simon rickards

Every year I await the first line up announcement for Barn On The Farm with great excitement. It’s no secret that it’s my favourite festival, it never fails to disappoint. Remember, this is a small gathering that takes place at Over Farm, but over the 5 years that they’ve held it so far they’ve had the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Hozier, James Bay, Bastille, The Staves, Gabrielle Aplin, Lewis Watson and so many more who have gone on to great success. So today it was no surprise to see that the first wave of announced artists on their bill for 2016 was something to behold. First of all the headliners – Jack Garratt (the BBC Sound of 2016 winner) and the hotly tipped Oh Wonder. Joining them are the likes of Gavin James, JP Cooper, Mahalia, Martin Luke Brown & Billie Marten with many more to be announced. Whilst maybe some of the names might not be familiar to some, given the festival’s knack for showcasing talent that goes on to the sort of success of the already mentioned, I would massively recommend you get yourself a ticket and go and experience this festival – words aren’t enough. They’re on sale now from


Gloucester Guildhall came up trumps this week with the announcement of a massive gig on 6th May when Maverick Sabre makes his first visit to the venue. This will be part of his UK acoustic tour and tickets are likely to be in high demand. They go on sale this Friday at 9am from – I’d advise you don’t delay in booking yours.


Gig Of The Week


This week I’m going for an artist I’ve only just come across but have been simply blown away by. This is where John Plane’s gig list comes into it’s own and throws up little gems – you really do need to check it out (it’s at the foot of the column). Jessica Rhodes hails from Stratford-Upon-Avon and judging by her live date list plays around these parts regularly. She has a distinctly rich, powerful voice and having checked out her YouTube channel has an impressive gift for songwriting that I’m keen to see live. You can catch her at Harry Cooks in Cheltenham this Friday (4th) at 9pm – entry is free.



Song Of The Week


This week I’ve chosen a track by one of the counties best loved bands, the Celtic folk legends & electrifying Roving Crows. I’ve known Paul & Caitlin, who were the original founder members of this truly magnificent band, for a number of years now and I’m proud to say that I managed them for a short but happy period of time. They have gone through some line up changes over the years but they now have a solid four and their live performances are an absolute joy to behold – indeed you know you’ve had a good night out if you’ve ever been to one of their gigs – you can’t stop smiling for days on end!! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for their live dates, they’re never too far away…they truly are one of the hardest working bands around and they’re particularly prominent in the area around race week in Cheltenham. The track I’ve chosen is one that’s been around for a few months, but I still absolutely love – Casanova Burning. Enjoy!!


Casanova Burning:



Gig List

As ever, big thanks to John Plane for letting us share his fantastic gig list. Get out there and support live music – some great events coming up over the coming week:

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COLUMN: The Very Thing with Simon Rickards by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre -