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What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 2-8 Jul 2015

Hot enough for you?  Lots of suggestions to get you out and about this week– maybe into a delightfully air-conditioned theatre?  Or out and about with a barbeque or some sizzling street food?  Phew…. where’s that ice bucket?

Camp Chilming: An American Dream, Risden Scout Camp, 4 Jul, 3pm


Celebrate the 4th of July with a cowboy-themed afternoon of live music followed, at dusk, by an outdoor screening of ‘Calamity Jane’ at Camp Chilming.  It’s rootin’-tootin’ fun for all the family, and looks like the weather is going to be just about perfect.  There’s a barbeque, a bar — and hot drinks for when it cools off a bit — as well as bacon sarnies in the morning if you decide to camp over.  (Oh, and ‘chilming’?  Chilling and watching a film — geddit?)

Vintage Fair, The Court House, Berkhamsted, 4 Jul, 10am-4pm

vintage 1

Fancy a bit of a vintage rummage?  Head to Berkhamsted’s Court House, tucked in by the great big church on the High Street, for the ‘Hello Vintage’ Vintage Fair this weekend.  There’ll be all kinds of stuff there: fashion, jewellery, china, glass, homewares, the lot.  There’s also a vintage tea room – which will definitely mean tiny gorgeous tea cups and, I’m guessing, some serious cake. (Yes, I will have a slice of that Victoria sponge, thank you, Mother…)

The Court House, Church Lane, Berkhamsted, HP4 2AX,

‘Joel Brown’s Psychedelic Night,’ Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, 9 July, 7pm

joel brown

Pink Floyd was renowned (so I’m told – I’m far too young to remember it) for – among other things, of course – the amazing psychedelic slide shows that were projected onto large screens at their 1966 gigs.  The moving images were created through the ink on the glass reacting to the heat of the projector lamp, and next Thursday, as part of the Nude Tin Can Gallery’s ‘Inky One’ exhibition, you can experience Brown’s projected psychedelia from the 1966 Roundhouse gig right there on the walls of the gallery, as well as checking out the ink-based creations of a number of other artists.  Sounds like something you won’t get to see every day, and a great excuse to check out the gallery, too.  There’ll be refreshments, but the gallery is equally happy for you to bring your own, too.

Nude Tin Can, 125 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4JS, 

Hitchin Street Food Monthly, Hitchin, 2 Jul, 4-9pm


If you’re into your street food, head to Hitchin’s market square tonight for the Street Food Monthly – ‘like a food circus but with no clowns,’ or so they tell me.  The combination of good weather (it’s in the forecast!) and great food sounds like a winner to me.  And Hitchin has some deeply delicious local food peeps, who will be out in force.  It’s going to be a big party with live music and lots to eat.  What’s not to love?

Don’t forget to pop into Hitchin’s award-winning twistedfabric while you’re out, for a fab evening of fashion for the men in your life (which might, after all, be you).  Lots of great stuff to get him and you kitted out for summer, now it’s here.

Beer, Blues and Barbeque, Haresfoot Brewery, 4 Jul, 12-6pm


All this sunny weather (long may it continue) lends itself perfectly to the Beer, Blues and Barbeque event this weekend at Berkhamsted’s Haresfoot Brewery.  It’s free to get in, and there’ll be plenty of beer to choose from – and the barbeque will be going all day.  Bring the family and just enjoy kicking back while someone else cooks the burgers – and the canal boats drift by.

2 River Park, Billet Lane, Berkhamsted, HP4 1HL,

Quiet Violence, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 3 Jul, 8pm


I’m not sure I really understand what this one is about, but it definitely sounds intriguing enough to check out.  ‘Quiet Violence’ is the debut spoken-word show from London-based performer Sophie Rose, and it’s had some very positive reviews as it’s been touring this year.  Far as I can work out, it’s about ‘choosing cheap loo roll, wearing shoes that rub, pretending you’re in love’ – as well as lots of other things – and is full of fast, physical action and anarchic poetry.  And apparently there are free biscuits (always a bonus).  If you end up going, I would honestly love to know what you think.

The Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE,

Avenue Q, Watford Colosseum, 2-4 Jul


It’s like the Muppets are all grown up and, well, being just a bit naughty.  Avenue Q, which as a massive hit on Broadway and in the West End, is now touring in this new production, and it’s in Watford this weekend.  It won Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book at the Tony awards, and you’ve got Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (co-creator of Book of Mormon and writer of the songs for Disney’s Frozen – squeak!) behind it all.  Sounds brilliant.

Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, WD17 3JN,

John Otway, Rhodes Centre, Bishops Stortford, 4 Jul, 8pm

john otway_1419253456

Ok, so John Otway counts as one of my guilty pleasures.  The man who describes himself as ‘rock and roll’s greatest failure’ – and with good reason, having never really managed to maintain, or even repeat, the success of his one and only hit from 1977 – is probably a bit of an acquired taste (to say the least).  Me and Mr C came over all spontaneous and went to see him at The Horn in St Albans last week (I’ll spare you the selfie we took with him…), but if you missed that, he’s playing at the Rhodes Centre in Bishops Stortford on Saturday.

Rhodes Centre, 1- 3 South Road, Bishops Stortford, CM23 3JG,

Independents Day, 4 Jul


If we were in the good-ol’-U-S-of-A, this weekend would be one long Independence Day party – believe you me, I’ve been there and they party hard on July 4th.  Seeing as we’re not, why not celebrate Independents Day instead?  (See what they did there? Clever…)  Support local independent businesses where you live – whether that’s Hertford or Hitchin, Berkhamsted or Buntingford, Ware or Watford.  Lots of Hertford businesses are donating money to charity on 4 July, too, so there’s yet another reason to get out there and shop-shop-shop!  Just keep it local, Herts-peeps.

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