New concert series from Worthing to Havant via Chichester

Mark Ringwood.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130980-1 SUS-160127-090927003
Mark Ringwood.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C130980-1 SUS-160127-090927003

Worthing, Chichester and Havant are key venues in a new concert series instigated by WemsFest founder Mark Ringwood.

The concerts will take the stage under the banner of The Eclectic Music Club.

Mark said: “For a long time I’ve felt that the area from Worthing to Havant tends to miss out on a wide range of different music styles and this is largely due to there being no one to promote the gamut of music which you’d often find in a large city, and in essence this is exactly the void which we’re trying to fill.

“It’s taken a while to get the right venues and partners onboard and in place but I think that time has now come. The idea is to build The Eclectic Music Club into a brand which music fans can trust even if they’ve never heard of the artist before. It’s vital that we give a platform to both established artists and new emerging ones, and that we try and address the imbalance within certain genres who are unrepresented.

“It was a chance conversation with a fellow walking football team-mate Colin Thomas which has promoted the idea into becoming reality. Colin had moved into the area from South London and was bemoaning the lack of live music of the type he enjoyed in the metropolis – largely punk-based acts of a certain age which still have a substantial following. I thought here’s someone who knows more about this genre than I do, but conversely I know more about folk, jazz, blues, and world music than he does. What unites us is the fact that we both love live music. Through WemsFest we already have active partnerships with venues in Worthing and Havant. Now we’ve joined forces with Roger Nash from Folk on the Coast, and the South Downs Folk Festival, and rekindling the relationship with my former partner Sue Martin at Roots Around the World.

“We have a solid framework with a wide range of venues available to us right across the region. The key thing is to match the suitability of both artist and venue so that whatever we promote can be fully enjoyed by the audience. We’re starting slowly with a suitably-diverse programme of events between February and June, and all being well will return with a pretty full-on autumn season.”

There’s no membership fee to join the club and anyone willing to help out at gigs, or distributing print, is welcome. The club’s website is

Coming up are

Saturday, February 6, 8pm Ray Cooper (formerly of The Oysterband), The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant.

Tuesday, February 23, 7.30pm, Fairport Convention, The Connaught Theatre, Worthing. Saturday, March 5, 8pm Sally Barker (solo), The Hewitt’s @, Emsworth.

Saturday, March 12, 8pm Breabach, Emsworth Baptist Church.

Tuesday, April 5, 8pm, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Emsworth Baptist Church.

Sunday, April 24, 7.30pm Altan, The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis.

Wednesday, April 27, 8pm Hat Fitz & Cara, Chidham & Hambrook Village Hall.

Wednesday, May 18, 8pm, Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus, The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant.

Saturday, May 28, 8pm Old Skool Night with The Members, The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant.

Friday, June 24, 8pm Sona Diabate and her band, Chidham & Hambrook Village Hall

Thursday, August 25, Guy Davis, The Connaught Theatre (studio), Worthing.

Tickets are available from Harbour Records (Emsworth), and for all shows except those in Bognor Regis, Havant, and Worthing, for which contact the respective venue box offices.

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