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Shaun Ryder's Black Grape to headline 2019 Bish Bash music festival

By Paul Winspear

Shaun Ryder and Paul Kermit Leveridge are Black Grape
Shaun Ryder and Paul Kermit Leveridge are Black Grape

Stortford Music Festival organisers have announced that Black Grape are to headline the Sunday night when the Bish Bash music festival returns to Castle Park over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Bish Bash 2019 logo
Bish Bash 2019 logo

Fronted by former Happy Mondays singer and I’m A Celebrity… runner-up Shaun Ryder, the funk rock band was formed in 1993.

In August 1995 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah, which topped the UK album charts for two weeks and went on to achieve platinum certification. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize but lost to Pulp’s Different Class.

The album spawned two top 10 singles – Reverend Black Grape and In The Name of the Father – and a top 20 hit, Kelly’s Heroes.

The second album, Stupid Stupid Stupid, was less successful, reaching No 11 in the album charts, but was still certified gold in the UK in January 1998, the year the group split.

Bish Bash 2019 ticket prices

Tickets are available from the Stortford Music Festival website. They include a special discounted weekend ticket if bought before the new year.

Saturday: Adults £22.50, under-18s (ages 5-17) £7, family (2 adults & 2 under-18s) £49.50.

Sunday: Adults £22.50, under-18s (ages 5-17) £7, family (2 adults & 2 under-18s) £49.50.

Early bird weekend (available until Dec 31): Adults £36, under-18s (ages 5-17) £11, family (2 adults & 2 under-18s) £79.

Under-5s are admitted free.

Following a lengthy hiatus, in July last year they released the critically acclaimed album, Pop Voodoo, which saw them return to the top 20.

Closing the Bish Bash proceedings on Saturday night will be local lunatic rockers Papa Shango, with their theatrical brand of fun and chaos. The Stortford Music Festival stalwarts allegedly gave global singing star and former St Mary’s Catholic School student Sam Smith his first break when he dressed as an ape for their 2010 performance.

Other acts confirmed over the weekend so far include The Kubricks, A Band Called Malice (The Definitive Tribute to The Jam), Stortford Sound System and O’Connell & Love, a folky project from Alabama 3’s Larry Love.

The volunteer-run, not-for-profit festival will feature a full bill of local talent, with four stages of music, comedy and plenty to keep children occupied.

Papa Shango
Papa Shango

To apply to play, email bands@stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk with links to music and social media (please put the name of your act in the subject line).

Bish Bash organisers are also looking for sponsorship. If you represent a local business interested in supporting this fantastic community event, email sponsorship@stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk for more details.

The festival takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of the May Day bank holiday weekend (May 4-5) on Sworder’s Field, Castle Park.


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