Mary Sewell
12th July 2023

Blog by: Harriet Smith

Usually, I’m commuting my way out of Rochester towards a gig in London but today was different, I was hot-footing it home from work in London to a gig in Rochester Castle Grounds.  As usual, the journey was less than 50mins which made it relatively easy to arrive before the event curfew of 7pm.   


In fact, I even made it in time for a quick pre-drink in the Ye Arrow.  The sun was still shining, and it was a lovely warm evening.  Rochester High Street had a very continental vibe going on with lots of people sitting outside on pavement terraces and the grass verges.


Now, I’m going to skip over the bit about the queue to get in as, although I know it frustrated many people, I was in no rush and was feeling rather relaxed about it.


I have been to many Rochester Castle Concerts over the years but was not prepared for the large crowd inside, Nile Rodgers was obviously the crowd-puller they all wanted.

Quick pint at Ye Arrow pub
Nile Rodgers concert 2023

The support acts of Incognito and James Taylor Quartet were warming everyone up very nicely but having come straight from work, I needed to eat first.  There was a slight queue for the food but to be honest, no more than I expected.  


People were hanging around, casually chatting and enjoying the warm summer’s evening under the beautiful backdrop of Rochester Castle, which incidentally dates back to 1127.


I was very excited for Le Chic’s disco classics, Le Freak and Good Times and was fully prepared in my dancing shoes.  What I wasn’t prepared for though, was just how many hits Nile had either produced or written.

Wow is all I can say!  From the moment he walked on stage wearing the biggest Chanel brooch I’ve ever seen, my mind was blown by the work he has done and the achievements he has to his name.  Did you know he produced Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ album?  Or that he has worked with some of the world’s greatest artists such as David Bowie, Diana Ross, Daft Punk, Duran Duran, Sister Sledge, Pharrell Williams and more recently the one and only Queen Bey, Beyonce.


The crowd were clearly up for a party with plenty of sequins and glitter on show, and as the sun set on the Castle and the sequins, a party is what they got.  Nile, and Chic singers Kimberly Davis and Audrey Martells, were flawless, dropping tune after tune, and transporting us to every musical era from the 80’s to present day.

Nile Rodgers & Chic Concert

He and his drummer, the master of funk, Mr Ralph Rolle guided us to ‘maximum funkalocity’, which is where I’ll be heading from now on at all gigs I attend!


Thank you Nile for the ‘Good Times’ and giving Rochester the best and biggest disco it had ever had.