IT may have been flat racing season, but singer Jess Glynne had Sandown Park jumping – and swaying, bouncing, and singing along to her catalogue of platinum-selling hits.
The award-winning songstress was the climax to a special racing and music evening at the Esher racecourse, which saw the Grandstand packed out with hardcore fans and racegoers looking to party.
Surrounded by her band and backing singers – all clad in white outfits which served to emphasise her on-stage presence, a vision of long ginger hair, sparkly bra top and black trousers – she produced an engaging performance, by turns energetic, soulful, upbeat and emotive.
She knew how to work her audience. “Did you win some money?” she asked, getting some cheers in reply. “Are you going to have some fun with me and my band?” she said, receiving louder cheers. “Have you had something to drink?” she added, provoking a huge roar from the crowd, many waving empty Pimms jugs towards the stage.
As the sun set upon the racecourse, the giant open-air stage had lit up with a burst of lights, pulsing drums leading into the opening bars of Hold My Hand.
From there, it was one hit after another, Jess coaxing plenty of audience participation out of the crowd who sung back to her non-stop through These Days. The singer looked happy, and was keen to thank people for the support.
“I wouldn’t be able to stand here if you weren’t standing there, and I really appreciate you for coming on this journey with me,” she said. “Thank you.”
In a crowd that ranged in age from seven to seventy, she took a moment to warn against the perils of social media undermining your sense of self-worth – “Do you, be you, be free and be happy. How’s that?” – but mainly the gig was one long party.
Even a light sprinkling of rain towards the end couldn’t dampen the open-air festival atmosphere, culminating in a crowd-pleasing I’ll Be There to send everyone home happy.
Jess Glynne’s summer gig was the third racing and music event at Sandown this year, following other evening gigs with Madness and Pete Tong.
“We were pleased to welcome three of the best names in music for another great season of racing and music at Sandown Park Racecourse and were thrilled to be blessed with amazing weather for all three events,” said Saf Chowdhury, director of concerts & marketing for The Jockey Club Live. “Thank you to everyone that came down and made the events so special – roll on 2020!”