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Greenwich Summer Sessions 2011

Saturday 30th July 2011

Peter Conway Promotions

At Old Royal Naval College: Greenwich

Doors 5:30 pm

Price Various

The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon Solo)

José González

Tue 26th July / Doors 17.30

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The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon Solo)

Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy has been delighting audiences with his intensely individualistic, self-styled ‘chamber pop’ for more than two decades. The Divine Comedy first came to the larger public’s attention in the mid-1990s when they enjoyed an uninterrupted run of hit singles. Built around the unendingly eccentric songs, and the occasionally whimsical, often funny yet, intriguingly, never less than serious voice of singer-songwriter, Neil Hannon will be showcasing his solo act at Greenwich Summer Sessions.

Fronted by Hannon, The Divine Comedy sound has veered from sweeping orchestral arrangements to ghostly synth landscapes, from an almost folksy quality to gloriously unabashed pop. Along the way, Hannon has further demonstrated his genius by writing and performing the wonderfully kitsch theme music for the TV sitcom Father Ted as well as collaborating with Tom Jones on a cover version of Portishead.

The Divine Comedy featuring Hannon returned with their latest, possibly greatest album last year, Bang Goes The Knighthood, another perfect showcase for the Noel Coward-esque songwriting talents of this utterly unique performer. Given the boutique nature of the Greenwich Summer Sessions, The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon Solo) should fit in perfectly. Expect the unexpected.

José González

Adding to the marvellously eclectic atmosphere of this year’s Greenwich Summer Sessions is Swedish singer-songwriter José González. Born in a suburb of Gothenburg to Argentinean parents, González grew up listening to Latin folk and contemporary pop. This decidedly eclectic artist gave his first performances onstage in several hardcore punk bands before going mainstream with rock band Only If You Call Me Jonathan.

This gave little clue as to the very different, more musically mature, neo-classical solo artist González is now known as. Having signed a record deal when he was still a student studying for a PhD in Biochemistry, his first album, Veneer, a Top 10 hit in Britain in 2005, put his academic ambitions on hold. González has spent the past few years playing to audiences all over the world, as well as recording a superb second album, In Our Nature.

González combines stunning classical guitar with silky vocal melodies, as well as making a point of recording astonishing covers of others’ work from Joy Division, to Bruce Springsteen to Kylie Minogue. As anyone who recalls González’s breathtaking debut on Jools Holland’s Later will know there are few live performers today who can match the breadth of musical invention that this multi-talented artist will bring to the stage of the Greenwich Summer Sessions this year.

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.

+ The Noisettes

Wed 27th July / Doors 17.30

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London-born, New York-based producer, guitarist, DJ and record label co-founder, Mark Ronson is the multi-talented artist whose production genius and songwriting skills helped propel Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Adele into three of the biggest stars in the world.

Version, Ronson¹s second album as a solo artist, featured covers of songs by everyone from Radiohead to The Jam to Britney Spears, turning him into an international star in his own right, garnering him a Brit and three Grammy¹s along the way.

His latest music incarnation finds him recording and touring with a new band, rebranded as Mark Ronson and The Business Intl. Their debut album Record Collection, is a stunning 12 song collection hailed as the most exciting, entertaining hip pop album of the year. Introducing The Business Intl, Ronson brings this new project to Greenwich Summer Sessions. It’s time to dive into Mark Ronson’s Record Collection.

Status Quo

+ Nine Below Zero

Thu 28th July / Doors 17.30

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Status Quo

The roots of the Quo story go back to the early 1970s, when their trademark heads-down-no-nonsense-boogie approach became one of the signature sounds in British rock. The astonishing story of Status Quo spans over 40 years, with accomplishments including Live Aid, in 1985, when they kicked-off the most famous event in music history with their anthem, ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’; their record-breaking four major shows in one day event, Rock Till You Drop, in 1991; and the band’s appearances in several episodes of the classic TV soap Coronation Street in 2005.

With worldwide record sales exceeding 118 million, Quo have enjoyed 22 Top 10 singles; made 106 appearances on Top Of The Pops, more than any other group in history, had more hit albums (33) in Britain than any other band apart from the Rolling Stones; and have played over 6000 live shows to a total audience in excess of 25 million.

Quo have also been honoured with numerous awards, including the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Trust Silver Clef; a Brit for Outstanding Contribution to Music; and an OBE each for their services to Music and Charity and notably, their consistent work over the years with the Prince’s Trust. The real joy of Status Quo, though, as Parfitt points out, “Is that we’re just a bloody good rock band. If you like your rock’n’roll, you’ve come to the right place.” Join the Quo rocking all over the world at Greenwich Summer Sessions.


+ Turin Brakes

Fri 29th July / Doors 17.30

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Once famously dubbed ‘the new Lennon and McCartney’ by Rolling Stone magazine, singer-songwriters Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook first formed Squeeze back in 1973. The band who hailed the beginning of their career to Greenwich and its surrounding areas got caught up in the late 1970’s punk scene. Early hits like Cool For Cats and Up The Junction could have come from any era in pop, so timeless are their songs. Squeeze’s reputation was firmly established as one of the finest, most cherished British groups since The Beatles.

When original keyboardist Jools Holland left for a successful TV career his replacement, former Roxy Music and Ace and future Mike + The Mechanics, Paul Carrack would lend his purring vocals to another of Squeeze’s most famous hits, Tempted. Despite several Squeeze break-ups, Difford and Tilbrook continued to make music, both together and apart.

In 2007, a newly-reformed Squeeze, featuring Elvis Costello’s long-time keyboardist Steve Nieve, have appeared all around the world. In 2010 Squeeze went back to their Greenwich roots to the site of their very first gig where they were awarded a prestigious PRS For Music Heritage Plaque. Returning home again, Squeeze will bring their witty lyricism and new-wave guitar trademark sound to Greenwich Summer Sessions.

The Pogues

+ Buzzcocks

Sat 30th July / Doors 17.30

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Almost 30 years old – middle aged for a rock band – yet commendably determined not to know better, The Pogues have broken all the rules. Formed in 1982, representing a seemingly impossible clash of traditional Irish music with post-punk rock energy, a previously unconsidered balance between old school values and modern streetwise attitudes and fronted by the utterly irrepressible Shane MacGowan, The Pogues are the authentic living embodiment of bohemia.

Best known for their magical duet with the late Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale Of New York, a repeat-hit since its original release in 1988, and later voted ‘best Christmas song ever’ in a VH1 viewers’ poll, The Pogues have also collaborated with artists as seemingly diverse as The Dubliners – with whom they had two hits, notably The Irish Rover as well as with former founder of The Clash, the late Joe Strummer.

With most of the original members now back together – James Fearnley, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer, Andrew Ranken, Phil Chevron, Terry Woods, Darryl Hunt, lined up behind Shane MacGowan – The Pogues have once again become one of the best-loved attractions on the international concert scene. If any act truly represents the eclectic, daring yet wonderfully entertaining mix of music on offer at this year’s Greenwich Summer Sessions it is surely The Pogues.