Week-long Music City festival for St Albans

A WEEK-long music festival with live music ranging from punk to folk gets underway this Saturday.

MusicCity is an annual festival which aims to celebrate the rich music history and current vibrant music scene in St Albans.

It runs until next Sunday, March 20, and will feature all kinds of popular music genres from traditional folk, blues, samba and jazz through to breakbeat, metal, soul and punk.

Satellite, an exhibition of the history of punk and new wave in the city, opened on Tuesday at the Museum of St Albans and can be seen until April 2.

MusicCity kicks off on Saturday with live music in the city centre provided by samba stars Sambuka and guerrilla pop act The Rumbles. On the same evening legendary punk hero TV Smith will be performing at The Horn in Victoria Street with special guests.

Other highlights include Cerys Mathews and Cockney Rebel at the Alban Arena, opportunities to see well-loved local favourites such as Small World and Deaf Shepherd, traditional music sessions and open mic nights.

There will also be several special gigs at the Museum of St Albans including an evening of acoustic new wave and punk next Thursday, March 17, featuring a line-up of local luminaries including Gary Sear, Bill Johnson, Nick Stephenson and Mark Lee.

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In Redbourn next Thursday (March 17) Ruaridh Pringle from Tattie Jam will be running a DADGAD guitar accompaniment workshop in the Old School Room at The Hollybush pub in Church End. It will run from 5.15pm to 7.15pm and costs �7.50.

It will cover anything from basic chord shapes to accompanying in different keys and chord runs as well as tricks for avoiding capo use for playing in keys other than D.

More information and booking can be obtained by calling 01582 452954.

The festival will close next Sunday with a session from ex-St Albans acoustic new waver Clive Pig at The Horn’s Blue Angel Acoustic Cafe.

MusicCity is run by the district council and portfolio holder for culture and heritage, Cllr Sheila Burton, said it provided a great showcase for all kinds of musicians and helped support the healthy live music scene in the city.

Full details can be found at www.lemonrock/musiccity and at www.stalbans.gov.uk/musiccity. Flyers can be found at all participating venues and the Tourist Information Centre in Market Place.