This editorial currently features on page 22 of the December issue of The Colchester Circle, available throughout the town right now.    Thanks for the great feedback from last month’s column. It’s good to have something in print each month to support the Keep Colchester Cool website and Facebook activities and it’s nice to be part of The Colchester Circle team.

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.

The hip hop scene has come alive again in Colchester this year and this can be witnessed at the University of Essex in December.  Rapshack.co.uk and Tru-spinna.com presents We Got Next…, on Friday 3rd December for a night of hip hop at its finest. Headlining is DJ MK whose mix tapes landing him a slot on the Capital Rap Show alongside Tim Westwood from 1993-1995. After the Rap Show, MK went to Itch FM for four years before leaving for his current weekly residency on Kiss FM alongside DJ Shortee Blitz. MK has produced tracks for some of the UK’s top rap artists such as Roots Manuva , Task Force and PlanB, and has judged the UK DMC Finals since 1999 and the World Finals since 2004. Joining him on the decks are A.Gee and Bounce Bros.

On a slightly different tip, the University also hosts some of the world’s finest breakdancing, popping, beatboxing, rapping and graffiti battles on Thursday 9th December at Sub Zero as B-boy & B-girl present Battle Sessions.   The night features the breakdancing YouTube phenomenon B-boy Junior, and the 2009 and 2010 UK Beatbox champion Reeps One.  There’ll also be 2 vs 2 Breakdance Battles, Last Man Standing Popping Battles and an Open Circle to conclude the night.  Representatives from Flava Squad UK, Methods Of Movement and the British B-boy Association; Badger, Unique, and Bee are judging the battles. DJ A.Gee returns, alongside FB Fresh, Bobba Fett and Dark Fader with the night hosted by Monkey.

“Colchester is going off! Great night, cool venue & wonderful, wonderful, friendly, fabulous people. Essex, you rock!” That’s what legendary DJ Graeme Park tweeted as he made his Colchester debut at Silk Road last month. Well, on Saturday 11th December, Silk Road clubbers can hear another top name DJ in Justin Robertson whose career in dance music dates all the way back to the Madchester days when he was spinning at clubs like Spice and Most Excellent. Now based in London, Robertson fulfills roles as DJ, producer and lead singer of band Thee Earls. The reason he’s coming to Colchester is all down the Electric Boutique guys who are making the night even more special by bringing in a special Funktion One sound system and are providing a quality supporting DJ line up of Modelick6, Graham Good, Novello & Napoletani and Paul T.

A band that’s gained the attention of Ronnie Wood, Paul Weller and Steve Craddock headline The Soundhouse (The Bull) on Thursday 16th December. Marner Brown have played three cracking sets at Glastonbury and have supported Ocean Colour Scene twice, including a legendary show-stealing performance at a packed Astoria (RIP). At the time, Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Craddock said  Marner Brown’s Aaron A Grimes “is currently the best young guitarist in the UK, and Marner Brown are possibly the best support we’ve ever had” and none other than Ronnie Wood told Word magazine “another band I saw the other day are Marner Brown – they are really good. They had a bit of a Led Zeppelin / Guns n Roses type thing.”
The five piece band havce recorded in Paul Weller’s studio, released their debut single ‘Dirty Weekend’ and their Open Road track was used in a Grolsch TV/Cinema advert earlier this year. They’re joined on the night by Farnborough based The Fins with two more Colchester bands to be added to this Raging Bull Christmas Cracker.

Hotly tipped for success next year is Colchester’s Ady Johnson. Having fronted FuzzFace for some years, Ady has made a name for himself as solo artist. This year alone has seen him headline the Castle Stage at Colchester Free Festival, play live in a maze in the middle London’s Trafalgar Square, and gain national media coverage for his impromptu set at 6Fest, the London festival organised to celebrate the successful campaign to save BBC 6 Music from closure. Ady’s has also been in Long Track studios recording his debut album, ‘Tell The Worry Dolls’ and on Sunday 19th December at Colchester Arts Centre there’ll be the Official Album Release Party. The album will be performed live with his backing band in running order for the very first time and support comes via Lady Bird And The Larks and Animal Noise, completing a line-up of acts all destined for an exciting 2011.

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