Music City: eight day celebration of St Albans music starts

Music City: eight day celebration of St Albans music starts

Music City: eight day celebration of St Albans music starts

First published in News
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Music City 2014 kicked off on Saturday marking the beginning of an eight day celebration of the St Albans music scene and all it has to offer.

The gig took place at The Pioneer Club in Harpenden Road - an iconic venue that has been at the heart of the city's music scene for more than 50 years.

The Pioneer witnessed the first ever gigs by bands such as The Zombies and Enter Shikari, both going on to achieve major international acclaim.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Jim Rodford by Gerry Driver Photography

The Saturday launch gig set out to encompass all that is good about the city’s music scene, covering all aspects of contemporary music, with old and young bands performances attracting hundreds of visitors.

The gig saw the return of the biggest band of the day in St Albans, The Bluetones, a skiffle outfit formed by Jim Rodford and his mates from The Pioneer Club.

Reunited for the first time since 1961 three of the original members Bill Bennett, Andy Jenner and Chris Davies appeared in a special one-off performance as The Rodford Files to mark the great history of the club that has helped shape him and so many other young artists

Visitors also enjoyed performances from Aja, a young singer songwriter, Branded Jacks, an acoustic three piece , Dylan, a young rap artist, Harpenden based rock band Godfrey,  TwosixOnes, a melodic alternative to heavier bands on the circuit, urban and soul act April Blue and evening headliners, Buzzcut.

On Sunday hundreds gathered to hear a talk from Jim, who told the audience about his own musical experiences and the St Albans music scene, also speaking with great affection for Pioneer, where, in his own words, it all started.

Andy Kilvington, Pioneer volunteer said: "Apart from another superb set of live music courtesy of The Rodford Files, it was the return of three members of The Bluetones, Jim’s first band, that stole the show.

"To put this in context, to get three members from the old band back together in itself was something remarkable.

"The fact none had ever played together in this format and were returning to the stage for the first time in over 50 years even more so, but given that Andy, Bill and Chris travelled in from Norfolk, Lanzarote and Germany just to celebrate Pioneer’s special day is something that will go down as another defining moment in the history of the charity.

"It emphasises just how important this great venue is in the history of the St Albans music scene."

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