Newham Live - Acoustic music by the river
Newnham on Severn has a sumptuous view over the River Severn, a magnificent Georgian High Street, and now it also has a bespoke boutique music festival.
Jazz FM radio star, David Freeman, the festival director, looks forward to summer evenings by the river.
For many years I have presented music on the radio, and while I enjoy many styles of recorded music there really is nothing to match the joy and excitement of seeing and hearing music being made live in front of your eyes. Stadiums and big festivals can be interesting, but Newnham Live offers the real thing – musicians so close you can see and hear what they are doing and share in the moments of aural creation without needing huge screens and booming speaker systems.
There will be Richard Digance who has been singing and playing for 50 years. Over that time he has narrowly missed becoming a super-rich rock star several times but luckily for us he remains funny , engaging and unmissable. If you have ever been to the Cropredy Festival you will know how hugely entertaining Richard can be.
On many occasions he is joined on the Cropredy stage by Ric Sanders, the Fairport Convention fiddler. Ric is coming to Newnham with his own trio who play beyond the Fairport song book with passion and virtuosity. Truly world class music making.
Also appearing is the secret star, Mark Harrison. I started playing his music on the radio when his first CD was released 6 years ago. Since then his reputation has grown and he now performs all round this country – and further afield. He writes songs in a blues style but the subjects are always contemporary and often funny. Mark will make you laugh because his dry on-stage banter is as good as his songs.
Then there is the folk duo Ninebarrow. These musicians are now being nominated for major awards and are in the vanguard of young folkies. ‘Damn fine’ is Mike Harding’s view – and he should know.
Kicking off the festivities is a band led by someone who was a bad boy of pop some years back. In 1977 there was a hit record called ‘Really Free’ by John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett. Wild Willy now leads a very different band, Wild Willy Barrett’s French Connection. This is the band he is bringing to Newnham. The line up includes cellist Mary Holland, singer Aurora Colson plus an Uilleann piper and the whole assembly lead by the Godfather of Grunge Folk.
How could you possibly resist?
All concerts take place in St Peter’s Church, Newnham, starting at 7.30pm. The festival bar will open at 5.30pm on concert days.
Tickets: £45 for a festival pass, otherwise £10 or £12 per concert. Buy tickets
- Friday 9th June: Wild Willie Barrett’s French Connection
- Tuesday 13th June: Ninebarrow
- Friday 16th June: Mark Harrison
- Thursday 22nd June: Ric Sanders Trio
- Friday 23rd June: Richard Digance
All profits are for the St Peter’s Bells Restoration Appeal