Andover Rocks are a charitable organisation raising funds to help adults with mental health to improve their lives through music intervention. They held a huge fundraising event this year (3-5 September) with many local singers and bands taking part, at lots of different venues around the town.. These venues included The Rockhouse, The Queen Charlotte Inn, Andover Radio Studio, The Angel Inn, Andover Tap, the White Hart and The Time Ring.
The Time Ring event on Saturday was hosted by Andover Radio presenter Craig Hicks and supported by the Andover Radio Team. There were eight acts to entertain the crowd of fans and passers by.
The first to perform was The Brilliant Drama Group created by Andover and District Mencap worker Cat Randle. The group of adults who all have mental health issues did an amazing performance of drama, dance and song . Their enthusiasm was infectious and when they did chair dancing to “Can’t Stop The Feeling” members of the audience joined in! A very entertaining performance and a joy to watch.
Beat 44 Choir were up next. They were only formed in May this year by Kim G (Kim Garner) who has been involved with Andover Rocks since 2018. She has formed several other choirs since then in Hampshire and is a singer in her own right. Beat 44 are all members of Hampshire Police Force . They only practise together once a week but in the space of just four months they have perfected their performance. This was their first public appearance but they showed no signs of nerves and their singing was amazing.. They sang a selection of upbeat songs which were well received by the gathered crowd. Kim also held a singing workshop at the Andover Radio studio later on in the day.
The third act in the Time Ring was D and K. Dave and Ken have been performing together for over 30 years, with one playing guitar and the other on drums. This was their first time at Andover Rocks, They sang a variety of songs which were well received.
Romsey Ukulele Group were the next act to entertain the crowd. This was their second year at the event . The group has been together for 6.5 years and has around 138 members- although they weren’t all here at this event! Leader John Harvey commented” The ukulele is a very easy instrument to play and suitable for any age group” Their set included The Proclaimers song “500 miles” and “Whip Crack-away” from the film Calamity Jane. The choice of songs was very varied making it a very entertaining act.
An Andover young talent, 17 year old Tiger Lily Jonathan was the next performer. This was her first appearance at “Rocks”. She is a student at Bishops Wordsworth Grammar School in Salisbury. She is a member of The National Youth Jazz Orchestra based in London which involves a weekly trip to the venue for rehearsals. Tiger Lily sings a range of genres of music but Jazz and classical are her preferred ones. In her set she included “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “ Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Tiger Lily is a very talented young lady and has a bright future ahead of her.
4 Toons, a slightly more mature group from Andover . (they worked out their combined ages came to over 300!) were the sixth act of the day. Dave, Pam,Irene and Mary are well known in the Andover area and this was their fifth appearance at “Rocks”. They formed 8 years ago and are regulars at local nursing homes, clubs and charity events, entertaining their audiences in their own unique way. This was their first appearance since before lockdown although they have been singing throughout via Zoom. They really are crowd pleasers with songs from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Foot- tapping, singalong and dance-along music which was hugely appreciated by everyone in the High Street.
The penultimate act was local girl Bethany Smith , a very talented 15 year old singer who is a pupil at John Hanson School. She has performed at The Lights in the past . Bethany also plays the piano and would like to make a career in music when she finishes her studies . She is a very confident performer, considering her age, and has a lovely voice. She performs mainly pop songs . Her set included “Firework” and “Torn”. Bethany is bursting with talent and deserved the support she received from the audience.
The final act was Amelia who writes nearly all her own material . She can play several instrument but for this performance chose the keyboard to accompany her singing. She teaches singing and music theory as well as performing. Her songs were original and amazing . A great local talent of the future.
The Time Ring venue of Andover Rocks festival was a huge success and brought the High Street alive a very well done to all who took part.