour Records, Bookends, www.wegottickets.com

Presented by WemsFest and Emsworth Business Association, with grateful support from Havant Borough Council.

Raising Funds for Comic Relief

Listen to ‘The Flash’

A long overdue posting but there’s a great radio station operating out of Havant which I’m proud to be a presenter on, and there are a number of WemsFest supporters involved with it.

It’s called ‘The Flash’ and you can access it on DAB+ or through the Web.  The station broadcasts 7/11 and has some really great music content – largely without the annoying commercial breaks although it does rely on external funding to exist – so if you can help please go their website www.theflashonair.co.uk

My own show goes out live every Tuesday 18.00-20.00 and it lives upto it’s ‘Eclectic Music Show’ mantle – modelled on the late and great John Peel so you’ll find a very stimulating mix of music !!

Importantly The Flash gives a lot of support to musicians in the immediate area and gives them much needed radio airplay as well as mentoring.

The Flash DAB Radio Logo

Extra Tickets Available for Nick Harper

An extra supply of tickets have been made available for Nick Harper‘s sold-out show at The Spring’ (Havant)

this Saturday 8 October at 8pm

It’s the first concert in a series entitled ‘Up Close, and Personal’ whereby the audience has the opportunity to

put questions to Nick during his second set in a room which makes for an intimate performance.

Future artists in the series include: Charlie Dore, Chris Difford, Ric Sanders, Chris Jagger, and Jeff Lang.

Details from www.thespring.co.uk or 02392 472700