Gabrielle & Friends @ Battersea Park in Concert Review

Come rain or shine, you can depend on the UK to put on an unforgettable outdoor experience, Battersea Park in Concert adding to a roster of summertime events both on a local and national scale celebrating our love of music. Organised by charitable organisation Enable in partnership with Wandsworth Music and Wandsworth Borough Council, the event takes over part of the 200 acre, Victorian park over 3 nights – Saturday 26th August – a West End themed soirée, Sunday 27th August – a classical music fuelled event fronted by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Monday 28th August with headliner Brit Award, Ivor Novello and MOBO Award Winning artist Gabrielle, renowned for her distinctive pop/soul sound which dominated the 90s pop music scene.

Concluding the bank holiday weekend and line up of Battersea Park in Concert events, Gabrielle charms with a nostalgic set of some of her most well known classics including ‘Rise’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘When a Woman’, ‘Out of Reach’ and of course ‘Dreams’. Gabrielle’s welcomed return to the stage a delight to witness, she’s an humble, grounded presence whose authenticity energises the evening’s crowd. We’re reminded of just how much defined 90s and early 2000s UK pop and this is a joy to be a part of – a fantastic way to close the event!

Curated throughout the day, collectives including Das Brass and Asa Martinson & the Outlet start off the afternoon , taking to the stage prior to Gabrielle’s set to see in the weekend-long musical celebration, the iconic Ronnie Scott’s All Stars – fronted by singer Natalie Williams transports us back to a jazz era defined by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, hits such as ‘I Put a Spell on You’, ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’, ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ amongst others accompanying the mellow sunny disposition of the afternoon. MOBO Award winning musician YolanDa Brown enthralls with a fusion of Reggae, Jazz and Soul – Conducting her set on the saxophone with solos that embody strength, heart and joy – a playlist of new works including ‘Dream, Dream, Repeat’, ‘Love, Politics and War’ and ‘Confusion’ showcasing deep and meaningful messages that inspire all. To end, a rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘Is this Love?’ and the Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ unifying the crowd and reiterating the idea of harmony.

What Battersea Park in Concert is able to do, is establish a sense of community in tough times, which is exactly what we need. The event is relaxed in tone – families, friends and loved ones able to bring along a picnic, or purchase food at a variety of vendors and enjoy the eclectic musical journey that unfolds – the afternoon and evening’s soul/jazz undertone a unifying force that has you dancing from the get go. A great way to unwind and enjoy the restful bank holiday, well done to all involved!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Battersea Park in Concert took place from Saturday 26th until Monday 28th August 2023 at Battersea Park. To find out more about the event, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop