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Peterborough Beer Festival is nearly here but it’s not all about brews, the tunes are tasty too. ESP’s music reporter Keith Dalton has his suggestions for who to watch while you’re supping up…

The most eagerly awaited social event in the area is on at the Embankment and the music lined up is once again guaranteed to entertain all over the five day period of August 19 to August 23. And I’m very pleased to see that a lot of local bands are booked for the event this year.

The opening night is an open mic night where everyone’s welcome to perform. It was so successful last year on the Tuesday so it’s back. The proviso is that to be able to show your talents to the rest of Peterborough you need to register in advance. All you have to do is contact Stacey by email on

The Rocket Dogs are enjoying a successful 2014 and following other recent vibrant local outdoor performances they make a main stage appearance at The Beer Festival on Wednesday night.

Opaque (pictured below right) return to the Embankment after a busy year touring the UK and they take the stage at 7.30pm on Thursday. They’re followed by something very different. Burning Codes is hailed as new music that sounds like nothing else around at the moment. Burning Codes is the solo collaborative project of Belfast born singer and songwriter Paul Archer, has had extensive airplay on BBC national and local radio, and is also supported by, amongst others, Michael Rother of Kraftwerk and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. Indeed Burning Codes have supported Snow Patrol at their Belfast Arena gig.


You can’t get anything more local or different on Friday late afternoon than the return of The Palmerston Ukulele Band from that fine establishment down Oundle Road. The Friday 7.30pm slot goes to the mod/psychedelic 5 piece band, Psych-O-Bombs. And headlining are the Reggae inspired dance grooves of the Rotten Hill Gang. Often seen on the London music scene they consist of ex members of Big Audio Dynamite and Razorlight.

Finally Saturday brings us Tom Wright and his band. Tom is only nineteen years old, a professional singer/songwriter/guitarist from Peterborough, he’s been playing guitar since he was seven. He’s influenced by many genres of music but has a real passion for country rock music heavily influenced by such greats as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Lee.

The final headline act for 2014 on Saturday night are the Motor City Vipers (pictured left). They fully deserve this pride of place at the Beer Festival, not just because they’re local or because they’re a really dedicated soul band, the likes of which we haven’t seen in this area for many years. It’s because they give a quality performance AND clearly enjoy what they do. That’s infectious! As you will see for yourself on Saturday night at the Beer Festival.

Don’t forget that Ian Gray will also keep you entertained with the ESP Lunchtime Quiz in the marquee each day from Wednesday at 1pm.

For more on the Beer Fest visit follow PeterboroughBeerFestival on facebook or twitter @borobeerfest.

Keith Dalton

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