Thetford Forest concerts season kicks off

Colin WilsonThe Forestry Commission's annual Thetford Forest music programme kicks off at High Lodge this Thursday, June 4, when James Morrison returns to the venue where he last performed to a sell-out crowd in 2007.Colin Wilson

The Forestry Commission's annual Thetford Forest music programme kicks off at High Lodge this Thursday, June 4, when James Morrison returns to the venue where he last performed to a sell-out crowd in 2007.

James Morrison's debut album Undiscovered released in 2006 established him as an undeniably talented singer-songwriter and went straight in at Number 1 in the UK charts. It went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide yielding no fewer than five hit singles - You Give Me Something, Wonderful World, The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore, Undiscovered and One Last Chance. James was the biggest selling British male solo artist of 2006 and Brit Award winner in the Best Male category in 2007.

James's raw bluesy and soulful voice again shines through on his follow-up album, Songs For You, Truths For Me, which has been riding high in the charts since its release last year. The album which has gone platinum includes the singles You Make It Real, Broken Strings (featuring Nelly Furtado) and Please Don't Stop The Rain.

Support comes from new band Vagabond who have been getting rave write-ups in the national press among others. The band have recently returned from the Mojave Desert, California, where they shot the video for their new single Sweat (Until The Morning) which is out on June 8 on the newly-revived Geffen label. Vagabond's debut album You Don't Know The Half Of It follows on June 22.

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Paul Weller plays a sold-out concert at High Lodge on Friday, June 5. Described as both the 'modfather of rock' and 'Britpop's elder statesman', Paul is ultimately acknowledged by the media, fellow musicians and the public as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of British popular music. Since his early days in The Jam, then Style Council and subsequently as a hugely successful solo artist, Paul continues to make pioneering music. Last year saw the release of the critically-acclaimed number one album 22 Dreams, his ninth solo album in a career spanning over three decades.

Support comes from Oldham band Twisted Wheel, who earlier this year supported Oasis on their European tour. The band's eponymous debut album was released through Columbia Records last month and is a frenetic and explosive collection of wide-eyed garage rock songs, dripping with sweaty snarling punk attitude and Northern swagger.

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Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis and special guest star Dave Edmunds and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall play High Lodge on Saturday night.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra have become established as one of the most prolific touring artists in the UK, creating their own unique big band sound playing a mix of boogie-woogie, swing, jazz and R&B.

They now play an average of 100 live shows a year, touring Britain and the world to audiences in excess of 250,000.

Their latest album release, The Informer, is a true showcase of the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra's musicianship reflecting the party atmosphere of their live shows.

With a string of classic hits in the seventies, special guest Dave Edmunds is sure to bring some rock & roll to the proceedings with songs such as Girls Talk, I Hear You Knocking, Crawling Through The Wreckage and I Knew The Bride.

t �28.50 James Morrison; Paul Weller sold out; �32 Jools Holland. All plus booking fee;; 01842 814612

t Gates will open at 6pm, with music from 7.30pm.

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