THOUSANDS of people returned to the War Memorial Park on Sunday to enjoy the final day of Basingstoke Live 2014.

On a breezy but sunny day, thousands of families flocked to the park to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and listen to performances from local talent on the final day of Basingstoke Live, which also marked the finale of the 2014 Basingstoke Festival.

People of all ages had a fun-packed day which included drum taster sessions from the Basingstoke Drum Runners and a range of activities such as face painting and T-shirt painting at the Basingstoke Voluntary Action tent.

The headline act for Sunday – 1970s soul group, The Real Thing – drew in thousands of fans as they took to the stage at 6pm to perform a set of their most famous hits, including You To Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and Can You Feel The Force.

The three piece band, which is made up of brothers Chris and Eddie Amoo and Dave Smith, also performed a disco medley featuring songs from Chic and Kool and The Gang.

Chris, 60, told The Gazette: “It was great. It is really a community event and that is fantastic. This (the south) is the most popular part of the country and it always has been.”

Basingstoke soul singer Natasha Watts warmed up the crowd before the appearance of The Real Thing, and treated them to a range of her own songs including Stars, Good Love and Skyward.

The 37 year-old singer, who lives in Popley, told The Gazette: “I love every performance but I am a local girl as well so that is great. They (the crowd) were really great and they got into the spirit of it.”

One band that went down well with the audience was Redtails who belted out a range of their hits, including Brighter Place, Setting Sun and These Times, These Minds.

As reported by The Gazette on Friday, the band’s lead singer, Colette Francis-Lee, who also attended BCoT, went to the college to ask students to help the band create a video for their new song, Setting Sun.

Colette, 30, told The Gazette: “They (BCoT students) are always really cool and it doesn’t feel like you’re working with students, it feels like you are working with professional people.”

Full coverage from the two-day event will be in The Gazette which is on sale from Thursday.