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Awesome autumn

Eric van Nieuwland (3646750)
Eric van Nieuwland (3646750)

Famed for its acoustics, The Apex naturally has a programme packed with music, but tit’s also found space to fit in some comedy and ‘Evenings With’ a few famous names. . .

Acclaimed plantswoman and Gardeners’ World presenter, Carol Klein will be at The Apex on September 6, while Countryfile’s resident farmer Adam Henson appears on September 20. One of Britain’s most popular and highly-regarded novelists, William Boyd, will talk about writing for a living, and living for writing, on September 27. Famed for the series Coast, Neil Oliver will present The Story of The British Isles in 100 Places on October 23, and Suggs returns on November 4, with his new one-man show What A King Cnut – A Life in the Realm of Madness.

There will be laughs aplenty from Nish Kumar (September 26), Marcus Brigstocke (October 4), Hal Cruttenden (October 18), Rich Hall (October 25) and Seann Walsh (November 8).

As for the music – folk fans are particularly well catered for, but there’s the usual variety of concerts and gigs to suit most tastes.

False Lights are a gleefully raucous guitar band playing traditional songs and tunes: BBC Folk Awards winners, Jim Moray and Sam Carter, virtuoso fiddle and melodeon duo Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss, dub-tinged bassist Barnaby Stradling (Eliza Carthy and Blowzabella) and drummer Stuart Provan bring a joyful turn-it-up-loud thrash of folk songs you can jump around to on September 2.

Some of Irelands finest traditional musicians, Dervish play on September 25; there’s also gigs from Lindisfarne (October 7); Ralph McTell (October 10); Oysterband (November 12); Skerryvore (November 19); and Blazin’ Fiddles (November 27).

Zimbabwe’s most celebrated young band, Mokoomba make a welcome return on October 24. Their fresh and original mix of African styles uses Tonga rhythms, Congolese grooves and dashes of rap, ska and Latin, making them, “the new hotshots of Pan-African funkiness” (Songlines).

Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita will deliver a stunning exhibition of world-class musicianship in their intricate and ethereal concert on November 28.

Through hard work and near-constant touring, and TV appearances on Later With Jools Holland and BBC’s Glastonbury coverage, the girl with the big voice from the Black Country, Joanne Shaw Taylor (October 3) is now regarded as one of the hottest young names on the British Blues circuit.

Fans of prog rock can enjoy the musical intricacy and compositional brilliance of Exit Stage Left’s Tribute To Rush on October 19.

For a chance to dance, The Real Thing, with Chris Amoo and Dave Smith, perform all their million selling hits, including You to Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and Can You Feel the Force? on September 15. ‘Catsuit Wonder Girl’, Janey Bombshell and her band will take you on a foot-stomping, air-guitaring, pop-packed rollercoaster ride of 1970s’ hits in Supersonic 70s on September 21, while Slade & Mud II will bring rock ‘n’ roll, outrageous flamboyance and great fun on October 30.

For classical connoisseurs, solo pianist Barry Douglas, winner of the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, brings a programme of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, and Schubert’s A Minor Sonata D537 and A Major Sonata D664 on September 24. Celebrated tenor, Mark Padmore joins Britten Sinfonia on November 26 for a programme of beautiful English music for voice and orchestra, including Britten’s magical evocation of twilight and nightfall, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.

Celebrating 20 diamante decorated years, The Ladyboys of Bangkok Wonder Women Tour will take Britain’s number one cabaret show to whole a new level on October 11, with ‘guest appearances’ from Cher, Lady Gaga, Shirley Bassey and Wonder Woman herself!

Expect fast-paced medleys and mind-bending mashups on October 15, as The Sons of Pitches attempt to hit their target of 100 hit songs in just one evening.

Norwegian pianist and composer, Tord Gustavsen brings enchanting melody with a subtle groove that combines gentleness and depth on October 29.

Big band jazzers can help Piccadilly Dance Orchestra celebrate their 30th anniversary on September 23 – the PDO are joined by Strictly Come Dancing singer Lance Ellington for a finalé of songs from Cole Porter’s High Society. Pete Long’s All-Star Goodmen Orchestra will bring an 80th anniversary recreation of Benny Goodman’s Carnegie Hall Concert on November 11, complete with all the repertoire from the famous concert and American singer Joan Viskant, making a rare UK visit to replace the original Martha Tilton.

Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders’ show on October 31 will feature the Hi Riders Special Soul Review – with extended brass section and Hammond organ.

10cc, one of the most inventive and influential bands in the history of popular music, return on November 15.

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds. Call 01284 758000 or visit theapex.co.uk