Bury St Edmunds: Love to boogie? Head to Abbeyfest

T.Rextasy

T.Rextasy - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens is getting ready to welcome thousands of music lovers tonight, Saturday and Sunday for the third Abbeyfest.

Gwen Dickey

Gwen Dickey - Credit: Archant

Tonight has been billed as Folk on Friday, Saturday is the Midsummer Pop-Soul Jam with the final day crowned Suffolk’s Big Summer Sunday with 10cc topping the bill.

Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby - Credit: Archant

Performers include Chas and Dave, The Dublin Legends Show, Kate Rusby, Rhys Butterworth-Bowman, Nik Lowe, Chic - Le Freak, The Edwin Starr Band featuring Angelo Starr, Rose Royce’s lead singer Gwen Dickey, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon, George McRae, Nat Augustin’s multi-award winning George Benson Show, Graham Vegas, Kouatchou, Rod Stewart tribute Dave Hook, 10cc, T.Rextasy and Only One Direction.

“This is my first time at this event and I am really looking forward to it being something outstanding. Loving the line up because I get the chance to share a stage with some of the hit-makers and musical legends that I have always admired. I understand that the audience is pretty lively too so can’t wait to see it for myself,” says Fearon.

T.Rextasy’s frontman Danielz hopes everyone comes along with cosmic boogie in their minds and are set for an evening’s worth of Marc Bolan’s 1970s glam rock ‘n’ roll played completely live. Feather boas, top hats, and glitter-cheeks are not obligatory, but are most welcome.


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He’s the same build, same height, even the same shoe size as his musical hero Bolan. His wife, also a massive T.Rex fan, even babysat the singer’s son Rolan Bolan when she was younger. Some things, it seems, are just meant to be.

The only live tribute band endorsed and approved by Bolan’s family, estate, orginal T.Rex members and his catalogue management, Bolan’s late wife June even told T.Rextasy after a Wembley Arena gig: “If there was anyone to follow in Marc’s shoes, I’d like it to be you.”

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“We play completely live and rock out as much as T-Rex ever did and I think that’s very important. The good thing about doing it today is we pull in the children of Marc’s original fans which is great,” says Danielz. “It’s lovely to see T-Rextasy T-shirts on the younger people and you get older people with Marc Bolan T-shirts on, it’s a nice crossover.”

He saw T.Rex live on every major tour. The first time was in 1972, just as he entered his teens.

“You can imagine the affect it had on me being a kid, going to see my first ever rock band live. Those kind of memories stay with me forever.

“Marc was very otherworldly, he wasn’t your normal, standard, popstar,” says Danielz, who’s also friends with Rolan Bolan’s mum, Gloria Jones. She even flew over from South Africa to appear on stage with them; performing, among other things, a few verses of her song Tainted Love with Marc Almond of Soft Cell whose cover was a massive hit.

“My voice, the way I play guitar, that has all to do with the fact I grew up listening and playing along to Marc’s music; it’s not put on. Marc was his own man, an innovator, some people say ‘oh what about David Bowie’ and even he said to me Marc was the first.

“The glam rock thing, when Marc came along musicians and popstars were still wearing suits, jeans and T-shirts. He came along with eye make-up, satin jackets, lamé dungarees and people thought ‘my God who is this’. Even down the line, when we had the punk boom in the late 1970s, he paved the way. Noel Gallagher has said in lots of interviews Marc was an inspiration for him.”

Danielz, who’s also shared the stage with Bolan collaborator Tony Visconti plus T.Rex’s original percussionist Micky Finn and original keyboard player Dino Dines, promises Abbeyfest audiences a fun night.

“We’ll be playing all the major hits; come along, we’re a good time, live, loud, rock and roll band and hopefully ooze the spirit of a Marc Bolan and T-Rex concert.”

Promoter John Hessenthaler says it’s great to be back in the Abbey Gardens and Bury St Edmunds. He’s keeping his fingers crossed the weather holds.

“It’s been difficult to get the billing right and put the jigsaw puzzle together but I think we’ve got a really versatile line-up. I’m upbeat about the event even though we have to compete on a kind of regional and national scale as there are so many great events taking place. My message to people is ‘come along and enjoy the acts’. It’s just such a great locatiion so take in the atmosphere.”

Abbeyfest runs from July 19-21. For more details, including ticket information, visit www.abbeyfest.net.

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