A chip off the old Blockheads at Alban Arena

PUBLISHED: 10:05 06 June 2010

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SEE the film then watch the band live is the invitation from the Alban Arena next week.

The St Albans venue is showing the film Sex & Drugs and Rock & Roll – the biopic of the life of Ian Dury – next Tuesday, June 8, and that will be followed by a performance by his band The Blockheads next Friday, June 11.

Despite Dury’s death, The Blockheads remain one of the hardest-working groups and their visit is to kick off the St Albans Festival at the Arena.

They will be performing the big hits including Clever Trevor, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Reasons to Be Cheerful Part 3 and the anthem for their generation, Sex & Drugs And Rock & Roll.

The Blockheads will be joined by The Boomtown Rats, featuring original Rats Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe, and they will be playing all the classic Boomtown hits along with favourites like Joey’s On The Street Again and Neon Heart. The performance starts at 7.30pm and tickets at £18.50 and £17.50 are available from the box office on 01727 844488 or go to www.alban-arena.co.uk

The movie Sex & Drugs And Rock & Roll, which can be seen at 7.30pm, follows the rise to fame of the punk legend played by Andy Serkis, best known as Gollum in Lord of the Rings. It tells the colourful story of one of England’s most influential and original singer-songwriters of the past 40 years.

It focuses on Dury’s personal battle with polio, the debilitating disease which struck when he was just 10, and the after effects of fame on his relationships.

Described as “the finest lyricist we’ve ever seen”, Dury led The Blockheads through to the New Wave era.

Tickets for the showing are £6 with concessions £4.

Also appearing at the Arena as part of the St Albans Festival and Folk@The Festival is traditional Gaelic folk singer Julie Fowlis and her band at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 12.

No stranger to awards and distinctions, she was presented with her award as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2008 by KT Tunstall and has also won Gaelic Singer of the Year and Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Since the release of her award-winning album Cuilidh in 2007, Julie has spent much time developing her own sound with a band including her husband Eamon Doorley, Dublin’s Tony Byrne, Highlander Duncan Chisholm and Bodhran champion Martin O’Neill.

Julie comes on stage at 7.30pm and tickets are £19.50.

n Multi award-winning movie Precious is the Arena’s Midweek Matinee next Wednesday, June 9.

It follows 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones, an African-American girl born into a life no-one would want.

Set in Harlem in 1987, Precious has been impregnated by her absent father for the second time and must wait hand and foot on her poisonously angry mother, played by Mo’Nique.

But when Precious is invited to transfer to an alternative school, she begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and helplessness to light, love and determination.

Precious can be seen at 1.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 with concessions £4 for the evening screening and £4 for the matinee which includes a cup of tea and biscuits.

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