MONDAY night marked the beginning of the 125th Bridgwater Carnival Concerts, and once again displayed the town's incredible carnival culture at its finest.

Over the course of the evening 13 Bridgwater Carnival Clubs were joined by 13 talented front of curtain acts and two of the town's brilliant dance groups for an extravaganza of entertainment, all compered ably for the 10th and final time by Paul Savage in his trademark jackets.

A total of 600 performers took to the stage during the mammoth four hour show.

Opening the show were the Sally Williams Dancers with a magical Harry Potter-inspired performance with dozens of youngsters taking part.

They were followed by vocalist Kizzy Maguire who performed songs from the musicals The Civil War and Blood Brothers while Gremlins Carnival Club set up their elaborate stage for their set.

Last year's winners Gremlins CC once again set a very high bar for the others club to follow with their pirate-inspired entry '1638, The Lost Treasure of Tortega'.

The Gremlins are renowned for the incredible craftsmanship that goes into their staging and this year was no different with a large decorated balcony, and net rigging.

The club somehow managed to accommodate a huge number of performers on the stage and finished with a moving solo from Sam Howes.

They were followed by talented singer Catrin Hudson, who showed her impressive vocal range singing a version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and Stevie Wonder's Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing.

One of the other biggest carnival clubs likely to be competing for the top trophies were up next as Renegades CC took to the stage.

They went with a Kenyan-inspired theme titled 'Spirit of Togetherness', and went as far as to bring in jewellery made by an African artist in Nairobi for the performance.

Their song scena displayed some of the night's most intricate choreography as 58 club members took to the stage for a colourful and creative entry.

Disco fever spread across the Town Hall as the Viva La Diva showgirls donned afro's and 70's-inspired outfits for their dance set.

It went from all action to eerie stillness as the ever-impressive Wills CC headed on next with a smugglers tableaux 'The Wreckers of Moonfleet'.

Charismatic singer Megan Boucher performed the amusing I'm The Greatest Star from the musical Funny Girl before one of the smaller groups, YMCA CC took to the stage.

Despite having a small number of members, their show packed a punch and the crowd enjoyed singing along to weather-related hits including Singin In The Rain and Walking On Sunshine, and enjoying a visually impressive section with luminous umbrellas.

Vocalist Sam Howes took the audience on an emotional journey to Vietnam performing Why God Why from Miss Saigon.

British Flag Carnival Club had a thigh-slapping, cowboy-themed effort 'Last Chance Saloon', complete with an impressive set, catchy songs and a strong 'slow-motion' section during a bar fight scene.

Next up were mother and daughter Ann & Emily singing The Prayer, made famous by Celine Dion and Pavarotti.

Lime Kiln CC followed with a 'Steampunk Revolution', which even included a penny farthing and a stomping set of songs including Panic At The Disco's High Hopes.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the nights, and one of the most moving performances, was from Tyler Ellis.

Coming onto stage dressed in full drag, Tyler sang his heart out with a rendition of Not My Father's Son from Kinky Boots.

Taking us into the interval were Crusaders Carnival Club with a joyful set which had the crowd rocking before the break.

After taking on refreshments and raffle tickets aplenty, audiences made their way back to the seats for the second half.

The Julia McDonald Dance Company sparkled on stage with a number of hits from the musicals and were followed by Ann Philcox who had the crowds in fits performing Victoria Wood's The Ballad of Barry and Freda.

Cavaliers Carnival Club put young people front and centre with their production highlighting the role land girls and evacuees in the Second World War and had the crowd bopping along to Glen Miller's iconic In The Mood.

Skilled guitarist Devon Salinas kept his cool when faced with some technical issues at the start of his performance, and laid down a cool groove on a loop pedal before showing his great guitar dexterity.

Vagabonds CC's colourful Chinese-inspired creation was called Awaken The Dragon and featured elaborate costumes and props including a bright dragon.

Fox King Dance Company pushed the tempo with polished and energetic dances to songs from Hairspray.

They were followed by tableaux group Centurions CC who depicted various still scenes from Sinbad The Sailor. Pete Watts is celebrating his 45th consecutive year on stage for the tableaux club.

Ventriloquist Kevin Cripwell had the audience in stitches, bringing compere Paul Savage on stage and giving him an amusing mouthpiece.

Winners of the main Bridgwater Carnival feature from last year, The Marketeers CC, were next on stage with a prohibition-era Chicago themed effort called 'The Speakeasy' with dazzling costumes and seamless transition between songs.

Christie Buttle showed off her soaring vocals singing For Forever from the musical Dear Evan Hansen.

The penultimate carnival club on stage were the all-male Ramblers CC with their Brazilian-inspired song scena 'Baile De Favela'.

Paying homage to the world's other most famous carnival parade in Rio de Janiero, the Ramblers CC once again showed their penchant for learning new skills, displaying their newly-acquired samba drumming which made them the loudest, and one of the most energetic, clubs to take to the stage.

The final front of curtain act for the night was Jake Godfrey singing George Ezra's Blame It On Me and Who I'd Be from Shrek The Music.

Rounding off the evening were Griffens CC who sported some spectacular wigs for their Pop Art-inspired set 'Issue #2019'.

Just 11 nights to go before the judges decide on who wins the various trophies!