Here are just some of the events taking place in July and August that you can go to, safe in the knowledge of hearing some great music, as chosen by Ben Howard.
Being a festival organiser myself, I felt their pain when the Kelvedon Free Festival team announced that year’s event would not happen; after many successful years it has left a massive gap in the local music calendar but I sincerely hope it will return next year. In the meantime, from the ashes of the festival, Essex Rocks have organised the Kelvedon Festival All-Dayer at The Judge and Jury on Saturday 14th July (the scheduled date of the festival itself). At the time of going to press, Hoof!, Station, Day of the Sirens, Ellie Cornell, Manic Minor, Electra, and The Jellycats have been confirmed as playing alongside more acts from this year’s and previous Kelvedon festivals.
The first Zoo Night at The Soundhouse in June saw The Morning After, Gulls, Newton’s Apple and The Mono Polys perform. The follow-up gig on Friday 20th July showcases two local bands in The Lowriders and Station alongside two bands from London; The Kubricks and Wax on Water.
Wax on Water
Wax on Water
I imagine this next event is one that many had hoped for when XXX Promotions took over The Twist. Yes, Mindwarp is back and this time they’re celebrating 20 years since their first ever party! The line-up is representative of those years with rave legends Slipmatt, Ellis Dee, and Ratty joining Worzal, SW1, Quicklung and E.V. on the decks. MC Vocal hosts the night on Saturday 21st July.
Head to Tin Pan Alley on Saturday 28th July and check out the amazing talent of guitarist/vocalist Tahir Burhan aka Cherchen Man. I first saw this guy play a year ago and was impressed with his style of flamenco fusion. He’s proving popular on the local circuit and you won’t be disappointed.
“Colchester Free Festival is back for the third year on Saturday 25th August, bigger and better than ever before. ”
Have you been to a Silent Disco yet? DJ Huffle and I have played at two so far this year in The Soundhouse and the next one takes place there on Saturday 11th August. They’re proving popular with Huffle playing dance music while I spin my usual mix of indie, rock and wonky pop. This Silent Disco is a 90s special so no shortage of top tunes for us to choose from. The last two have been rammed so my advice is to get there early, grab your headphones and get involved!
US ska punk band Reel Big Fish come to town for what is now a sold-out gig at Colchester Arts Centre on Tuesday 14th August. The group cultivated an underground following that broke into the mainstream in summer 1997, when their single Sell Out became a radio and MTV favourite. What also makes this gig special is that New Town Kings have been announced as main support for their UK dates, providing even more exposure for the popular Colchester band.
Colchester Free Festival is back for the third year on Saturday 25th August, bigger and better than ever before. Castle Park hosts four live music stages; The Lion Walk Main Stage, Hollytrees Stage, Bowling Green Stage and the Acoustic Stage. DJs spin tunes out of the Bandstand and we have The Buffalo Tank, Children’s Free Festival and the Comedy/Spoken Word tent all adding to the festival spirit. Animal Noise headlining, with Dingus Khan just before will be the finale to the Lion Walk Main Stage but like previous years we’re going to be spoilt for choice in terms of what to see between 11am and 7pm. Also look out for special events at venues throughout the town that night. The atmosphere in Colchester is buzzing after the festival and I’m sure this year will be no different.
Visit www.keepcolchestercool.co.uk or like Keep Colchester Cool on Facebook for daily updates on what’s on in Colchester.