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Greenwich Summer Sessions LogoFollowing the huge success of its inaugural concert series last year, Peter Conway Promotions was delighted to announce a return for the second year of Greenwich Summer Sessions (GSS), part of The Greenwich Festivals: Music, supported by Greenwich Council.

Staged over six nights at the spectacular and historic riverside location of the Old Royal Naval College, during the last week of July, headliners for this year’s event included locally-based Greenwich artists Squeeze; a first ever Greenwich performance from the legendary Status Quo; pop sophisticate The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon solo); neo-classical Swedish singer-songwriter José González; Irish punk folk heroes The Pogues; and BRIT Award winning Mark Ronson with his groundbreaking new band The Business Intl. supported by the stunning local act the Noisettes. 

GSS 2011 was closed with a fantastic finale concert entitled ‘Songs in the Key of London’, curated by Chris Difford of Squeeze. The night played host to a plethora of first class artists including Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), Ali Campbell (UB40), Mark Nevin (Fairground Attraction), Boo Hewerdine (The Bible), jazz musician Pee Wee Ellis, and folk artists Chris Wood, Clare Teal and Katherine Williams but to name a few. A unique one-off occasion this concert featured the cream of musical talent, songwriters, tunesmiths and stars – personally invited by Difford – coming together to celebrate London in song. The artists performed some stunning renditions of songs written about the nation's capital finishing with all of the artists on stage to sing the Kinks' Waterloo Sunset. 

Mark RonsonCoinciding with the start of the year-long countdown to the 2012 London Olympics, Greenwich Summer Sessions is the brainchild of local promoter and Creative Producer, Peter Conway. Set in a beautiful and intimate open-air atmosphere, the GSS is fast becoming one of the most established live events in London’s music and cultural calendar.

Staged in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College on the River Thames, in the centre of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, this series of concerts, is a high quality event that is now the highlight of the borough’s cultural programme as part of The Greenwich Festivals.

Speaking before the event Cllr John Fahy, Greenwich Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport commented,"Greenwich is a borough steeped in history and culture. The Greenwich Festivals brings both of these attractions together for a season of spectacular events in some of the most historic settings in the country. Greenwich Summer Sessions got off to a great start last year and this year's line up looks to be just as popular. Where better to spend a summer's evening than in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College listening to a line up of top musical acts? The whole programme for The Greenwich Festivals has something for everyone - from free international street performances to cool jazz. It's the place to be this summer"

 Status QuoAs well as dedicated fans of all the acts appearing this summer, a third of the audience for this year’s concerts again came from Greenwich borough itself, with a broad audience range from 16 to 70+.Greenwich is one of the host boroughs for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and will provide a backdrop for 13 sporting events.

Known as the ‘home of time’, Maritime Greenwich (including the Old Royal Naval College Buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren) is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich is one of London’s top tourist destinations. Other tourist attractions in the area include: Royal Observatory inc.; the world’s Prime Meridian / Greenwich Mean Time; the Thames River; Greenwich Park; Queens House; and the Fan Museum

“I have lived in Greenwich since 1976 with my wife and two children and count the borough as our home,” explains GSS founder Peter Conway. “To me Greenwich is one of the best boroughs in London to live and work.”

SqueezeHaving worked in the music business for over 30 years, Conway was also Director of Blackheath Halls for seven years. In 1993 he promoted four festival concerts in a circus tent on Blackheath including Jools Holland’s first ever 21-piece orchestra performance.

“I conceived Greenwich Summer Sessions (GSS) to build on that original Blackheath festival in 1993,” says Conway. “GSS is an outdoor concert series, not a festival, and the chance to stage the concerts in the stunning grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich was an opportunity not to be missed.”

Greenwich Summer Sessions 2011 attracted media interest far and wide particularly focusing on the unofficial tribute concert for Amy Winehouse put together by Mark Ronson following his friends death just days before his show.

Over 12,000 revellers attended the 6 nights to widespread critical acclaim please see the reviews section below for more details. 

Line-up

26 July – The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon solo) / José González
27 July – Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. + Noisettes  
28 July - Status Quo + Nine Below Zero
29 July  - Squeeze + Turin Brakes
30 July – The Pogues + The Buzzcocks
31 July - Songs in the Key of London + Shlomo and his Vocal Orchestra 

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Photos by Stuart Leech

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