This editorial currently features in the June 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

Glastonbury and Bestival favourites Manouche come to Colchester on Friday 3rd June for what will be an energetic party at Tin Pan Alley. The gypsy swing ensemble performs specially arranged, up-beat works of Django Reinhardt (the gypsy king of jazz) and swing classics while fusing elements of electro grooves and surf guitar. Manouche provide electrified gypsy swing for the dancefloor generation and breathe new life into already lively numbers; they’ll go down a storm at this intimate venue.

Mangled has announced its last event after over 21 years of putting on some of the best raves Colchester has ever seen whilst raising money for great causes. On Saturday 4th June the guys take over Sub Zero at the University of Essex for One Love; a 9 hour party for those who have supported Mangled over the years. The line-up is as strong as we’ve come to expect with Adamski and Bizarre Inc featuring Angie Brown live on stage and a host of DJs including Richie Fingers and Mangled evergreens Jamie Smart and a man like Ju.

On Sunday 5th June head down to Lion Walk Shopping Centre at 1pm for the latest SoUNDAY Shopping event. Every week until 14th August, two music acts perform live to shoppers in a bid to win an additional chance to perform live at Colchester Free Festival later in the summer. SoUNDAY Shopping is organised by the Festival Organisers and Founding Festival Partners, Lion Walk to bring music to the heart of the town before the one-day festival takes place in Colchester’s Castle Park on 27th August. You can find out who’s playing each week by visiting

Tom Hingley returns to The Soundhouse at The Bull on Friday 17th June for what I expect will be another great acoustic gig by the former Inspiral Carpets frontman. Last year he played a set of Inspiral’s classics such as ‘This Is How It Feels To Be Lonely’ along with tracks from his solo project The Lovers, and entertained the crowd throughout. The straight talking Madchester legend is good value and last time he was in Colchester  a few of us  ended up in V Bar in the early hours with the vast majority of punters not realising that the bloke on the sofa with us was the same guy a certain Mr Noel Gallagher used to roadie for.   That was a top night and so should this one be.

In 1979, a band called Leper was formed in Colchester by locals Robbie Grey, Gary McDowell and Michael Conroy. Some additions to the line-up and a new name for the band meant the lads went on and enjoyed major UK and US success in the 80’s, releasing massive hits such as ‘Hands Across The Sea’ and ‘ I Melt With you’, recording two sessions for John Peel and signing to labels such as 4AD and Sire. Modern English come home with their original line-up to play a gig at Colchester Arts Centre on Saturday 25th June. Yep, it will be a nostalgic gig but it’ll be one worth being part of.

The Victoria Inn on North Station Road had a makeover earlier this year after Andy Pilgrim and Sheena Valentine took over and they’ve done a brilliant job in turning it into a friendly pub holding regular music events. For example, on a Friday night you’ll find jam nights; some of which are of the pure acoustic variety in the sense no amplification is used, and then on a Sunday afternoon around 5pm you’ll get the chance to enjoy and acts playing live which sure beats watching   Points of View on the TV.   I think part of the venue’s success is the fact it’s not in the main town centre and this has allowed it to build a good client base and reputation at its own pace. There’s decent real ale on offer too so it’s worth stopping off there when you’re next passing by.