Eighties pop star Paul Young will play at this year’s Bermondsey Carnival, an annual day of music and family activities that attracts thousands to Southwark Park, writes Emma Finamore…
Young topped the charts in 1983 with Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), the first in a string of top 40 singles. The Brit Award-winner was associated with the ‘blue-eyed soul’ genre, and sung the opening lines to the Band Aid hit Do They Know It’s Christmas?.
“In my opinion Paul Young is a British legend, he has always been my top five wish-list of artists to appear at the Bermondsey Carnival, and this year I finally succeeded,” said Phil Burkett of Bermondsey Beat, the organisation that has managed the carnival’s main stage for the last eighteen years. “Paul will bring people to Bermondsey and Southwark Park who have never visited before and I am sure that Southwark will love him.”
Originally founded in 1900 to raise funds for Bermondsey victims of the Boer War, the carnival was a reintroduced by local families it in the early 1990s and is now supported by Southwark Council. 12,000 people attended last summer – its largest audience to date. Previous performers include Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Chas and Dave, and The Real Thing.
“This event brings people back to where they grew up – you see generations of families sitting on the grass having a picnic,” said Burkett. “People who moved out of the area years ago come back home, and this doesn’t happen often. It’s also great to see people who have not visited Southwark Park before walking around enjoying themselves.”
Joining Young in this year’s line-up is locally based reggae group Indika, Motown trio The Aim, as well as the return of Kinetika Bloco – a performance group of young musicians and dancers – for a carnival parade.
Bermondsey Carnival will take place at Southwark Park on Saturday, July 2. For more information visit www.southwark.gov.uk/southwarkpresents.