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Meraki Festival 23-25 AUG 2019 St Albans, Hertfordshire Buy Tickets
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2018 Artist: 10cc

2018 Artist: 10cc

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Among the most inventive and influential bands in the history of popular music, 10cc are one of the very few acts to have achieved commercial, critical and creative success in equal measure. Testament to their ongoing appeal, the band can count a generation straddling array of fellow artists, everyone from Chrissie Hynde to The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie and Axl Rose to Sophie Ellis Bextor, among their many millions of fans.

I’m Not In Love, co-written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, features prominently in the soundtrack to the 2014 blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $635 million in its first two months in US cinemas and spawned a No 1 album. Meanwhile, a key element of the soundtrack to 2010’s Facebook feature film The Social Network is Dreadlock Holiday, which is also the Sky Sports cricket reports theme in Australia.

10cc has sold more than 30 million albums around the world and the band’s longevity is testament to their timeless songs, and reflecting Gouldman’s status as one of the world’s leading songwriters, he was inducted into America’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York in June. Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Elton John and Sting.

The band continues to traverse the globe and play countries as disparate as Iceland and South Africa, Latvia and Japan, as well as across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the US. Gouldman attributes 10cc’s lasting appeal to the quality and individuality of the band’s songs. “They don’t seem to date; they are original, we never followed any trend we simple wrote for our own pleasure. The fact that the songs are being played as often on the radio today as they ever were shows how true that is,” he says.

10cc ruled the pop world at a time – the 1970s – when the charts were dominated by some of the most creative and colourful artistes in pop history. Unlike David Bowie, Queen, Elton John or Rod Stewart – all of whom they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with for a decade – 10cc’s energies were not centred on image or celebrity-status, but on creating highly sophisticated rock masterworks with mainstream appeal.

Early influences on the band included The Beatles and the Beach Boys, but their palate proved wide. Says Gouldman: “For me it was people like Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jimmy Webb, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. Eric [Stewart] was more rock ’n’ roll, the blues and R&B; while Kevin [Godley] and Lol [Creme] were into more artistic and avant-garde acts including Jacques Brel. It’s what happened when we put all those things together that made 10cc.”

The result was some of the greatest pop records of the 20th Century. From breakthrough hit Donna in 1972 to their final No 1, Dreadlock Holiday in 1978, via landmark releases including 1975 worldwide hit I’m Not In Love, 10cc stood for the kind of heightened pop sensibility achieved only by the very greatest music practitioners. As Rolling Stone magazine put it in 1975, ‘There is more going on in one 10cc song than on the last ten Yes albums.’

Don Airey & Friends

Don Airey & Friends

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Don Airey

Don has toured with the great and the good and had a box seat on some of the most amazing events of rock history.

Don Airey is nothing if not prolific. Though currently known as a member of Deep Purple, his keyboard work can be heard on over three hundred albums, placing him among the most recorded players of all time. And this quality of output comes, crucially, with a true seal of quality. Don has toured with the great and the good and had a box seat on some of the most amazing events of rock history.

Born in Sunderland, Airey learned classical piano from the age of three, got his hands on a Hammond organ as a teenager and never looked back, studying at both the respected Nottingham University and then the Royal Manchester Conservatoire.

His first stint with a major rock act came in ‘74 with Cozy Powell’s Hammer, before joining Jon Hisemen and Gary Moore in the fusion outfit Colosseum II.

“Working with Jon Hiseman was an extremely formative experience and the live shows with 22 year old Gary in full cry, were unforgettable for the audience – I still get people coming up to say hello who were at one of the shows.”

Don performed on the Black Sabbath album ’Never Say Die’,”they were the nicest bunch of people I ever worked with – Tony was awe inspiring, Ozzy hilarious” but then, in 1978, he teamed up once more with Cozy Powell, but also Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover in Rainbow. He enjoyed huge success over three years. “Playing in Japan was like being in the Beatles – Graham Bonnet and I had to run for our lives in a shopping arcade pursued by a vast posse of young ladies.”

The next four years were spent with Ozzy Osbourne – Don, after all, had created the keyboard intro to the seminal track ‘Mr. Crowley’ on the ’Blizzard of Oz’ album and played all of the keyboard parts on the ‘Bark At The Moon’ album. “Being with Ozzys band was an experience that made me proud to be there, but I wouldn’t want to go through it again.”

During the 1980s Don undertook session work for many artists, most notably on Gary Moore’s ‘Out In The Fields’ album and Whitesnake’s multi-platinum selling ’1987’. Jethro Tull invited him out touring with them. This was followed the following year by the release of Don’s first solo album ‘K2’. Returning to work with Gary Moore between 1989 and 1991, playing keyboards of course but also as arranger, Don started work on the acclaimed ‘Still Got The Blues’ project. “This album, to our surprise became the biggest selling blues album ever, just reward for the dues Gary paid over the years”

A family illness meant that Don stepped away from music between 1992 and 1995 but, returning the following years, he put in stints for ELO, Uli Jon Roth, Graham Bonnet, Colin Blunstone, Judas Priest, Tony Iommi, Company of Snakes and – remarkably – as Musical Director [though he also arranged and performed on the track] even helped Katrina and the Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997. “The best thing about that evening was Terry Wogan buying me a pint of Guinness afterwards. “

However, it was in 2001 that the opportunity to join Deep Purple came along. Don stood in – at a day’s notice – for Jon Lord ahead of Deep Purple’s summer tour. “There was one brief run through with Steve Morse in a hotel room then out on stage in front of 28,000 people at Skanderberg.” When Jon then announced his retirement, Don was delighted to join the band full time and, hundreds of shows and three studio albums later, remains with them. “The success of the album ‘Now What?!’ in 2013, has been one of the most notable things to happen to me. Long may I continue.”

Downtime from Deep Purple is limited, however, in 2007 Don released his second solo album, ’Light in the Sky’. This was followed in 2011 by ‘All Out’, again through Mascot Records and followed it up with ‘Keyed Up’ in 2014. “I’ve tried on this new album to refine all I have learnt in the last decade with Purple, viz to capture the sound of Lorenz Hammond’s brainchild roaring.”

The Kondoors

The Kondoors

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The Kondoors

Take two great voices – hers, warm, rich and soulful – his, heartfelt and bittersweet… mix together and stand well back. Jess Greenfield and Gavin Conder became a couple well before they became a duo. They first met twelve years ago, but only stumbled on their unique musical chemistry much later on. Both had already established themselves as must-see live performers by the time they met, supporting a roll call of big names, including Brian Adams, Imelda May, Rod Stewart, Rudimental, Professor Green, Take That and Sam Smith.

Both had also long been writing and recording their own material, drawing on a host of influences from Sam Cooke, Connor Reeves and Marvin Gaye (Gav) to Dusty Springfield and Tina Turner (Jess). It was only when they decided to record Jess’s song, Forgiveness, singing together for the first time, that they discovered the spine-tingling effect of their voices combined. Producer Steve Brown (Rumer and Laura M’vula) stepped in to take their raw, organic sound to the next level – and the breathtaking vocal personality of The Kondoors was born.

Pearl Handled Revolver

Pearl Handled Revolver

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Pearl Handled Revolver

Pearl Handled Revolver take the sound of 60’s jam-infused psychedelic blues rock and breathe new life into a classic format. Their desire to experiment mean the results are never predictable. Whether it be in concert or on album, an encounter with Pearl Handled Revolver will leave you dancing to a new set of tunes that you knew existed, but had never dared to seek out before.

‘People often deride the blues as static, but this psychedelic stew of rock and kaleidoscopic blues shows the medium can be progressive if bands sprinkle invention on it as well as this British outfit do.’ – Powerplay Magazine

Smiley and the underclass

Smiley and the underclass

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Smiley & The Underclass

Smiley & The Underclass are a punky reggae explosion from London Town. Think Bob Dylan meets The Clash and King Tubby in a dark alley with baseball bats. Razor-sharp guitars collide with intense, climate-conscious lyrics and melodies to move your mind, soul, body and feet. With their new album: “REBELS OUT THERE” out now (recorded with Mick Jones of The Clash and legendary UK Reggae producer Nick Manasseh), Smiley & The Underclass are quickly becoming the hottest rebel sound in the UK.

The revolution is here. All you have to do is tune in…

Emma McGrath

Emma McGrath

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Emma McGrath

Emma McGrath is an 18 year old singer-songwriter hailing from Harpenden. Writing her own material since 2013,she self-released her first EP, The Judgement, in November 2014. This was followed up in December 2015 with the self-released single ‘Sit With Me’, which caught the attention of key media including BBC Introducing, who awarded it Track Of The Week twice and Radio 2, where it received plays from both Dermot O’Leary and Bob Harris. Topping off a great 2015, Emma was awarded The PRS Foundation's Lynsey de Paul prize. 


The following 18 months saw Emma build up a close network of writers who helped to develop her craft and hone her sound. Recognising this, in May 2017, The PRS Foundation awarded Emma a 'Women Make Music' grant for the development and subsequent release of a min- album. Recorded with several exciting producers (including Grammy Award-winner Jimmy Hogarth and Brit School alumni Jackson), the first single 'Love You Better’ was self-released via AWAL in February and has garnered the attention of the public and record industry alike. ‘Silent Minds’, Emma’s sophomore EP, was released on 13 April 2018 to high critical acclaim.
Work on the follow-up EP is already underway and planned for release later this year.

Andrew James Johnson

Andrew James Johnson

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Andrew James Johnson

Andrew James Johnson is a poet of the piano. A composer of original and contemporary piano music who performs either solo or with a live string orchestra, his music is cinematic, romantic, captivating and enchanting – each piece taking the listener on a personal journey of contemplation.

Hailing from the city of Birmingham, Andrew became engrossed in the scores of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach from an early age. Having organically discovered a love for classical music, he immersed himself in the art form and soon began to compose his own works for piano before quickly progressed to orchestral works under the tutelage of his college professors. He completed a BA at the London College of Music, receiving a double first in both Music Technology and Composition.

Andrew's debut album 'Winter's Heart' has been featured on several curated playlists on both Spotify (Peaceful Piano) and Apple Music (Piano Chill, Melancholy Piano) and has received over 1 million streams to date. He has appeared many times on Classic FM radio with live streamed performances at the Global Radio headquarters in Leicester Square, London, and recently at the Blüthner piano centre, where Andrew played an exclusive set for the worldwide festival 'Piano Day'. This attracted the attention of The Evening Standard newspaper, London’s most widely read publication, with an interview and live performance for their Facebook page.

Andrew continues to devote himself to live performances with concerts around the UK and EU between now and the end of 2018, leading up to his next album, Parallel Universe.

Stables

Stables

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Stables

Stables was formed in January 2016 during late night drinks between Matthew Lowe and Daniel Trenholme in London. Matthew was working on a new project idea at the time and, after playing through what was to become their first single, ‘Steam’, at 5 am, the duo was born, and quickly went public four months later. ‘Beyond Brushes’ (their debut album) was released to critical acclaim just nine months later, and was championed by the likes of BBC’s Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson, and BBC6 Recommends, soon establishing them firmly on the circuit, with a growing fan base.

Just a month after the release, Matthew and Daniel embarked on their first UK headline tour, followed by a small French headline. Stables put emphasis on ‘energy’ when playing live; switching instruments and producing the sound of a full band, with big harmonies and varied styles. Matthew says; ‘I always wanted to create a simple sound that could then be taken further when needed, from a small folk club, to a large festival stage’. Stables have gone on to tour the UK, performing at major festivals (including Glastonbury), and completed a full European headline tour in Autumn 2017.

Stables’ second album, ‘Reverie’, landed at the end of February 2018, and has been widely acknowledged as a move beyond their debut. ‘We’re incredibly proud of this record and can’t wait for people to hear it’. Matthew calls it an ‘almost break up album’ that he wrote whilst in a ‘period of relationship unrest, which resolved during the process - this is the album that we always wanted to release when we first imagined Stables. We love our debut, but this feels like the sound we always set out to create’.

April Blue

April Blue
April Blue

APRIL BLUE’s songs of life, lust and loneliness spring from a bed of brooding electronic soundscapes. Ozz LP’s soulful vocals drive the music through scenes of lullaby and desperation, finding their perfect compliment in the deep rhymes of rapper Ian Morcher.
Meanwhile, the sultry grooves of the band masterfully walk the line between laid back sleaze and gritty Rock. They've earned recognition as the ‘Best Pop Artist’ at the NMG awards and ‘Track of the Week’ at BBC Introducing. APRIL BLUE are a Rock band with an R&B heart. Let yourself be seduced.

Jacket

Jacket

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Jack Hobbs

Jack Hobbs is a truly versatile talent. He’s released albums, produced original music for performing artists, written hundreds of songs, engineered established shows, composed numerous original scores, shot and edited music videos and set up his own record label – Jacket Records. Jack will be appearing at Meraki showcasing his very brand of engaging, intimate acoustic music.

DubMarta

DubMarta

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DubMarta

DubMarta is a bass player and vocalist performing an explosive mix of reggae, dub and soul with a distinctive and original sound. Backed by a five-piece band, DubMarta has supported the likes of Gentleman’s Dub Club in some of the best music venues across the UK and Europe. Combining lively performance, contemporary production and low-key jazzy vocals, DubMarta delivers heartfelt reggae grooves throughout Europe’s festival circuit, appearing at Boomtown Fair, One Love and Rototom SunSplash, Europe’s biggest reggae festival.

DubMarta has a history of collaboration with an array of well-known reggae artists and producers, including Earl 16, Dennis Alcapone, Earl Zero, Ranking Joe, Dougie Conscious, Madaski (Africa Unite/The Dub Sync) and Neil Perch (Zion Train). Her first release, ‘Forward’, produced by the Deep Root/Universal Egg label on 7” vinyl, is a regular sound system supplement. After the release of the EP ‘Love Warrior’, her new singles singles – ‘Revolution’ and 'This is My Home' are poised to take their place on a full-length album coming soon.

August Child

August Child

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August Child

August Child is an alternative singer-songwriter based in East London, who combines intricate guitar with intimate lyrics, for stirring and powerful live performances. Hailing from St Albans, Mike Pickering developed his sound listening to artists such as Damien Rice, Cat Stevens and Elliott Smith, having now found a distinctive musical aesthetic of his own.

Following the release of his 2015 debut track ‘Blind’ and subsequent EP Feral Bliss, August Child was quickly featured by Right Chord Music, Stereofox and BBC Introducing, playing as a live featured artist for the latter.

August Child is a seasoned performer on the London scene, drawing audiences to acoustic showcases and headline performances alike, whilst becoming a regular favourite at Sofar Sounds events. In October 2017, he embarked on his first tour abroad in Italy, with shows in Milan, Turin and Asti, and an exclusive performance at _resetfestival.

August Child’s new EP, Burn For The Tide, was released on 23 February 2018 by renowned indie label Fierce Panda Records. Recorded at Old Street’s Fortress Studios with Night Games mastermind Paul Cousins, the new tracks exhibit an evolution and maturity to his songwriting.

“Simple guitar and layered voice arrangement draws you in close and every note and every word becomes a focus.” – Right Chord Music

Joel Gardner

Joel Gardner

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A gifted guitarist and prolific songwriter, Joel Gardner is a refreshingly unique artist with a diverse palette of inspired, original songs. He uses all parts of the guitar to create melodic, catchy music with powerful, thought-provoking lyrics. His songs simply explode with positive energy. Performing and touring extensively over two continents since 2015; his live performances vary from emotive and intimate at his solo shows to uplifting and energetic with his band behind him. His latest has EP sold worldwide and received rave reviews.

Originally from Wilmslow in Cheshire, Joel’s music has won him a solid fan base and recognition from big names, with Tanglewood Guitars regularly promoting his work as an official Tanglewood Artist. In 2016, Joel performed a session on BBC Radio Manchester and is regularly played on various other local radio stations. In 2017, he toured the UK three times, performing alongside established artists such as Jamie Lawson, Brian Kennedy and Toss The Feathers; stunning crowds as far apart as Perth and Brighton. He released his popular EP ‘The Idea’ with a sold out show at Manchester’s Gullivers. He made his first appearances on the festival circuit at the Latitude and Tramlines Festivals.

Joelgardner.co.uk

Electric Umbrella

Electric Umbrella

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Electric Umbrella

A collaboration of professional musicians and adults with learning disabilities; writing, experiencing and performing music at small pubs, big festivals, live radio and everything in between. We believe in a world where there is no ‘us and them’, and are on a mission to challenge people to think differently about learning disabilities.

Meeting weekly in Rickmansworth, Hemel Hempstead and Watford (Hertfordshire) Electric Umbrella offer 60 adults with learning disabilities countless opportunities to get on stage alongside professional musicians and show the public at large what they CAN do. We release records, put on big shows in big theatres, host our own summer festival 'Umbrellafest', play other peoples events, tour with our Little Yellow Theatre, host corporate team building days, present at conferences, have gigged too many times to count (well over 100 times since we began!), and even written our own musical.

We are challenging the perception of people with learning disabilities with thousands of people each year. Co-creation and a ‘can do’ attitude is at the very heart of what Electric Umbrella is all about.

Surrender The Night

Surrender The Night
Surrender The Night

Surrender The Night are an alternative / indie rock band from St Albans who have been playing together for over three years and have been regularly gigging for almost a year. The lineup features Zack Rowe is on lead vocals and rhythm guitar / bass guitar, Jacob Holmes on backing vocals and keyboard, Lucas Horner on lead guitar / bass guitar and Chris Gurney on drums.

Rock Choir

Rock Choir
Rock Choir

Rock Choir is the pioneering contemporary choir of the UK and remains unique, with over 27,000 members participating in over 400 local communities. At an impressive 150-strong, local Rock Choir members from St. Albans, Hertford and Watford will take to the stage each day to perform a selection of favourites from the decades.

Hits such as Rather Be, A little Respect, California Dreamin,’ Human and Don’t Leave Me This Way, are guaranteed to get the audience on their feet. Rock Choir offers the British public an alternative experience to the traditional classical or community choir and a new approach to performance and entertainment. Its uplifting ethos of fun, friendship and community spirit is a huge part of its attraction.

Partners

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