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Free Music Saturday to kick-off Sheerness Seaside Festival

An award-winning singer-songwriter from America is headlining Sheppey’s Free Music Saturday event as part of the Sheerness Seaside Festival.

Campaigning guitarist Dan Sheehan has picked the Island to kick off his new UK tour on Saturday, August 12. He will be on stage in Sheerness Broadway at 3pm.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Dan Sheehan
Award-winning singer-songwriter Dan Sheehan

He said: “I have toured the UK many times but this will be my first visit to Sheppey. I’m really looking forward to it.”

His songs warning about global warming, deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, rising sea levels and the dangers of African diamond mines have been featured on community radio station Sheppey FM in the run-up to his debut appearance.

Dan will be performing an un-plugged solo set based on his The Seas Are Rising tour which features music from his album Tales From Earth Incorporated.

The activist musician, who mixes rock and soul with jazz and classical influences, will share stories about the world’s climate crisis and environmental destruction as he introduces Islanders to his thought-provoking songs.

The Doctor of Music said: “It’s a musical cry to make people aware of the urgency of the climate crisis threatening the Earth’s inhabitants.”

The Sheppey Song Signers are due to perform at the Sheerness Seaside Festival on Saturday, August 12
The Sheppey Song Signers are due to perform at the Sheerness Seaside Festival on Saturday, August 12

Also performing in the Broadway from 10am to 4pm will be members of the Minster Music Monday Club, the Banjovi duo featuring Steve Harding and Geof Reed, singer Katherine Preston, the Sheppey Song Signers and rock band Lookin’ Back.

Fans will be able to catch Dan Sheehan with a full band at The Bedford, Balam, London, on August 22. He is playing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on August 27 and will be live in Manchester on August 31.

Dan has performed or recorded with Patrick Moraz (Yes, the Moody Blues), John Densmore (the Doors), Spencer Cobrin (Morrissey), Darrel Herbert (the Toadies) and Bob Both (James Brown) and has opened for Courtney Love, the Meat Puppets and Kíla.

His songs, including Black Gold, Dam The River, Kimberly, Wishing Well, Patterns of the Rain and The Rock Song, highlight the bushfires of California, Brazil, Europe and Australia; hurricanes devastating populations from Louisiana to Puerto Rico; fossil fuel companies exploiting natural resources from South America to Africa; the sinking islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and drug cartels.

Dan has received two awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and received grants for The Seas Are Rising and Tales from Earth Incorporated from the Puffin Foundation and from the Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation.

The Sheerness Seaside Festival will begin on August 12 and the funfair is due in town on August 19. Picture: John Nurden
The Sheerness Seaside Festival will begin on August 12 and the funfair is due in town on August 19. Picture: John Nurden

He was named overall songwriter of the year for Tales from Earth Incorporated at the Elephant Talk Indie Music Awards. The album has also been named Best Political Subject Album at the music director awards at WHFR-FM radio.

He has performed at festivals throughout the USA, UK and Ireland including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Galway Fringe Festival, Manchester Americana Festival, Shuffle Festival in Bradford and Texas Rockfest and Red Gorilla Music Fest both in Austin, Texas.

Sheerness Seaside Festival is coordinated by the Sheerness Town Team and culminates with the town’s carnival procession on Saturday, August 19 at 4pm. As usual, Tommy Holland is hosting a funfair at Beachfields over the carnival weekend and providing a free fireworks display on the seafront after the parade.

Other highlights include the return of donkey rides at the sandpit on Tuesday, August 15 from 10am to 4pm; Spy School at the Criterion Theatre on Wednesday, August 16 and Punch and Judy shows next to Sheerness Swimming Pool on Friday, August 18 from 10am to 4pm.

The film A Disaster Waiting To Happen about the American bomb ship SS Richard Montgomery will be shown at Sheppey Little Theatre on Friday, August 18 at 7.30pm.

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