Alexander O'Neal and Toyah to stage intimate gigs in Lavenham

Alexander O'Neal

Alexander O'Neal will be performing an intimate gig in Lavenham to finish off a summer of music in the town - Credit: OEPLive!

As Suffolk opens up after the Covid lockdown, Lavenham and Sudbury are encouraging some of music’s big names such as Toyah and Alexander O’Neal to play intimate gigs and allow fans a different type of experience.

Steve Harley. Pic: www.steveharley.com

Steve Harley will play his latest album Uncovered plus many of his hits at a special up close and personal gig in Lavenham this summer - Credit: steveharley.com

Promoter John Hessenthaler is marking the return to normality with a host of high-profile gigs over the summer and leading up to Christmas which he hopes will provide a soundtrack to the new normal.

Among the star names playing a trio of venues in the area are: Toyah (Aug 17), Fairport Convention (Oct 21), Steve Harley (Aug 11), Alexander O’Neal (Aug 21), The Manfreds (Aug 18), Curved Air (Sept 3), Roy G Hemmings' Motown & Philadelphia on Tour (Aug 14), Focus (Aug 20) and Russell Watson (Dec 10).

Toyah Wilcox arrives at the V&A Summer Party at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Pop superstar Toyah Wilcox will be playing hit songs and sharing stories about her life as part of a summer of music in Lavenham - Credit: PA

There are also plenty of tribute bands including: Fleetwood Bac (Aug 10), Dire Straits UK (Aug 12), The Simon & Garfunkel Story (Aug 15), The Searchers and Hollies Experience (Oct 22), ELO Encounter (Aug 1) and Oye Santana (July 30).

There is a special birthday gig by Sudbury’s musical hero Robbie Gladwell (July 31).


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The performances are spread between a new open-air pop up venue on Lavenham’s Bridge Street Road, Lavenham Church and St Peter’s Arts Centre in Sudbury.

NEWSRussell Watson at the Regent Theatre on Saturday night

Russell Watson will be ending the year performing at Lavenham church this Christmas - Credit: Jen O'Neill

There is also comedy with Irish stand-up Ed Byrne (Aug 19), a performance from the Horrible Histories team (Aug 15) and The Fawlty Towers Summer Picnic (Aug 14).

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One of the highlights of the summer programme have to be Toyah’s up close and personal show in which she plays her hits and her favourite songs from a 40 years career as well as telling stories about her extraordinary life.

Steve Harley enjoys life on the road and returns to Suffolk to play tracks from his latest album ‘Uncovered’. The set list will include a re-worked “Love, Compared With You” with a newly composed third verse, plus his thus-far unrecorded “Only You”, and nine other songs he’s always wanted to perform.

“We have real adventures on tour, “says Steve. “I’ve seen the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun and dozens of wonderful galleries, museums and great cities, all on my down-time. I have a great life as a wandering minstrel.”

He will be supported by Danielz, lead singer with T-Rextasy.

Meanwhile, soul legend Alexander O'Neal will be performing a mix of old songs and new in his own inimitable style including such hits as “Saturday Love” as well as solid R&B classics such as “A Broken Heart Could Mend” and “If You Were Here Tonight”.

Full details of a summer of gigs in Lavenham and Sudbury can be found on the OEPLive website including information about social distancing arrangements.

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