North London's 'quirky friendly' music festival is back

Classical, Theatre, Early Music, Jazz & Folk
6 - 24 June 2018, info:

Artistic director Clare Norburn's group The Telling will play the 2021 Stroud Green Festival - Credit: Robert Piwko

Stroud Green's annual music festival is back with an outdoor concert in July and two 'mini festivals' in the autumn.

After a virtual festival last year, live events will take place at Holy Trinity Church in Granville Road, and St Mellitus in Tollington Park. A 'pre-festival' outdoor event in Holy Trinity's garden on July 18 sees Mezzo Patricia Hammond and multi-instrumentalist Matt Redman perform the Top Selling Songs of Summer 1941.

Based on sales figures of 80 years ago, they share the tunes played in homes and hotels including: Amapola, Waltzing in the Clouds, When they Sound the Last All-Clear, Sand in my Shoes, Room 504, The King is Still in London, I've Got Sixpence and Apple Blossom Time. 

Mezzo Patricia Hammond and multi-instrumentalist Matt Redman

Mezzo Patricia Hammond and multi-instrumentalist Matt Redman perform the Top Selling Songs of Summer 1941 as part of the Stroud Green Music Festival - Credit: Supplied

"I'm really thrilled that we are finally able to bring live music to Stroud Green in a safe way in the wonderful setting of the garden at Holy Trinity Stroud Green," said Crouch End-based Artistic Director Clare Norburn.

"There is space for 30 people to sit in the beautiful garden, with a naturally raised 'stage' and the side of the church provides a kind of natural amphitheatre. There's no traffic and the acoustic sound carries beautifully. We're particularly thrilled to welcome back festival favourites Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman, who have put together a programme of popular numbers from exactly 80 years ago this summer. So come and join us to "party like it's 1941" - in a socially distanced bubble, of course!”

Since launching in 2014, the festival has become known as North London's quirkiest and friendliest celebration of performance and acoustic music including classical, jazz, folk, world and early music.

On September 3, soprano and composer Frances M Lynch and Electric Voice Theatre collaborate with Acapella Quartet to showcase Working from Home, the stories of inspiring women composers, writers and scientists of centuries gone through music, tales and poetry by Imogen Holst, Mary Maxwell Campbell, Ethel Smyth,, Eliza Flower, Margaret Cavendish, Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones, Marie Dare, and Frances M Lynch.

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Also in September Hammond and Redman return with Opera on Unusual Instruments played on Redman's collection of hundred-year-old mandolins, banjos, guitars and accordion as Hammond sings familiar numbers from La Boheme, Don Giovanni, the Magic Flute, Louise, Samson et Dalila, the Merry Widow and G&S. 

And in October, Norburn's group and festival resident ensemble The Telling perform Vision, their acclaimed imagining of the testimony of medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen. They are also developing I, Spie, a new concert/play following Elizabethan spy and composer John Dowland.

Also on the bill is organist Marion Bettsworth playing the newly restored organ at St Mellitus, folk trio Davies&Daughters at Holy Trinity, and Hammond and Norburn joining forces to perform a song sheet by women composers.

Tickets for Top Selling Songs of 1941 are £18 from

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