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

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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

Plenty of choice of where to go in Colchester on Sunday 1st May. Straws gets taken over for an all-dayer organised by Arts Not Apathy featuring New Town Kings, Housework, Slopes, Animal Noise, We Are Embassy, The Jon Cook Blues Band, Rak, Holsten Cadaver, Kill the Party & Danny Lodge (Kuru Smile) and Barabbus. Mayday Mayhem takes place at V Bar with Angry Vs The Bear headlining. If you fancy a night of Tech House and Techno, head to Open at The Curve Bar where DJs Rob Perfect, TC Brown and Andy Burr are hosting a free party.

Devilish Presley come to town on Saturday 7th May. The gothic-punk band from East London have previously toured with The Meteors and The Damned and they play at The Twist promoting their fifth album ‘The Dark Triad’.   Support on the night comes from Hollywood Doll and Trash Monroe.

If you are a fan of The Seahorses   who topped the album chart in 1997 with their debut, ‘Do it Yourself‘ you should check out their former frontman Chris Helme who is performing at The Bull for The Raging Bull on Friday 13th May. The singer/songwriter will be supported by Ady Johnson and The 633.

Villagers have had a successful couple of years. The Irish band was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize for their debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’, which the judges described as “a record of great charm and mystery”. The folk outfit have performed on Later… with Jools Holland, played many of the major festivals, and earlier this year supported Elbow on their arena tour. Villagers will also have this year’s Camden Crawl and The Great Escape Festival in Brighton under their belt by the time they play Colchester Arts Centre on Thursday 19th May.

Another band that has previously played (and sold out) Colchester Arts Centre is Dreadzone although this time they are gigging over in SUbZero at the University of Essex. Widely regarded as pioneers of UK bass culture, the band have a built a massive fan base over the last 17 years and having seen them play live at festivals and the arts centre I can vouch for the fact that you cannot stand still to these guys whose music encompasses reggae, ska, dub, dancehall, hip hop, breakbeat and jungle. On Saturday 21st May, the New Town Kings join them on a night that will seriously get Colchester dancing!

Tin Pan Alley’s aim is to bring bands from around the UK to Colchester along with putting on gigs by the very best local acts. On Friday 27th May, London’s the Green Collective perform music inspired by Grant Green and other musicians from one of the greatest jazz labels of all time, Blue Note.   The group aims to bridge the gap between funk and jazz, creating improvised music with real groove and catchy hooks.

The Minories hosts another festival on Sunday 29th May and this time “peace and love” is the order of the day at the Lovestock Festival. There’s 9 hours of music planned with Jukebox Fury, Animal Noise, The Family Dickens and Broken Heads, alongside DJs Roachie and Dread Ben-Jammin.   Stalls, a fully licenced bar and BBQ , a Drum Workshop, a kids area and a fancy dress theme of the   Summer of Love, Psychedelic, or Bohemian Fancy Dress add to the festival atmosphere.

The following day, Bank Holiday Monday 30th May, see’s the wonderful Wivenhoe May Fair take place on King George V playing field. “Wivstock” started as a peace festival back in 1982 and still remains true to its roots; a free festival raising money for local, national and international charities as well as aiming to promote green, organic and sustainable lifestyles. Live music comes via the Main Stage, the Sunrise Music Stages and the new Open Mic Stage. See you there!

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