WMSO concert in Binfield

Round & About


Join the musicians of the Windsor & Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra in Binfield for an evening of musical masterpieces

The Windsor & Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra summer family concert features three very accessible masterpieces written for a large symphony orchestra.

Walton’s Johannesburg Festival Overture was commissioned in 1956 by the Johannesburg Festival Committee to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the city, and includes some African melodies and rhythms. Walton described it as “a non-stop gallop, slightly crazy, hilarious and vulgar”.

By contrast, Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto is anything but…! It is an ever-popular work that established Rachmaninov as one of the greatest composers for piano and orchestra. The work is full of romantic tunes and with a virtuoso piano part that balances well with the orchestral writing. No wonder the work has been used in film scores such as Brief Encounter and The Seven Year Itch as well as regularly topping the ClassicFM Hall of Fame chart.

Swan Lake is the most often performed ballet in the world and yet when it was first performed in 1877 the reception was very mixed. This Suite is a selection of the highlights of the full score and is full of wonderful melodies and brilliant orchestration, all classic Tchaikovsky trademarks.

The concert on Sunday, 16th June at Newbold College Church, Binfield will showcase the talent of WMSO Young Musicians’ competition 2022 winner Ryan Wang.

Tickets £15, £5 for student/child. Book at WMSO (thelittleboxoffice.com)
New members are always welcome, more details at Rehearsal Schedule.

Sweet sounds of Concerts in Caversham

Round & About


Hear the rich sounds of professional musicians on your doorstep with Concerts in Caversham

Concerts in Caversham are delighted to present two summer concerts featuring the sonorous rich sound of the cello contrasting with the haunting sounds of oboe and bassoon.

Programmes range from the core Romantic repertoire for cello and piano to French and English repertoire for wind and piano.

The versatile cellist, Naomi Watts (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), will present a programme around the many aspects of love described through music including some beautiful arrangements and quirky pieces by Schumann, Brahms, Debussy and some other ‘surprises’. Accompanied by Alison Rhind on piano, enjoy The Romantic Cello on June 14th at the Baptist Church, Gosbrooke Road, Caversham.

Ewan Miller and Ben Hudson who were BBC Young Musician Finalists in 1996 and 2020, will include the two fabulous wind and piano trios by Poulenc and Madeleine Dring, along with solos by Elgar, Henri Dutilleux, Gordon Jacob and Piazolla. These two engaging artists will not disappoint! Don’t miss them accompanied by pianist Adrienne Black at St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road, Caversham on June 15th.

Attend both concerts and enjoy a saving a £6 on the price of two tickets. See concertsincaversham.co.uk for further details and to buy the ‘Two Concert Bundle’ or individual tickets per concert.

Email [email protected] for more information.

John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett

Round & About


John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett bring their hugely entertaining, funny show to The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row on Wednesday 7th September.

John and Willy’s roots were originally in acoustic, roots and folk. Otway was hugely influenced by early Bob Dylan, Otway’s early gigs were on the folk circuit. In the early 70’s Willy Barrett enjoyed an enviable reputation on the folk scene. Willy features on The Contemporary Folk Guitar album with Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Gordon Giltrap and Ralph McTell. He performed numerous times at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Willy also spent time as guitarist with George Hamilton IV.

Otway & Barrett’s grungy fast and furious fiddle, banjo and guitar with sweet and sour harmonies became pigeon-holed by the punk rock/new wave genre.

The duo have split and reunited umpteen times since their first gigs in 1971. The Who’s Pete Townshend produced and performed on their legendary self-titled debut album “John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett.

Otway has headlined Reading Rock Festival and played Glastonbury dozens of times

A legendary Old Grey Whistle Test performance where Otway’s failed amplifier leap saw him straddling the speaker, crashing on his most delicate bodily parts. The painful landing led to “Really Free” being a Top 20 hit and Top of the Pops appearances.

Over the years Otway & Barrett have headlined numerous festivals. Over 10,000 attended Otway’s home turf Aylesbury Market Square gig – filmed for the ITV documentary “Stardust Man” (Otway was originally a dustbin man).

Otway has headlined Reading Rock Festival and played Glastonbury dozens of times. Wild Willy Barrett is a regular at the Cambridge Folk Festival. The duo have performed main stage at Cropredy, and performed to 150,000 supporting The Police in Toronto.

Chart success has been sketchy. In 1980 the BBC cameraman’s dispute cancelled Otway & Barrett’s Top of the Pops performance of their single DK50/80 which consequently dropped out of the charts. The BBC banned their single “Headbutts”. Otway enjoyed a Top 10 hit in 2002 with “Bunsen Burner”, performed on one of the last ever Top of The Pops.

Otway clocked up his 5000th gig recently. The secret to John and Wild Willy’s huge cult following and popularity of their stage shows is down to an enduring, hilarious and utterly entertaining live performance and presence. Barrett is an incredibly talented musician and very funny, with the ability to swap from Django Reinhardt to punk rock in a blink. The ability to play blues slide guitar with an egg, play classical guitar (usually Otway’s) with a hacksaw and claw hammer. Otway is a brilliant songwriter, their set bounces from beautiful ballad to grunge-folk-punk to their hits: “Bunsen Burner”, “Really Free”, “Geneva” and the seminal “Beware of the Flowers (’Cos I’m Sure They’re Going To Get You Yeah!)”

Incidentally, in 2000 “Beware of the Flowers” was voted in at Number 7 by the BBC National Poetry Day poll to find the nation’s favourite lyric. The Beatle’s Yesterday comes in at Number 6.

Otway, Otway & Barrett have sold out the London Palladium, The Astoria, Hammersmith Odeon and the Royal Albert Hall (more people went to see Otway at the Royal Albert Hall than went to see Tom Jones at this year’s Henley Festival).

Hogs Back Brewery opened in August 1992 in Tongham, near Farnham, in 18th century farm buildings that at various times had stored wheat and housed cattle and, appropriately, hogs. The first casks to roll out of the original brewhouse – now the site of the Brewery Shop – and into local pubs were TEA – which was renamed Tongham TEA earlier this year.

Catch John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett at The Crooked Billet

Catch John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett at The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row on Wednesday 7th September. Pub chef and landlord Paul Clerehugh promoted many of Otway & Barrett’s big London shows. Paul played guitar on the original “Bunsen Burner” hit recording and took a choir of 1000 Otway fans to Abbey Road Studios to record the B side of the 2002 hit.

Otway & Barrett. National Treasures.

For tickets and further details contact the Crooked Billet on 01491681048 / 01491682304.

The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row, Henley on Thames, RG9 5PU