This week’s live music roundup

REVIEW: STRAWBERRY FAIR FESTIVAL

Returning for another spectacular year, the Strawberry Fair Festival in Cambridge once again hosted some of the finest local and national bands in front of a packed, enthusiastic audience.

With the weather holding out throughout the day, one of the biggest free festivals in the UK featured a wide and varied line-up with bands playing everything from reggae to heavy rock.

With so many quality acts on display it’s near impossible to catch every performer, but a real highlight was Cambridge world music outfit, Echo Trails, who played a magnificent set in the late afternoon.

Fusing elements of jazz, Latin and rock, the band - formally known as The Familiar Strangers - offered enough bite to excite the expectant audience without ever becoming too demanding for the casual listener who is simply enjoying a beer in the sun.

As always, the acoustic stage served up some genuine musical treats, mostly in the singer-songwriter mould. Cambridge stalwarts Paul Goodwin and Ecki both performed heartfelt, stirring sets, interspersing clever lyrics with delicate guitar playing.

Later in the afternoon, American singer-songwriter Annie Dresnner, backed by lead guitarist David Greeves, delighted crowds with her alt-country influenced acoustic pop, aided by sweet vocals and a sense of quirkiness in her songwriting.

Never failing to live up to expectation, the Strawberry Fair is a hectic, colourful festival, organised by hard working volunteers who deserve much credit.

This year’s event was another hugely enjoyable showcase of new and old talent, seemingly enjoyed by all who attended.

PREVIEW: DOSWING FOR SOUND AT THE CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE

On Saturday evening, the exciting Dowsing For Sound choir, backed by a fearless live band, will be playing at the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

With 60 singers and a set that includes original choral covers from a diverse range of artists, this is the second full concert from the critically acclaimed choir. This one-off performance of their new show, Liquid State, also features timpani, trumpet and fusion fiddle, and money raised from the concert will go to select charities.

The show starts at 7.30pm on Saturday evening, tickets are £14, available from www.cornex.co.uk

NEWS: LOCAL MUSICIAN LAUNCHES THE SOUNDWAVES PROJECT

Local singer-songwriter Gavin Bates has launched a new project aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues. The ultimate aim of the project is to record and release a charity album featuring ten signed and ten unsigned artists, inspired by the issue of mental health and raising money for mental health charities.

Artists so far signed up to work alongside Gavin as part of this inspiring project include Alex Harris, Bokaata, Emj Eve Taylor, Flaming June, Kayla Kavanagh, Matt Harvey, Paper Soldiers, Simon Guillard, Ten Ton Echo, The Winter Kings and We Are Godzilla.

For more information check out www.soundwavesproject.co.uk

GIGS ROUNDUP

Friday, June 15

In Cambridge there are three excellent gigs taking place. At CB2 there is the latest Night of the Artisans acoustic showcase featuring Jess Morgan, Josienne Clarke and Anna Neale.

Meanwhile over at The Man on the Moon there will be live music from the excellent Mojo Slide, and indie rockers Eureka Stockade will be headlining at The Portland Arms, with support from Poesi and Ten Tigers.

In St Ives, Della will be performing at The Seven Wives, and at Floods there will be live covers from Easy Livin’

Saturday, June 16

St Ives is particularly busy on Saturday, with Fixer playing at The Royal Oak, Glamtastic at The Nelsons Head and Black Dog at The Seven Wives. In Cambridge, top-notch blues rockers Jack will be playing at The Emperor.

Sunday, June

Split Whiskers will be performing their classy brand of blues and rock at the Nelsons Head in St Ives from 3pm and at 6pm, also in St Ives, the weekend of music concludes with acoustic tunes from James Coppolaro at the Royal Oak.