Mon 1 Feb – Sat 2 April | 10am – 4.30pm | Mon – Fri| Free Admission
Our first exhibition of the year features two local artists Edy Gosselin and Rachel Hardy Moody.
“My paintings have over the years evolved from the highly literal to intuitive mark making and colourfield formality. The shift in my approach reflects the kaleidoscope of a life rich in experience and focus. The current atmospheric ‘scapes’ are distilled and deconstructed allowing the viewer to feel secure in the structure but rested in the lyrical language.”
Rachel Hardy Moody
“My interest in the subconscious and imprinted memory also play a huge part in my work. I admire the work of Anselm Kiefer who draws out the very soul from place and landscape. Our past with deep hidden memories, ruins of our own and other’s lives. Like Kiefer’s work, memories that are with us are never far from the surgace, a surface beauty under which darker truths lie.”
To celebrate our upcoming date with The Kast Off Kinks (all former members of The Kinks: Mick Avory, Ian Gibbons, John Dalton, Dave Clarke), on Friday 29th January, we’ve been delving into the surprising history of one of England’s most influential bands…
1.Legend has it drummer Mick Avory (founder of The Kast Off Kinks) auditioned for The Kinks dressed up as a Boy Scout. Mick disputes the claim, insisting he went as a Girl Guide.
Mick in full regalia at one of Ray’s gigs.
2. Nobody seems to know who came up with the name. Ray Davies apparently picked it to the utter horror of his bandmates, who objected to being called “kinky” – at least in broad daylight. Ray, in interviews, lays the blame at Larry Pages’s feet claiming “I never liked the name”. Other sources say the whole band was inspired by an episode of The Avengers. Presumably a one off special with questionable themes.
3.Want to replicate that fuzzy guitar rift? Health, safety and a live music venue’s preciousness towards equipment prevents us from fully recommending the method: but Dave Davies was known to kick, puncture and slash his amp’s speaker cone to achieve the perfect effect.
4.Mick Avory played with The Rolling Stones in their early days. Having never envisaged doing music full time, he didn’t made it to any of their gigs. He has no regrets though, as two years later he joined The Kinks!
5.The band was banned from travelling to the US in 1965 in the midst of their battle with The Beatles for Top Ten spots, and there was never an official reason why. Speculators have suggested everything from the Davies Brothers’ fiery reputations, to corrupt American promoters. Whatever the cause, the four year ban is known as one of the great What If’s of musical history.
The Kast Off Kinks will be at Arlington Arts Centre on Friday 29th January, 8pm. You can book& find out more here, or by calling 01635 244 246.
January sees us broken back in with largely school productions; Park House, Trinity and The Downes will all be exhibiting dance, music and drama across the month.
On Friday 29th Jan the season gets going with gusto – The Kast Off Kinks are not a tribute band, they are made up exclusively of former The Kinks members. The line up has consisted of pretty much every member of The Kinks there’s ever been (including Ray Davies himself) and currently sees Mick Avory, Ian Gibbons, John Dalton and Dave Clarke belting out all the classic.
Tickets can be booked by click here, or you can call us on 01635 244 246 (Between 10am-4.30pm, Mon-Fri) or email us a reservation request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theateregoers this month is for you: Samuel Beckett’sKrapp’s Last Tape(Thurs 1 Sept) as performed by Tom Owen (Last Of The Summer Wine) tells the tale of Krapp, an irascible chap who spends each of his birthdays recording a tape to himself. Join him as on his 69th he listens back on the follies of his prideful youth. As can be expected from Beckett, a witty and thoughtful tale. Our other one man show has less to say on the pitfalls of aging and is much more riotous in its humour – Will Seaward’s Ghost Stories (Thurs 22 Oct)will be arriving at Arlington with bags of ghouls, gremlins and growls for a halloween dreadtacular.
Fans of the folk will do well to check out up-and-comers The Rails (Fri 2 Oct). Giving off the vibe of a London pub in summertime (this does seem to be where the majority of their videos are filmed) the duo have been signed to the same label (it’s Pink) that gave us records from Nick Cave, John Martyn and Fairport Convention. At the less rocky end of the spectrum are The Shee (Fri 16 Oct), a sextet of folk aficionados featuring harp, fiddle, mandolin accordion and flute for a gaelic & bluegrass fusion. Mixing even more genres together is the Urban Folk Quartet (Fri 30 Oct). Back on the Arlington stage their influences are too numerous to list, but you’ll find it hard to miss the distinct middle eastern and afrobeat vibes. Put all this in context with Simpson & Flemons(Thurs 8 Oct) as they take you on a journey through England & America’s shared folk traditions. Comprised of English guitarist, songwriter and multi-award holder Martin Simpson, and American guitar, banjo (and bones!) player Dom Flemons, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, present the unsanitised bigger picture.
Moving away (sort of) from the folk we’ve got International Guitar Night(Thurs 15 Oct) bringing together luminaries from across the globe to play solos, duets and quartets. Like the A-Team of the guitar scene, the night will feature Brian Gore, Mike Dawes, Lulo Reinhardt and Andre Krengel. Another guitar star Mark Nevin (Sat 24 Oct), of Fairground Attraction, will be performing his beautiful collection of narrative driven songs towards the end of the month, and Joanne Shaw Taylor(Fri 23 Oct) is a firecracker of a blues guitarist that we’re thrilled to finally have with us.
Double headliners The Christians & Roachford(Sun 4 Oct) are already a very popular choice too, for good reason. The infectious melodies and warm harmonies feed on accusations, protest and despair and strike a deep chord to listeners. Joined by long-time friend Andrew Roachford best known for hits “Cuddly Toy” and “Family Man”, Roachford has something of a maverick take on the singer-songwriter genre.
Tom Robinson(Weds 28 Oct) is back in the studio after 20 years since 2-4-6-8 Motorway and Glad To Be Gay. Inspired by the acts he’s encountered whilst presenting for BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing, Tom’s new album features full band and all of his raw spirit. Finding innovative ways to collaborate between disable and non-disabled artists, Stopgap Dance (Mon 12 Oct)company also make their debut at Arlington Arts with their show Artificial Things. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll.
To find out more or book online click here. Or call 01635 244 246 between 10-4.30pm Monday-Friday.
Krapp’s Last Tape – Thurs 1 October 8pm, £12 (Concession £10, School Groups £8) The Rails – Fri 2 October 8pm, £12 The Christians + Roachford – Sun 4 October 7.30pm, £27.50 Simpson & Flemons – Thurs 8 October 8pm, £16 Stopgap: Artificial Things – Mon 12 October 8pm, £14 (Concession £12, School Groups £8) International Guitar Night – Thurs 15 October 8pm, £15 The Shee – Fri 16 October 8pm, £14 Will Seaward’s Ghost Stories – Thurs 22 Oct 8pm, £11 Joanne Shaw Taylor – Fri 23 Oct 8pm, £20 Mark Nevin – Sat 24 Oct 8pm, £13 Tom Robinson Band – Weds 28 Oct 8pm, £20 Urban Folk Quartet – Fri 30 Oct 8pm, £12
Kami Thompson & James Walbourne took some time out to answer some questions about their experiences as BBC Folk Award Horizon Award winning band – The Rails. They’ll be playing Arlington Arts Centre on Friday 2nd October 2015.
“Fair Warning” combines the traditional and contemporary, do you have a vision of how folk might continue to develop?
Folk is developing all the time. It’s in everything from Grime to top 40. It’s all just telling a story. In terms of ‘traditional folk’, i’m not sure. A lot of it is extremely twee these days and not to our tastes. You still have the Eliza Carthy’s of this world pushing the envelope though.
Island’s Pink Label handled arguably some of the most formative folk acts of the 60’s and 70’s (Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, John Martyn). Do you feel any particular pressures or expectations as the first artists on this newly resurrected label?
No. It’s just a label.
You both seem to have been exceptionally musical from a young age, did either of you ever consider, however fleetingly, a career outside of music?
James – Never.
Kami – I consider my options daily.
Do you feel the comparisons drawn between The Rails and Kami’s parents are accurate, or inevitable?
We set out wanting to make a classic sounding folk rock record so it was inevitable, really. It’s as much a pop record as it is a folk record – much like Kami’s parents, I think.
What about your family James – are there many creative types to be found there?
My dad was a major influence. He doesn’t play a musical instrument but took me to see everyone from Frank Sinatra to Stevie Ray Vaughan when I was a kid. I attended more gigs than days at school. My brother is also a great all rounder and has played with me for many years.
Speaking of family, your support act is Zak Hobbs – Kami’s nephew- could you tell us a
little bit about his style?
Sort of barber shop Raga…..no not really. He’s a great guitar player – definitely one to watch. He’s sort of in the mould of Bert Jansch and the 60’s guys. You saw him here first!
Thankyou, Kami + James!
Tickets to see The Rails are £12 and can be brought via the Box Office on 01635 244 246, or by clicking here.
Most shows aren’t sold on the basis of being “harrowing” but Badac Theatre Company are unlikely to let a little thing like unsettling their audience get in the way of a quality production. They have an aim, and that aim is to explore not just what human rights abuses are, but what they mean to the individual.
The show Badac are bringing to Arlington on Thursday 24th September is The Flood. Presenting the tale of a love affair between a WW1 soldier and nurse, all things vicious, visceral and banal are brought to life through an assault on the senses in the style of Antonin Artaud.
Emerging from the surrealist movement of the 1930s Artaud included sound, light and smell not just as add-ons to his scripts but as a constant and often overwhelming integral part. Artaud’s written theories were not always easy to translate to performance, which is largely why his fascinating school of thought has not been explored as much as it should have been in the years since his death. With over a decade of experience under their belts, Badac stage his concept with beautiful simplicity; the countless soldiers injured on the frontline are rendered by bloody pieces of not-so-fresh meat which are (literally) hurled into the fray, machine gun fire is replicated by an incessantly chopping knife and so on.
Once you have an understanding of their approach (which they term “theatre of cruelty”) what is gained from performances like these? Surreal – yes, intense- sure, but also enlightening and, many find, a way of unburdening the subconscious. The intention is not to be sadistic or gratuitous, but to stimulate honest reactions from the audience. This is not a frivolous evening out to the theatre, we’re happy to make that clear. You won’t come away with a fleeting joie de vivre – but bewilderment and adrenaline are a heady cocktail.
Please note: As this is a site specific piece in Arlington Manor Cellar, the performance will only be accessible via a flight of stairs. Arlington Manor Cellar can become quite damp, so we would recommend dressing with this in mind.
Tickets can be booked here or via 01635 244 246 between 10am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Kicking off the season with a couple of great genre twisters on the music side of things, and theatre to make the soul shudder.
SALLY BARKER is the voice from the Voice. The one that brought Sir Tom Jones to tears. Back in 2014 Sally came a sensational second place in the BBC’s televised competition. After such a successful run, it might come as a surprise to find out that Sally turned down a record deal with Universal – but as an avid & award-winning songwriter Sally was never going to be happy tied to only producing covers. That said, her set at Arlington will feature favourites from the show such as Olly Murs’s “Dear Darlin’” as well as her own folk-blues-rock originals. Friday 18th September 8pm, tickets are £15.
BENDRIX is Benji Kirkpatrick and his folk instrumental covers of Jimi Hendrix’s work. You’ll know Benji best from folk supergroup Bellowhead, and he’s long been sneaking Hendrix songs into his solo sets. He’s now received Arts Council funding to develop this Hendrix project, in which he strips back the psychedelia of the age to reveal the raw greatness of the songs underneath. Played on a whole range of string instruments including bouzouki, banjo and mandolin this will also include Benji’s own originals. Wednesday 23rd September 8pm, tickets are £12.
Badac Theatre take over Arlington Manor cellar with THE FLOOD. This site-specific piece set in WW1 follows the intensely building relationship between a frontline soldier and a nurse, highlighting through correspondence and snatched private moments the brutality of their existence, the banality of war and the immediacy of death. Badac take an approach
they term “Theatre of Violence”, in which they aim to make their work an extreme experience for both the audience and actors. Thursday 24th September 6pm & 8pm, tickets are £12 (Concessions £10). Please note this performance is only accessible via a flight of stairs.
Chris White plays some of the most famous saxophone solos from his time with Dire Straits and recounts stories from his life as a musician with artists such as Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Robbie Williams, Ray Charles and of course, Dire Straits, which included performing at the legendary Live Aid and Mandela concerts. A master of rock’n’roll, blues and pop. Saturday 6th September 8pm, tickets are £14.50
Tickets for all of these shows can be purchased here or over the phone on 01635 244 246. General opening hours are 10am-4.30pm Mon-Fri, or later on performance days.
2015 marks the 45th anniversary of the death of the late, great Jimi Hendrix. Widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists of the century and often cited as the “Voice of a Generation”, he started playing an actual guitar bought for him by his father for $5 at 15 years old, graduating from years of dreaming on the family broom. After a stint in the army (cut short when Jimi was injured during a parachute jump) he committed to the electric guitar full time. What must’ve seemed like bad luck for Jimi, was world changing for the music industry. Within months of scoring his first manager, Jimi had 3 UK Top Ten hits under his belt and was well on his way to becoming one of the most legendary musicians of, well, ever.
After just four years as a global super star, Jimi Hendrix died of asphyxiation caused by an overdose of sleeping pills in September of 1970. Forty-five years later and tributes to the electric guitar legend come in all shapes and forms – from a sea of Hendrix masks at the Isle of Wight festival, to a poignant retelling of his work from folk aficionado Benji Kirkpatrick.
Benji (of folk supergroups Bellowhead and Faustus) is a long term fan of Hendrix, his music leading Benji to the electric guitar which really solidified his passion for playing. Odd then, perhaps, that Benji leaves the instrument behind in his interpretation of the hits of Hendrix. Hendrix’s performances were well known for fusing feedback, fuzz and distortion – something you won’t find in Benji’s angle as he sticks to acoustic bouzouki, banjo and mandolin. It’s not a case of “Benji knows better”, this stripping down is done to reveal the genius of the songs beneath. Despite (or because of?) not being able to read or write music Hendrix was a fantastically intricate songwriter, and Bendrix is all about showcasing this.
You can catch the show at Arlington Arts on Wednesday 23rd September at 8pm. Tickets are £12 and can be purchased here, or via the box office on 01635 244 246 between 10-4.30pm, Monday to Friday. All profits go to Mary Hare School for the Deaf.
With 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues across Scotland’s capital city, the Edinburgh Fringe truly is biggest festival of its kind anywhere in the world. Showcasing brand new work from artists, companies and entertainers from across the globe, success (or lack of) at the festival can make or break careers.
I have been fortunate enough to visit the fringe for sixteen consecutive years, in which I try to see as much as possible in one week – literally running from one venue to the next, seeking out new and exciting theatre, music and comedy.
In 2012 Dr Brown received the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show Befredth, which previewed at Arlington Arts that July. Subsequently there has been an encouraging growth in highly playful and hilarious comedy/theatre shows without words. Notably Trygve Wakenshaw’s Nautilus, which I’m sure, will be up for a nomination for an award this year.
The day after seeing Nautilus, I managed to catch Henry Maynard in Tatterdemalion (which has already received a number of 5-Star reviews). It is brilliantly good fun – a friend and student of Phil Burgers (Dr Brown), Maynard captures that inventive sense of playfulness, innocence and mild malevolence which makes his show a wildly entertaining hour of sheer joy – roll on 19 November at Arlington Arts.
I stayed up late to see Will Seaward’s Ghost Stories (midnight at the Gilded Balloon). Will’s natural charm and rich, deep voice has had him described as the love child of Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed. His show is great fun and creepy at the right moments, making it a perfect advent to Halloween when it comes to us in late October.
I spent a good deal of time at The Summerhall, which has fast established itself as a hub for contemporary performance at the fringe. In fact StopGap dance are scheduled to perform Artificial Things there during the last week of the festival, before bringing it here in October.
Sited at Summerhall was Paines Plough’s ingenious pop-up venue The Roundabout, in which I saw Lungs, a captivating, tender two-hander about the dilemmas of modern living, modern relationships and parenthood. Also in the Roundabout were Jonny and the Baptists, who played here last spring, their new show about global warming is doing very well, so I’d hope to welcome them back soon.
With everything that we have between Arlington Arts and The Corn Exchange, I would say we have the pick the Fringe coming to Newbury – but then with the Fringe being the size it is, there’s always the next big thing just around the corner waiting to be discovered…
As you’re on our website, you’ll probably agree – without the arts, public life would be much poorer. From large scale outdoor operatic performance, to the kids crafts table in your local library – “the arts bring happiness, the arts make things happen.”
So say the Arts Council England. Founded in 1940 they were originally theCommittee for Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) they’ve undergone several incarnations to become the government and lottery funded organisation they are today. They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.
And the great thing? The projects that get funded aren’t just a grand amount of fun, many also make a phenomenal difference to peoples’ lives. Take SprungDigi, a digital project to help learning disabled people become more connected to their community. Or Music for Change which was developed by Plymouth Music Zone to improve the health and emotional wellbeing of the most vulnerable children, young people and families going through challenging and traumatic changes. Or just think the last time a song, or show or picture made you feel something, because we’re willing to bet it was in the last 24 hours.
Arlington Arts are proud to be hosting some of the best Arts Council Funded projects and companies this season. Stopgap Dance will be bringing their latest production Artificial Things Stopgap Dance Company create exhilarating dance productions for national and international touring, employing disabled and non-disabled artists who find innovative ways to collaborate. Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths.
Benji Kirkpatrick (of Bellowhead & Faustus) arrives in September with his solo show Bendrix. Reinventing the greatest songs from Jimi Hendrix on bouzouki, banjo and mandolin, it’s Hendrix like you’ve never heard it before. Badac theatre, whose work focuses on exploring human rights tragedies, perform The Flood. Set against the bloody backdrop of WW1, a romance struggles to stay alight between a soldier and frontline nurse. As both the characters’ (and the audience’s) mentalities are tested, everything banal and brutal is brought to the foreground.