Canterbury Festival is looming – huzzah – and what better way to get into it than a quadruple of fantastic musical performances from some of the most distinct voices in the industry. Well if that’s tickled your taste buds, strap in because here we go!
The Feeling kick us off on Sunday, October 21st, visiting the Marlowe as part of their first tour in two years; a rock band from Horsham, the five members are celebrating 23 years together and 12 since their million-selling album Twelve Stops and Home.
Known for the guitar and piano led sounds, the BRIT nominated artists have built up a strong following over the course of their career thanks to the ferociously infectious songs that get you bopping along to their life-affirming and, sometimes, life-questioning tunes.
A modern day Scissor Sisters / Supertramp combination, their live shows are not to be missed and, having attended myself, there is the potential that Stephen Fry will be in attendance so get down there and let your guilty pleasure free!
Onto Thursday we go and the UK’s most successful country music act are in town; The Shires, having made their mark across both sides of the Atlantic, are set to play in front of a packed Marlowe Theatre in their fifth year of partnership.
The first ever English country act to be signed to a major Nashville label, Universal Music Group Nashville, The Shires have gone straight to the heart of country music and blown it apart – their vocalisation and gentle harmonies are on another world and then the switch to up-tempo beats and pop elements bleeding through their music keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, along with their unqiue vocal ability, have released three Top 10 albums with the UK Charts and are embarking on the third tour of their career; having scooped the Jeff Walker Global Artist Award last year from the Country Music Association, these guys are pretty darn good at what they do so make sure you don’t miss it.
The third instalment of the week comes on Friday with Sir Bryne Terfel, one of the foremost voices of our generation, bringing his unmistakeable charisma to the Marlowe theatre alongside his commanding stage presence.
The Welsh bass-barritone is compelling his recital, with a heavy, booming voice that communicates with audiences in the most intimate ways; a sweetheart of the nation for nearly thirty years, the Grammy Award winning artist is one of the best in the world when it comes to opera and to have him as part of Canterbury Festival is a landmark moment.
Accompanied by Annabel Thwaite, on piano, the concert will feature works from Schumann and Schubert alongside Terfel’s personal selection of folk and traditional songs from across the United Kingdom – a man with a heart as big as his reputation and a voice as powerful as his reputation, Sir Bryn promises a spectacle complete with drama, passion and supreme vocals.
The final artist to grace the stage of the Marlowe Theatre, as part of Canterbury Festival, is the wonderful Sophie Ellis-Bextor who sings as beautifully as she danced in Strictly Come Dancing.
The Brit Award nominated singer shot to fame at the turn of the decade – when vinyl was still a thing – with Groovejet, released in August of 2000, and the 39 year old has been producing some of Britain’s most distinguishable songs ever since.
Her ice-cool, cut-glass vocals allow for a sophisticated air to her performances with gritty lyrics really packing a punch of their. Inevitably immortalised through “Murder on the Dancefloor”, Europe’s most played song of 2002, the Hounslow-singer recently released orchestral versions of her biggest hits and, boy, were they brilliant.
You simply cannot turn down any opportunity to see Ellis-Bextor, especially when she’s on home soil so you’d be a fool not to go.