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Blakefest 2018

Saturday 15th September 2018



Saturday 15 September




Entire Festival Ticket - £15.50
Theatre Ticket - £12.50/£5.50 NUS
Studio Ticket - £8.50/£5.50 NUS



A celebration of William Blake and his impact on the 60s

This quirky music festival now in its fourth year is bigger and brighter than ever.

Headlined by Lene Lovich who is a leading and iconic figure in the New Wave Scene.  Also including the music of George Harrison from the 10-piece All Things Must Pass Orchestra and Jazz from Emily Dankworth with the Jamie Lemming Trio.

Nestling inside is this years Southdown’s poetry featuring Sashad Dugdale and ‘On the Streets’ Art Exhibition with the English and Creative Writing Department of Chichester.





The Lene Lovich Band

10pm, Alexandra Theatre Auditorium

“A music of atmospheric exactitude that knocks other bands out of the park” –  R2 Magazine

“Retro-futurist sounds, eco-messages, 50’s style ballads, Rocky Horror vaudeville, new wave dub, Dietrich cabaret... Amanda Palmer is the only current artist who is anywhere near” – Louder Than War

“A hit that refuses to fit” – NME

“A spiky and enjoyable new band” – Time Out, London

While many artists plunder the past, the Lene Lovich Band bludgeons it. If anyone has any right to do so, it’s Lene Lovich. Since her musical partnership with Jude Rawlins began in 2012, bringing her out of a wilderness that had only been intermittently interrupted in three decades, the Lene Lovich Band has done absolutely nothing by the rules.  The band has ridden the crest of the wave like a rock’n’roll pirate ship with the most colourful (and increasingly notorious) gang of cutthroats you are ever likely to see on stage.

The Music of George Harrison

All Things Must Pass

The All Things Must Pass Orchestra - Celebrating the Music of George Harrison!

7pm, Alexandra Theatre Auditorium

A fantastic ten piece band dedicated to the Quiet Beatle’s work. George Harrison wrote some of the Beatles’ most beautiful songs (Something, Here Comes The Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps etc.), but he continued to write great music during his solo career (My Sweet Lord, All Those Years Ago…) on twelve studio albums.

Band leader Alex Eberhard picked some of the finest musicians around Brighton to form this incredible ensemble.

A real treat, not just for Beatles fans, but anyone who appreciates great music.

‘A night in the company of the All Things Must Pass Orchestra is such pure pleasure. George Harrison is their sole focus, and the ten-piece orchestra does his music justice, delivering the songs with freshness and energy – and supreme skill’ Phil Hewitt (Group Arts Editor, Sussex Newspapers)

Jamie Leeming Trio with star vocalist Emily Dankworth

Regis Centre Studio

Rising stars of the jazz world, the Jamie Leeming Trio with star vocalist Emily Dankworth will entertain in the Studio. "Guitarist Jamie Leeming lifts the sound to a whole new level"– says Jazzwise. Given Emily’s musical heritage – granddaughter to Dame Cleo Laine and the late Sir John Dankworth as well as niece to Jacqui Dankworth  and daughter to Alec Dankworth  – it is no surprise that she has her forte in music.

Jamie Leeming is fast building a reputation for himself with his lyrical guitar playing, refined compositions and mesmerising live performances. His debut EP “Heartsong” was listed as one of Jazz London Radio’s “Best Jazz Releases of 2015” - the genre-crossing compositions have strong roots in the jazz tradition, with folk-influenced imagery and textures. Notable performances for the band include those at Love Supreme Festival, Pizza Express Dean Street, and New Generation Jazz Brighton. The project was featured with live performances/ interviews on Jazz FM, Resonance FM and Jazz London Radio.

(Jamie Leeming – Guitar, Emily Dankworth - Vocals/Percussion, Nic Breakspear - Double Bass)

SouthDowns Poetry Festival

Blakefest wouldn’t be a festival without the inspiration of William Blake, one of England’s most celebrated poets. And there’s a wealth of poetry to suit all tastes in this year’s Blakefest. Curated by South Downs Poetry Festival director Barry Smith, Blakefest boasts some real stars from the poetry world. Blakefest features two poetry slots with John Davies, Ciaran O’Driscoll and Celtic music, and Poetry & Jazz, with Sasha Dugdale, Niall MacDavitt, Naomi Foyle, Barry Smith and Jamie Leeming on jazz guitar.

Sasha Dugdale headlines, with splendid support from John Davies (Shedman), Irish bard Ciaran O’Driscoll, Sussex based novelist and poet Naomi Foyle, Niall MacDavitt and SDPF director Barry Smith.

Sasha Dugdale is a poet, translator and editor. She has published four collections of poetry, most recently Joy (Carcanet, 2017).  Joy’s title poem was recipient of the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2016.'Joy' is a monologue in the voice of William Blake's wife Catherine, exploring the creative partnership between the artist and his wife, and the nature of female creativity. Sasha Dugdale has received a Cholmondeley Award for her poetry. She was editor of Modern Poetry in Translation 2012-2017 and co-editor of the international anthology Centres of Cataclysm (Bloodaxe, 2016). She lives and works in Sussex.

John Davies (Shedman)  Pighog published John's Collection The Nutter in the Shrubbery, and his full collection Shedman, and Our Storeys – Art and Poetry in Healthcare.  His latest collection is Jizz – New & Selected Poems. His work has also been published in magazines such as The Echo Room, Poetry South East, The Stony Thursday Book and The Guardian.He’s perhaps best known as Shedman, the original itinerant poet in a shed who has appeared at numerous festivals. Commissioned work has ranged from poems engraved into the windows of a learning centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to a commission to write about the Forest Ridge for the High Weald AONB.

Ciaran O’Driscoll was born in Co. Kilkenny and lives in Limerick. He has published eight books of poetry including Moving On, Still There: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2001) and morerecently Surreal Man, a chapbook of 21 poems (Pighog, 2006), and Vecchie Donne di Magione, a dual-language edition of poems in an Italian setting (Volumnia Editrice, 2006). In 2001, Liverpool University Press published his childhood memoir, A Runner Among Falling Leaves. He has won a number of awards for his work, among them the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. In 2007, he was elected to Aosdána.

Naomi Foyle will be launching the festival with her latest anthology ‘A Blade of Grass’ . Naomi has also published two collections of poetry, including The Night Pavilion, a 2008 Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Also a verse dramatist and librettist, her work for theatre has been produced in London and Toronto. Her first novel, cyberchiller Seoul Survivors was published by Jo Fletcher Books (Quercus) in Feb 2013, followed by Astra (2014), Rook Song (2015) and The Blood of the Hoopoe (2016), the first three volumes of The Gaia Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic eco-science fantasy quartet. The final volume in the series, Stained Light, is forthcoming in 2018.

Barry Smith is director of Chichester Poetry, the co-ordinator of the Festival of Chichester and director of the South Downs Poetry Festival. His work has appeared online, on You Tube and in anthologies/magazines, including Acumen, Frogmore Papers, South, Stony Thursday Book and London Grip. He was runner up in a BBC Proms Poetry competition. Barry is editor of Poetry & All That Jazz magazine. Recent readings include Chichester Cathedral and Harlington Manor festival with jazz pianist David Johnson.

Not a Grain of Sand or a Blake of Grass (is) Insignificant


Saturday 15th September 2018
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Regis Centre
Belmont Street
Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 1BL United Kingdom
01243 861010