I hope this post finds you keeping well, getting back into some kind of routine, and able to have attended a few gigs in recent weeks. I’ve seen a few: Jeremy Johnson, Will Keating, Seth Lakeman, The Wandering Hearts, Elizabeth and Jameson, Megan O’Neill … and coming up Deacon Blue and, of course, Lauren Housley
Going to the British Folk Fest at Skegness Butlins in a couple of weeks. Never been before but the line-up is quite outstanding. That replaces our usual visit to the Cork Jazz Festival in … Cork! I’ve also got The Lake Poets and Kathryn Tickell planned for December and a few gigs lined up for 2022.
I’ve also enjoyed watching Les Miserables for the umpteenth time (great new production at the Sondheim) and the unexpectedly amazing Come From Away.
MENTAL HEALTH: FINDING HELP There’s no doubt the pandemic has been tough on all of us. November is Mental Health month – be sure to ask for help if you’re struggling.
BLUES AT BARLEYLANDS Will soon be celebrating their 5th Anniversary on Saturday 20 November with not one but two bands, Papa George and Bad Influence will be taking to their stage and they both offer excellent value live. Billericay boy Connor Selby is one to look out for, too, on 11 December. His latest CD is one of my faves of 2021.
Christmas will soon be upon us so:
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AT EMMANUEL Christmas in 2021 is much more poignant, given so many events in 2020 were cancelled – though the true meaning of Christmas wasn’t! If you live locally, it would be great to see you.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD A number of you have supported OCC in the past. Unfortunately, there will be no weekend ‘shoebox extravaganza!’ this year, nor will we be collecting items for shoeboxes as we have done in previous years – due to a lack of volunteers concerned about COVID. This is a great disappointment to so many of us. However, there is still an opportunity for you to pack a shoebox online. The cost is £20 including postage. More details can be found here https://shoeboxonline.samaritans-purse.org.uk/
As you know, I have a couple of events planned in December – tickets are available!
LIVE AT EMMANUEL: LAUREN HOUSLEY I’m delighted to welcome back and Lauren Housley and her fabulous band, to play one of the last gigs of the year at Emmanuel Church, Billericay at 7.00 pm on Sunday 19 December 2021 and I can guarantee that we’re in for an outstanding evening of live music.
THE PANTALOONS: HUMBUGGED (A CHRISTMAS CAROL PART II) I’m delighted to welcome the marvellous, madcap and crazily inventive Pantaloons Theatre Company back to Billericay on Thursday 23 December 2021 to perform a brand new adventure that’s part supernatural time-travel heist, part seasonal sequel …
HOUSE GIGS AT BILLERICAY RECTORY Hoping to reintroduce these in 2022 – though I’m not sure how many of you would be ready to enjoy a gig in such close proximity. Though I did attend a house gig recently and, as a courtesy to the health of others, attendees were asked to carry out a lateral flow test on the day. Seemed to work OK. I also notice that many venues are asking people to do this or show their NHS pass to confirm double vaccinations. Watch this space.
ALBUMS I’M LISTENING TO …
CONNOR SELBY: CONNOR SELBY
SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER: SAM FENDER
LIVE FROM THE TROUBADOR: GLEN CAMPBELL
RIDING ON THE TIDE OF LOVE: DEACON BLUE
ONE ON ONE: PAUL CARRACK
EASIER THAN FALLING: ANNA CORCORAN
THE WANDERING HEARTS: THE WANDERING HEARTS
BETTER IN TIME: BOBBY BAZINI
TRAILS: ROSEANNE RAID
STAND FOR MYSELF: YOLA
RUN HOME SLOW: THE TESKEY BROTHERS
ALL MY SWIM: FAELAND
NORTHERN SHORES & STORIES: ELIZABETH & JAMESON
THE GENTLE SIDE OF JOHN COLTRANE: JOHN COLTRANE
Thank you for helping to keep music (and theatre) live in Billericay. Being an independent promoter isn’t easy nowadays, with more and more venues closing down, I, along the artists who have appeared, really appreciate your support.
Do keep your eyes on my website revpacman.com for other upcoming events alongside some interesting (honestly) articles to read!
Don’t forget I’m always happy to catch up for a coffee/beer/curry!
Be safe and be blessed