Hot Picks

This month Foz takes a look at some of the best shows coming to a venue that goes from strength to strength. Ipswich-based Foz is already planning plenty more trips to Bury St Edmunds this year.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that The Apex in Bury St Edmunds has become one of my favourite places to see live music. Elsewhere in this issue you’ll see it appear twice in my list of my Top 10 local gigs of 2016 and had I have extended that to my Top 20 then the state-of-the-art complex in Charter Square would have figured a few more times.

When the venue’s latest brochure surfaces I always give myself a few minutes to study it thoroughly and I’d advise you to do likewise. There is so much great music programmed over the first four months of 2017 that I’m gearing myself up for more visits.

This month Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will be there. Tommy is without doubt one of the finest musicians in the world and his jaw-dropping playing is sure to pack the place out on Wednesday, January 11.

Another highlight in January will be From The Jam. I was lucky enough to catch them at The Regent in Ipswich towards the end of last year when they were in terrific form. To be honest, the place was far from full but the 500 or so who were there will testify just how good they were. That appearance was part of the A’s and B’s tour which continues into 2017 and calls into Bury St Edmunds on Thursday, January 19.

Next month the UK’s answer to Aretha Franklin is at The Apex. Brummie lass Ruby Turner remains a class act after all these years. In recent times she has become a permanent fixture in Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra but still loves doing shows of her own. Catch her at The Apex on Friday, February 10th.

Towards the end of February (24th) the legendary folk-rockers Fairport Convention are back in Bury, this time as part of a tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary. I recall speaking to Simon Nicol backstage during their first Apex experience and he was full of praise for the acoustics and indeed the dressing room facilities.

One of the rock greats is there on Monday, March 6. Dave Mason, a founder member of Traffic and a hugely successful solo artist Stateside in the 70’s, brings his latest project Traffic Jam to Suffolk. He isn’t doing that many British dates so get in quick for tickets.

Four days later guitar great Albert Lee returns. He was only in Suffolk a couple of months back sharing the bill with Peter Asher at Haverhill Arts Centre. This time the veteran guitar virtuoso is in the county for shows of his own.

Finally, another UK music legend is at The Apex on Monday, April 3. Jazz and rhythm and blues star Georgie Fame is still a big draw and he has plenty of material to draw on. He made his name in the music clubs of London’s Soho district in the sixties and soon found himself in the charts. He enjoyed three number one hits in the sixties but believe me there is far more to the man than the chart-topping Yeh Yeh, Getaway and The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde.

I have merely scratched the surface of the January to April listings for The Apex. New shows are added on what seems like a weekly basis so do keep on eye on their website for updates.