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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Ready for Rocks; Alma Street Fair; Shriekback are back; Sam Sweeney’s strings

02 June, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

BE prepared for Camden High Street to look exactly the same as usual on Saturday as hundreds of music fans come to view the 250-something bands lined up for the Camden Rocks festival. The timetable has been published online so there’s plenty of time to set up an Excel spreadsheet and strategically plan how to maximise that all-entry wristband. A quick reminder of a few of the bands on the list: The Damned, The Stranglers, Feeder, The Coral, Reverend & the Makers, Lucie Barat and The Professionals (above) featuring festival founder and former Three Colours Red guitarist Chris McCormack.

• Dig It Soundsystem returns to the Alma Street Fair on Sunday (June 4) – these guys know how to throw a party – don’t miss out.

• We hear celebrated Brazilian musician Seu George (above) stopped in at Camden Guitars on Tuesday, picking up a Spanish guitar and flute right before his Royal Albert Hall show in the evening.

• The new Dr Martens store in Camden Market has announced a series of one-off gigs in their Boot Room venue featuring the likes of Mykki Blanco, Asylums, Max Rapto, Bakar and MIIN, running throughout the summer. Visit www.camdenmarket.com/events for more details.

• The Jazz Cafe hosts a special fundraiser on June 6 with a headline set from Incognito, alongside Citrus Sun to raise money for the daughter of UK soul singer Kenny Thomas – four-year-old Christiana Thomas – who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. The band will perform with a selection of special guests to help raise the £80,000 required for her treatment.

• Critically acclaimed musician David Ford (above) brings his new live show to Islington Assembly Hall on June 2, promising his first new material since his The Charge album four years ago.

• Kentish Town siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (above) have announced their self-written, produced and engineered new album, Superscope, will be released on September 29.

• Also hailing from K-Town, post-punk supergroup Shriekback (above), first formed in 1980, return for their first gig in 25 years at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday. Band members Barry Andrews (XTC, League of Gentlemen), Carl Marsh (Out On Blue Six), Scott Firth (Public Image LTD) and former stage collaborators Steve Halliwell (guitar/keyboards), Mike Cozzi (guitar) and Wendy and Sarah Partridge (backing vocals) reunite to perform hits Nemesis, All Lined Up and more from their expansive back-catalogue.

• Folk musician Sam Sweeney (above) plays a poignant gig at Cecil Sharp House on June 8, inspired by a violin he bought in Oxford 10 years ago. Sweeney’s Made In The Great War tour, which includes a stop in Ypres, tells the history of the violin, which, while looking new on purchase, bore a label inside dating it 1915, giving the name Richard S. Howard and including the words “Violin No. 6 Made in The Great War”. Sam later discovered that the violin had been left unfinished, by luthier and music hall performer Richard Spencer Howard who joined the army in 1915 and less than two years later fought and was killed at the Battle of Messines near Ypres. The violin was left unfinished, the pieces placed in an envelope and sold at auction almost 100 years later, finally finished by luthier Roger Claridge in 2007. This story inspired Sam to create a multi-media performance telling the violin’s incredible story, performing with the actual fiddle, alongside Paul Sartin, Rob Harbron and award-winning storyteller High Lupton.

• Field Day festival takes place at Victoria Park on Saturday (June 3) – I have yet to go there without losing all my friends and my phone service! This year’s line-up includes Aphex Twin, Lady Leshurr, Methyl Ethel, Loyle Carner, Run The Jewels and much more.

• Melbourne quintet Ocean Grove play the Black Heart on June 4.


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