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Papa Shango to headline gig at The Half Moon in Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday February 17, 2024

A “musical seventh wonder of the world” will be part of a Bishop’s Stortford pub’s relaunch with a special home-town gig this winter.

Papa Shango, who bill themselves as a circus rock act with mayhem and madness guaranteed to leave jaws dropped, will headline a show at The Half Moon on Saturday February 17.

The flamboyant 12-piece, whose eclectic and eccentric sound is perhaps best described as a heavier version of The Darkness with a touch of Rage Against The Machine and a dash of James Blunt, used to make an annual pilgrimage to the North Street hostelry.

Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography
Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography

Following the venue’s recent reopening, Papa Shango are returning early next year for what promises to be another memorable occasion, with support coming from Apollo, Pause and Coppola.

And frontman Papa Rob (Rob Scatchard), who performs on stage alongside talented musicians as well as backing singers and dancers, known as the Papettes, cannot wait for the gig.

“We are super excited to be asked to headline the relaunch of the town’s music venue,” said Papa Rob, whose band released album Risk Assessment this year and are working on follow-up Making Memories which includes new songs like Biscuit Barrel, Caravan and Naughty Robot.

“We have had a brilliant relationship with The Half Moon over the last decade and want to repay the love shown to us since we lost our natural home The Square, in Harlow, which got knocked down into a car park.

“As a band we play up and down the country and never feel more at home than in Bishop’s Stortford, our home town. There has been such a rich vein of musical talent in the area over the years.

“The Half Moon has always been the central hub of music in the town and, by playing, we’re hoping the local community will come and support such a brilliant venue on their doorstep.”

Papa Shango, who can count Bill Bailey and Alex Horne as celebrity fans, also have some new members to introduce to the Stortford crowd.

Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography
Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography

Ryan Beach has graduated from wearing a monkey suit in the band to being the guitarist while Hollie, Leanne and Kiri have fitted in perfectly as Papettes and enjoyed a rip-roaring debut gig as Nene Valley Rock Festival headliners.

There might also be a surprise visit from the Mayor of Rock and Roll and rapper Andy B, who has been working with a few artists in New York and rapped on Papa Shango’s Check Your Phone.

The carefully-chosen support acts for the February concert all hail from the local area. Apollo and Pause are both three-piece rock acts while Coppola love catchy melodies, fast drums and jangly guitars with subtle references to the sound of the 1980s.

Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography
Papa Shango. Picture: goatnoisephotography

Papa Shango were due to perform a jazz gig at The Half Moon this month which had to be cancelled while the pub’s new landlords took over, but that show will take place at The Belgian Brewer on July 6.

Tickets for the February 17 show at The Half Moon, can be bought in advance for £8.99 at www.wegottickets.com/event/602372 or on the door for £10. Doors open at 6.30pm.

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