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Adam Ant and Echo & the Bunnymen to headline new Little Hadham music festival with support from Ash, The Wedding Present, Peter Hook & The Light, Cast, Black Grape, Alabama 3, Wilko Johnson and DJs including Trevor Nelson

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A two-day music festival, headlined by 80s icon Adam Ant and rock band Echo & the Bunnymen, is coming to Little Hadham for the first time.

The team behind it is also responsible for ska, punk, mod and northern soul festival Stone Valley South, which is returning to East Hertfordshire for a third staging, with three days of music at Hillside Farm, Great Amwell, on August 13-15.

The new event, called Sign of the Times, will take place at Church End, Little Hadham, will feature bands and DJs across two stages on Friday and Saturday August 20-21.

Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen. Picture: Martin Apps
Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen. Picture: Martin Apps

On Friday, Echo & the Bunnymen will headline. Two of the Liverpool band's original members – frontman and vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant – will roll back the decades to their 80s heyday.

Formed in 1978, their 1980 debut album, Crocodiles, entered the top 20 of the UK albums chart and was followed over the next four years by Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and Ocean Rain, all of which reached the top 10.

They won an army of fans with singles including top 20 hits The Back of Love, The Cutter, Never Stop, The Killing Moon and Seven Seas.

Ash (46901224)
Ash (46901224)

Their support includes Northern Irish Britpop trio Ash, formed in 1989 by vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray, and best known for tracks including Girl From Mars and Burn Baby Burn.

The Wedding Present, the English indie rock group formed in 1985 in Leeds, and Celtic-folk punk band Ferocious Dog are also on the bill.

On Saturday, 66-year-old Stuart Leslie Goddard – aka Adam Ant – is the headliner.

The new wave 'Dandy Highwayman' was part of the 1970s punk vanguard and acted in Derek Jarman's seminal film Jubilee in 1977.

Adam Ant
Adam Ant

After tangling with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, who took the first incarnation of Adam's Ants backing band to form Bow Wow Wow, he formed the five-piece which recorded chart-topping album Kings of the Wild Frontier in the summer of 1980, followed by Prince Charming (No 2 in 1981).

With the band and as a solo artist he chalked up 10 UK top ten hits from 1980 to 1983, including three No 1 singles: Stand and Deliver, Prince Charming and Goody Two Shoes.

He has also appeared in dozens of film and TV programmes.

He will be joined in Little Hadham by legendary former Joy Division and New Order bass player Peter Hook and his band The Light, Liverpool indie rockers Cast, Shaun Ryder's Black Grape, electro-pop and country fusion band Alabama 3, post-punk outfit The Futureheads and Bish Bash favourite Wilko Johnson, who played guitar with Dr Feelgood and the Blockheads and was the mute executioner Ser Ilyn Payne in TV's Game of Thrones.

DJs set to appear at the festival include Trevor Nelson, Jazzie B, Norman Jay and Don Letts.

The festival is offering day tickets and weekend passes for fans as well as camping and VIP packages.

The Sign of the Times team said: "We're fans ourselves and want to see live music remain as accessible as possible to everyone.

"For our first year, Sign of the Times will bring you a diverse range of legends from rock, indie, blues, new wave, folk-punk and more, and classic DJs on a second stage that will be bouncing!"

For more details and to book tickets, see signofthetimesfestival.co.uk.

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