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Second Music Festival declared a success

Months of preparation, glorious sunshine and the support of a BBC broadcaster helped make Knutsford Music Festival a big success at the weekend.

Knutsford Town Council hosted the event for the second year with more than 40 events in 18 venues.

Headliner Miles Hunt performed at The Courthouse on Saturday which had people off their seats and dancing before the end of the show.

The 200-year-old former crown court was a new venue for the festival which has recently been transformed into a restaurant, hotel and community function space.

Meanwhile, Mark Radcliffe hosted three folk nights and even performed himself at Knutsford’s Little Theatre to packed crowds.

The Radio 2 and 6 Music DJ usually presents the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage during the festival but was able to lend his support due to Glastonbury’s ‘fallow year’.

He brought a number of BBC Folk Award winners and nominees to the town including Mike McGoldrick, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and Pilgrims’ Way.

Mark said: “We had three nights of amazing music and copious imbibing of session ale at the Little Theatre and I feel proud of what we achieved.

“I want to thank everyone at the theatre, all the council staff and volunteers who helped so much, all the artists who appeared for reduced fees.

“But mostly to the people of Knutsford who came out and supported us as we try to build live music as part of what the town has to offer.”

Also new for 2018 was family friendly music activities on The Moor including an eclectic range of acoustic performances, drumming workshops and a singalong with Elsa from Disney’s Frozen which was well attended in the sunshine.

On top of that there was a blues night with the acclaimed duo Mat Walklate and Tom Attah and classical and choral performances including an evening with Halle Brass as part of Knutsford Music Festival’s emphasis on providing something for everybody.

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Knutsford Music Festival 2018 – Blues Night at Brook Street Club

Tom Attah

A BLUES night will be rocking Brook Street Club for the second year running as part of Knutsford Music Festival.

Mat Walklate and Tom Attah will be headlining the Knutsford Town Council show as a duo at the live entertainment and community venue on Friday, June 22.

Last year’s sold out blues night at Brook Street Club with Rebecca Downes became one of the festival highlights for many.

Living in Manchester and strongly influenced by its Afro-Caribbean community, Mat Walklate is one of the UK’s most accomplished blues harmonica-players who also possesses a rich, soulful baritone.

He is also part of another duo, Walklate and Fuschi, who released their debut album, Kicking Up The Dust, in 2016 which was recorded live with no overdubs in just four and a half hours.

Tom Attah is a soulful performer of new and original acoustic blues material. 

Taking audiences on a journey right through the eras, Tom’s live shows are described as a journey from the Delta to the age of the download.

Mat and Tom will be supported by The Gritstone Clays and Ashley Sherlock, who is returning for the second year.

The Gritstone Clays are a three-piece acoustic band who play a mix of blues, folk, rock and Americana with a twist. 

Formed in Congleton in 2016, the band juggle two guitars, mandolin and harmonica so expect something a bit different.

Ashley, influenced by the likes of Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Hozier, will be showcasing new music he recorded in Nashville, Tennessee.

After several years and hundreds of gigs performing as a solo artist, Ashley, who has worked with Aziz Ibrahim (Stone Roses, Simply Red) has now formed a full band.

Their unique blend of music incorporates gritty blues, falsetto vocal melodies and a jazz/funk-inspired rhythm section.

Steve Power, from Brook Street Club, said: “At Brook St Club we really enjoyed the inaugural 2017 Knutsford Music Festival and the benefits it brought to the town and the club.

“We’re really excited to be part of the 2018 festival which already shows the promise to build on last year’s success.”

Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk for Knutsford Town Council added: “The blues event at last year’s festival was one of the highlights and big successes of the first event.

“We’re delighted to bring it back for 2018 with a diverse line-up of acclaimed artists. We’re confident it will be just as good if not better – and unlike anything else you’ll hear on the festival bill.”

Tickets for the event cost £11 with child and carer concessions available. On sale now from  https://www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com/

 

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Miles Hunt of the The Wonder Stuff to headline Knutsford Music Festival

The Wonder Stuff’s Miles Hunt has been revealed as the main headliner of the second annual Knutsford Music Festival.
Miles, the singer, rhythm guitarist and principle songwriter of the indie rock band, will be performing solo at The Courthouse on Saturday, June 23, as part of Knutsford Town Council’s three-day event.

He will be playing classics, live favourites and rare acoustic versions of The Wonder Stuff’s back catalogue as well as his own solo material. Miles will also be giving some readings and sharing some anecdotes about his early days from his books ‘The Wonder Stuff Diaries ’86 to ‘94’.

Formed in 1986, The Wonder Stuff have had six top 20 albums and 17 top 20 singles. The band are best known for the number five single, The Size of a Cow, in 1991 but in the same year the Black Country rockers also had a chart-topper after covering Tommy Roe’s Dizzy with Vic Reeves.

Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk, said: “There’s already been a lot of interest in this gig because of Miles’ incredible career with The Wonder Stuff.

“We’re delighted to have him join us for an intimate show at The Courthouse where he’ll be showcasing some of the band’s hits in a different way.

“Miles’ readings from his book about his heyday and life in a band during the music scene of the 80s and 90s should be fascinating too.”

Joining Miles are Dan Donnelly and Knutsford’s own Fine Lines.

Dan is a singer-songwriter who has played in 20 countries and has supported acts such as Air, The Darkness, Bob Geldof, Ian Dury and Duran Duran. When not touring in his own right Dan is a full time member of The Wonder Stuff. He is also in a duo with The Levellers’ Jon Sevink.

Fine Lines, a project started by singer-songwriter David Boardman, completes the bill. Influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Martyn and Mercury era Rod Stewart but also modern day troubadours such as Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams, David’s stripped-back tracks deal in heartbreak and soul baring. In their short time together, Fine Lines, co-fronted by Zoe Blythe, have already played with the likes of Merry Hell, Mark Radcliffe’s Galleon Blast and John Power (Cast/The La’s).

Knutsford’s Mark Radcliffe has already given the band his seal of approval and even plays drums on a few of their tracks.

The band’s John Kettle produced debut album, Hour of Need, which is out now.

Tickets for the event cost £15 for adults and £10 for children. They can be bought from https://www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com/

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A Classical Spectacular at Knutsford Music Festival

A classical spectacular is taking place over three days in June as part of the second annual Knutsford Music Festival.

The event, organised by Knutsford Town Council in partnership with local venues, will see performances by Vale Royal String Orchestra, Tatton Singers, Hallé Brass and Royal Northern College of Music’s Zerbina Duo.

The concerts will be held throughout the town centre with Vale Royal String Orchestra playing at St Cross Church on June 22, Tatton Singers on stage at St John’s Church on June 23 and Hallé Brass and the Zerbina Duo at The Courthouse’s new function room on June 24.

It is part of a wider, weekend-long celebration of music in Knutsford between June 22 and 24.

Vale Royal String Orchestra with oboist Debbie Fuller will perform an eclectic programme including Cimarosa’s oboe concerto, a Divertimento by Mozart, Percy Grainger’s Molly on the Shore, Janacek’s Idyll Suite and a selection from Copland’s ballet score, Rodeo.

The orchestra, which formed in 1993 and is conducted by Richard Adamson, brings together experienced amateur and professional musicians who perform regularly throughout the year to support charities and community events.

Tatton Singers formed in 1976 in Knutsford. Their current 78 members perform traditional choral works and lesser known pieces. Under the guidance of musical director John Powell, who has been with the choir since 2005, Tatton Singers have a wide repertoire of works by classical composers.

Formed in 1965, Hallé Brass are one of the foremost brass ensembles in the UK formed primarily from principal members of the internationally renowned Hallé Orchestra.The group is also one of the oldest brass quintets in the world that played a leading role in the development of this format of chamber music. In the early years, Hallé Brass gave premieres by eminent composers such as John McCabe, Joseph Horovitz and Edward Gregson.

They will be joined by harpist Becki McIlroy and violinist Rebecca Howell, who are known as the Zerbina Duo. Becki is a music graduate from The University of Manchester, currently studying for her master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music. Recently she performed with the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra alongside comedians Jason Manford and John Bishop at The Bridgewater Hall. Rebecca is currently a postgraduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music.

In March 2016, Rebecca, who also leads the Florestan String Quartet, was awarded first prize in Durham’s inaugural Soloists Competition and went on to perform Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No 3 with the University Palatine Orchestra on their summer tour to Paris.

Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk at Knutsford Town Council, said: “We’re really looking forward to presenting this diverse range of classical concerts.

“These performers are among the most respected in the north west and in the case of the Hallé they are internationally acclaimed.

“For many, it will be their first opportunity to see The Courthouse’s beautiful and newly refurbished function room and we’re delighted to once again be working with Knutsford’s churches and their cherished community spaces.

“St Cross and St John’s have been instrumental in helping us put together this programme of classical concerts by organising their own events with local musicians and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the festival.”

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, March 1, and will be priced at £12 with concessions available.

Tickets for the Halle Brass and Tatton Singers will be available through Ticket Tailor and The Tatton Singers tickets can also be purchased from 01565 650641

For all other ticket enquiries, please call Knutsford Town Council on 01565 653929 and follow the Knutsford Music Festival Facebook for ticket and event updates.

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