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Snape Proms Preview

This month Foz takes us to the Suffolk coast for a preview of the ever popular Snape Proms.

This month the acoustically magnificent Snape Maltings welcomes a whole host of world class musicians from virtually any genre you care to mention. Admittedly, and not unusually, rock isn’t on Aldeburgh Music’s radar but jazz, blues, folk, country, world, musical theatre and, naturally enough, classical music most certainly are, as the venue stages a month’s worth of superb music.

The big highlight for me has got to be the visit of Rosanne Cash, the daughter of Johnny Cash. Rosanne is one of the giants of Americana and just like her hugely influential father has done things her own way. She first broke through in 1981 with the US country number one Seven Year Itch and since then has been essential listening for anyone with a soft spot for country. Having said that, her music draws on my other styles including folk, blues and pop and under no circumstances should she be labelled purely ‘country.’

Rosanne is at Snape Maltings on Sunday, August 21 and should not be missed.

Jazz fans are well served by Snape Proms this year. On Friday, August 5 The Chris Barber Big Band visit Snape and then four days later singer and broadcaster Clare Teal is appearing with her Mini Big Band. No doubt Clare will feature songs from her new album Twelve O’Clock Tales on which she’s backed by the Halle Orchestra. Then on Sunday, August 14 vocalist Claire Martin and singer/saxophonist Ray Gelato bring their A Swingin’ Affair show to the Maltings.

Folk continues to play a major part in Snape Proms proceedings with Bellowhead’s Jon Boden (1/8), The Treacherous Orchestra (7/8), Cara Dillon (11/8), La Vent Du Nord (24/8) and Show Of Hands (25/8) all gracing the big stage with their various takes on traditional music. As you might know, I’m a big admirer of Devon duo Show Of Hands who’ve been coming to Suffolk for nearly as many years as I’ve been working full time in local radio in the country (and believe me that’s a long time – 34 years to be precise). Phil Beer and Steve Knightley are two of the hardest working guys in the business and never disappoint on stage or in the studio. What I most admire about Show Of Hands is, just like the aforementioned Rosanne Cash, they know their own minds and have always produced music that they want to make.

While Snape Proms has never been about booking superstars, from time to time household names do appear. This year the UK’s First Lady Of Musical Theatre, Elaine Paige, is at Snape on Friday, August 19. Her show is called Stripped Back which sees her performing material by some of her favourite songwriters. I’d be amazed if she doesn’t do Memory from Cats but hopefully there’ll also be some surprises along the way from the 68 year old singer, actress and broadcaster.

As ever, 20 Prom tickets for each show are held back for sale on the morning of every event. They’re just £6.50 each, a very small price to pay for any one of the 30 acts appearing.