This editorial currently features in the July 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

Essex Rocks are a regular feature on this page, and justifiably so as they are one of the region’s top promoters. Saturday 2nd July sees them celebrate their 5th Birthday at the same time Mr Essex Rocks himself, Chris Berwick celebrates his 30th. This will be a joint party to remember with Cav OK, Drive Through Therapy, Guilt Coins and We Are Embassy playing at Colchester Arts Centre which will also raise money for Kelvedon Free Music Festival (more of which later).

We head back to Colchester Arts Centre on Wednesday 6th July as Sandro Perri of Constellation Records (Godspeed You Black Emperor’s label) comes to town on a night organised by Colchester Arts Centre, The Lakeside Theatre, and local alternative promoters Motherpopcorn and Dead Air Live. Sandro Perri, who has previously recorded as Polmo Polo Glissandro 70, Dot Wiggin and Continuous Dick, is over from Toronto and support comes from fellow Canadians Mantler, and our very own The Dead Rat Orchestra who make their first Colchester appearance since touring with the aforementioned Godspeed… and producing the soundtrack for BBC4’s The Guga Hunters of Ness.

The following Saturday, 9th July sees us heading down to the Kelvedon Free Music Festival. Last year’s was a cracker and this time The Blockheads headline, with Automatic Slim, Expose’, Housework, Surfquake, About Eight, Who’s Driving? Bear’s Driving!, Broken Heads, We Are Embassy, Gulls, Animal Noise, The Strangerhood, Drive Through Therapy, The Jorneta Stream, The 633 and The Overwrought completing the bill over 2 stages.

They’re playing the Big Chill Festival and Bestival later in the summer but on Friday 15th July, Gypsy Hill arrive at Tin Pan Alley. Gypsy Hill is a collaboration between DJ Kobayashi and Herbert Newbert with musicians joining them on trombone, trumpet, classical guitar, tuba and drums. The outcome is authentic Balkan/Gypsy/Swing/Mediterranean music with a touch of electronic beats, scratching and uplifting bass lines.

Freekie Fest 2011 is being held in a location not too far from Colchester on Saturday 23rd July. The music offering of Breaks, Drum n Bass, Tech House, Techno, Reggae, Funk, Hip Hop and Soul offers something for everyone and the varied DJ line-up is the good reason behind that. Ray Keith, StereoFreakz, CyberDog, Worzal, Matt’ Tha Hatt, Rev Wright, Seffi B, Roachie, Dave ‘Quicklung’ Paris play the New Arena. Andy Burr, LittleJoe, Dutchie, Kev C, ARIS, Tom Dove, Jay O’Connel, Gavin Rayner, Andy Moore & Doosh are in the Tech Arena. DJs Stat Ic, Shoesy, Gemison, and Floyd Fresh spin a mix of classic funk, jazz and hip hop in the ever popular Stumble Inn. This is a licensed event that has an excellent reputation. For more information on location and ticket availability visit

Saturday 30th July is when Andrew Black plays The Soundhouse at The Bull as part of his UK Tour. Travelling in from Atlanta, the premier soul blues singer and ‘feel’ guitarist has played at the Crouch Street venue before and is held in high regard across the world for his own brand of blues. This guy is really worth catching live.