Elbow play St John at Hackney church for first of Mencap’s Little Noise Sessions

Music legends to headline at fundraising festival in church

Hackney’s largest church is hosting some of Britain’s biggest names in music this week when a charity festival moves to the borough for the first time.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Irish singer/songwriter Sin�ad O’Connor and indie group Elbow are among the acts to perform at Mencap’s Little Noise Sessions at the historic St John-at-Hackney Church in Lower Clapton Road.

The fundraising festival, curated by Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley, runs from tonight until Sunday and also includes gigs from the likes of rapper Example, pop diva Goldfrapp and Scottish Mercury Music Prize nominee King Creosote.

For the previous five years, it has taken place at the Union Chapel in Highbury. But Hackney will be welcoming the stars of this year’s programme.

“We’ve had five years at Islington’s Union Chapel and we felt we were ready for a change,” said Kate Tinter, events development manager for learning disability charity Mencap.

“Bigger bands are going there now and we thought we had helped them along the way. It felt like the right time to move.

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“We’ve been looking all over London but were thinking more and more that Hackney was the right area. I did not know about St John until I was walking past, but they have been incredibly supportive – it has been a joy working with them.”

Emily Ovenden, parish administrator for St John-at- Hackney, said: “This is incredibly exciting for us to host a festival of this magnitude.”

DJ Jo said: “Mencap’s Little Noise Sessions are back for the sixth successful year and we’re excited to be moving to St John-at-Hackney – a venue that in its 700 year history has never played host to a music gig like this. Each year we aim to surprise and inspire the audience, with a week of unbelievable shows coupled with a simply stunning backdrop.”

And Elbow frontman Guy Garvey said: “We are dead proud to be added to the list of amazing bands that have done the Little Noise Sessions for Jo Whiley and Mencap. We have organised a warm up tour of Europe before the show to make sure we are in tip top condition. when we play.”

For more information and ticket sales go to www.littlenoisesessions.org.uk