Big break for Essex singer

PUBLISHED: 10:14 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 31 May 2010

Singer/songwriter Sara Ashley.
Chrishall.
August 12, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Sara with her guitar.
Name: Sara Ashley.

Singer/songwriter Sara Ashley. Chrishall. August 12, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Sara with her guitar. Name: Sara Ashley.

A SINGER-songwriter from Chrishall got a big break on Saturday when she opened a massive charity concert featuring a host of hugely popular acts. Sara Ashley, 20, went on stage at the Rock and Roll Charity Concert held in Dagenham Central Park, where othe

A SINGER-songwriter from Chrishall got a big break on Saturday when she opened a massive charity concert featuring a host of hugely popular acts.

Sara Ashley, 20, went on stage at the Rock and Roll Charity Concert held in Dagenham Central Park, where other performers included the Sugababes, Status Quo, David Essex and Showaddywaddy.

"I've performed live a lot of times, but never on anything like this scale," said Sara. "Unfortunately the torrential rain that was coming down all day must have put a few people off coming - the organisers sold around 2000 tickets, but the weather meant that only 1400 or so people came along."

Sara earned her place on stage by beating more than 50 other hopeful bands to take the coveted slot.

After taking part in a heat with around 10 other bands at a Dagenham nightclub, she thought she was unlikely to be chosen.

"Every other act there was a rock band," she said, "then I came on and it was just me, with no band! The judges were really complimentary about me, but said if there was one thing that would stop me being chosen it was that I wasn't a band.

"So I didn't get my hopes up too much, but the next day, they rang me and said actually, yes, they would very much like for me to have the slot."

The gig was a good opportunity for Sara to get back to some performing, after spending considerable time in the studio recording tracks for her forthcoming debut album.

"It's going to be a mix of pop, rock, jazz and some country," she said. "I'd love to make a country album, but compared to America especially, country isn't very popular here."

Music has been a major part of Sara's life since a very early age - she had achieved grade eight on both piano and violin by the time she was 10 thanks to a scholarship at the Purcell School for music in Bushey.

Possessing more than enough talent to embarrass the manufactured 'artists' that achieve chart success in the UK, Sara has the ability and creativeness to become a big name.

Visit www.myspace.com/saraashley music to hear some of her work. Let us know what you think by e-mail at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk

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