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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: Paul Draper; London Folk Festival; Jah Wobble

31 August, 2017 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Paul Draper

ONE of my first jobs was at Telford’s Warehouse, a small music venue in an old canal building in Chester, where I learned about the depth of the music world from the various travelling musicians and musos who would pass through.

Folk singer John Martyn owned a barge moored by the building and one of my jobs was to bring him his dinner – with a promise to the chefs that if he gave me any “herbal” gifts, they should be promptly passed on to them (he never did) – and then I was temporarily fired for going off to see Oasis in Sheffield (probably deservedly so).

When I was eventually forgiven and allowed to return, I was lucky enough to see John Sebastian, Ritchie Havens and many more icons in the venue’s intimate setting. One of the cleaners would make me psychedelic mix tapes and educate me about obscure bands while he worked to Love’s Forever Changes and my musical knowledge was ever-enriched. This was one of the early haunts of Chester band Mansun, who would often be drinking in the bar alongside many other up-and-coming musicians.

What I didn’t know until I spoke to former frontman Paul Draper this week, was that he actually did one shift behind the bar there. I’m not sure why he didn’t continue – perhaps impending stardom got in the way. But for young musicians and those who just love music, starting off working in a music venue can widen your influences, help build contacts and generally show you a side to the industry that you might not otherwise see.

London Folk Festival takes place at Cecil Sharp House on September 2 with a busy line-up of live shows headlined by Jim Moray and Lady Maisery (above), with workshops in harp, flutes and whistles, spoons, songwriting and harmony singing – sign up soon.

• Classically-trained Nevada singer Sunny Ozel (above) honed her skills in New York’s jazz clubs, where she met her husband, actor Patrick Stewart – he can often be found in the audience at her live shows. Sunny supports Aaron Lee Tasjan at The Islington on September 4.

Spiritland celebrates its first birthday between September 4 to 10. Details of events are on their website, including an evening with Irish author Roddy Doyle (above) on September 7 where he will be speaking to John Doran of The Quietus about writing, memory and music, to mark the launch of new work Smile.

• Jessie Ware (above) plays three sold-out shows at Islington Assembly Hall on September 4-6.

Maverick bass player Jah Wobble (above) brings his Invaders of the Heart band to Ronnie Scott’s for a rare appearance on September 3.

• As we recently reported, Coffin Dodger’s Disco has been rechristened Age Against The Machine and launches on September 1 at The Phoenix. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a night for the over-28s who never grew up – a crusade against youth, a place where you can dad dance without being put to shame with a playlist that covers most things. Bring ID if you want to get in.

Leif Vollebeck (above) plays The Lexington on September 5 and 6.

• Nite Jewel plays Camden Assembly on September 7.

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