Is it C*******s already?
Back in February, I posted THIS BLOG about the press briefing I attended at Metal Southend's HQ at Chalkwell Hall about the 2014 edition of their annual Village Green festival.
Since then, Metal have been constantly adding more and more performers and artists. Head HERE if you want to know about the myriad of things happening across the festival.
I mean, there is so much going on, it's already quite an event as it is. But there is more...
And I know where all the Cool Cats will be on the day, no mistake...
This year's Village Green will host the pilot for a new literary festival in Southend-on-Sea. Of course, we already have the fab Shorelines Festival (see here for my report of last year's edition). But it looks like in 2015, Southend's seafront might host a rather different beast of a literary festival: a Literary Noir Crime festival over a whole weekend... And what better place to try it out than Village Green?
This new exciting event is the brainchild of authors Cathi Unsworth, Travis Elborough and Syd Moore.
Travis Elborough says:
We really wanted to work within the genre of crime and mystery fiction and produce something intelligent, stylish, with a vintage vibe that reached out to new audiences who might not normally think of going to a literary festival.
Southend, with its Golden Mile and array of literary and seamy seaside connections, seemed the place to stage it. The artists we have programmed to perform at Village Green’s Dragnet certainly represent these qualities. Their interests range from folk tales of smuggling, the cosier corners of golden-era mystery fiction of the interwar years, to hardboiled American dime store pulp and contemporary Nordic noir.
Festival-goers will be able to see writers, poets, academics, musicians, filmmakers and artists who will provide a unique, stimulating and entertaining experience that is far removed from the expectations of a book reading or a conventional literary festival.’
Pioneering psychogeographers Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair explore the life and work of the late great Derek Raymond (considered to be the founder of the British Noir genre) among other things.
Crime Writer's Assocation Gold Dagger Award winner, Lilian Pizzichini - reading Making a Killing at the Kursaal, about Southend’s famous landmark, from her family memoir, Music Night at the Apollo.
The Sohemian Society Players: A Drop of Tea With Acid is a murderous brew of mystery and satire inspired by the crimes of the infamous 1940s 'Acid Bath' killer and consummate spiv John George Haigh, written by Marc Glendening and starring Callum Coates, Duncan Bolt and Emma Brown.
Cathi Unsworth in conversation with Travis Elborough about the Dark Currents that run between the coast and crime fiction.
Max Décharné will trace the journey of classic pulp fiction from the dimestore to the big screen, with clips and live music performance.
Syd Moore and Mark Pilkington in discussion about local Fortean curiosities: witches, smugglers and highwaymen.
Paul Willetts talks about his book, North Soho 999, which traces a murder that took place on the streets of Soho in the 1940s and which prompted a nationwide manhunt that eventually focused on Southend.
Anna Whitwham, the author of acclaimed crime novel, Boxer Handsome, interviewed by writer Ann Scanlon about women working in the corrupt worlds of sport and popular music, where they are not always made welcome by men.
And there's going to be some music!
Sophie Loyer, a gypsy-blues-jazz violinist, and the fabulous The Cesarians (believe me, I've seen them but cannot find my live pictures to put on here!), a truly thrilling seven-piece band with incredible charisma and energy straight out of the best smoky 1920s-30s Berlin cabarets... They will probably be the best dressed band of the whole festival!
I am supposed to cover the Village Green festival for this blog and possibly for a French music website, but I know I will be tempted to spend the whole day inside the Dragnet tent...
I leave you with The Cesarians...