Live: Bryan Adams / Cassyette / Vivas

Thetford Forest June 20, 2024

by Phil Male

Vivas open tonight’s proceedings as the crowds start to arrive in the forest on a beautiful Summer Solstice evening.

This feelgood pop/rock band from Sheffield get the evening off to a flying start.

Vivas get the night off to a good start (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Vivas get the night off to a good start (Picture: Paul Hampson)

Formed in 2022, the four-piece band are very tight. They’ll have made some friends here tonight and they are a band to keep an eye on.

Fresh from Radio 1’s Big Weekend, 31-year-old singer-songwriter Cassyette is up next.

Cassyette seems to be a fixture on the summer circuit (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Cassyette seems to be a fixture on the summer circuit (Picture: Paul Hampson)

Since her festival debut at Download in 2021, the Chelmsford star has gathered quite a following.

With songs including Sad Girl Summer, Dear Goth and September Rain, she has taken the heavy rock/goth scene by storm and she delivers her material with finesse.

The Chelmsford star warms the place up for tonight's headliner (Picture: Paul Hampson)
The Chelmsford star warms the place up for tonight’s headliner (Picture: Paul Hampson)

As Bryan Adams takes to the stage, the sun is going down behind the trees at this idyllic setting.

One of the most successful rock stars of all time, he modestly greets us with, “Hi, my name is Bryan, and I’ll be your singer tonight.”

Bryan Adams at Thetford Forest (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Bryan Adams at Thetford Forest (Picture: Paul Hampson)

Alongside the obligatory classics, he plays tracks from his latest album, 2022’s So Happy It Hurts.

There’s a flying 1966 Chevrolet Corvair convertible, nicknamed Doris, which features on that album’s cover.

'Hi, guys - I'm Bryan' (Picture: Paul Hampson)
‘Hi, guys – I’m Bryan’ (Picture: Paul Hampson)

It’s the older songs we’re really here for, though, and the all-time classics – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Heaven, Run To You – don’t disappoint.

One of the most electric moments comes after about an hour. “Are you ready?” screams Adams, and the whole place erupts as he plays the opening chords of Summer Of ’69.

Bryan Adams has one of the most recognisable back catalogues around (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Bryan Adams has one of the most recognisable back catalogues around (Picture: Paul Hampson)

But it’s much more than just a hit parade from Adams, who’s joined as always by legendary guitarist Keith Scott. The pair have been together for nearly 50 years but the camaraderie between them appears as fresh as ever.

During one heartfelt moment, Adams pays tribute to his dear friend Tina Turner, who died last year.

He also mentions his mum, Jane. “She’s 96, and she would have loved to have been here, in the middle of the trees, beautiful night, England… It’s everything she would have wanted,” he tells us.

There are moments of reflection among the big hits (Picture: Paul Hampson)
There are moments of reflection among the big hits (Picture: Paul Hampson)

Then, after thanking Jane for letting him do what he wanted to do, he dedicates his last song to her and to us.

Written back when he was 18, Adams plays Straight From The Heart, alone on stage with just guitar and mouth organ. There’s barely a dry eye in the forest.

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