Celebrating the music of St Albans

10:01 07 March 2014

Jim Rodford with The Bluetones at the Pioneer Club when he was 20.

Jim Rodford with The Bluetones at the Pioneer Club when he was 20.

Archant

A celebration of the St Albans music scene gets underway next Saturday, March 15, with over 80 gigs at 40 venues in a nine day festival.

MusicCity runs until Sunday, March 23, and will feature everything from traditional folk, blues and jazz through to rock, indie, ska and pop.

One of the highlights will be the Gospel Festival Day with master classes and performances by the London Community Gospel Choir. Others include a Steampunk ball with live music from Ghostfire, an open air samba session and choral music in the cathedral.

This year, MusicCity also celebrates more than 50 years of music at The Pioneer Club. The club has played a significant role in the musical life of the city providing performance opportunities for emerging bands.

It hosted The Zombies’ first gigs in the 1960s and early performances by Enter Shikari in 2003. The venue’s history will be explored in an exhibition of archive material at the Museum of St Albans and its position as a platform for new talent will also be celebrated at next Saturday, March 15, at an all-day event featuring sets by local bands.

Alongside MusicCity’s programme of gigs, there are opportunities to take part in workshops, open mic and jam sessions throughout the festival.

There will also be the chance to hear Jim Rodford, bassist of The Kinks, Argent and The Zombies, discuss his career and life in the music industry at the Pioneer Club next Sunday, March 16, where he is expected to be joined by some surprise guests.

St Albans is the hometown of internationally renowned bands The Zombies, Friendly Fires and Enter Shikari. In the 1960s, the city was also a base for folk artists Maddy Prior, Tim Hart and Donovan.

Other musicians with local links include John McKay (of Siouxsie and The Banshees) who attended the local Art and Design College. The college was the venue for early gigs by The Sex Pistols, The Damned and bands featuring Tracey Thorn before her days with Everything but the Girl. Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama/Shakespears Sister) also started her music career in St Albans when she jumped on stage with a local punk band.

For further details and to download the programme visit: http://www.enjoystalbans.com/musiccity

1 comment

  • The Pioneer Club has a memoriesvisitors book at the exhibition. We welcome any memories from anybody involved.

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    Annie

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