Ex-Wishbone Ash Martin Turner offers "silent" East Sussex rock concert

Martin Turner, ex-Wishbone Ash, and band will be performing their first full silent concert on Friday August 21 at Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, near Fletching.
Martin Turner, ex-Wishbone Ash, and bandMartin Turner, ex-Wishbone Ash, and band
Martin Turner, ex-Wishbone Ash, and band

Spokeswoman Jenny Ross said: “Trading Boundaries has launched a series of outdoor boutique concerts in their grounds to enable guests to enjoy live music. Having seen the temporary closure of its indoor music venue due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the change in Government policy in mid-July allowed Trading Boundaries to launch their first sell-out outdoor concert on July 24, becoming one of the first venues in the country to offer live music again.

“Although in a rural location, in consideration to its neighbours, they trialled state of the art headsets for all of our guests last weekend to reduce sound travelling. The feedback to the listening experience, while watching the band perform was amazing, so going forward, headsets will be used for outdoor rock concerts, providing not only the most extraordinary sound quality, but the ability to set personal volume controls too.

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“Wishbone Ash was formed by West Country musicians Martin Turner and Steve Upton, who arrived in London in 1969 to embark on their musical journey. The band's original line-up forged a unique musical identity that would produce some of rock music's best loved works, influencing numerous bands, resulting in millions of album sales and concert attendances. Wishbone Ash became one of the most enduring British rock acts - its name synonymous with high quality guitar-driven melodic rock music.

“Five decades later, the music of the classic line-ups of Wishbone Ash continues to delight audiences worldwide through both live performances and a rich legacy of recorded work that continues to be enjoyed by fans old and new. Classic album releases such as Wishbone Ash, Argus, Pilgrimage, There’s the Rub, New England and Live Dates defined the Wishbone Ash sound and have touched the hearts of several generations of music fans. As lead vocalist and key creative force, founding original member Martin Turner was central to the critical and commercial success of Wishbone Ash’s most revered albums, with his passionate vocal delivery, songwriting ability, keen melodic sense and production values being major ingredients in the definitive Wishbone Ash sound. Ensure you don't miss Martin Turner performing the band’s best loved works with his current line-up, which features guitarists Danny Willson and Misha Nikolic, and drummer Tim Brown.”

Jenny added: “The headsets are collected by guests on arrival and returned at the end of the concert. They are Covid-19 safe, through a process of UV sterilisation and being quarantined from any other hire for three weeks.

“Established in 1996, Trading Boundaries is an independent retail destination, cafe, live music venue and art gallery situated in a Georgian Coaching Inn on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in Sussex. Like most businesses the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic has been very costly with the cafe closed for the next few months, retail sales plummeting and their indoor music venue having to close temporarily, but true to their great entrepreneurial spirit the owners have taken the time to refurbish the showrooms - the shop is open by appointment, and launch a limited series of outdoors boutique concerts providing much-needed income.

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“With no template to follow and with customer safety in mind, the owners, Michael Clifford and Tracy Thomson, looked at various ideas for creating the pods and found creating bamboo bubbles the most flexible option that safely allowed for up to 220 guests. They introduced an app for customers to order drinks to be delivered to their bubbles and arranged festival-style food that is available through local independent companies. Considerable thought has gone into planning the grounds allowing guests to feel comfortable whilst giving them a great view of the stage.

“These outdoor events are proving a lifeline not only to Trading Boundaries but to musicians and their support staff, sound and lighting technicians as well as independent caterers who have not had any income since lockdown. They have also given many the chance to venture out and enjoy a relaxed, safe environment where they can appreciate live music again.

“The concerts are weather dependent, so as the forecast is looking sunny for this weekend Martin Turner is performing on Friday and Adam Wakeman and Damian Wilson are on their stage performing an acoustic set on Saturday 22.”

Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Nr Fletching, East Sussex TN22 3RB: Box office: 01825 790200; tradingboundaries.com.