Declan McKenna announced for Hertford’s Musical Mystery Tour gig

PUBLISHED: 08:07 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:56 20 August 2018

Declan McKenna performing at Rock at the Castle Hertford. Picture: Steve Beeston.

Declan McKenna performing at Rock at the Castle Hertford. Picture: Steve Beeston.

Steve Beeston

Talented teenage Hertfordshire singer-songwriter Declan McKenna will make a special guest appearance at this weekend’s Hertford Music Festival showpiece.

Declan McKenna performing at Rock at the Castle Hertford. Picture: Steve Beeston.Declan McKenna performing at Rock at the Castle Hertford. Picture: Steve Beeston.

Fresh from touring the world, including sets at the famous Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals, Humongous star Declan McKenna will return to the county town for the Musical Mystery Tour on Sunday, August 26.

A year on from the release of acclaimed debut album What Do You Think About the Car?, which reached number 11 in the UK charts, rising star Declan will play an intimate gig in Hertford – a far cry from his sets at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds Festivals.

An ‘alumnus’ of Hertford’s Musical Mystery Tour and Rock at the Castle, former Cheshunt schoolboy Declan got in touch with HMF co-chairman Kev Saunders a few weeks ago to ask if he could have a ‘slot’ somewhere.

Organisers can only now announce Sunday’s MMT show at Hertford House Hotel in Fore Street.

Kev said: “It’s great that Declan’s up for coming back to do a little gig with us – makes all this stuff feel worthwhile!

“After touring the world, being a major label star, playing Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Lollapalooza and so on, it’s going to seem very small.

“Last time he played the MMT, in 2014 I think, I was running out of suitable ‘slots’ and Declan played the Salisbury Arms Hotel.

“This time it’s the downstairs lounge at Hertford House Hotel.

“The venue this time’s bigger and a bit more rock ‘n’ roll – and I suspect the audience will be a lot bigger and a lot more excited.”

Brazil, The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home and Make Me Your Queen singer and musician Declan said: “I’m looking forward to coming home for the festival, and the show will be entirely separate from anything else I’ve done recently, which is really exciting.”

As always, the Musical Mystery Tour involves a huge number of mostly local artists – as well as a few surprises.

In a packed programme involving more than 235 performances from more than 160 acts, there are some special guests, new venues and even more musical genres than ever before.

For instance, operatic contralto Rebecca Starling will be opening the day’s proceedings at noon in Parliament Square with a rendition of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, before strolling Pied Piper-like over to Hertford House Hotel’s bar to continue her half-hour performance.

Later Rebecca will be performing again at McMullen’s Brewery Yard – not just in her operatic guise but as a jazz singer too.

“It’s especially important that Rebecca’s performing this year,” said HMF co-chairman Kev Saunders.

“It’s only recently dawned on me that we’d met a decade ago when she won our Young Soloists’ Competition in 2008.

“Look her up and you’ll see just how far she’s been since then!”

Another exciting new act this year will be lighting up the stage at Hertford House Hotel Garden and then at McMullen’s Brewery Yard.

The Fabulous Divas, three of the divas from the smash hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, based on the Oscar-winning movie, will be appearing.

• For the latest festival news, visit www.hertfordmusicfestival.co.uk

Alternatively, follow the festival on social media on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hertfordmusicfestival, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/hertfordmusicfestival or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HertfordMF

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