Eighties covers band Sledgehammer at Garth Park this weekend

By Sarah Edwards at

Eighties covers band Sledgehammer will play at Bicester’s Garth Park this weekend.

By day they do jobs in medicine, sales, IT and teaching, but at the weekend they pick up their musical instruments and take to the stage as eighties covers  band Sledgehammer.

And on Saturday, August 24, Sledgehammer take to the stage in Garth Park, off Launton Road, for the final event of Bicester Town Council’s summer programme.

The band will play non-stop for two-and-a-half hours and cover about 30 songs, which could include tunes such as We close our eyes (Go West), Hungry like the wolf (Duran Duran), Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel), You spin me round (Dead or Alive), Relax (Frankie goes to Hollywood) and Livin’ on a prayer (Bon Jovi).

Made up of Russ Fray on vocals, Simon Bays on guitar, Alex Grout on bass and Phil Heard on drums, they got together after a conversation at Haddenham Beer festival. Months later they played their first gig in Bicester at the Nightingale Pub, in Langford Village, in 2016.

Simon said: “We are an 80s classic pop and rock band and play everything from bands like Erasure, Human League, Depeche Mode, right through to Europe and even Whitesnake.  It’s high energy and gets people dancing – we almost have to apologise for playing a slow song!”

The band now play gigs extensively across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and surrounding area, including private parties, pubs and weddings.

Simon said: “I have been in lots of different bands over the years, but Sledgehammer has by far been the most popular and most busy.We do try to be very entertaining – we hit you straight in the face with the best songs of the 1980s and try to make you laugh in between songs!

“We are really excited to be coming to play in Bicester, it’s our spiritual home and has our biggest fan base. It’s going to be fantastic.  And a perfect end to the summer.”

Bicester’s Mayor Jason Slaymaker said: “I have seen Sledgehammer in action, so I know we are in for a great night.Garth Park is a great location for a party, people can bring their own picnic and enjoy a fantastic evening of music and dancing.”

Music starts at 7.30pm and food and a bar will be available. Tickets cost £10 adults and £5 for children. To book drop into the council’s office in The Garth, off Launton Road, or view www.bicester.gov.uk/ and for more information about the band check them out on facebook (@SledgeHammerBand) or view www.sledgehammer.band/