Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins salutes American musical visitors – with more to come soon

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column.

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins shares his views in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

Happy to report a wonderful Sunday evening at the town hall – the Stax Academy students from Memphis, Tennessee, gave a stellar performance, as well as busking on Market Place the previous day.

STAX perform at Hitchin Town Hall. Picture: Hitchin Initiative

STAX perform at Hitchin Town Hall. Picture: Hitchin Initiative - Credit: Archant

I think that they were made to feel very at home, and thanks to all those who displayed the welcome posters done by the pupils of St Andrew’s School.

On the back of that visit, I’m pleased to announce another concert featuring James ‘Super Chikan’ Johnson from Clarksdale, Mississippi.

As you know, Hitchin Initiative needs to fundraise to keep the office open, to continue to provide our information services and to further any projects seen as valuable enhancements to the town, and we’re always looking for help to do that – so many thanks to Lofthouse Enterprises for arranging this event and to Hitchin Priory for allowing us to use the marquee.

Super Chikan was born in 1951 but it wasn’t until later in life that he was encouraged to record his music, with the release in 1997 of his debut album Blues Come Home to Roost.

John Lee Hooker was also born in Clarksdale, and Muddy Waters spent most of his first 30 years there. The town is home to the Delta Blues Museum, laying claim to be the birthplace of the blues – so there is a great pedigree. I think Hitchin should twin with Clarksdale!

Tickets are available from Hitchin Initiative at 1a Churchyard for £15, and the Priory will run the bar and have a hog roast. Doors open from 6.30pm. It promises to be a great evening and as write this, I’m awaiting confirmation of support from Alex Francis. All proceeds support the work of Hitchin Initiative.

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Meanwhile, highlights of the final full Festival week include this Saturday’s artworks exhibition at The Bricklayers Arms in Queen Street, Buskers’ Day in the town centre, Bucklersbury Day with various events and promotions along the street, and the dog show on Market Place that afternoon.

In the evening, Hitchin Band will be celebrating the music of Hollywood at St Mary’s at 7.30pm with music of a different genre from The Liabilities at The Victoria in Ickleford Road.

Talks include A Breath of Life at Hitchin Priory on Sunday evening about the iron lung, Eric Gill – the artist, sculptor, engraver and designer – at The Priory on Tuesday, and The Cutting Edge, a glimpse into 700 years of bespoke tailoring, at Holy Saviour Church next Thursday.

On the same evening there will be The Great Mr Turner – an illustrated lecture on the work and life of England’s greatest artist, at Walsworth Community Centre.

You can give Keith a call on 01462 453335 or email him at info@hitchinherts.com. You can also follow the Hitchin BID on Twitter using the handle @hitchinbid