August 24, 2008

Top Names Sign Up for Port’s Festival


Brixham waterfront's answer to Woodstock twangs into life next month when the pioneering Fishstock Festival switches on the amplifiers for top act Mad Dog McRea and a host of other entertainers.

Television sports presenter-turned-chef Matt Dawson has been invited along for one day of fun, following the end of filming his latest TV cookery series with FishWorks chef Mitch Tonks.

UK Fishcraft champion David Bennett and ex-champion Duncan Lucas will be filleting up a storm and all the fish will be auctioned at the end of the day.

However, there's some teenage disappointment on the horizon.

Initial plans for a star-studded appearance by Cornish hip-hop dance gurus Flava of Britain's Got Talent fame have sadly been scrapped.

Fishstock coordinator Jim Portus said: "They were simply too expensive at pounds2,000 plus.

"It's a fundraising event for the Fishermen's Mission and that would have been out of the question. We love their style but the appearance fee was too high, and there was no time to organise paid- for dance workshops with Flava with local schools.

"But we've got a huge number of attractions for all ages at this one-off quayside festival which celebrates the best of seafood, loads of cookery demonstrations by some of the best in the UK, and a broad range of live music."

Headliners for the September 13 event in and around the fish quay from 10am to 10pm are Celtic folk-rock band Mad Dog McRea, who have been touring the world after forming 12 years ago.

Their high-energy performance and acoustic orchestration is guaranteed to get your feet tapping, Mr Portus said.

There's also a Polynesian dance troupe, Irish jig band Paddy's Whiskers and Brixham College youth bands Vivid Sky, MIU and Bremen as well as visiting entertainers POM, Torbay band of the year Memo, Evi Vine, Morph, Peachy Farmer reggae ska band and indie rock No Remote who have just signed to Lockjaw Records.

Look for signs to the Acoustic Marquee in the yacht club compound.

Top UK chefs are another star attraction as the port highlights its reputation for quality catches and its national title as the highest-grossing port in England and Wales.

Mitch Tonks of FishWorks fame and fish and offal restaurateur Fergus Henderson will join regional chef David Ashen and his close catering pal Jacques Marchal for seafood demonstrations on the waterfront.

Healthy eating fans will be delighted with the demo from London- based sushi chefs from eaterie Moshi Moshi, and South Devon College lets loose its most promising stars of the future.

Children's entertainment includes a big art competition run by Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, puppet shows, fish costume parade, and animated displays about the fishing industry created by primary schools.

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