Meraki Festival’s greatest local hits

The Wicked Jackels

The Wicked Jackels - Credit: Archant

Alongside chart-busting headline acts such as Pixie Lott and All Saints, there are many talented local artists preparing to strut their stuff at this year’s Meraki Festival.

Surrender the Night

Surrender the Night - Credit: Archant

With the remit of being very much a community festival, the organisers have offered a platform for performers from around the local area to showcase their work in front of a major audience.

Those who made it to last year’s festival will surely remember the soulful voice of singer-songwriter Hope Russell-Winter.

Her success has continued to grow off the stage and online, with a following of over 73,000 subscribers on Youtube and 15 million hits to boot. Hope’s cover of Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ was also used for the 2016 Dog’s Trust #SpecialSomeone ad campaign

Hope will be joined at Meraki by a partner from a previous collaboration, Scottish guitarist and singer Seb Wesson. The St Albans-based artists performed and a recorded series of duets with Jacket Records, a live recording studio based in the city, with a full-band and string arrangement.

Amelia Lappert

Amelia Lappert - Credit: Archant

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A master of guitar and a musician all his life, appearing with artists such as Lemar and on festival stages in the UK and US, Seb’s sweetly sung melody and effortless guitar are sure to make their mark at Meraki.

On the more alternative end, four-man Hemel Hempstead-born bad April Blue described their sound as “futurist R & B laced with Rock”. Their inspirations range from The Weeknd to Michael Jackson and with their eerie mixture of synthesizers, classic rock and visual performance, they are sure to be a psychedelic show-stopper.

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Young up-and-comers Surrender the Night from the St Albans area will be making an appearance. The alternative and indie-rock group have been making appearances around the south, from our local The Horn in St Albans to the O2 Academy in London. Be sure to not to miss the quadruple-teenager group on the Mr Peebles stage, where they will doubtless be warming up for The Horn’s Battle of the Bands final the following week.

Carrying on the rocky vibe, Watford’s The Wicked Jackels will be laying down some tasty guitar licks and mind-melting solos on the Friday. With their black-haired, bandana clad aesthetic, a clear love of Guns N’Roses and AC/DC and song titles like Cashing Cheques (And Breaking Necks), The Wicked Jackals are set to howl up the storm this summer heat has had us begging for.

April Blue

April Blue - Credit: Archant

Originally from London, Amelia Lappert is an acoustic guitarist and singer with a folk and pop style

Regularly busking at Christopher’s place and with performances at Milefest and IFMKFest coming up, Amelia is no stranger to the local music scene and you’ll certainly get to know her when she performs at Meraki.

Completing our selection of local acoustic guitarists are August Child and Jacket. Jacket is another singer-songwriter featured by St Albans based Jacket Records, along with Hope and Seb Wesson.

Although he has been gigging around bars and clubs in London, where he is currently based, August Child will be back on home turf when he showcases his distinctive music aesthetic at Meraki.

Arc Trio

Arc Trio - Credit: Archant

One part acoustic guitar, two part female vocals and three part family, our last local band is a family group based in St Albans returning from Meraki’s roster last year. Arc Trio is formed of siblings Anya and Cara Rodford and their uncle Russell. Their style of layered harmonies and country guitar riffs are sure to please this year’s festival goers as much as last’s.

August Child

August Child - Credit: Archant

Hope Russell-Winter

Hope Russell-Winter - Credit: Archant


Jacket - Credit: Archant

Seb Wesson

Seb Wesson - Credit: Archant

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