The Jockey Club Live – Racing and Music:
Over 2 million people a year enjoy sporting events organised by the Jockey Club, but alongside a day at the races they also offer the The Jockey Club Live – a live music experience combining show-stopping headlining performances in the informal, relaxed and historic open-air settings of the courses, with a six-race card acting as a warm-up act for the music.
I’d never been to one of these events before so it was great to be asked along to review the fabulous Nile Rodgers & CHIC headlining at Newmarket Racecourse. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Newmarket from London by train and then there was a regular shuttle bus ferrying punters to the racecourse which made for an easy and relaxing journey. I was really surprised to see how busy it was! There was a big crowd all dressed up to the nines quaffing champagne and having fun. With my Premier Enclosure tickets I had access to virtually every area of the racecourse so after buying the obligatory bottle of champagne from one of the many bars it was time for some racing!
It was lovely to see the horses, owners and jockeys parading before and after the races. There was knowledgeable chatter about ‘form’, ‘grooming’ and ‘condition’ and then a rush to place bets before the race started. I perched near the finishing line where I could hear the thunder of the hooves on the track as the horses were driven on towards the glory of victory…or not! With plenty of video screens on-site you can keep up with all the action even if you are not trackside.
There are lots of catering outlets ranging from award-winning fine dining restaurants through to bistro options and if you’re not in a formal mood then there are a range of food trucks on site. We ate at the Mozart restaurant and after queuing for a short time we were well fed and service was speedy and efficient.
We then made our way round to the front of the grandstand where Nile Rodgers & CHIC were performing. Nile has been a hitmaker for 40 years as artist, writer and producer, and with CHIC he won nine Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations for hits including “Le Freak”, “Everybody Dance” and “Good Times”. His productions for artists like David Bowie (“Let’s Dance”) and Madonna (“Like a Virgin”) have sold over 200 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide. More recently his work with Daft Punk on the duo’s Random Access Memories (2013) won a Grammy for “Album of the Year” with the album’s lead single “Get Lucky” topping the charts in no less than 35 countries earning Rodgers two more Grammy Awards for “Record of the Year” and “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance”. On top of this he survived aggressive prostate cancer and he is currently preparing for the Sept. 14 release of It’s About Time, CHIC’s first new album in 26 years. What was fantastic about the live show was that it showcased all these different elements of his career whilst reaching out to young and old alike. There is no-one in popular music who has been such a consistent hitmaker. With a fantastic band and an unrivalled back catalogue of songs Nile Rodgers really got the crowd going and “Good Times” were had by all.
If you are interested in seeing one of The Jockey Club Live shows you’ll have to wait till 2019 now – but, their schedule and tickets should be up for sale very soon.
Tickets for all events are available via http://www.thejockeyclublive.co.uk