My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Concert review: International Festival of Country Music, Wembley Arena, London – 26 February 2012

For over twenty years (1969-1991) the premier country music event in the United Kingdom, and perhaps in Europe, was the annual International Festival of Country Music held at Wembley Arena in London, which for many years gained country music a wider audience thanks to TV coverage and provided a springboard for the international careers of many country artists. After a hiatus of another two decades, the original promoter, Mervyn Conn, decided to revive the festival this year. The event was reduced to a single day on Sunday 26 February (at its peak it was held over a three-day weekend), with the majority of the lineup moving on to branded festivals in Belfast, Northern Ireland (29 February), Zurich, Switzerland (2 March) and Mannheim in Germany (4 March).

I felt I couldn’t miss the return of this iconic event, but sales overall seem to have been disappointing. Even with ticket prices substantially discounted close to the event, the arena was far from full, so it is not clear whether there will be a repetition, but those who attended clearly enjoyed the experience, offering generous applause throughout the afternoon and evening. The lineup offered a wide range of acts from various aspects of the broad church that is country music these days, and ranging from veterans to newcomers. Presentation was slick early on, courtesy of the genial Essex based country DJ and occasional singer Steve Cherelle, who did an excellent job. Later on, compering was divided between him, veteran DJ David Allan, who did the job at the original festival, but is now rather obviously frail, and the even older George Hamilton IV. They reminisced about the original festival’s glory days, and it was good to have the event’s heritage acknowledged, but it did get a bit rambling and unfocussed at times.

Hamilton also performed a set early in the afternoon as a double act with Northern Ireland’s Sandy Kelly, but I missed that due to arriving late following two hours stuck in appalling traffic. Most of the acts I missed were British and Irish performers representing the international part of the festival name. I got there in time for Pig Earth, a group I hadn’t previously heard of – they were not pure country but a nice rootsy sound with elements of country, folk, and Americana. The best of their four songs, ‘1800 Miles On A Very Slow Train’, featured the female group member, who was a rather better vocalist than the male leader. Overall I enjoyed their entertaining and well played set.

That is more than I can say for the following performer. I am unsure as to how unknown Ali Isabella got on the bill, because frankly the teenage New Yorker was awful. A confident stage presence was belied by very poor singing. The last of her four numbers, ‘New York City Country Girl’ could have been a catchy pop-country song if her flat, raucous vocals had been at all listenable.

There was a massive contrast with the next act, Will Banister, a young man from New Mexico, who delivered the most traditional country performance of the night. His strong, resonant vocals sounded good on three songs from his independent CD Turned Her On To Country (the title track, ‘Is Anyone Ready’ and ‘You Remind Me’, mixed in with authentic covers of ‘Lovesick Blues’ and ‘White Lightning’. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, as did the audience as a whole. He won himself an encore (another original song, ‘I’ve Never Been Any Other Way’). He was definitely the star of the first half of the show, and the compere brought him out again a bit later during one of the set changeovers for a chat during which he sang a verse of ‘Your Cheating Heart’ and a snippet of his favorite Haggard song, ‘It’s All In The Movies’. He was one of the artists who had a booth in the foyer to meet fans and sell merchandise, and it was reportedly packed out after his performance.

Effervescent Cajun star Jo-El Sonnier (who appeared at the 1989 festival) delivered an energetic up-tempo short set. He opened with a lively instrumental, then sang ‘Big Mamou’ and ‘Jambalaya’ mainly in French before finishing with his big hit ‘Tear Stained Letter’. He was so breathless between songs I was concerned for his health, but the actual performances were fine.

Irish singer and showman John McNicholl, clad in a sparkly red suit which was more memorable than his merely competent vocals, gave a bouncy and apparently crowd pleasing performance. He seemed to have brought his fan club over from Ireland,  and he clearly works hard at entertaining an audience, but he lacked individuality.

Singer songwriter George Ducas has been off the scene for some years, but is now interested in reviving his career. He produced a confident but not very distinctive set, a bit loud at times, and perhaps tried a bit too hard to involve the audience in singalongs of unfamiliar songs before finishing with his only big hit, ‘Lipstick Promises’. I enjoyed most his current single, ‘This One’s Gonna Hurt’, which is an excellent song.

I was interested in seeing veteran Narvel Felts after reading Paul W. Dennis’ Country Heritage article on him. He sang four of his country hits from the 70s, ‘Reconsider Me’, ‘Drift Away’, ‘Lonely Teardrops’ and Somebody Hold Me’, before bidding us farewell with ‘How Time Slips Away’. He sounded very good for a man in his 70s, with strong vocals and a surprisingly strong falsetto, and received an enthusiastic crowd response, but the brief set lacked variety in tempos.

Asleep At the Wheel, the first of the four headliners, then gave us 45 minutes of expertly delivered western swing. The highlight of a through enjoyable performance was a lovely version of ‘Faded Love’ with fiddle intro and outro and long steel solo. Lead singer Ray Benson also brought out George Hamilton IV to sing lead on ‘Abilene’ – Hamilton may be old, but he still sings fairly strongly. Also memorable was the use of the arena’s showy lighting to play the part of the cop car in a growled out ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’.
Setlist: ‘Miles And Miles Of Texas’/’Route 66’/’It’s A Good Day’/’Hi Bill’/’I’m An Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande’/’Faded Love’/’Abilene’/’’San Antonio Rose’/’No Hesitation Blues’/’The Letter That Johnny Walker Read’/’Hot Rod Lincoln’/Big Balls In Cowtown’/’House Of Blue Lights’/’Happy Trails To You’/’Texas Playboys From The Lone Star State’.

This was Lonestar’s first performance since reuniting with lead singer Richie MacDonald. If I had to sum it up with one word, it would be “loud”. Two words? “Too loud”. They delivered a high-energy set which was very well received by the audience, who included an unexpectedly large contingent of Lonestar fans, many singing along to numbers like ‘You Walked In’ and ‘What About Now’. Even the insipid sentiments of ‘My Front Porch Looking In’ were buried in a rocked up wall of sound, with the drummer in particular looking as though he was playing in a rock band. The lyrics were all too often inaudible.

They toned things down a bit for the more effective ‘I’m Already There’, introduced as a tribute to military families, and ‘Amazed’ – still loud but listenable. They debuted their new single; due to the noise it was hard to make out many lyrics, but it appears to be called ‘Still’, and to remininisce about the past. The group seemed to enjoy performing together again, concluding with a cover of a genuine rock song, the Beatles’ ‘Get Back’.
Setlist: ‘My Front Porch Looking In’/’What About Now’/’With Me’/’I’m Already There’/’You Walked In’/’Still’/’Walking In Memphis’/’Amazed’/’Get Back’

Changeovers between the earlier acts had been efficient, but those between the main acts were extremely protracted, and before long the show was running behind schedule. Ricky Skaggs and his fans were short changed as, due to late running resulting from extended changeovers of stage setups, his set was curtailed to less than half an hour. What we did get was worth hearing. Ricky and Kentucky Thunder played some excellent bluegrass, with sharp clean picking and Ricky’s pure high tenor vocals; my favorite was the opening ‘How Mountain Girls Can Love’. He then brought in reinforcements for a couple of his country hits – ‘Heartbroke’ and ‘Honey (Won’t You Open That Door)’, with a rather unsuccessful attempt to get the audience to sing along to the chorus of the latter. A somber Calvary-themed gospel song from his last album Mosaic (the evening’s only concession to a Lenten Sunday) was followed by ‘Uncle Pen’, which represents both country and bluegrass sides of Skaggs. I would have liked a longer set, as this was the performance I had been most anticipating.
Setlist: ‘How Mountain Girls Can Love’/’Blue Night’/’It’s Time’ (instrumental)/[missed title]/’Heartbroke’/’Honey (Won’t You Open That Door’/’Can’t Shake Jesus’/’Uncle Pen’.

Headliner Reba McEntire, making her first visit here in 12 years, was clearly the big draw for many of those present, and as soon as she made her delayed arrival on stage at 10.20 p.m., clad in blue, there was a rush to the front from fans desperate to get pictures. Her setlist leaned very heavily to the uptempo and to her most recent recordings, and although not quite as loud or unremitting as Lonestar, the sound system was amped up pretty high most of the time. Reba sounded to be in great voice, and was at her best when she hushed the band for a touching reading of ‘The Greatest Man I Never Knew’, which was the high point of her performance for me.

I expected her performance to be contemporary, reflecting her current musical direction, but was slightly disappointed that so many of the songs were from her last few albums, when she has so many great songs to call on in her repertoire. She did include her very first #1, the insistent ‘I Can’t Even Get the Blues’, and 80s classic ‘Whoever’s In New England’. I was surprised by the omission of ‘Fancy’ – perhaps that had been reserved for an expected encore, but there was no time for that encore. Once Reba had played her last number, at 11.30, the audience made a mass exit.  This was no reflection on her very professional performance, which on the whole I enjoyed despite the sound levels, but rather the late hour.

Setlist: ‘All The Women I Am’/’The Fear Of Being Alone’/’Somebody’s Chelsea’/’The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia’/’Is There Life Out There’/’Somebody’/’Til You Love Me’/’You Lie’/’And Still’/’Whoever’s In New England’/’Consider Me Gone’/’The Greatest Man I Never Knew’/’Nothing To Lose’/’Does He Love You’ (with backing singer Jennifer)/’The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter’/’Walk On’/’I’d Rather Ride Around With You’/’Can’t Even Get The Blues’/’Because Of You’/’I’m A Survivor’/’Take It Back’/’Turn On the Radio’.


21 responses to “Concert review: International Festival of Country Music, Wembley Arena, London – 26 February 2012

  1. Razor X March 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Sounds like a great show. I had no idea that Richie McDonald and Lonestar had gotten back together. I know what you mean about Reba’s setlist leaning heavily towards more recent material. It was the same thing the last time I saw her, which was when she headlined one of the local radio station’s annual anniversary concerts. I think it was in 1998, and even then she was concentrating on fairly recent stuff. I don’t think she even did “Whoever’s In New England” that time. I suppose that the vast majority of her fans came along after her 80s successes and many of them may not be familiar with that era of her career. That is probably even more the case in the UK, where she was virtually unknown in those days.

    I’ve never seen Ricky Skaggs in concert and really would have liked to have been in the audience for that one.

  2. ChrissieLinnit March 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Great review and I think you summed up the performances of the US contingent really well. All truly polished and professional. Will Banister was refreshingly good and for such a young man (just 23 years old) exemplifies traditional country singing. His self penned and self distributed first album was well worth queuing for after the event. Ricky Skaggs was kind in his ceding of his airtime to enable Reba to get on stage. We had to leave before the end of Reba’s set to ensure we got our last connecting train home (Sunday running times didn’t help the event)

    I don’t think the event was promoted well. I only accidentally found out about it because I’d received TicketMaster vouchers for Christmas and was casually looking for some music event to spend them on. When hubby and I were at Brighton Station coming up to town to the event we chatted to a couple of people at the station who’d said they would have loved to have gone ‘if they’d known it was on’…

    Bottom line. We’d go again. Country music fans in the UK get so very few of this sort of event to attend we’d be mad not to!

  3. Jenni March 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I had major issues with the technical problems and expected better when I go to such a venue as Wembley Arena.
    I completely agree with your comments about Ali Isabella, it was better when her mic wasn’t working! Harsh, cruel but fair! Thank goodness Will Bannister followed her to restore hope in us all again that there is good music to be listened to!

    I felt so sorry for the people who could not stay to see all of the final acts and the amounts of people who left during Reba’s set. I hope Reba was aware that they were only leaving because they had to for transport reasons and nothing else. I would have thought ‘Fancy’ would have been her encore song but as the last acts were cutting down because of the lack of time and over running so badly she wasn’t able to do it. I only hope Reba will return for a proper tour in the future.
    My thoughts as to why Reba played more of her back catalogue than her new stuff is that perhaps she felt the audience wouldn’t know her newer material as well as they do the older stuff?! What ever the reason for the set list I loved it, loved her and I’m so happy I have been able to see Reba live finally as I don’t know if I ever would have done. So something good came from an evening plagued with problems out of the artist’ control!

  4. Paul W Dennis March 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    My Dad and I attended the first two festivals in 1969 & 1970. Dad also attended the 3rd Festival in 1971, but by then I was back in the USA attending college

    The headlline act in 1969 , as the advertising was originally billed in January 1969, was Flatt & Scruggs but by the time the festival arrived F&S had split up. The 1969 Festival ran but a single day and featured Bill Anderson, Phil Brady & The Ranchers (a British group, George Hamilton IV, The Hillsiders (probaby the biggest name in UK country), Jan Howard, Loretta Lynn Show, Merrill Moore, Orange Blossom Sound (a British bluegrass group), John Wesley Ryles, Conway Twitty & The Lonely Blue Boys (as they were billed back then) , Larry Cunningham & The Mighty Avons (an Irish showband), Charlie Walker and some others I’ve forgotten. All put on good performances but no one really stole the show

    The 1969 show was really good but the next year’s show was bigger and better: Roy Acuff with Bashful Brother Oswald & the Smoky Mountain Boys, Lynn Anderson, Country Fever (British) , Skeeter Davis, Roy Drusky, Don Gibson, Tompall & The Glaser Brothers, George Hamilton IV, The Hillsiders (British) , David Houston, Loretta Lynn with Doyle Wilburn and Peggy Sue, Orange Blossom Sound (British), Charlie Walker, and some others. Acuff and the Glasers stole the show from their more famous (in Britain, anyway) co-stars. David Houston was terrible – seemed to have stage fright. In both 1969 and 1970 the British acts performed well

    As I noted earlier, I didn;t get to see the 1971 show, but Dad went because Hank Snow was on the show – the only autograph my Dad ever collected in his life was Hank Snow on the programme for the 3rd Festival

    • Derek Lynes March 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

      I too was at the ’69 Festival – my most enduring memory being Bill Anderson and the Po’ Boys – the first time I ever saw real Nudie (or maybe Manuel rhinestone suits). At the time it was a great line-up and the only name you appear to have missed was American Wes Buchanan, who had a 45 released on CBS for the festival. I bought it but must have dumped it years ago.

      • Neil Keveren June 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

        Hello Derek, Yes please do contact us through the web site and I will send an album off to you. Pig Earth comes from the name of a book by John Berger. Based on peasant life in the French Alps. It is about reaping what you sow and tough decisions one has to make to get by. I read it years ago and again recently. My grand parents worked the land and my parents were grafters within a family building company. They gave my brother and I a good start and hopefully a good work ethic. The back drop to our website is my granddad planting leaks on a tractor. He loved Slim Whitman. Regards Neil

  5. Sean Doherty March 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I think the review was excellent and basically was how i also saw the Festival. A couple of things towards the end of the previous festivals they actually ran for 4 days and nights. Also the sound was an issue in lots of ways. Most of the first half plagued by a booming bass drum and an overload base guitar. Also at numerous times there was problems with the microphones. When Ricky Skaggs tried to start his set the mic was off. In Ali Isabella set she had the same problem and in Reba set when she was doing the duet “Does he love you” with her back up singer Jennifer Wrinkles the head worn mike that Jennifer was using stopped working and there was silence that Reba quickly tried to cover. A radio mic was then brought out for Jennifer.
    There was also incidents of instruments not being turned up for Skaggs band. asleep at the wheel and Jo-El Sonnier. In the latter case he had 2 excellent lead guitarists who were doing a great job except their guitars were not turned up.
    I arrived just after the start when Raymond Froggatt was on the audience liked him but not a memorable set. Sandy Kelly was excellent in doing a song with George IV and also with her son. The latter was “Woodcarver” which she originally recorded with Johnny cash. They both did a great job on this.
    Tim McKay is a young English singer who is very much in the modern idiom and definitely a cross over act. He has a very good voice and if he was marketed in the States I am sure would have a great future.
    It was a great shame that it over ran and the main acts were rushed. I was surprised at how cluttered the stage was for the first 5 or 6 hours then when Lonestar came on and Reba it was an empty stge with in ear monitors and radio connections for the instruments. It is a shame it was not like that from the start as the changes overs would have been much quicker.

    All of that said it was great to see the Festival back as we need it in the UK. The Country Music scene here has been in the doldrums since it stopped without the media attention it brought.
    I really do hope next Easter we will see it back with a 2 day Festival

  6. Derek Lynes March 8, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I was very disappointed when the initial festival line-up was announced – only Will Bannister and Ricky Skaggs held any appeal. I bought my tickets after it was announced that Charley Pride and Asleep at the Wheel had been booked and that ticket prices had been reduced. Charley Pride was subsequently cancelled out as a result contractual deadline issues (according to David Allan in the March edition of Country Music People magazine). Incidentally that magazine was the only way I got to hear about the festival, so comments about publicity are clearly very appropriate.
    I suspect that the sound problems were partly due to the acoustics being affected by half of the Arena being curtained off due to poor ticket sales and, because of an event the previous day, the technicians had only been able to start setting up from one a.m. on the day of the festival. They were still doing soundchecks right up to the time we were admitted to the auditorium at 2.30 pm and that could have caused crowd problems if the show had been a sellout. In view of the number of acts they had one heck of a job.
    Because I knew that the Carling Cup Final was on at the stadium I set out early and didn’t encounter any traffic problems, but staging the festival on the same day and on a Sunday as well must have deterred a lot of other people from giving it their support.
    To attract a bigger audience, the festival needs a more modern headliner than Reba I’m afraid, and a few less acts may offset some of the resultant increased costs. Traditional country support acts seem to have been popular in the past and they were this time but if fringe acts such as Pig Earth, who much to my surprise, I rather enjoyed (even though they ain’t country!) and Ali Isabella had not appeared, they would not have been missed and we may have got a full set from Ricky Skaggs.
    Despite the problems, I got my money’s worth and if Mervyn Conn is mad enough to try again next year I’ll give it my support, provided of course the line-up has sufficient appeal.
    I think your review is a pretty fair summary of the event and the set lists were a good feature. Thankyou.

  7. Frank M. March 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    For a young lady, that performed so awful according to you, her “What If” single made the top 40 and charted at 21 as of yesterday. Do you want to write about that news?

    • Sean Doherty March 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      I am sure Ali will be a big star as far as recording and writing are concerned however based on the Wembley performance I agree with the review. The fact she is at 21 in what chart (not the Billboard Country charts) is no reflection on her live performance. I said to the friend who was with me that her record company/manager has seen another Taylor Swift here and she will go far based on what Taylor has achieved. She will though need to improve her stage act as she is certainly no Taylor when it comes to that. The review reported what we all saw and was not a review of her recordings which I agree are better. This is probably due to the way you can get things right in a studio whereas live it is about your real talent. Look at Will Bannister for somebody who can sing live even unaccompanied and still do it. He will though probably never be 21 in the Billboard Country Charts.

      • Derek Lynes March 12, 2012 at 5:06 am

        According to her website, the chart she is no.24 in, is the CMR Nashville (Country Music Radio) Euro charts. Their contact address is Farnborough, Hants – just down the road from me! I obviously don’t get out a lot, because I can’t recall ever having heard of them. Couldn’t actually find the chart on their site. Definitely not Billboard!
        Frank, if you were at Wembley and enjoyed her act then you are entitled to disagree with the event review. If you weren’t, then I’m afraid you’re falling for her hype and Sean is right: she may be able to cut it in the studio with all the wondrous doctoring they can do, but live she is not in the same league as Will Bannister

        • Neil Keveren June 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

          Hello Derek, A late response I know but You may be interested to hear from me?. Neil here from Pig Earth. Glad you liked some of our short set. We don’t pretend to be pure Country. I have been to the majority of Wembley festivals since the age of about 9 so it is pretty much in my blood. We don’t sing American but our song content, chord structures and sentiment to me feel right at home within the parameters of the genre. We had been getting great reviews from all the British country mags and main staging the biggest British festivals. We had just had 3 live BBC radio sessions and we were invited on the Wembley line up very late because we would cost them nothing!! but bring some of our following. I know we put some bottoms on seats and sold more discs than many adjacent to us on the day. We didn’t compete with Will Banisters queue I’ll grant you.
          My violin player was nominated for the all British fantasy Country band by Country music people and we won Horizon Country act of the year 2011 .We were later nominated for best original British county song last year and could possibly be shortlisted for this years too.
          One could debate what is Country music for ever. I would say Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is pushing it a bit and there is not much Country in Taylor swift of late. To say “we aint Country” is a bit harsh though. It is true we have as many big folk festivals as Country ones this year. The Folkies are enjoying us right now and we are getting dates as far as 2015.
          I write the songs as I feel them and deliver them in as honest a way I can. Some people get it and some people don’t. We do it because we love it. I thought the traditional Will Banister was amazing and hope he gets the Major label he deserves. I thought Lonestars Beatles cover set made them the band at the wrong festival, in my opinion. All the best Neil
          Come to Americana International we are opening for Moe Bandy.

        • Derek Lynes June 13, 2013 at 5:13 am

          Nice to hear from you, I ain’t dead yet so the delay isn’t a problem. I would love to have caught Moe Bandy at Americana International but won’t be able to make it this year. I rely on the goodwill of my wife (and a modest pension) and I have probably exhausted both this year – I did a trip to Texas in March to take in “The Best Little Cowboy Gathering in Texas” and the annual “Heart Of Texas Anniversary” events. Great traditional country music (mainly modern-ish western swing). Managed to see Miss Leslie, who, like you guys, sings because she loves it (and it shows) – she told me that she would love to do the Americana Festival. I ‘m glad she can’t, because I can’t afford a divorce, but the organisers should think about booking her – she is great!
          Coming from an old git like me “rather enjoyed” is more of a compliment than it sounds – I rarely bother with non-traditional/Texas country stuff these days. I can certainly respect what you do and how you do it. You didn’t take the easy route and you didn’t compromise your musical integrity!
          I wish you every success at Americana.

        • Neil Keveren June 13, 2013 at 5:37 am

          Hello Derek , if you let me know an address I am going to send you an album. If you like it drop a fiver in the next charity box you see. If you don’t you have a coaster . All the best thanks for the chat. Neil

        • Derek Lynes June 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

          I don’t like giving my address out on forums, can I send it via the contacts page on the Pig Earth Website? I already am the proud possessor of a substantial number of “coasters” – purchased before the internet gave me the opportunity to sample stuff prior to purchase, so it’ll have to be a fiver in a box somewhere.
          PS Whence the name “Pig Earth”?

  8. Jenni March 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Many studio artitsts can do well on the charts. Have you heard this young artist sing live though? We did and were not impressed. Studio singles will sound great with auto tuning and getting everything ‘just right’ but I’ve listened to some of the album online via her website, not impressed but it was marginally better than the live performance. There are a lot of pop artists that are good on CD but awful live, even some of the really big named stars! 21 isn’t top 10 or 5 though is it?!

  9. sam April 30, 2012 at 5:39 am

    nice concert review. it’s been a great thing you made this review because fans who are able and unable to go the concert with themselves will read this one for information. really great. thanks a lot.

  10. dimitri ozurof November 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    the show was appauling, thank the heavens it hasnt been continued due to mervyn conns 1989 conviction for indecent assaut with another 4 on file and now his arrest yet again foe alleged assaults in wimbedon and westminster. how did the man get bail?

    • cindy lu December 5, 2014 at 7:08 am

      greetings, mervin conn is very famous in china also, but word has reached us of his 1989 conviction, we were all told in his book he won the appeal. ho wi have read the appeal also i must say he wronged us by not saying he was guilty on appeal. he also wronged margaret malloy his victim aged 19 a second time
      the cases left on file in 1989 MUST now be reopened, it is only fair on margaret malloy and the other unnamed lady left on file at that time.
      so in 1989 there are THREE more indecent assaults in margaret malloy and one on another lady which must be investigated.
      in august this year mervyn conn was then arrested for allegedly raping a 15 year old at THREE locations.
      now we find that another THREE females have come forward since then ALL of which allege they were seriously sexually assaulted.
      that makes a total SO FAR of :
      4 serious sexual assaults on margaret malloy ( 1 conviction in 1989 and 3 on her left on file)
      1 serious sexual assault on an unnamed lady kept on file by judge laurie in 1989
      3 alleged rapes of a 15 year old child (the locations are westminster, his old house 32 burghley road wimbledon, and wembley arena) for which he was cuffed on board a plane at gatwick airport.
      the police car pulled up on the tarmac to get him off the plane.
      3 alleged serious sexual assaults on ladies who have come forward SINCE AUGUST
      so the total number of alleged serious sexual assaults by mervin harold conn stands at 11 so far.
      under rules of similar fact evidence, mervin conn’s conviction in 1989 IS ADMISSIBLE as evidence of his guilt in the alleged rape fo teh 15 year old, the test being that it is more probative than prejudicial, and so similar in nature that it should not be excluded.
      what this basically means is that the court should be allowed to draw an inference from the fact that he has been found GUILTY of seriously assaulting margaret malloy who was 19, that he would do the same to a 15 year old. his attack on margaret malloy only stopped because he was interrupted by his accountant who walked into his covent garden office
      as a fimal point, when other accusations are left on file (in this case in 1989), it is USUAL that they be reopened when more accusations follow, and the great british public DEMAND nothing less.
      when one looks at the number of assaults and the compensation these ladies will be entitled to if he is convicted, it makes the bill cosby case in the united states look by comparison minor.
      with thanks and greetings

      • vlad tsarikovich December 5, 2014 at 7:20 am

        i went to Wembley to see the Wembley Arena show. It made a huge loss and many of the creditors went unpaid.

        large areas were curtained off to disguise the fact that it was 50 per cent empty. maybe if someone else was in charge a country show at wembley could work. nobody has mentioned that one reason it flopped was that he booked wembley arena th esame day that there was a big match on at wembley stadium. if it was the apprentice, it would be a case of ‘mervyn conn, you’re fired’!!

        i tried to get a refund on my ticket but it didnt get me far

        how many more will come forward?

        i dont think he will ever be welcome at the kremlin again!

        i saw this about him my illustrious comrades

        his arrest on teh plane was for allegedly raping a child of 15 at three locations, westminster, wembley arena and at his home

        he now lives at pembroke house, 5 convent mews, edge hill, wimbledon, london sw19 4bq.

        th ersidents of wimbledon dont think he shoud be bailed if charged

        then there is the question of non-disdclosure of his 1989 conviction to the us authorities which is required by the visa waiver programme. it allowed him business trips of under 90 days without obtaining a visa.

        his non-disclosure gives him the following us exposure to imprisonment:

        The Immigration and Nationality Act – Sec. 275.[8 U.S.C. 1325]– Entry of alien at improper time or place; misrepresentation and concealment of facts – Maximum 2 years in prison

        2. U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 75, Section 1546 – Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents – Maximum 10 years in prison

        then there is the question of non-disdclosure of his 1989 conviction to the us authorities which is required by the visa waiver programme. it allowed him business trips of under 90 days without obtaining a visa.

        his non-disclosure gives him the following us exposure to imprisonment:

        The Immigration and Nationality Act – Sec. 275.[8 U.S.C. 1325]– Entry of alien at improper time or place; misrepresentation and concealment of facts – Maximum 2 years in prison

        2. U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 75, Section 1546 – Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents – Maximum 10 years in prison

        thanks for your great post cindy


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