The Streets to surprise Ilford with music and art

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 July 2016

The Spinettes, who are performing at The Streets on Saturday.

The Spinettes, who are performing at The Streets on Saturday.

Not Archant

For the second year running an exciting street festival will take over Ilford town centre with live music, dance and art.

Ben Walsh performs on his drum wheel at The Streets last yearBen Walsh performs on his drum wheel at The Streets last year

The Streets will fill cafes, bars and shops down High Road with a wide range of artists and cultural events.

The programme is designed to showcase the urban areas of the outer London boroughs, by surprising residents with unexpected performances to promote the high street.

The festival will take over Ilford on July 16 and 17, with the slogan ‘celebrate your high street’.

Vintage girl group The Spinettes are playing at the Salvation Army, in Clements Road, and the General Havelock, in High Road on the Saturday.

The band was set up by husband and wife duo Matthew Goodgame and Melanie Cripps in 2010.

A rotating cast of professional West End performers sing hits from the 40s, 50s and 60s in vintage outfits.

“The one thing that comes across is that we have a lot of fun,” explained Melanie, who has starred in Cats and other hit musicals.

“That’s because we are all friends, it’s not like we’re just a group which has been put together.”

The Spinettes pick a different trio for each event out of a pool of singers, depending on who is available.

At The Streets Melanie will be performing with Chicago star Lucy Anderson and Daniela Valvana, who appeared in My Fair Lady.

She continued: “I think some people have got this idea that only old people enjoy the music, but actually kids love it as well.

“Even if they don’t know the songs they still dance along.”

Representing Redbridge in the festival are the choir from Fullwood Primary School, in Burford Close, Barkingside.

They won the annual arts competition at Cranbrook Primary School earlier this year, and were invited to perform by the festival organisers.

Headteacher Danvir Visvanathan told the Recorder: “It’s very much about the children understanding, even though they are small, they still have a big part to play in the community.

“I really hope they can celebrate and realise that there is a bigger picture which they are part of.”

The choir will be performing on the main stage, in High Road, at 1pm on July 17.

Mr Visvanathan said all of his pupils were incredibly excited..

He continued: “I think it is very important for the children’s development, and the creative arts give young people the best opportunity to truly express themselves.

Mr Visvanathan said arts events were often the first to suffer when national and local funding cuts have to be made.

But The Streets is in no danger of being cut as the most powerful politician in the city, new mayor Sadiq Khan, has declared he is a fan.

He said: “One of the best things about London is how much is going on around every corner, and in each and every community.

“Festivals like The Streets are doing excellent work to highlight some of the capital’s local gems.”

So if you want to party with The Spinettes, Fullwood Primary School and more head down to Ilford town centre on July 16 and 17.

There is music on from 10am to 6pm on the Saturday, and from midday to 3pm on the Sunday.

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