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Colchester Arts Centre

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Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF
  • Telephone 01206 500900
  • Box office times Mon–Sat 10.30am–5.30pm; closed Sun.
  • Email
  • Website www.colchesterartscentre.com
Photo of Colchester Arts Centre
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Big Country

Big Country

A re-formed configuration of the veteran Scotrockers whose hits include 'Fields of Fire' and 'In a Big Country'.

Fri 25 Sep

£25

Blancmange

Blancmange

Rest easy – everyone's third favourite 80s synth pop band are back, back, back. Living on the ceiling and all that. Now, how about a Thompson Twins' reunion?

Mon 6 Sep
Thu 16 Sep

Prices to be confirmed

Carl Palmer Band

Carl Palmer Band

Drumming powerhouse, once of prog behemoths Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia.

Thu 1 Apr

£30.78

Catherine May & Andrew Allen: Blue

This gig is for a seated audience.

Catherine May (soprano) and Andrew Allen (guitar) are joined by Tim Pells (guitar), Michael Allen (percussion) and Emma Allen (cello) for a performance of Joni Mitchell’s Blue album.

Blue is one of the most highly regarded albums of the past 50 years. Most of the songs have become standards and have been performed and recorded countless times. The album is however rarely performed as a whole. Every song is a gem but the striking thing about this album is the way that it makes such a strong cycle of songs. Blue is an intimate and soulful set of songs in which Joni Mitchell spoke directly about her inner thoughts, cares and conflicts. It was met with immediate success when first released in 1971 and has grown in significance over the intervening years.

Catherine May and Andrew Allen formed their duo in 2018 to explore the repertoire for voice and guitar. They are particularly interested in exploring the eclectic and unique ways that the guitar and voice have worked together both historically and in contemporary music. Tim Pells and Andrew Allen have been performing classical guitar duos together since 2008. The idea for this project started with a performance at the Headgate Theatre in 2017 when Tim, Andrew and Catherine performed A Case of You.

Catherine, Andrew and Tim all come from Western Canada so this is an exciting opportunity to explore and celebrate the work of the greatest singer songwriter from Saskatchewan.

Thu 15 Oct

£12 (£10)

Choc & Gilly - the Reunion Shows

Choc & Gilly - The Reunion Shows (Colchester Arts Centre) A DJ Night for a standing audience.

What we are going to do here is go back! Way Back! Back into time!

If you where in Colchester area in the 70?s and 80?s (and even if you weren?t ) you must be at these shows.

Legendary DJ?S CHOC & GILLY return together go around again for two nights only- spinning the memories of the past and creating some new ones whilst their reputation precedes them !

Together with some special guests legendary bands and Acts being announced along the way . The Arts Centre gets turned into The Works, The Colne Lodge, Woods Leisure Centre, The Hippodrome, The Waikiki and The Oliver Twist all turned into one

This show is Standing.

Fri 9 Apr

£22

Sat 10 Apr

£22

Chris McCausland

Chris McCausland

A brand new stand-up show following a stonking set on Live at the Apollo and a sell-out Fringe, one of the UK's top stand-ups Chris McCausland is on tour. Sunday Times Best of the Edinburgh Fringe 2018.   He's blind. He's a dad. He's a husband. He's third in command. He'll speaky about all of that, and loads more.   "A joke heavy show with gags a plenty" (The List)   “Passionate and rib-tickling. An illuminating, heartfelt performance. Highly recommended!” (EdFestMagazine)   'Proper stand-up, honest, straightforward, balls-out funny' (Chortle.co.uk).   "He paints us pictures with fantastical words and images… it's almost impossible not to like him" (ThreeWeeks)

Sat 5 Dec

Prices to be confirmed

Sat 1 May

Prices to be confirmed

The Christians

The Christians

Liverpool's undisputed kings of soulful pop harmonies. Renowned for an endless string of soulful hits including 'Forgotten Town', 'Ideal World', 'Born Again', 'Harvest for the World', 'What’s in a Word', 'Hooverville', 'Words', 'Father', 'The Bottle' and many more.

Fri 13 Nov

Prices to be confirmed

A Christmas Carol By Candlelight

Colchester Arts Centre Director Anthony Roberts’ traditional rendition of the Dickens classic, with musical accompaniment by Jamie Cunliffe.

Hear this wonderful timeless tale in the beautiful surroundings of a Victorian church, with the only illumination provided by candlelight!

Guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Wed 23 Dec

£6

Thu 24 Dec

£6

From the Jam

From the Jam, The Selecter

Now featuring only one member From the Jam. Bruce Foxton is joined by Russell Hastings and drummer Steve 'Smiley' Barnard.

Thu 18 Mar

£27.50

Gong

This gig is for a standing audience.

The ever metamorphosing entity that is GONG launches, as ever, into unknown – and unknowing – territory with a new tour for 2020, destined to be talked about, discussed, and argued over, up and down the land.

From its beginnings in a French commune in 1967, through the Virgin Records years, mismanagement, court cases, break-ups and rejoinings, deaths and rebirths – there has always been a continuous thread of beautiful, dangerous and extraordinary music.

The current holders of the flame have come together over the last eight years; sinuous bass player Dave Sturt joined just as the album 2032 was shown to the world; Ian East (Sax, Flute) was the next to blow in through the portal; Fabio Golfetti brought his guitars from Brazil (after working with Daevid Allen for many years); Kavus Torabi (lead vox and guitars) appeared to Daevid in a vision; Cheb Nettles (drums) just sort of turned up.

In 2015, Daevid Allen passed away. His influence and legacy were honoured on the band’s subsequent album, Rejoice! I’m Dead! (2016). Over the past year GONG has performed with Steve Hillage Band (himself a former member of the 1970s GONG line-up) and released the critically acclaimed album The Universe Also Collapses (2019).

Kavus Torabi takes up the story: “Having ended 2019 by actually levitating The Paradiso in Amsterdam, 2020 will see the radiant vehicle of Gong play shows in Brazil and Japan, visit Chile for the first time and perform in fields across Europe, before returning to the UK for a headline tour.

“November 2020 will be the most extensive UK tour of this Gong chapter thus far. We will be performing an immersive, expanded and transformative set which promises, at the very least, to affect the complete dissolution of ego and sense of self.”

Gong’s musically diverse world includes shades of psychedelia, space rock, jazz, avant-garde, krautrock and surreal soundscapes.

Thu 19 Nov

£20

John Lennon Tribute UK: Lennon Retrospective

John Lennon Tribute UK: Lennon Retrospective

Gaz Keenan pays tribute to John Lennon, performing both his solo work and early Beatles classics.

Sat 28 Nov

£11–£13

Kingdom of Madness: Classic Magnum featuring Mark Stanway, Micky Barker, Richard Bailey & Mo Birch

MARK STANWAY – Keyboards (Magnum 1980-2016, Grand Slam)

MICKY BARKER – Drums (Magnum 1985-95)

RICHARD BAILEY – Keyboards / flute (Magnum 1975-80, Whitesnake)

MO BIRCH – Vocals / percussion (Magnum, Go West, UB40)

plus other top-drawer classic rock musicians.

Members of MAGNUM’s classic era line-ups reunite to perform Classic Magnum songs from the celebrated 1978-94 period.

One of the UK’s finest exponents of melodic rock music, Magnum achieved high album and singles chart positions in both the UK and Europe, gaining a reputation as one of the UK most captivating bands, both musically and visually. Highlights of the band’s career include regular sold-out theatre tours including a memorable five nights at London’s legendary Hammersmith Odeon performed during 1988 together with headlining Birmingham NEC and Wembley Arena, as well as appearances at major festivals.

Mark Stanway (keyboards), Micky Barker (drums), Richard Bailey (keyboards/flute), and Mo Birch (vocals/percussion), all of whom have previously performed with Magnum. provide the nucleus of Kingdom of Madness, formed in 2018 to perform classic tracks from the celebrated 1978-94 era of Magnum. The array of top drawer classic rock alumni that has joined them in this project to date has included Neil Murray (bass, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), Brian Badhams (bass, Bernie Marsden, Steve Gibbons, Climax Blues Band), Chris Ousey (vocals, Heartland/Snakecharmer) and Laurence Archer (guitar, UFO, Grand Slam, Magnum).

“There was an extensive catalogue of great songs from the classic years of Magnum which have not been performed on stage in many years and which audiences have been screaming out for” says Mark Stanway, keyboard player with Magnum for 36 years.

Micky Barker and Richard Bailey, both members of Magnum’s classic-era line-ups, didn’t take much persuading to get involved: “This decision was easy,” says Bailey. “It was obvious the fans would welcome the chance to hear some of their favourite classic Magnum songs and we all have the essential mutual respect for each other’s musical ability.”

Barker adds: “Blowing the dust off some of the old CD’s and DVD’s from my time with Magnum, the idea of playing some of Tony Clarkin’s finest songs again became increasingly appealing.”

This reunion of former members of one the UK’s best-loved bands to perform music that has touched the hearts of several generations of music fans has been met with the highest acclaim from both music critics and audiences alike:

“Pure and simple, this was a triumph for all concerned,” wrote Andy Rawll at Metal Talk. “This was no pale imitation of an inimitable band. This incredible group of musicians showed their respect of the legacy of Magnum. The beauty was in the verve and euphoria of an unfettered performance, delivered with style, that delighted those in the crowd, as much as it did those on stage.”

David Randall at Get Ready to Rock added: “This really was a night of Magnum nostalgia and – perhaps more than a Magnum gig – an evocative celebration of the band’s heritage and Tony Clarkin’s stellar song-writing”

www.kingdomofmadness.co.uk

Fri 30 Oct

£20 (£18)

The Laughter Zone Comedy Club

The place to be for Stand-Up Comedy. We get all the new comics on their way up! Eddie Izzard, Michael McIntyre, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr all appeared at the arts centre before they were famous (and in some cases afterwards as well).

Come on in for a riotous night of laughs. Bar open throughout and always a great atmosphere - come and give us a try!

Tonight's lineup TBA.

Fri 11 Sep

£12 (£10)

Fri 2 Oct

£12 (£10)

Fri 6 Nov

£12 (£10)

Fri 4 Dec

£12 (£10)

Laura Lexx: Knee Jerk

Laura Lexx: Knee Jerk

Lexx takes on society's big issues.

Tue 26 Jan

Prices to be confirmed

London Calling - A Tribute to The Clash

London Calling, The Ramonas

Punk legends The Clash have their best-know tunes performed live.

Thu 8 Oct

£14.85

Nine Below Zero

Nine Below Zero

Hard rockin' blues and R&B outfit.

Thu 18 Mar

£27.50

Nouvelle Vague

Nouvelle Vague

Bossa nova covers of the likes of Joy Division, the Cure, the Specials, the Clash and other early 80s alternative heroes.

Tue 27 Oct

£30.25

Rev Simpkins

This gig is for a standing audience

Sinner-songwriter, poet-priest, and freak-folk Father, Rev Simpkins performs a heady brew of bruising freak blues, string-snapping finger-picked folk, and sanctified psychedelia. He returns with Big Sea, his first solo album for 11 years.

Written around a time of illness, Big Sea is an exuberant celebration of the peaks and troughs of life and death through vivid songs about east coast creeks, shattering storms, mystic pelicans and the Colchester martyrs. Now a priest in the Church of England, his musical career saw him performing with underground band FuzzFace, gospel-fiddle duo Sons of Joy, and collaborating with the remaining members of the Small Faces to reconstruct their LP Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake.

Shades of Beefheart, Nick Drake, the Kinks, and pre-war blues blend into an irresistibly energetic and original concoction.

“High octane stuff…unique musical style and literate words performed with energy and passion. He must be a gas live.” fROOTS

“Deep, dark…makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up” Maverick Magazine, "raw, authentic and always riveting." Acoustic Magazine

“…he might just scoop a Mercury Prize…”, East Anglian Daily Times

Tue 29 Sep

£8 (£7)

The Rhythm Kings

The Rhythm Kings

The Rhythm Kings, featuring Beverley Skeete, perform foot-stomping R&B and soul.

Tue 17 Nov

£27.50

The Rhythm Kings + Special Guest Otis Redding Iii

HISTORIC LAVENHAM SUMMER FESTIVAL 2019

THE RHYTHM KINGS plus exclusive Special Guest from Georgia, USA - OTIS REDDING III (Son of Otis Redding)

In 1996 a group of musicians and singers were asked to join an elite band. The band were Terry Taylor, Graham Broad, Beverley Skeete, Nick Payn, Frank Mead and later Geraint Watkins.

For seventeen years they toured together, working with artists such as Mary Wilson, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Gary Brooker, Georgie Fame, Paul Carrack, Eddie Floyd, Andy Fairweather-Low, Albert Lee, Percy Sledge, Ben.E.King, Solomon Burke and many more. The Rhythm Kings are a highly respected band in their own right and with the help of new member Greg Harewood on bass, they have recently been wowing audiences with their Bluesy, Soulful Take on Classic songs and modern day numbers with some Rock and Roll crowd pleasers thrown in. The fact that these guys are like a family is really evident and this love transmits to the audience wherever they go, endearing people to come back time and time again.

Definitely a foot stomping evening to remember sprinkled with a sense of humour. The must see band for this year!

OTIS REDDING III (The son of Otis Redding )

A rich family legacy. An enduring name that has been embedded in the hearts of millions around the globe. A history of solid performances for fans in both the United States and in Europe. Not many performers today have such advantages like Otis Redding III.

Legendary soul singer Otis Redding left his son with a musical heritage that extends far beyond the hit records for which he is famous.

Indeed, Otis Redding III has been bestowed with his father's unique musical gift, and for nearly 25 years has put this talent to good use by not only touring and performing, but also writing and arranging since the early 80's.

An accomplished and recognised artist in his own right, Otis Redding III grew even more as a musician and performer touring with his band The Reddings. He did not realise until much later in his career that it is truly his father's talent that pulses in his veins.

The Bar area will be open from 7pm and the Hall from 8pm.

This is a STANDING show. For all disabled bookings or seats specifically required, please contact OEP Live! direct on 01256 416384.

You can find all our shows on Facebook: www.facebook.com/oeplive. Please do take a look and Like our page.

Tue 17 Nov

£27.50

Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers

The godfather of neo-soul, known for his cool-vibe breaks and punchy funk baselines.

Tue 1 Dec

£27.50

Roy Ayers UBIQUITY 'Mystic Voyage' 45th anniversary

Roy Ayers UBIQUITY 'Mystic Voyage' 45th anniversary

As the number one vibraphone player and one of the most sampled artists in history, jazz musician Roy Ayers, Ubiquity performs live jazz shows and concerts throughout the nation.

Roy Edward Ayers, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California on September 10, 1940. Music has always been in his genes. His mother, Ruby, was a schoolteacher and local piano instructor and his father, Roy Sr., was a sometimes-parking attendant and trombonist.

As it often happens in a household filled with love and appreciation for music, Roy began to demonstrate his musical aptitude by the tender age of five.

By then he was playing boogie tunes on the piano. He eventually turned his attention to the guitar and other instruments, including the trumpet, and drums before embracing instrument of choice, the vibraphone.

In the 1960's, Roy was an award-winning jazz vibraphonist but soon transferred into a popular R&B band leader in the 1970's and 80's. Today, the dynamic music man is an iconic figure still in great demand.

Tue 1 Dec

Prices to be confirmed

Secret Affair

Secret Affair

Mod revival pop-rock from the veteran outfit.

Sat 21 Nov
Sat 27 Nov

£22

Sh*t Faced Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet

The smash-hit, internationally acclaimed, multi sell-out fringe phenomenon is touring the UK with one of Shakespeare's most loved plays: Romeo and Juliet. Sht-faced Shakespeare is the hilarious combination of an entirely serious adaptation of a Shakespearean classic, with an entirely sht-faced cast member.

With one cast member selected at random and given four hours to drink before every show we present to you classical theatre as it was always meant to be seen. With a gin in one hand, a cup of wine in the other and a flagon of ale in the other… What could possibly go wrong? Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare seeks to introduce a new generation of theatre-goers to the works of the Bard by reviving the raucous, interactive and vibrant nature of Elizabethan theatre with a very modern twist – reminding them as we go to always enjoy Shakespeare responsibly.

“A great night out to get properly pucked up. It’s what Willy would have wanted.” Time Out ★★★★

“There is no doubt this is a hoot to watch” Evening Standard

Sat 21 Nov

£20 (£19)

Sun 22 Nov

£20 (£19)

Sh*t Faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

Sh*t Faced Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

The smash-hit, internationally acclaimed, multi sell-out fringe phenomenon is touring the UK with one of Shakespeare's most loved plays: Romeo and Juliet. Shit-faced Shakespeare is the hilarious combination of an entirely serious adaptation of a Shakespearean classic, with an entirely shit-faced cast member. With one cast member selected at random and given four hours to drink before every show we present to you classical theatre as it was always meant to be seen. With a gin in one hand, a cup of wine in the other and a flagon of ale in the other… What could possibly go wrong? Shit-Faced Shakespeare seeks to introduce a new generation of theatre-goers to the works of the Bard by reviving the raucous, interactive and vibrant nature of Elizabethan theatre with a very modern twist – reminding them as we go to always enjoy Shakespeare responsibly.

“A great night out to get properly pucked up. It’s what Willy would have wanted.” Time Out ★★★★

“There is no doubt this is a hoot to watch” Evening Standard

Fri 12 Nov

Times & prices to be confirmed

Sat 13 Nov

Times & prices to be confirmed

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

A lovely winter tale, set in the middle of summer, told by Magnificent Bastard Productions. Yes, this is an entirely serious Shakespeare play, but yes, one cast member is entirely shit-faced.

Sat 21 Nov

Times & prices to be confirmed

Sun 22 Nov

Times & prices to be confirmed

Fri 12 Nov

£20

Sat 13 Nov

£20

Slay Duggee Live!

This show is for a standing audience!

Kids' heavy metal disco with face painting (rock and metal designs only)

In aid of Team Angus

SLAY DUGGEE are five dogs that play heavy metal for kids. Do you need to know any more? OK then…

SLAY DUGGEE was formed in January 2018, only 48 hours later, Slay Duggee’s first single Stick was played on BBC Radio 6 Music by Steve Lamacq.

Lamacq dubbed SLAY DUGGEE the “Lords of Toddler Metal” and personally requested a cover of the theme tune to BBC CBeebies show Sarah & Duck. Since then, SLAY DUGGEE have amassed over 25 million listens, giving hundreds of thousands of kids and toddlers their first taste of real heavy metal.

They have collaborated with TesseracT guitarist James Monteith, and Nekrogoblikon vocalist and songwriter Nicky “Scorpion” Calonne with their cover of The Lego Movie’s Everything Is Awesome and TesseracT singer Daniel Tompkins on their Christmas single Walking In The Air.

SLAY DUGGEE funded their debut album Kids Love Metal by selling sticks on Kickstarter, yes real sticks from trees. The album featured 14 heavy metal cover versions of children's songs and theme tunes, containing their previous singles Stick, Sarah & Duck, Go Jetters, The Sea The Sky, Everything Is Awesome, and Baby Shark as well as eight new unheard songs, including popular CBeebies theme tunes from Octonauts and Something Special. Billed by the band as “The only Toddler Metal album you’ll ever need. Until our next one.” The album has been mixed and mastered by Steve Sears (The HellGold Key).

Their second album My First Metal Album in 2019. More metal versions of kids' favourites Johny Johny, Sleeping Bunnies, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks and more.

Drummer, Black Shuck continued “It’s vital that the children of the world receive the correct musical upbringing. SLAY DUGGEE are a key educational tool for any responsible parent.”

Support comes from the bovine king of children's metal parties DJ Ox. Ever played musical bumps to Slipknot? There's a first time for everything.

SLAY DUGGEE music videos: youtube

Kids Love Metal here:

Spotify

All tickets £8

Kids and adults need tickets, parental supervision required at all times

Doors 1.30pm, starts 2pm.

Sat 24 Oct

£8

Sofie Hagen: The Bumswing

Sofie Hagen: The Bumswing (Work in Progress)

IAM Presents

The Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer winner is back with a comedy show about memory and swings specifically for bums. As seen on Live from the BBC and her own episode of Comedy Central Specials.

Age category: 16+

Sun 21 Feb

Prices to be confirmed

The Specials Ltd.

The Specials Ltd.

Tribute to 2-Tone legends, The Specials.

Fri 18 Dec

Cancelled

R.E.M. by Stipe

Stipe

A tribute to R.E.M fronted by Rick Southern. The band have performed for Michael Stipe himself, live on the BBC1's The One Show.

Tue 10 Nov

£11–£13.75

Stone Foundation

Stone Foundation

Northern soul band from the Midlands, rocking the old school rhythm'n'blues sound on Hammond and horns.

Thu 5 Nov

£18.15

The Style Councillors

The Style Councillors

Tribute act to Paul Weller's pop soul outfit.

Tue 12 Jan

£16.50–£19.25

Transmission: The Sound Of Joy Division

Tribute act devoted to recreating the atmosphere and sound of Joy Division.

Fri 23 Oct

£15.25

The Ultimate Commitments and Blues Brothers Experience

This gig is for a standing audience, with some unreserved seating available at the sides of the space

In a show that has been described as “absolutely amazing” and “truly authentic”, take a trip down memory lane as you hear the best songs from The Commitments and The Blues Brothers in a full live-band experience.

Get your dancing shoes on, as Jake and Elwood meet Deco and Jimmy in a fantastic experience where Chicago Blues meets Dublin Soul.Songs including Everybody (needs somebody), Try a Little Tenderness, R.E.S.P.E.C.T and Jailhouse Rock can be heard in the repertoire in a night to truly remember.

Expect top quality musical performance from the professional 12 piece Big Soul Band, along with authentic performances including songs from favourites such as Aretha Franklin, The Blues Brothers and Andrew Strong.

All tickets £12.

Sat 14 Nov

£12

The Vapors

The Vapors

New wave and pop punk outfit who had a huge hit in 1980 with 'Turning Japanese'.

Sat 17 Oct

£19.25

The venue promotes a wide range of contemporary performing arts including comedy theatre and live music covering folk, world, pop and rock as well as children's workshops and farmers' markets. The centre has showcased several big names on their road to stardom including Eddie Izzard, Graham Norton, The Libertines and The Killers.

There is no parking outside the venue in Church Street, except for performers/contractors loading in and out but parking is available on St Mary's Car Park on Balkerne Hill. The nearest railway station is Colchester Town.

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