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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 165

Date:- 28 August 2004

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THE sound of Queen will launch Europe's largest free city centre music festival this coming Bank Holiday Monday at 11am.

However, it won't be the dulcet tones of Freddie Mercury belting out, but the sound of the QE2's hooter as the luxury liner sails up the Mersey!

The arrival of the vessel is expected to swell the crowds, and organisers are predicting a record turn out of more than 250,000 people at the city's biggest party,  as the centre of Liverpool is transformed into a music site as big as Glastonbury!

The 2004 Festival is set to be the biggest yet, with 150 bands from 20 countries, from as far afield as Brazil and Japan, performing live on four outdoor stages and at more than 40 indoor venues, for FREE.

This year's Festival will celebrate the sounds of Memphis, which twinned with Liverpool in 2004 to celebrate the 50th anniversary Elvis Presley's first record - ''That's All Right''. 

As part of the twinning of the capital of pop with the birthplace of rock and roll, Memphis held its own 'Battle of the Bands' competition for the Mathew Street Festival. The winning band - Beat Generation - will perform along with legendary Memphis Band Sam the Sham.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Mike Storey, said:- "The Mathew Street Festival is known the world over for the diversity of its music and for the amazing crowds. It is unique in that it transforms a city centre into one big music stage for all generations to enjoy. It's so big now with so many acts and people it puts every other summer music festival in the shade.

To have the QE2 on the Mersey as the backdrop to the festival will be a fantastic sight. I'm delighted this top class event has expanded to capitalise on the benefits of our world heritage waterfront. As a music venue it has no equal.

People are still talking about the success of the Summer Pops and with Creamfields just around the corner, this Bank Holiday weekend shows why Liverpool is the World Capital of Pop."

Now in its 12th year, the festival showcases bands from around the world performing every style of music from Jazz to Bluegrass and the 1950's to the modern day.

Jason Harborow, Director of Commercial and Tourism Operations for the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- "'The world changing music which filtered out of Memphis was a pivotal influence on The Beatles. The Mathew Street Festival is the perfect place to celebrate the music of Elvis and the Fab Four and all those who were inspired by them. Music from the Mississippi and the Mersey influenced the world and this year the world will be celebrating with us.''

Also on board the QE2 will be the Blue Meanie, The Beatles film foe and arch-enemy of all things musical, who is aiming to stop the music at the Pier Head stage between 1pm and 2pm and persuade revellers to read a book instead!

The Meanie, who achieved cult status among Beatles fans after starring with the group in the movie Yellow Submarine, is to picket the event for the launch of his new Yellow Submarine Picture Book. 

The Pier Head stage opens on Saturday and by Monday will have showcased 25 bands and more than 30 hours of live music. The other outdoor stages will be at Castle Street, Water Street and The Strand. All of these roads will be closed during Bank Holiday Monday, as will James Street, Lord Street, Cook Street and Victoria Street.

People visiting the festival are advised to use public transport in order to get into the city centre. Merseyrail will be laying on additional services, and a park and ride service will be in operation at Otterspool Promenade and Princes Dock.

Click her for a FREE print out page of all the acts and where you will see them...


BILL Kenwright Ltd is pleased to announce casting for the upcoming 2004 National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. Taking the lead roles are GLENN CARTER and JAMES FOX. Glenn will be returning to the role of Jesus, after portrayals on Broadway, in the West End and on film, while James will be making his professional theatrical debut in the role of Judas. 

Glenn Carter is an accomplished and acclaimed theatrical performer. His previous portrayals of Jesus are well-known and well-received. He first played the title role of Jesus Christ Superstar in the West End (Lyceum Theatre) from which he went on to Broadway, receiving the “Most Outstanding Performance in a Musical” award from the Drama League. He reprised the role for the Really Useful company for the 2000 film version. Glenn also played the The Man in the West End production of Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych Theatre) as well as on the recent Bill Kenwright UK Tour. He numerous other theatrical credentials include Marius in Les Miserables, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Johnny Casino in Grease and Cats. He has done extensive concert work as well including engagements at the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, and Albert Hall. Glenn’s recording career includes: Concert versions of La Cage Aux Folles, and Mack and Mabel and cast albums of Grease, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Glenn is also a successful songwriter and has worked on many projects with numerous artists. He has recently completed a tour of the UK and America in Sir Peter Hall’s critically acclaimed production of As You Like It. Bill Kenwright Ltd is thrilled to be able to present Glenn returning to his most famous and highly acclaimed role. 

James Fox comes to the role of Judas from successful and diverse background in the music industry. As a foil to Jesus both on and off stage, James’s credentials are throughout the TV, music and entertainment industries. James first shot to stardom on the BBC programme ‘Fame Academy’ in 2003. With both his exceptional musical talent, and his sexy good looks, James instantly became a favourite. Within days he had tens of thousands of fans creating and logging onto unofficial fan-sites. James’ popularity soared upon winning the public’s vote on the BBC programme Making Your Mind Up - confirming him as the UK entry for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, with an unprecedented 55% of the votes. He performed well, to huge support throughout Great Britain, at the contest in Istanbul and the country bounced back from the previous year’s ‘nill point’! The single he performed, Hold on to Our Love, was released earlier this year to great success and will form part of his upcoming debut album. Born in Cardiff, he started piano lessons as a child, and is now proficient on drums and guitar as well – having taught himself on both! By the age of 16 he was a regular on the pub and club circuit in Wales, eventually leading to stints on cruise ships and seasons in Blackpool. Since his fantastic explosion onto the UK music scene in Fame Academy and Eurovision, he has gone on to perform for the British troops in such places as Kosovo, The Falklands and Afghanistan. With Jesus Christ Superstar, Bill Kenwright Ltd is delighted to present him as one of the leads in their newest musical blockbuster. 

Exploding onto the musical scene in 1971, first as a record and then on stage, Jesus Christ Superstar stunned audiences and changed the face of musical theatre forever. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera tells the story, through the eyes of Judas, of the last seven days in the life of Jesus Christ with an extraordinary, groundbreaking score including I Don't Know How to Love Him, Everything's Alright, and Gethsemane and, of course, Superstar. Bill Kenwright and the creative team behind the blockbuster musicals Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Whistle Down the Wind and Scrooge bring you this all new production of the world famous musical featuring Glenn and James leading the huge, energetic cast, dynamic brand-new staging and a team of twelve local children in every venue. It is the musical event of the season.

You can see Jesus Christ Superstar 13 December to the 16 January at the Empire Theatre Liverpool

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