REVIEW: The Magic Of Soul And Motown plus Abba Magic, Fireworks Concert, Chichester Festivities.

Stunning fireworks crowned yet another great Festivities night at Goodwood - one the rain failed to dampen.

After a couple of years of sun, the rain came down - all the fault of the Festival Theatre whose advertising became self-fulfilling when they stood at the gates dishing out fliers for Singin’ In The Rain.

But the Goodwood party atmosphere is far too well established to be wrecked by bad weather.

And even through the drizzle, you couldn’t fail to marvel at the fun of it all, hundreds of people dancing to fantastic music in the most majestic of settings.

This year the music was Abba tribute Abba Magic followed by The Magic Of Soul And Motown - the perfect combination.

Terrific renditions of all those great Abba hits opened the doors for the music of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Tina Turner, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The O’Jays, Earth Wind and Fire and The Four Tops.

Terrific stuff, great sound, great lights, great choreography and great atmosphere on a great community night, the Brits doing what they do best, determined to have fun whatever the weather throws at them.

Clearly the weather, plus Goodood’s succession of party nights in recent weeks, meant a good few people stayed away, but even so, there’s no doubting this is exactly the right event to get the Festivities underway.

Equally, there’s no doubting that the Festivities somehow really ought to be offering more of the same during the two-week Festival. It’s difficult to see where or how, but it ought to be considered. The fireworks opener each year is the Festivities at their absolute, all-inclusive best.

Phil Hewitt