Punks, poets and Scooby snacks at the Alban Arena

THE two-week summer shutdown of the Alban Arena looms next week but within a fortnight of it reopening there will be five film showings, six shows and an exhibition.

The summer closure is to enable the building to be spruced up and given a lick of paint while, this year, the circle bar will be completely refurbished.

But there will be plenty of attractions in September to bring back the crowds including the multi-platinum funk soul brothers Fun Lovin’ Criminals on September 8 supported by Bristol band The Chemists.

The five-piece band began life in a pub and have supported Feeder, The Music, The Delays, Broken Records, The Bluetones and most recently, Skunk Anansie.

The following day punk poet and bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke, will be joined by local group Polly Poison and Her Electric Antidote. A female-fronted rock outfit from St Albans, they have reached the BBC Introducing Three Counties final and the Surface Unsigned semi final.

A recent addition to the September line-up is Darius Campbell who has been confirmed in The History of the Big Bands on Saturday, September 11.

Fast becoming a household name having gone from Pop Idol to winning Popstar to Operastar earlier this year and having starred in some of the biggest West End shows, he is now taking on his own Big Band show complete with a 16 piece orchestra.

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Following in the footsteps of the great crooners such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Andy Williams, Darius will revisit some of swing’s best songs.

Although telephone booking will be unavailable during the shutdown period, it will still be possible to book online at www.alban-arena.co.uk. The box office will reopen on Monday, August 23.