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Sign of the Times: Craig David, UB40, Echo and the Bunnymen and more come to Little Hadham for festival



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A host of hitmakers from the 80s and 90s will hit the stage at the second Sign of the Times festival before a solo gig by Craig David near Bishop's Stortford this weekend (July 1-3).

Once again Church End, Little Hadham, will be transformed for two days of musical nostalgia from the likes of UB40, Echo and the Bunnymen, Shed Seven and Boomtown Rats on Friday and Saturday (July 1-2).

Then on Sunday (July 3) the venue will host a separate concert by UK garage legend Craig David, backed by a live band. The Seven Days star and multi-platinum-selling artist will have support acts

Craig David at Newbury Racecourse .Ref: 30-1618AC. (57337780)
Craig David at Newbury Racecourse .Ref: 30-1618AC. (57337780)

The organisers have returned to East Herts after a successful launch last year and have lined up 27 acts for Sign of the Times.

Friday's headliners are UB40, featuring original frontman Ali Campbell. The reggae and pop band was formed in December 1978 and since then they have notched up more than 50 hits in the UK singles chart, including original tracks like One in Ten and The Earth Dies Screaming and a string of popular cover versions including Red, Red Wine and Kingston Town.

The Brummies are supported by Liverpool's finest, Echo and the Bunnymen, who scored chart successes in the 80s with Killing Moon, The Cutter, Seven Seas and Bring on the Dancing Horses with an unmistakable vocal from singer Ian McCulloch.

Echo and the Bunnymen (57337985)
Echo and the Bunnymen (57337985)

Also on Friday's main stage line-up are Scottish punk rock and new wave band Skids, fronted by founder member Richard Jobson; The Farm, the Liverpool band behind the anthemic All Together Now and Groovy Train; and JoBoxers, the new wave group which scaled the charts with catchy tunes like Boxerbeat and Just Got Lucky.

Friday's line-up on the Big Top stage is Northern Irish rock band Therapy? with support from Scottish indie rockers Glasvegas, alt-rock outfit Pop Will Eat Itself (most famous for the hit Can U Dig It), Kirk Brandon's post-punk Theatre of Hate and Hairy Bikers chef Si King's funk and soul ensemble The King Cush Band. They changed their name from Little Moscow after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Live performances on Friday start at around 4pm with a noon kick-off on Saturday, when Shed Seven, who formed in York in 1990, top the bill.

During the 90s, the Britpoppers had four top 20 albums and 15 top 40 singles including Getting Better, Going for Gold, She Left Me On Friday and On Standby.

Bob Geldof, The Boomtown Rats (57337798)
Bob Geldof, The Boomtown Rats (57337798)

The Boomtown Rats, fronted by Band Aid founder Sir Bob Geldof, are supporting with their unique brand of "trashcan glam".

Since their formation in 1975, the Irish new wavers have released seven studio albums, seven compilation albums and 23 singles. Their hits include Lookin' After No 1, Mary of the 4th Form, She's So Modern, Like Clockwork, Rat Trap, I Don't Like Mondays, Diamond Smiles, Someone's Looking At You and Banana Republic.

Liverpool's Lightning Seeds, most famous for the hit Lucky You that frontman Ian Broudie wrote with Specials icon Terry Hall, and Three Lions, the football anthem Broudie created with comics David Baddiel and Frank Skinner for Euro 96, are third on the bill.

The Lightning Seeds performing (57338106)
The Lightning Seeds performing (57338106)

The Undertones, formed in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1974 and now fronted by Paul McLoone rather than original singer Feargal Sharkey, are appearing with a back catalogue including Teenage Kicks, Jimmy Jimmy, Here Comes the Summer and You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It?).

Also on the bill are Scottish brothers Pat and Greg Kane, better known as Hue and Cry, who scored their biggest hit in 1987 with Labour of Love; Coventry's The Primitives, famous for their 1988 international chart success Crash; technopop punk rockers Republica, who released Ready to Go in 1996; and mod-revivalist Block 33.

On Saturday's Big Top stage, there is No Rest from Bradford rockers New Model Army, who are headlining.

The Lightning Seeds performing (57338106)
The Lightning Seeds performing (57338106)

The bill also features Sleeper, fronted by Louise Wener. The band racked up eight UK top 40 hit singles including Sale of the Century, Inbetweener and What Do I Do Now and their music also featured in the soundtrack of the movie Trainspotting.

The Beat fused ska, reggae and punk and are best known for singles Tears of a Clown – a cover version of the Motown hit by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Can't Get Used to Losing You, Mirror in the Bathroom, Hands Off...She's Mine and Best Friend.

Kirk Brandon returns to the stage with Spear of Destiny, following former Stranglers singer and guitarist Hugh Cornwell, while grassroots guitar band The Bracknall and new wave, punk, ska and 80s pop duo Radio Romantic kick off proceedings.

Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers (57338044)
Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers (57338044)

The music comes back up to date on Sunday with a gig by Craig David. His career has spanned two decades and the singer-songwriter, rapper, DJ and record producer has recruited a new generation of fans.

He entered the spotlight in 1999, featuring on the single Re-Rewind by Artful Dodger. The following year he released his debut studio album, Born to Do It. Since then five more have followed and he has collaborated with a string of stars including Sting, Tinchy Stryder, Big Narstie, Kano Jay Sean and, most recently, last year with MNEK on Who You Are.

David has been nominated for 15 Brit Awards – including five times for Best British Male – and twice received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

In all, in the UK he has 20 top 40 singles and seven top 40 albums under his belt and has sold over 15 million records worldwide as a solo artist.

Craig David at Newbury Racecourse .Ref: 30-1618AF. (57337767)
Craig David at Newbury Racecourse .Ref: 30-1618AF. (57337767)

For tickets to Sign of the Times, see https://signofthetimesfestival.co.uk/. For Craig David, go to https://blockrockinevents.co.uk/events.



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