LitFest Towers is a place of varying musical talents: we have an accomplished classical pianist (unverified), a ‘noisy’ percussionist, a grade 1 trombonist and an out-of-tune guitarist. Don’t worry, we’re not going to make a band anytime soon.
But what we lack in musicianship, we make up for in musical and literary taste. That’s why we’re delighted that this year’s festival programme is bursting with top musicians and music writers who will be talking about their (and our) passion – and some great live music as well.
Our roving Budvar Tent will not only provide much-needed refreshment to festival-goers on Saturday (William Patten School) and Sunday (Town Hall), but also a brilliant line-up of live music performances. You’ll be able to enjoy a drink and tap your toes to the likes of John Moore (Jesus & Mary Chain, Black Box Recorder), Pete Astor (The Weather Prophets) and Andy Diagram (Dislocation Dance, James).
On Saturday our musical programme tunes up with Mark Ellen & Danny Kelly (1pm, Abney Hall – £5), who will regale us with backstage anecdotes from their eventful careers in music journalism. Later Richard King (3.30pm, Library Gallery – £5) will be talking about his book Original Rockers, which recounts his years working at the legendary Revolver record shop in Bristol in its early 90s glory days. Tracey Thorn (5pm, Abney Hall – £8) will also take to the stage, discussing her musical career, the art of singing and her memoir, Naked at the Albert Hall.
On Sunday Rock Biographies (4pm, Library Gallery – £5) brings together biographers Mick Houghton, Marcus O’Dair and Chris Salewicz to reveal the delights and dangers of writing about the turbulent lives of music’s biggest stars. At Juke Box Fury (6pm, Town Hall – £6) ‘World’s Coolest Librarian’ and former Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon will grill music writers Stevie Chick, David Stubbs, Caroline Sullivan and Cathi Unsworth on the tracks that inspired them . With their professional reputations on the line, they’ll have to persuade the JBF jury that it’s a Hit rather than a Miss.
So with all these great acts on the bill, we like to think of the Stoke Newington Literary Festival as an alternative to Glastonbury for the curious, the well-read and the borborosophobic*.
* Scared of mud.
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