I hope these musings find you keeping well. Whilst we managed to exit the COVID pandemic and begin to living with COVID, in the UK at least, we find ourselves faced with a greater threat to our wellbeing – the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a European War.
We continue to hear heart-breaking stories which remind us once again of the destructive nature of war: on communities, families, and nations. These are concerning times for all of us. With that in mind, I’ve put together a page of prayers for Ukraine and World Peace PRAYERS FOR THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE
SOME OF THE GIGS I’VE ATTENDED RECENTLY
THE LINDISFARNE STORY: 40 Years of Fog It was fantastic to have over 190 of you present at the Lindisfarne Story event in April. I thought it might be a quite self-indulgent event, but it proved to be quite the opposite. Ray and Billy loved the atmosphere and I find it quite amusing that two Geordies received a standing ovation in Billericay. They will certainly come again and I’m in touch with Billy about an event in 2023 with Box Fox. Watch this space!
SAM OUTLAW I went to Went to a fabulous Sam Outlaw gig (ably supported by Ruthie Collins) at the Omeara in March (a really quirky venue near to Borough Market). Sam played (in my view) a perfect set list and gave us 100 mins of great entertainment – including 3 songs amongst the crowd. The highlight for me, as always, was ‘Tenderheart’ (my song of the year in 2017) followed by ‘Here on a mission.’ The final song ‘A country love song’ was a bit of a heartbreaker! Loved the acoustic version of songs from his latest album – wonder if Sam will release an acoustic version of the album?
MORGANWAY & DAN RAZA What a night to kick off the 2022 season at the Little Rabbit Barn. I’ve not heard Dan Raza before but loved his quirky style and lyrics. His albums are good too! Morganway showed us why they are the BCMA band of the year. They have a very polished live act and the new song were as good as the oldies! There’s no doubt that the pandemic wasn’t kind to Marganway but their star is surely on the rise and perhaps 2022 will be their year. Be sure to look out for them on the road.
RUMOURS OF FLEETWOOD MAC February 1977 saw the release of Fleetwood Mac’s seminal album ‘Rumours.’ An album most people either own or have listened to. I can’t believe I’ve been listening to this for 45 years and I was a young 15 year old when I first heard it – in the days we used to listen to albums all the way through! A few weeks ago I went to see ‘Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac’ (a band well worth checking out – introduced by Mick Fleetwood no less) who performed the album straight through. It sounded as fresh now as it did then and every song is a classic!
ASHLEY McBRYDE I’ve been shouting for Ashley for a few years now and saw her at the Roundhouse a few weeks ago. The introduction said it all: “It’s good to see you again … my name is Ashley, these are my guys and we’re going to play a whole load of songs we made up.” It was quite a wall of sound and, at times, you wouldn’t know you were attending a CMA award winner’s gig. A pedal steel or fiddle would have changed the dynamic a little rather than having three guitars! Her third album is much heavier than the first two and this showed. To me, her acoustic set in the middle was the best. Really enjoyed support artist, Austin Jenckes, who was given a very generous 45 mins.
Do support your favourite artists if you can by going to see them live or buying / downloading their music and please support the artists who play in Billericay in 2022 – it is a lifeline for them and helps us to support charities from the proceeds. Ticket sales are pretty low at the moment – I’m hoping that’s because you haven’t got around to booking just yet!
GIG IN THE GARDEN 2022 My eleventh annual Gig in the Garden takes place on Sunday 17 July 2022. We have three great artists to enjoy with a mixture of Blues/Rock/Soul/Americana and classic songs as we welcome to Billericay the fabulous Connor Selby and his band, supported by (and back by popular demand) the wonderful Joe Slater and upcoming artist Gen Johnson. It really is an extremely talented line up.
THE PANTALOONS: THE WAR OF THE WORLDS I’m delighted to welcome the marvellous, madcap and crazily inventive Pantaloons Theatre Company back to Billericay to perform their own twist on the H.G. Wells science fiction classic ‘The War of the Worlds’ in the Rectory Garden on Sunday 7 August 2022.
LIVE AT EMMANUEL: RICKY ROSS It goes without saying that I’m beyond excited to be able to announce that Ricky (or BillerRicky as he described himself in November 2017) will once again play in the intimate surroundings of Emmanuel Church, Billericay on Tuesday 11 October 2022 to finish off the tour. Hannah White has just been added as support for this tour.
HOUSE GIG: KEITH JAMES I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have been able to arrange for folk legend Keith James to play, once again, at Billericay Rectory on Friday 21 October 2022. Keith will play an evening of Yusuf-Cat Steven’s songs. This is an amazing opportunity to experience this finely tuned artist perform a masterclass of sublimely beautiful, timeless and insightful music.
THE PANTALOONS: GREAT EXPECTATIONS Unfortunately the event planned for April had to be postponed due to a lack of ticket sales. I’m hoping this will not be the case for the new date on Sunday 30 October 2022. The Pantaloons really are marvellous, madcap and crazily inventive as they perform their own twist on Charles Dickens’ masterpiece ‘Great Expectations’ in Emmanuel Church, Billericay
GRAHAM KENDRICK We have Graham and his band returning to play at Emmanuel on Sunday 11 December. More details nearer the time but do mark the date in your diary.
HOUSE GIGS AT BILLERICAY RECTORY I’m hoping to arrange a couple of House Gigs in the not too distant future, I’ve no shortage of artists who want to play, it’s a case of whether people will be comfortable about packing into my lounge as they did pre-COVID. Whatever happens, there’s no doubt that numbers will be lower and ticket prices will be higher!
PLEASE NOTE All my events are listening events! Be sure to read Shhh … there’s a band playing!
BILLERICAY GAZETTE I was interviewed a few weeks ago about my passion for music promotion and there is a two page spread in this weeks newspaper. The online version is here (with a few more piccies) or you can download the PDF of the spread if you’re interested in reading all about it! Billericay Gazette March 2022
WHO AM I LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
Trombone Shorty Lifted
Bonnie Raitt Just Like That
Post Malone Hollywood’s Bleeding
Leonard Cohen The Best Of
Dan Raza Two
Sam Outlaw Popular Mechanics
Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Ce Ce Winans Believe For It
For King & Country What Are We Waiting For?
Luka Bloom Innocence
Elles Bailey Shining In The Half Light
Borderline Music Co Precious Souls
Keb Mo Good To Be
EMMANUEL CHURCH We are pretty much fully open now and continue to livestream every Sunday at 10.30 am on YouTube.
Do keep your eyes on my website revpacman.com for other upcoming events alongside some interesting (honestly) articles to read! I’m just over 121,000 hits, which is amazing in just over 4.5 years of setting this up.
PRAYERS FOR THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE These are updated regularly. Do let me have any resources you have found helpful
MONEY SAVING TIPS These are challenging times for all of us with the increase in fuel and utilities, to name but a few. The following money saving tips from Good Housekeeping should enable all of us to save a few pennies along the way.
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.
Don’t forget I’m always happy to catch up for a coffee / beer / curry!
Contact me on 01277 658055, email email@example.com or via Twitter or Facebook.
Be safe and be blessed