Former Beach boy Wilson rocks Kenwood
THE Beach Boys are synonymous with summer, which is why it was so fitting for Brian Wilson to kick-start this year s picnic concerts at Kenwood House.Wilson s surfing sounds and sunny demeanour instantly swept up Saturday night s revellers – and temporar
THE Beach Boys are synonymous with summer, which is why it was so fitting for Brian Wilson to kick-start this year's picnic concerts at Kenwood House.
Wilson's surfing sounds and sunny demeanour instantly swept up Saturday night's revellers - and temporarily dropped them in California. When he broke into song with Surfin' USA at 7.30pm, you could almost feel the waves lapping at your feet and taste a salty sea breeze on the Heath.
His performance was outstanding throughout. Although Wilson was mainly static, he delivered every song with the same panache and triumphant enthusiasm of the Beach Boys.
If he paused to catch his breath in between tracks, the crowd started calling for "more" and then to reinforce their message - "encore".
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Unsurprisingly, while he was on stage, the majority of allocated seats were untouched as people chose to stand and dance to the music.
But it was not just Wilson and his entourage who made Saturday night such an unforgettable experience. It was the whole package, from the stunning setting of Kenwood House, to the balmy June weather.
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The overall organisation deserved praise too. Friendly stewards directed concert -goers to the stage while a cluster of food and drink companies offered free tasters. Then there were gratuitous shuttle buses between Hampstead Heath, Golders Green and East Finchley.
The only thing that was missing was a barbecue (people who forgot their picnics had to settle for a canapé - which left a few men, in particular, looking hungry). Then there was the noticeable absence of sand on the stage. Wilson famously had a piano built in sand at his house to create that beach vibe. Not that he seemed to mind. He looked and sounded at home in Hampstead.