Sheringham Little Theatre has the blues

The Spikedrivers. Picture: Chris Gill

The Spikedrivers. Picture: Chris Gill - Credit: Chris Gill

A day of blues - laced with fun, history and audience participation - is being staged in north Norfolk.

Mike Burke and Fran McGillivray. Picture: Stewart Marks

Mike Burke and Fran McGillivray. Picture: Stewart Marks - Credit: Stewart Marks

The roots of blues music will be outlined during an afternoon session at the Sheringham Little Theatre.

Well known trio The Spikedrivers will use archive recordings to trace the origins of music rooted in the cotton fields of America's Deep South, and ask the audience to feel the beats using clapping, whistles, percussion and their own instruments.

They will also stage an evening concert with special guests, blues duo Fran McGillivray and Mike Burke, who will be giving free shows in the Hub coffee bar during the day.

The Diggin' the Blues by the Roots event is presented by north Norfolk folk, roots and roots music promoter Scott Butler.

He said it was a unique opportunity to enjoy an afternoon musical journey back to the early days of the blues – and feel the atmosphere of the past through sounds ranging from a slave chain gang singing as they swung their hammers, to a gospel choir in full voice.

The audience would learn how a drum could be made from a packing case, while wire and a plank could be transformed into a twanging Diddly Bow single stringed slide guitar.

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The band will get the crowd involved as they explore rhythms such as the shuffle, a two-step and boogie-woogie which transforms the blues into a music form that creates happiness not gloom.

'The Spikedrivers want everybody to get involved, be inspired and have a great time, so that everyone will come away with a better understanding of the blues, and an appreciation of how to really listen and create music. The workshops are not only for musicians at all levels, but also for music fans,' said Mr Butler.

An evening show will then feature the Spikedrivers in concert format, with their special guests Fran McGillivray and Mike Burke.

Diggin' the Blues by the Roots, Sheringham Little Theatre. Workshop 2pm onwards. Concert 7.30pm. Free performances in the Hub with Fran McGillivary and Mike Burke at noon and 5pm. Tickets: Workshop only £5, concert only £12.50, both events £15. Book through the box office on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

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