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Friday 29th August
Big Star
Steve Cropper & The Animals
Michelle Shocked
Chas & Dave
Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Wilko Johnson
Number 1 Station
Dave Sutherland Band
and more…

Saturday 30th August
The Saw Doctors
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Alton Ellis
The Pretty Things
Jah Wobble's Unique Event & Chinese Dub
Stackridge
Chas Hodges
The Toasters
Mike Sanchez Band
Smashing Time
Hey Negrita
John Wesley Harding
and more…

Sunday 31st August
Jefferson Starship
Richie Havens
The Zombies

Nine Below Zero
Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band
Man
Neville Staple Band
Ricky Cool & The Hoola Boola Boys
Fastlane Roogalator
Juicy Lucy
Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Tiny Tin Lady
Chris Mayfield Band
The Foxes
Dani Wilde

and more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots more entertainment
over three days includes:

Unsigned Showcase

Comedy

Late Night Events
& Burlesque

Kidz Entertainment

Vintage Funfair

Therapy Zone

Food & Drink

For more info
Click Here


BIG STAR Cult USA band Big Star fly in especially to headline Friday’s wondrous bill. Rolling Stone described their music as a combination of ‘Beatles-style melody, Who-like punch, and Byrdsy harmonies’. This is a rare appearance from a band who officially broke up in 1974.
Big Star was formed in Memphis in 1971 by songwriter Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, singer and creative genius behind The Box Tops. Although they only lasted three years, every one of their three albums found places in the Rolling Stone ‘500 Greatest Albums of all Time’ and their influence has been loudly declared by the likes of R.E.M., The Chills, Primal Scream, Wilco and the Lemonheads.
The hit US comedy show That ’70s Show adopted Big Star’s music as its theme, and a tribute album featuring versions of Big Star songs by Wilko, Juliana Hatfield, Teenage Fanclub and others, shot up the US charts.
In 1993 students at the University of Missouri coaxed Chilton and other members – Bell had by then been killed in a car crash – to come together for a one-off concert. The band has reunited on rare occasions ever since and this is one such. Salivate at the prospect and prepare to tell your grandchildren, you were there.
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STEVE CROPPER & THE ANIMALS Voted World’s Greatest Living Guitarist by Mojo magazine (and number 2 to Jimi Hendrix in Greatest Ever), Steve Cropper is a musical god. A founder member of Booker T & The MGs and leader of the Stax Records house band, he played on, produced and co-wrote classics of the order of ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’ (Otis Redding), ‘Knock On Wood’ (Eddie Floyd), and ‘In The Midnight Hour’ (Wilson Pickett). The cry of ‘Play it, Steve!’ on Sam & Dave’s ‘Soul Man’ was aimed his way. He has worked with members of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, BB King, Bob Dylan… the list is ptactically endless. And let's not forget that he led the band in and was musical director of the cult Blues Brothers movie. Here he plays with and is backed by British Beat legends, The Animals, a stonkin' outfit in their own right, still featuring original members John Steel and Mick Gallagher. Expect solid gold hits from both sides of the Atlantic. ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and 'I've Got To Get Out Of This Place' meets ‘Green Onions’ and 'Soul Man' . A unique appearance that must not be missed.
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MICHELLE SHOCKED Another performer flying in especially to play for us is Michelle Shocked, a glorious singer/songwriter, whose life and music is steeped in Americana. Born Michelle Johnston in Dallas, Texas, in 1962, she spent her early childhood travelling around army bases, before running away from her Mormon fundamentalist mother to a father who introduced her to country bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy and Leadbelly, as well as songwriters like Guy Clark and Randy Newman. After dropping out of the University of Texas, she explored the folk underground and wrote songs, travelling the world from San Francisco to New York, Amsterdam and London. In 1986 Pete Lawrence recorded ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ on his Sony Walkman and Michelle Shocked’s career took off. Her next album ‘Short Sharp Shocked’ was an instant classic, up there with ‘Blue’ and ‘Harvest’, and the subsequent line of top-notch albums – including her most recent, gospel-influenced ‘ToHeavenURide’ – have established her as a very special artist indeed. This woman has charisma and talent by the bucket load.
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THE SAW DOCTORS If you like your rock ‘n’ roll bands live and lively, then you’re in for a treat. The Saw Doctors pack about as much excitement into a 90-minute set as most bands manage to squeeze out in a lifetime. Think the Stones crossed with The Waterboys and you’re close but not quite there. The Saw Doctors are unique and an Irish phenomenon.
Eighteen years after the event, their epic single ‘I Useta Lover’ remains the biggest-selling Irish single of all time, and no wonder. The band, who hail from Galway in the west of Ireland, come up with some of the catchiest rock riffs you’ll find this side of Bo Diddley. Led by founding members Davy Carton and Leo Moran, they are dedicated to giving everyone – including themselves – the best time ever. There’s light and shade in there of course, but the Saw Doctors are one hell of an exciting band. Miss them at your peril. Back to top
JEFFERSON STARSHIP Wow... direct from San Francisco and featuring orginal members Paul Kantner and David Freiberg, Jefferson Starship evolved from Jefferson Airplane, between them two of the most sought-after (and highly-paid) concert acts in the world. Their records sold in great quantities, they scored US Top 10 hit singles and a string of Top 20 albums. The 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow is still considered the key recording of the ‘Summer of Love’. These days Grace Slick’s role is taken by the superb Cathy Richardson, and you can expect all the iconic tracks, including ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘We Built This City On Rock & Roll’.
Wow, can’t wait!
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RICHIE HAVENS Richie Havens’ fiery, poignant, always soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless since he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk-music scene together with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in the 1960s. He played the 1966 Newport Folk Festival; the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival; the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival; and, of course, opened the 1969 Woodstock Festival, where he held the multitudes spellbound for nearly three hours. Called back for yet another encore, he improvised a song based on an old spiritual that became ‘Freedom’, eventually reaching an audience of hundreds of millions via the Woodstock albums and movie.
Still going strong today, Havens remains a skilful performer whose interpretations often outshine the originals, even greats such as The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and Dylan’s ‘Just Like A Woman’.
Prepare to meet and enjoy a musical legend.
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QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE Legendary San Franciso psychedelic rock bands don’t come much more legendary than this. Their live 1969 Happy Trails album – with its iconic George Hunter sleeve – and long, long version of Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love’ is on every aficionado’s top ten list and their contribution to the film soundtrack of Revolver convinced many to join the hippy trail. Essentially a jam band, their early albums and live shows contributed to some of the best instrumental jams of the period. As it was said: 'For a while there, Quicksilver Messenger Service were the Californian Underground Scene.’
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CHAS & DAVE The Rockney threesome - not forgetting drummer Micky Burt - are on a high after conquering Glastonbury, playing with young turks Pete Doherty and winning over a new generation of music fans. When Chas & Dave first started out, they refused to set their songs in a mid-Atlantic never-never-land, choosing instead to sing about the London they knew, and paving the way for the likes of Ian Dury, Blur and Lily Allen. These guys are consummate musicians and performers and can satisfy a crowd like no other. Shout for all the hits, including ‘Gertcha’, ‘Rabbit’, ‘Down To Margate’, ‘London Girls’, ‘Ain’t No Pleasin You’ and all the rest!
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ALTON ELLIS dubbed the Godfather of Rocksteady, Alton Ellis came to prominence in the late 1960s when the frantic Ska beat slowed awhile to allow real singers such as Alton and Desmond Dekker, to come to the fore.
Every stage in the development of Reggae has an originator. One person who stood Rocksteady above the rest, was Alton Ellis. Born in 1944 in Kingston, he first recorded for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. In the era of Rude Boys, Alton and his group, the Flames, made some classic anti-Rude Boy singles including the classic, 'Cry Tough' a blast at the petty criminals and dropouts of 1960's Jamaica. We can't wait to welcome him and his band to Rhythm Festival.
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GANDOLF MURPHY & THE SLABOVIAN CIRCUS This brilliantly addictive American outfit make their UK debut at Rhythm Festival. To quote a recent All Music Guide review: ‘Playing an utterly unique blend of rock & roll, folk, and quirky Americana, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams have been called “the hillbilly Pink Floyd,” which is an apt description, particularly if you throw in elements of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, the Band, Neil Diamond, and maybe even some Frank Zappa as well.’ There’s no one in the band called Gandalf or Murphy, but they do make wonderful music. Your only chance to catch them live in the UK.
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GENO WASHINGTON & THE RAM JAM BAND Hand-clappin’, foot-stompin’, funky-butt live! Britain’s most successful live act of the 1960s, Geno produced two of the UK’s biggest selling albums – both recorded live – which between them dominated the British album charts for 14 months. With the likes of Hendrix, Cream, and Pink Floyd in support, they could never relax. Geno Washington hasn’t lost any of his power and he can still kick ass like no other – surrender to the rhythms of Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band at Rhythm Festival.
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JAH WOBBLE'S SPECIAL EVENT A totally unique performance is promised by Britain’s finest bassist who, since leaving Public Image Limited (PIL), has become an icon, performing with the likes of African Headcharge, Ginger Baker, Björk, The Edge, Brian Eno, Massive Attack, The Orb, Pharoah Sanders and The Shamen. Jah Wobble produces a heady brew of dub, English Folk, trance as well as Chinese and African sounds. Promised are some special guest players from around the world…

JAH WOBBLE, CHINESE DUB has been announced as a headliner bringing his highly acclaimed act of Chinese Dub to the festival. The outfit features singers from Tibet and Yunnan Province, Sichuan Opera Mask Changers, and an Anglo-Chinese dub band made up of bass, drums, guzheng, yangchin, bamboo flute, and gourd pipe.

Tibetan Gu Ying Ji provides vocals; Zi Lan Liao, internationally acclaimed guzheng (Chinese zither) player, flautist Clive Bell, guitarist Chris Cookson, drummer Mark Sanders, and percussionist Neville Murray join Jah Wobble in the Anglo-Chinese dub band.

The music is accompanied by a display of ancient Chinese performing arts: Mask Change, a speciality of Sichuan Opera, is a magical form of Chinese expressionist theatre, first documented 300 years ago. Highly dextrous performers use different masks to express a range of emotions; skilled performers can change over ten masks in less than 20 seconds. It takes many years to master the technique, and in China today there are less than 200 artists who are able to perform the Mask Change
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NINE BELOW ZERO No one does stonkin’ blues and R&B better than Dennis Greaves and his wonderfully solid crew. Again featuring Mark Feltham on harmonicas plus the ‘dream-team’ rhythm section of Brendan O’Neill and Gerry McEvoy (ex-Rory Gallagher Band), these guys know the blues and they know how to rock. A perfect way to round off Main Stage entertainment at Rhythm Festival 2008.
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THE PRETTY THINGS Back in the ‘Swinging Sixties’, there were three British bands who mattered: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things. Led by lead singer Phil May and guitarist Dick Taylor – the original Rolling Stones axeman – the Pretties were the real bad boys of British Beat. Their hair was longer, their music was morne aggressive and, unlike other bands we could name, they wouldn’t compromise to succeed. The Pretties discovered psychedelia before John and Paul and many consider their Silk Torpedo album as good or better than Sergeant Pepper. Forty-odd years later, Phil and Dick are in fantastic form and fronting a version of The Pretty Things they consider among the very best ever. The early singles still pack a solid wallop and you’ll have to go a long, long way to see a better band. Relish this rare UK festival appearance.
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THE ZOMBIES were a seminal British band of the 1960s. Formed in 1963 by Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, they and their members dominated the pop charts for the best part of two decades. Singer Blunstone and keyboard-player Rod Argent, together with an all star band, arrive in Clapham, fresh from three sell-out nights at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire and a capacity US tour. Expect all the combined greats: ‘She’s Not There’, ‘Tell Her No’, ‘Time of The Season’, ‘What Became of the Broken Hearted’, ‘Say You Don’t Mind’, ‘Caroline Goodbye’, ‘God Gave Rock & Roll To You’, ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and plenty more addictive rock.
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CHRIS MAYFIELD BAND The biggest thing from the Forest of Dean since Joe Meek twiddled his (and everyone else's) knobs, the former Bluze lead guitarist and songwriter's new outfit are getting them noticed around Britain and further afield. Expect the blues, mixed up a little, with a smattering of Dylan-style sensitivity and a wallop far greater than the total of its sum parts.
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FASTLANE ROOGALATOR Formed by brothers Tom and Syd as a tribute gig to their late father singer/songwriter John B Spencer, Fastlane Roogalator soon became a firm favourite on the London scene and beyond, releasing a widely praised CD along the way. Public demand, and a massive feeling of doing the right thing, ensured that what was meant to mark an ending, was in fact the start of an exciting new era. This is their second visit to Rhythm Festival and they are back by popular demans. Catch them or be squarer than Sponge Bob Square Pants in a cube.
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THE FOXES The Foxes are emerging as one of England's freshest must-see acts. Having supported various top-name bands including The Magic Numbers, The Animals, and Yeti, they at on the head of many 'tips for the top' lists. With their hard hitting guitar-driven melodic songs, The Foxes are making a real impact – just remember that you saw them at Rhythm Festival 2008 first!
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JUICY LUCY were formed by Ray Owen from the ashes of psychedelia pioneers The Misunderstood in 1970. They offered a harder, rockier sound, as epitomised by their cover of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" which was championed by the late John Peel and became a worldwide hit back in March 1970. They reformed in 2002, featuring original frontman Ray Owen. Rhythm Festival are proud to welcome these rock icons to our stages!
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MAN The ultimate Welsh rockers celebrate their 40th anniversary with a rare festival appearance that promises the return of veteran keyboardist Phil Ryan. Formed in 1968 when the Bystanders traded their pop hits for Man’s psychedelic rock, the band went on to be a stalwart of a British scene that included Hawkwind and Gong. The current line-up features long time member Martin Ace on bass/vocals, guitarists George Jones (Micky’s son, who does his father proud), Josh Ace, with Bob Richards on drums. Older fans will love the revamped ‘C’Mon’, the extended ‘Spunk Rock’ jam & ‘Many Are Called’ but this line-up has produced some of the best music and live shows in Man’s enduring career. Don’t miss.
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MIKE SANCHEZ Whenever British boogie-woogie and blues pianists are talked about, two names spring to mind – Mike Sanchez and Jools Holland – and there’s no doubt which is the better and most exciting musician! Look out for a blistering set of rock ‘n’ roll, boogie-woogie and rhythm & blues from the man Bill Wyman calls on…
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NEVILLE STAPLE BAND Like ska? You’ll love Neville Staple and his rude band! The former lead singer of The Specials, Special Beat and Fun Boy 3, whips the crowd up into a frenzy and makes sure everyone has a great time. Look forward to all those great hits – ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Gangsters’, ‘A Message To You, Rudy’, ‘Too Much Too Young’, and more! – performed in authentic style by a band that includes many of ska’s greatest names. The Rude Boy returns!
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NUMBER 1 STATION The number one authentic Blue Beat band in Europe, Number 1 Station are an eight piece with a driving rhythm section, blistering horns, and melodic blues vocals. Guaranteed to get the crowd its feet, rocking to the beat. Spectacular ska and more.
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RICKY COOL & THE HOOLA BOOLA BOYS Former Big Town Playboys head honcho Ricky Cool and a band that will knock your socks off. From Ricky Cool and The Icebergs, later the Rialtos, to his collaboration with the legendary Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) in the first Honeydrippers line up, Ricky has long been acknowledged as possibly the best frontman in the business. Stand by for top Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues entertainment. Dance or explode: your decision.
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SMASHING TIME Funky Hammond, rocking guitar action, no nonsense harmonica violence and The Hornaphonix brass section. It's about having a good time and songs you can whistle on the way home. Named after the seminal 1967 movie (Rita Tushingham, Michael York and Lynn Redgrave), Smashing Time have had the privilege of playing with many of their heroes including Edwin Starr, Geno Washington, and The Creation.
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STACKRIDGE Stackridge, one of Britain’s best loved, eclectic rock outfits of the 1970s, now reformed with lynchpin members James Warren, Andy Davis, Mutter Slater, and Crun Walter. This is the band that brought us such albums as Friendliness, The Man in the Bowler Hat, and Mr. Mick, and who later transformed into the million selling Korgis (‘Everyone’s Got To Learn Sometime’). Stackridge were always brilliant, innovative, unique and eternally entertaining, all of it topped by the brilliant songwriting of Warren and Davis. A Saturday night treat.
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TINY TIN LADY He may be a silly old sausage who turned down a small fortune to play at last year's Rhythm Festival, but Robert Plant thinks that TTL are 'absolutely marvelous' – and who are we to disagree? TTL have been together four years and have become one of the most talked about bands on the acoustic scene, stunning audiences everywhere with their blend of original songs, superb musicianship and spine-tingling harmonies. 'Tiny Tin Lady are a unique blend of roots honesty and rock sensibilities not to be missed'– MOJO magazine
'Full of talent, charm and chutzpah, they’re a joy to hear and to be with' –Fairport Convention.

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THE TOASTERS The Toasters were formed on New York’s Lower East Side in 1972. Under the watchful eye of producer Joe Jackson, they zoomed into prominence as America’s first ska band and have been trail-blazing ever since, spawning the likes of Fishbone and The Slackers. Look forward to fast and furious ska that takes no prisoners. Are you fit enough?
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WILKO JOHNSON High energy Rhythm & Blues anyone? Aside from defining a new, urgent style of two-handed guitar-playing Wilko Johnson was the founding guitarist with top UK blues outfit Dr Feelgood. He wrote all their best songs – including ‘She Does It Right’, ‘Roxette’, ‘Back In The Night’ and ‘Sneakin Suspicion’ – here performed with his powerhouse three-piece featuring Blockheads bassist Norman Watt-Roy and former Curve/Blockheads drummer, Monti. Solid stuff.
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Lots more entertainment over three days, including:

Unsigned Showcase
Our pick of the very best unsigned performers – including several local acts – on our new 3rd Stage over most of Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Standards are high, so prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of (as yet) unrecognized talent. The headliners of tomorrow? Definitely!

Comedy
Top name entertainers – plus a couple you might not have heard much about! – over six combined hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. You asked for a bigger stage and you’ve got it. Our stella comedy line-up will be presented by a ‘big name’ from TV and announced in May.

Late Night Events & Burlesque
For the first time, Rhythm Festival will rock after the bands finish. We’re still working on the finer points, but expect four late night venues pumping out top tunes until way past Jim’s bedtime. We’re planning a whole evening of New Orleans Mardi Gras, a Ska Beat Night with the added bonus of top line Burlesque, as well as Soul Shack, The Classic Rock Ballroom Blitz and even more!

Kidz Entertainment
Bring the kids safe in the knowledge that they will be looked after and entertained. As well as the music (which they might quite enjoy!) there's fun for all the family… a Kidz Festival in its own right! Junior Olympics and Football Tournament: Steve Stredwick and his team will be back, organising games and sporting activities in the Kidz Field. Everyone welcome and all ages are catered for, from future athletes to the ‘not quite so good’. Just come and have fun!

Vintage Funfair
Remember the glory years of the British funfair? When ‘digital’ only applied to fingers? Well, this year we’ve managed to book a vintage 1950s funfair! ‘That’ll Be The Day’ relived!

Therapy Zone
After last year’s smash success, Helen Cooke returns with the Therapy Zone. Stop by for a relaxing time and see what’s on offer. Expect Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Healing, Tarot, Life Readings, beautiful beaded jewellery, Thai Foot and Head Massage and plenty more. A relaxing time is guaranteed.

Food & Drink
This year we’ve organised extra licensed bars, offering an even greater selection of top quality booze at around pub prices. As well as the Main Bar on the decking in the Arena and the Hangar Bar up the other end, there’s a new Real Ale Bar in the Woodland Walk and bottle/ spirit bars for the late night venues. Glorious Snugburys farmhouse ice creams are back as well as an increased variety of quality caterers offering a variety of foods at sensible prices, from Indian vegetarian to Mexican tortillas, premium 100% beef burgers and Dutch treats. Don’t expect to see greasy tinned 50/50 hamburgers at Rhythm Festival!

 

 

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