This editorial currently features in the August 2011 issue of The Colchester Circle, available throughout the town right now.

Keep Colchester Cool recommends

Here are just some of the events taking place this month that you can go to, safe in the knowledge of hearing some great music.

Ben Howard

The Easy Star All-Stars arrive at Colchester Arts Centre on Tuesday 2nd August. Regarded as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003, the group have gained a dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock. Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section they have built a strong reputation thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases such as Dub Side of the Moon (picked by MOJO magazine as the second best cover album of all time!), Radiodread, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Their latest album, First Light, focuses on original music. Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as a hard working touring band and this was reflected when they were nominated for a UK Festival Award for their three-day, three-stage performance at Glastonbury 2009.

I’ve mentioned Richard “Benny” Benedetti before in this column and I’m sure I’ll mention him again but for now I have to say that this fella has more birthdays in a year than her majesty the Queen. The great side to this is that he always puts on a good party and his latest one, filed under ˜The Sagittarian Club Summer Birthday Party’ has Animal Noise, Broken Heads, Holsten Cadaver, and his very own The Raffles Gang take over The Soundhouse at The Bull on Friday 5th August.

The Final of SoUNDAY Shopping takes place on Sunday 14th August in Lion Walk. It all started on May 1st and after 16 weeks the final of SoUNDAY Shopping is finally here. 2 acts will go head to head in Lion Walk Shopping Centre to win the opportunity to play Colchester Free Festival. It’s been a brilliant series of events and I’ve been really impressed by the variety and quality of acts, and it’s been a pleasure to bring live music to the town centre and have the ability to reach a wider audience than usual.

The London Community Gospel Choir became the first concert gospel choir in Britain back in 1982 and are known for their funky gospel flair, swing-beat, R’n’B, traditional and soulful arrangements. Not only did they add backing vocals to Blur’s Tender but they’ve performed at Live 8, Glastonbury, a FA Cup Final at Wembley and even on the soundtrack to Disney’s Lion King. The Guardian wrote ‘You can’t listen to the London Community Gospel Choir without moving or smiling’ and here’s your chance to experience it yourself at the Mercury Theatre on Saturday 20th August.

What are your plans on Saturday 27 August? All I can say that is if you’re in town that day and you don’tt head into the wonderful Castle Park you’re going to miss out on Colchester Free Festival, which will once again showcase Colchester’s music and arts scene from 11am to 7pm. For the full line-up and a list of what’s on offer visit www.colchesterfreefestival.co.uk.