The 45th Lambeth Country Show returns to Brockwell Park, boasting a unique line-up that celebrates the very best of the city and countryside.
With over 100,000 people attending throughout the weekend last year, the Lambeth Country Show is one of the biggest free family festivals in the UK. You can expect all the attractions of a traditional country show plus much more. Horticultural shows, sheep and owl displays, home grown vegetable and flower competitions, an abundance of craft and food stalls and an onsite farm for all to enjoy.
Music always plays a big part of the show, featuring a mix of dub, Afro-beat, disco, jazz, folk, ska and soul. The Village Green stage will showcase an eclectic mix of local talent playing acoustic folk, choir, soul and pop, along with steel orchestras and samba bands. The Main Stage hosts an array of local and international talent with funk, soul, disco and well known hits on Saturday. Sunday hosts Roots Day with ska, dub and reggae acts from across the globe. There’s all of this and more with a distinctively urban south London vibe.
With a mix of live music, traditional countryside pursuits, agriculture, horticulture, science and fun competitions, the show really does have something for everyone over a fun-packed weekend.
Saturday 20 July
Possessing one of the finest voices in contemporary British UK soul, Vanessa Haynes (Incognito) and her 10-piece band present a retrospective discography of music spanning several decades for this very special festival tribute that celebrates the life of the late and legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (1942-2018).
Vanessa Haynes is a London-based singer/piano player who has been performing worldwide over 15 years. She became one of the lead singers of the internationally acclaimed UK jazz/funk band Incognito in late 2008. The band boasts 17 studio albums and 2 Top 20 Hits (Always There 1990), (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing 1992) and after 35 years is still touring today.
In early 2008 Vanessa became a backing vocalist to Van Morrison, performing around the world with him. She has worked and recorded with other notable artists including Anastacia, Mario Biondi, Goldie, Chaka Khan, LuLu, Billy Ocean, Dave Stewart and Leon Ware.
Saturday 20 July
Jan Kincaid, the former drummer, songwriter, producer, and founder of the Brand New Heavies met Dawn Joseph, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, when she started singing for the Heavies in 2013. The pair instantly clicked, and within their first week of working together, they were writing songs. By the end of their first month, they already had far too many for the Heavies to realistically put out.
Now they’ve formed their own band, MF Robots – their name, a subtle dig at how generic today’s music climate has become – based around Joseph’s effusive vocals, mindful of soul’s golden age but no revival, and Kincaid’s killer rhythms. Touchstones for Joseph are Anita Baker, Gladys Knight and Whitney; their classicism viewed here through a modern lens. “The first time I heard Dawn sing, I was gripped,” says Kincaid. “Her voice just pulled me in.”
The duo’s first single, the jubilant The Night Is Calling, sets MF Robot’s manifesto. “We live in miserable times,” says Kincaid. “Artists and musicians have a responsibility to reflect and react to that and that’s probably why we have so many singer-songwriters singing depressing songs at the moment. But someone needs to be providing the pressure valve; the escapism; the much needed party funk so you can step outside for a while, and that’s our role, that’s what we do.”
Kincaids’ brother Per played bass on several of the tracks, and other musicians included Naz Adamson (bass), Mark Beaney (guitar) and the horn section is made up of Graeme flowers (trumpet) and Andy Ross (sax).
“We’re about authenticity, integrity, personality and heart,” says Joseph. “About bringing fun to people because there is nothing wrong and everything right with feeling good.”
Sunday 21 July
Three choirs from Lambeth schools are sharing the talents of the borough’s young vocalists, singing rock, pop, world music songs, dance, rap and good vibes.
London HipHopera band Josephine and the Artizans (JATA) is a group that fuses hip-hop with classical music. The 6-piece line-up consists of classical strings, heavy beats, operatic vocals and energetic rap. Josephine founded the band to bring back classical music with a twist and make the genre more accessible to all.
The band have previously wowed crowds across some of the UK’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury, WOMAD festival, Camp Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Boardmasters, Standon Calling, Victorious festival, NASS festival, BBC Carfest, headlined Rhythms of the World and supported acts such as Tom Jones, Tom Odell and Paloma Faith.
BeeUrban is a honeybee-centric social enterprise based in Kennington, which aims to positively influence the urban environment through supporting local people and promoting positive, ecologically sound practice around urban greening, building, farming and particularly bee-keeping.
The company works with everyone, regardless of age, level of experience or need. They are particularly skilled in working with vulnerable adults, including those with mental health needs and learning difficulties.
Bee Urban’s main site is the Bee Barn at the old Keeper’s Lodge in Kennington Park and they do a significant amount of work from Camberwell Subterranea. Both are sites that were derelict and abused before Bee Urban turned them into thriving community spaces, working with local volunteers to clear waste and old structures and replace them with environmentally friendly, horticulturally rich buildings and growing spaces – the process being as important as the finished product.
There are constructive volunteering opportunities at Bee Urban. If you would like to volunteer and pass on your skills, or develop new skills, then please get in touch. www.projectdirt.com/project/7954
CJ’S Birds of Prey
The unique family run business of CJ’s Birds of Prey has, over the past 15 years, become one of the most popular and professional Birds of Prey Display Teams in the UK. The daughter and father combination of Charlotte Hill and her dad John give an insight into the awe inspiring world of falconry, with help from their enthusiastic family, plus a group of experienced team members who regularly appear with them at many of the major shows around the country.
With their team comprising of more than 50 Birds of Prey from around the world they always bring an educational and exciting display, flying a selection of hawks, eagles, owls and falcons that guarantee a varied and thrilling spectacle.
Dog and sheep show
Stuart Barnes has travelled to over 100 countries working with wildlife and his passion for the canine species has enabled him to gain an incredible understanding of everything about dogs. He has worked as a shepherd all his life and has trained many sheep dogs for others and himself. He has years of experience performing to the public and will be displaying his skills at this year’s show.
The sheep show
Appearing at over 100 shows a year and in front of an estimated audience of 2.5 million people, this unique show has captured the hearts of many. The New Zealand team of presenters educate and entertain with their fantastic sheep all over the country. ‘Nobby’ the Norfolk Horn stands centre stage while others are introduced to their podiums. Learn about the attributes of each breed and how wool from the sheep’s back becomes a jumper to wear. The shearing demonstration will have you captivated. And look out for the dancing sheep!
Vauxhall City Farm
Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest and most central city farms in London, located within earshot of Big Ben and in the shadow of MI6. The farm’s animals, whilst much loved, are essentially a vehicle for education and change.
The animals feature in a range of programmes and are key to helping staff and volunteers as they work with individuals and groups from the wider community. each year the farm welcomes around 50,000 visitors to the farm, delivering training and development programmes, workshops and activities for around 7,000 children and young people.
Tribal animal chainsaw sculpting
As a wood sculptor and tree artist, Steve Andrews creates stunning unique wood carvings from trees felled for woodland management purposes. You can see Steve creating his pieces of woodland art all weekend with opportunities to learn about this form of art and how to get involved.
Saturday 20 July (2:45pm and 6:30pm)
Sunday 21 July (3pm and 6:15pm))
Colourful characters and stunning horses star in a fast, action packed, family displays with trick riding, stunts, jousting and sword fighting. Happy and healthy horses trained with compassion and understanding by Marc Lovatt. Horses who are loved and respected all year round and supported with skill and expertise from their professional team. Performing shows that entertain and inspire.
Lambeth Country Show returns to Brockwell Park 20-21 July