The Grand events: here's who's joining Fairport Convention and The Lancashire Hotpots in 2019

The Lancashire Hotpots are returning to The Grand with a brand-new show. (s)
The Lancashire Hotpots are returning to The Grand with a brand-new show. (s)
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Fairport Convention has been making music for half a century and they have announced their first visit to Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre in 2019.

The British folk rockers are one of England’s most important bands, and they will provide one of the highlights of the theatre’s exciting spring season when their 50th anniversary caravan rolls into the Ribble Valley next May.

Their ground-breaking album, Liege and Lief, has come to be regarded as the most influential folk-rock LP of all time.

At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, it won first prize with that exact title and most recently their story has been celebrated with a documentary on BBC Four television.

The Grand’s programme is packed with spoken word, music and comedy to appeal to a wide audience.

Squeeze songwriter Glenn Tilbrook brings his solo tour to the Grand on St Patrick’s Day weekend so expect one heck of a hoolie in the Ribble Valley.

Master wordsmith Tilbrook and Squeeze co-writer Chris Difford was responsible for pop classics Up the Junction, Cool for Cats and Take Me I’m Yours.

And those cheeky Red Rose rascals The Lancashire Hotpots return with a brand-new show.

And this time they are in the mood for things they really love: meat pies, night outs down the boozer, and of course a Chippy Tea.

And for steam lovers there’s a rare opportunity to hear from the Lancashire engineer who helped restore the world’s most famous steam engine, The Flying Scotsman.

Following the Flying Scotsman talk by Colin Green, there will be a fascinating presentation by the Ribble Valley Rail group who provided the driving force in restoring rail transport to the town when the passenger line from Blackburn to Clitheroe was reopened in 1994.

“In 2018, our tenth anniversary, we put on 60 live gigs, hosted our first Art Fair, and record numbers of people came to the Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival, so we want to say a big thank you to all our visitors,” said the Grand’s promoter Matt Evans.

Several events were run specifically to raise funds for charities, with many thousands of pounds generated for good causes.

“We are most excited at the challenges that lie ahead, building new family audiences to promote arts and culture, and growing the community outreach projects with some special events planned,” added Matt.

Meanwhile the Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival have revealed a couple of their headline acts for the 2019 festival from May 3rd-6th.

Two of the UK’s classiest jazz singers, festival favourite Claire Martin and Liane Carroll will be teaming up for a special performance at the Grand.

And brilliant Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset makes a long-awaited return to the festival with a stunning band of musicians from Scandinavia.

For tickets and details see www.thegrandvenue.co.uk or 01200 421599.