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Chester often list weelky nights at Cruise Nightclub, Rosies Nightclub and The Laugh Inn to name a few.
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A story of the Great War told in songs, readings and images by Lester Simpson, Nigel Corbett and Mike Bettison
By the end of the Great War, few remained unaffected by the troubles.
Children grew up in the shadow of battle, their fathers either absent or lost. Mothers and wives were left wondering about the young men who never made it back from the trenches and those who did return were forever marred by the experience.
‘Standing in Line’ was written to mark the100th anniversary of WW1 by Lester Simpson whose great uncle, Albert Scrimshaw, died at Passendale, leaving behind a widow Annie, who lived in Derbyshire until her death in the 1970’s. The performance is a highly moving tribute featuring Lester’s specially written songs and songs from the time.
The performance is accompanied by a series of projected images and a
narration that includes poems of Wilfred Owen, Seigfried Sassoon and
Rudyard Kipling..... more info
UK South West based band Echo Town consists of free spirited brothers Ric and Rob Harrison. Recognised for their vibrant and energetic performances, contemporary freedom songs and use of multi instruments such as lap-slide guitar, djembe, didgeridoo and harmonica. The audience are often surprised to find such a full sound emanates from only two musicians.
Originally playing music of the heavy rock genre in their earlier years, the Leeds born duo moved on to develop a more harmonious and spiritual approach to music in the past five years as they creatively matured and grew into the upbeat band Echo Town we know them as today. They relocated to Cornwall in early 2015 after completing a mini tour late summer 2014. After they received an overwhelmingly positive response from the South West music scene they opted for the vibrant and contrasting lifestyle change of the South. Quickly gaining much attention from booking agents and radio shows. This summer has seen the duo perform at festivals in the South West of England, the North of England and Wales. In November 2015 Echo Town made it at number three in a Plymouth City article called ‘11 Bands Crushing It In The South-West of England Right Now’.
Echo Town have been performing to a live audience up and down the country for over three years, performing at festivals and various music venues. To date they have opened for Xavier Rudd & The United Nations, Bite the Buffalo, Land of the Giants, Wille & The Bandits and Sound of the Sirens. In 2015 they toured the South West and the North of England releasing their album ‘Be Strong Troop On’. Winter 2016 will see them heading to France and Germany through The Mojo Hobo Agency.
Echo Town released their second album ‘Come on Over’ in June 2011, inspired by family relationships, the great outdoors and surfing on the East English coast. ‘Come on Over’ was accompanied by music video for their single ‘Feeling Alright’. In summer 2014 they recorded their third album entitled ‘Be Strong Troop On’ released summer 2015.
In August 2013 they filmed a set of promotional videos with Falmouth based ‘Harbourside Sessions’ for sponsors Anderwood Guitars. They have also filmed with Balcony TV Exeter and been featured on Alan Raw’s BBC Introducing West Yorkshire, David White BBC Introducing Cornwall, St Austell Radio Station and other various independent radio stations.
“… As if John Butler’s lapsteel, Xavier Rudd’s social commentary and Jack Johnson’s catchy pop ideals have all been fused by the hands of two British songwriters.” Richard Cadence (egigs.co.uk)
“…One of the finest up and coming South West bands.” – The Mojo Hobo Agency
“… Not surprisingly a good festival band…” – Alan Raw BBC Introducing West Yorkshire
“They blast out a goodtime, uplifting and contemporary view of modern life and it is easy to hear why the duo are often an immediate hit when performing live. Highly promising.” – Keith Ames (The Musician Magazine.... more info
by Dan Muirden
"There are three types of girlfriend. Those you tell your parents about, those you tell your friends about and those you tell no one about".
Reformed womaniser Nick is approaching thirty and has fallen head over heels in love with the girl he wants to marry and have kids with. But then a dark little fling he'd rather forget comes back to threaten everything.
(Suitable for age 16+. Contains sexual content and strong language.).... more info
Scott Matthews’ ground- breaking debut album, Passing Stranger earned him serious critical acclaim with its bold mix of folk, rock, blues and Eastern-inspired song-writing, and in 2007 his first single ‘Elusive’ won the Ivor Novello Award for ‘Best Song Musically and Lyrically’. From here Scott went on to perform on a number of international sell-out tours with respected artists such as Bert Jansch, Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Foo Fighters, Rufus Wainwright and Tori Amos. Subsequently, Robert Plant came onboard for a guest contribution on Scott’s follow-up album, Elsewhere, and down the line legendary double bassist Danny
Thompson joined Scott on his third release What The Night Delivers, having encountered each other whilst performing in Joe Boyd’s stage production of Way to Blue – The Songs of Nick Drake.
The vision for albums four and five were, however, much closer to home with Scott recording Home Part 1 in 2014 at the bottom of his garden in his home-built musical abode. This organic means of creating music from his home in the West Midlands inspired Scott to set up his own record label in 2016, ‘Shedio Records’, on
which his new album, Home Part 2 has been. Home Part 2 finds Scott in many senses returning to the source, driven by what he
describes as “a need to rekindle a relationship with the artist I was 10 years ago, but joining forces with the artist I am today”. Speaking about the contrasting interplay between the new record and its predecessor Home Part 1, Scott says “After completing Part 1, I was very much aware of how I wanted Part 2 to sound, look and feel. The more I record my music, the more I’ve realised I describe what I’m
looking for as colours. This method helps me to visualise what instrumentation I’d like to hear. Part 1 has a very sepia-like tone, with warm, earthy browns and creams and has an almost grainy, sonic texture. Part 2 was always going to be the complete
opposite, with a very technicolor outlook – it’s technicolor brother!”.
Whilst his own experiences are often the inspiration for his song- writing, books, films and art sit at the heart of many of his songs. Strongly rooted in the Midlands, there is undoubtedly inspiration to be found here with its rich musical heritage, and Scott often references the landscape and its characters in his writing, most
recently in the slide blues guitar track on Home Part 2 ‘Black Country Boy’, contrasted with the warmth and honesty in the song ‘Good Times’. The social realist work of writers such as Alan Sillitoe and the kitchen sink dramas that followed, such as Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and The L-shaped Room, have influenced his own lyric writing with their reflections of humble, working class life.
Among the reoccurring constants in his world are “home” and what it means to everyone. It links the mix of new songs on the album – whole-heartedly embracing it whilst blending it with dreamlike, otherworldly visions of escapism in the phantasmagorical Waltz at Nightfall and the beguiling Where I Long to Be, that reveal the troubadour at heart is never far away. His vocal style has been much referenced in ethereal terms of “ghostly”, “haunting”, “eerie” and “hypnotic”, so perhaps there is magic afoot. About his early start as a musician Scott says “Fundamentally, I’ve always been a guitar player since the age of eleven and it’s the only instrument I can hold confidently and assuredly and write songs with.
“I was closer to 20 before I started getting into the realms of acoustic guitar playing. Neil Finn is a pivotal artist who helped me to bridge the gap between understanding how I could incorporate all the things I’d learnt on the guitar and how it can be a trusty tool in pursuing my craft for writing songs. I then discovered the open tuning approach to guitar playing through John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, Davy Graham and Joni Mitchell, which over night seemed to blow my whole creative world wide open. “With Part 2 the palette of guitar textures has widened further still with my love and rediscovery of the electric. My playing has naturally developed more of a percussive nature over time through playing more fingerstyle to accompany songs. I use the acoustic guitar to provide a structure, so I think about the drive of the rhythm whether I fingerpick or strum and how it supports my voice when writing. Interestingly, I’ve applied this fingerstyle approach to the electric guitar and it’s helped me find a new set of colours that I have introduced to full band songs.”
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