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Big Blues Festival Countdown

It’s nearly that time of year…one of The Atkinson’s favourite events returns with a stronger than ever line up.

 The Big Blues Festival is now in its fourth year and once again it promises to be a weekend of great music, great food,  great ale and great fun as we celebrate what rock, rhythm and blues has to offer!

 The line-up is as big as it is bold and presents music that is desperate to be heard, with headliners  DrFeelgood and  Ian  Siegal, it’s a weekend you really don’t want to miss!

 Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s, Dr Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in the U.K. charts.

 Dr Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Milk and Alcohol, Roxette, Back in the Night, Down at the Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later Alligator – which gave the group their first gold record.

 The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, both 29 years in the band and Steve Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 23 years. Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999 after the tragic death of Lee Brilleaux. The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World and enjoy a loyal following at home and abroad.

They are supported by George Shovlin and George Lamb the winners of 2017 Little Blues Acoustic Stage.

 Ian Siegal needs no introduction; he’s a force within the UK blues scene winning countless awards. In more than a quarter century of touring Ian Siegal’s mission statement has barely changed: songs that are real, shows that resonate, vocals served raw. Today he is considered by many to be the most compelling British blues artiste since the great names of the sixties.

 In 2018 he will be touring a new album, his first studio recording of new songs in six years. Produced by American Jimbo Mathus, it is classic Siegal: full of the dark and light, clever word play and rough-hewn voicebox he is known for. It also marks the first studio recording with the band he hooked up with in 2013. Frequent touring has evolved a distinctive sound featuring Dusty Ciggaar’s tex-mex infused guitar licks. We are delighted to have him headlining the Saturday night of our 2018 Big Blues Festival.

 Xander and the Peace Pirates are a testament to musical integrity and personal strength. Combining soul, blues and rock, their pervasive blend of inspired song writing and memorable performances has already seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.

 Brothers Keith and Stu Xander were discovered on YouTube by Gibson Brands CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, and during their subsequent performances for the company at numerous international events from LA to Dubai, the band caught the attention of not just an ever-growing collective of fans but also industry legends such as Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling Stones) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

 Defying all expectations, lead singer and guitarist Keith Xander was born without a right arm below the elbow and plays guitar using a prosthesis and hook with a pick attached at the end. Although many who have seen Keith play believe him to be an extraordinary guitarist despite of his falsely perceived ‘disability’, he is a virtuoso musician in his own right and his playing rivals the best in the industry. The band established themselves as a live-performance juggernaut.

 Sam Kelly’s Station House has been in the business more than 40 years . His “Station House” band has been featuring on the U.K. music scene for many years. A “groove” band with dancing very much in mind. Their musical catalogue includes Johnny Guitar Watson, Keb Mo, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Gary Moore, Stevie Wonder, Little Feat, to name but a few. The band’s unique sound is influenced by New Orleans second line, soul, jazz, calypso, reggae and British funk.

 With three ‘lead’ singers supported by percussionist and internationally acclaimed drummer, the result is an eclectic fusion of music with its roots firmly based in the blues.

 The UK blues sensation Rebecca Downes is fast establishing herself as one of the star attractions amongst the new vanguard of blues performers in the UK, with her unique and powerful voice, drawing influences ranging from Blues and Soul to Jazz and Rock.

 Tom C Walker will be on the road with his new 4-piece band. A finalist of the UK Blues Awards, in 2017 he released the Into Space EP with the single Sweet Angel, straight in the Top 20 in the IBBA Blues charts while selling thousands of copies world wide in the first few months of release.

 In July 2017 The Tom Walker Trio hit the road for Tom’s first headline UK tour, “The Into Space UK Tour,” quickly selling out the Birmingham show before playing before Mungo Gerry at the legendary Ealing Blues Festival.

 Big Blues Festival tickets are on sale now £48 festival ticket / £35 Saturday ticket / Headline gigs are available for Dr Feelgood and Ian Siegal £17 available online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/big-blues-festival-2018/ via the Box Office on 01704 533333 and over the counter during opening hours.

 Don’t forget the Blues Matters  Little Acoustic Stage entertaining everyone in the foyer on Saturday lineup includes;  Mojo Hand – 1.30-2.15pm, Michael Woods – 3.15 – 4pm, Rowland Jones – 5-5.45pm and Trevor ‘Babajack’ Stieger –  5.45-6.30pm.

 Join the mailing list online and stay up to date with the events, activities and exhibitions coming up at The Atkinson. Plus receive offers!   

Comedy Takes Centre Stage at The Atkinson this Season

Gary Delaney

Food, Murder and Brontë are just three of the subjects covered in The Atkinsons jam-packed comedy line-up this season! 

 Big names such as Dave Spikey, Gary Delaney return whilst Rob Newman makes his first appearance at the Southport venue. 

 Former Detective Sergeant Alfie Moore tells us all about Getting Away with Murder in his latest stand-up tour. Award- winning comedian George Egg (the Anarchist Cook) demonstrates more live cooking and hilarious comedy.

 Lipservice are back with the Brontë spoof Withering Looks and we have our very own Laugh out Loud Comedy Club bringing some of the very best stand-up to Southport.

LipService – Britain’s favourite literary lunatics are back with their cult Brontë spoof Withering Looks.

 In the 200th anniversary year of Emily’s birth, the classic comic duo Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, just couldn’t resist the urge to dust off their crinolines, wear flattering bonnets and sit at rained-lashed windows in a pale and decorative manner. Don’t miss the chance to share in the silliness too!

 Withering Looks on Friday 5 October takes an authentic look at the lives and works of the Brontë sisters, well, two of them actually, Anne’s just popped out for a cup of sugar. Who is the Brontë’s mysterious neighbour, Mr Moorcock of Ravaged Heath House? Do Lost Souls really wander the wild and heather clad moors? Who should Cathy marry? Heathcliff or David Niven? Plus, Manchester’s very own Mrs Gaskell drops by for tea and sympathy. Ages 10+ Tickets £15 adult / £10 under 16s.

 George Egg: DIY Chef comes direct from total sell out UK tours on Friday 19 October . A health scare sees George banned him from the family kitchen, but relocated to the garden shed his imagination and resourcefulness lead him to build an improvised kitchen there instead. During an inspiring and inventive evening of stand-up, live cooking and comedy lecture, George prepares a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner using the most unconventional of methods.

 It’s funny, inspiring and absurd in equal measure. Expect power tools, gardening equipment and office supplies to be re-purposed and abused. Expect lots of laughs. Expect to learn something new. And you get to taste the food at the end… at your own risk! Tickets £14 / £12 concessions

 On Saturday October 20 we experience first-hand how it feels to be part of planning ‘The Perfect Murder’. Everything you need to know from choosing a murder weapon to disposing of the body!

 The star of BBC Radio 4 comedy ‘It’s A Fair Cop’, takes you on a thrilling and interactive journey through the art and science of murder investigation.

 Enjoy Alfie’s trademark blend of humour, practical policing experience and detailed knowledge of the law as he answers the questions ‘What makes a murderer?’ and ‘Why do they caught….or not’?

 Alfie’s TV credits include BBC Comic Relief, Bizarre Crime (BBC3), Confessions of a Police Officer (Channel 4) and he recently joined the presenting team of Criminals Caught on Camera (Channel 5). Tickets are £14.

‘Offbeat, revealing and very funny’ – Daily Mail

 Dave Spikey is a much-loved household name, but did you know he worked in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words, “You’re really funny, you should be a comedian” and for some reason, he took them seriously!!

 From his appearance in Stairway to the Stars, to Phoenix Nights, The Royal Variety and Parkinson, this show looks back on his journey and celebrates his 30th anniversary of his comedy career. See the man himself on October 26, tickets £16.

 Stand up legend, best-selling novelist, Radio 4 Sony Award Winner Robert Newman attempts to piece together a philosophy for our troubled times in Robert Newman’s Total Eclipse of Descartes on Thursday 1 November.

 He sifts through 3000 years of thought: from Pythagoras to Artificial Intelligence by way of Pavlov’s dogs, Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees and Frankie Howerd’s trousers. Tickets £15 / £12 concession.

‘He is the funniest comedian I have ever seen…A passionate, chaotically brilliant comedian.’ – Sunday Times

  Gary Delaney is one of Britain’s leading one-liner comics returns to the road with another onslaught of lean, expertly crafted gaggery. A Mock The Week regular and recent star of the new Live At The Apollo series, Gary’s shows are renowned in the business for a near unrivalled volume of high-class gags. You should expect no different from this, when he brings Gary Delaney’s Gagsters Paradise to The Atkinson on Friday 30 November, tickets  £16. Please note Coolio will not be appearing.  

 On top of all this funny stuff is our regular monthly Laugh out Loud Comedy Club night. On the first Saturday of the month Damion Larkin is your host and brings three top comedians to Southport. A great night for a group looking for an alternative Christmas party! Tickets are £16.50 / doors £19 / £12.50 parties of 10+

To book your tickets for any of the shows please visit theatkinson.co.uk or call Box Office on 01704 533333.

Join our e-newsletter to find out the full programme of events and activities – just visit theatkinson.co.uk

Booking fees of £1 per ticket apply to online and telephone sales. There are no booking fees for counter sales.

Competition: Pen a poem to commemorate the end of WW1

A Sefton poetry competition to commemorate the centenary of World War One ending has been expanded due to its popularity.

As part of Sefton Libraries’ Beyond The War Memorials Project, schools across the borough have been asked to put pen to paper and create emotive poetry to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first World War.

However due to its popularity the competition is now being opened up to over 16s.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communtities and Housing, said: “During World War One two of the Great War poets; Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves spent time in Sefton, so it seemed a fitting way to mark the end of the centenary commemorations.

“We want all budding poets and writers to get their thinking caps on and compile emotive, thought provoking and fitting poetry for our Beyond The War Memorials project.

“Group entries are welcome too so put your heads together and get writing! I can’t wait to see what wonderful verses our residents will create.”

The competition will be split into two categories: 15 & under or 16 Plus.

Further details and to obtain an entry from for the competition email information.services@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 257 6401.

All 16 Plus entries must be submitted by 5pm on Friday September 21.

Robin Windsor: The Farwell Tour Comes to The Atkinson

One of the all-time favourite Strictly pro dancers  bids you farewell…

BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s all-time favourite professional, Robin Windsor, has decided to hang up his dancing shoes, after a long and successful career and he plans to go out with a bang!

Come and say goodbye to Robin on his last tour at The Atkinson on Thursday 15 November.

Robin, who was part of the hit TV show for five years, and whose celebrity partners included Patsy Kensit, Anita Dobson, Lisa Riley, and Deborah Meaden, is excited to create a show that will be action packed and energetic to match his personality!

Robin is no stranger to touring, having been involved in many shows over the years including Burn the Floor, on Broadway and the West End, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Keep Dancing, and most recently Dance to the Music, with former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff.

However, Windsor feels that now is the right time to concentrate on other things. One of which is visiting dance schools around the country, teaching people to dance because he says “Dancing is what makes people happy! My aim is to get the entire country up and dancing!”

 THE ALL FUN FAREWELL TOUR takes the popular dancer across the country, 29 shows over five weeks, and Robin says it will be “full of fun, cheeky chat, plenty of sparkles, and superb dancing!”

Tickets are £28 / £24 concessions and are available from The Atkinson by calling Box Office on 01704 53333 or by booking  online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/robin-windsor-farewell-tour/ or www.robinwindsortour.com

There are also a limited number of VIP tickets (priced at £48) available at most venues, where people can meet Robin before the show and have photo opportunities.

Visit the website theatkinson.co.uk and join our mailing list to keep up to date with the full programme of events coming to the venue soon.

Threshold Goes to the Seaside!

Southport is set to host the latest in a series of small outdoor culture festivals appearing across the Liverpool City Region. 

Grass-roots, multi-arts festival Threshold have teamed up with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson, Southport to deliver a free, family friendly outdoor mini-festival on Saturday, July 28, coinciding with the launch of Sefton Open 2018.

The event is one of the Independents Biennial’s five special commissions taking place during the visual arts festival, which runs until October 28 in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral and St Helens. The sister festival to Liverpool Biennial, it champions and supports emerging and grassroots art and artists on Merseyside.

The day of events by Threshold, including a mix of visual arts, performance, storytelling and music, will take place at the renowned Atkinson arts centre from 11am – 3pm.

The line-up of offerings, open to all, includes the following:

Interactive performance and theatre shows from ‘Funny Looking Kids: Comedy Club’ and Storytelling from the magically talented Gav Cross.

A visual arts programme including interactive live sculptural and drawing workshops, using live performances on the day for inspiration from: Pamela Sullivan (creator of detailed and fascinating installations); and Jazamin Sinclair (creator of satirical acerbic storyboard illustration series Illustrated Prosody).

Music entertainment will come from: ‘Operation Lightfoot’, a music and arts collaboration directed by composer Luke Moore; stand-out, powerful country rock & roll from Amber Stone; and folk-punk sounds with biting lyrics & harmonies from Jazamin Sinclair.

“Threshold has grown up in the creative boom of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle as a multi-arts festival, which is fiercely independent and inclusive-roots. We deliver quality above all from grass-roots, brilliantly talented artists.” Chris Herstad Carney, Threshold Festival Director.

“Working with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson is really close to our hearts. The main focus of the day, as with all Threshold events is to enrich people through art and music, but most importantly for it to be a fun experience for all!”
Jazamin Sinclair, Threshold Festival Visual Arts Curator.

Location: The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB.

Time: 11am-3pm

Entry: FREE

Threshold Festival: http://thresholdfestival.co.uk

The Atkinson: www.theatkinson.co.uk

Sefton Open 2018: www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/sefton-open-2018

Independents Biennial: www.artinliverpool.com/independentsbiennial2018

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