CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL breaks the news……….
Face-painting, tombolas and Roots Manuva!
JARS full of jelly beans, cake stalls and children stumbling around with their faces painted with whiskers – the main elements of summer fetes across the borough.
Tell that to the organisers of the Alma Street party. Organisers have enlisted big name music acts to make sure the annual event in Kentish Town on July 5 is a little more exciting than tombolas and bric-a-brac bargains.
On stage will be Roots Manuva, Dawn Penn and Mr Hudson, who, although they might not instantly be familiar to some of the area’s silver-haired residents, are all responsible for hit dance records.
The cutting-edge musicians will share the bill with unsigned teenage punk acts and a swing band for OAPS.
Mr Hudson, who lives in Kentish Town, has agreed to perform in the street before joining the US rapper Kanye West on stage at Hyde Park later that day.
It’s a far cry from the first Alma Street festival four years ago, when organisers borrowed construction signs to block off the road and attracted 100 people.
Chris Townsend, the owner of the Map Studio Cafe in Grafton Road who persuaded Manuva and Penn to play, said: “All the equipment has been donated, no one is getting paid for it. Last year we got 2,500 people and this year it’s going to be a lot bigger than that.”
Diana Harewood, the festival organiser, added: “I would say there is no other street party like this. It’s absolutely amazing.”
Plans for Wimbledon-style TV screens and more streets being blocked off to traffic are planned for next year’s festival.
The who? Big names playing at the Alma Street fete
MOBO award-winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee, Roots Manuva (real name Rodney Smith) is a south London rapper and producer dubbed “the voice of urban Britain”. His second album, Run Come Save Me, sold more than 100,000 copies in the UK. The track Witness was voted the Greatest UK Hip Hop track of all time by readers of Hip Hop Connection.
A JAMAICAN singer from reggae’s rocksteady era of the 1960s, Penn returned to music and the top of the charts in the early 90s with a dancehall-influenced version of her song You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No). The song hit No 3 and has been sampled by Lily Allen, Ghostface Killa and many more.
TIPPED by Kanye West to be “one of the most important artists of his generation”, Kentish Town’s Mr Hudson has already collaborated with Jay-Z. His next album will be co-produced by West, who picked the band to support him on his Glow in the Dark tour last year.