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Smiles aplenty at Somerleyton

PUBLISHED: 11:36 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:05 05 July 2010

IT was the sort of behaviour that makes people cringe at weddings.

But the sight of hundreds of revellers in their 50s and 60s dancing the night away was perfectly acceptable as they joined in the fun at the Rock with Laughter open air show at Somerleyton Hall on Saturday night.

IT was the sort of behaviour that makes people cringe at weddings.

But the sight of hundreds of revellers in their 50s and 60s dancing the night away was perfectly acceptable as they joined in the fun at the Rock with Laughter open air show at Somerleyton Hall on Saturday night.

The years rolled back for the crowd during the celebration of music from the 1960s to the 1980s and comedy giants Jasper Carrot and Jo Brand also kept the thousands of people thoroughly entertained on a cloudy and chilly night.

And in contrast to common scenes of festival goers braving mud and camping in basic conditions, the picturesque estate near Lowestoft was full of fold up chairs, bottles of wine and picnic baskets.

But the relaxed atmosphere was the ideal tonic for the crowd who relished the chance to sing-a-long with some of their favourite Beatles, Elkie Brooks, Manfred Mann and Ian Dury and the Blockhead numbers.

The mature crowd also enjoyed knowing references to their age as comedians poked fun at chair lifts, deep heat and the ageing population of Lowestoft.

Saturday night's fun started with the Manfreds' toe tapping 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and the crowd soon got jumping to perennial favourites Pretty Flamingo and the Mighty Quinn.

However some reserved members of the crowd were urged by lead singer Paul Jones to join in the fun and sing.

He said: “There are people at the back saying I remember that song. Do not remember it. Do it!”

Next up was comedienne Jo Brand who started her act with a joke about needing a stair lift to get on stage before embarking on a series of jokes poking fun at her husband and their love life.

The hey-day of the late 1970s was brought back to life as the Blockheads were joined on stage by comedian Phill Jupitus who perfectly captured Ian Dury's snarling and droll stage presence.

Then the crowd went wild and leapt out of their fold up chairs as Elkie Brooks stunned the concert with her impressive vocal talents especially during a splendid rendition of Pearl's a Singer.

Veteran comedy star Jasper Carrott perfectly encapsulated the mood of the party goers as he joked about the other acts needing deep heat behind stage and how the under 35-year-old could not even remember the television programme Bonanza.

One off the biggest laughs of the night was when the comedian said he was so old that he now felt comfortable visiting Lowestoft.

The final act of the Rock With Laughter show give the best excuse for the audience to let their hair down as the Bootleg Beatles performed a set of iconic pop favourites, including Penny Lane and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

As the large crowd started to wend its way home the night seemed to be a huge success as people kept humming the old tunes with a large smile on their faces.


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