Rock musicians will unite in Stowmarket for tribute gig in friend’s memory

A mini-rock festival in Stowmarket will see musicians gather as they celebrate a friend’s passion for music and share memories.

Stuart Jones, will be bringing rock music to the town’s John Peel Centre, in Church Walk, on April 7, as he plans a fundraiser packed with music to honour the memory of friend Alan James.

Aptly named Al’s Fest the event, which will raise funds for St Nicholas Hospice Care, will also include a memory corner, designed to be a space where festival-goers will be able to remember Alan.

Stuart said: “I met Al in about 1999 when I joined the band he sang and played guitar for Snake Oil.  We played gigs throughout the East Anglia area in pubs, beer festivals and bike rallies. Al had such an impact on my life and when he was diagnosed with cancer I, and all of his friends were devastated.

“He always had a smile on his face and liked to live life to the full. When he passed away in 2017 the impact he had on our lives was shown in its full when over 200 arrived from near and far to celebrate him at his funeral in July.”

As well as featuring live music from Ratzinasack, a band Alan also played guitar for, the occasion will see the reunion of Snake Oil, who after disbanding in 2004 will gather for one night only.

Stuart said: “The last remaining members of Snake Oil myself, Gary Roberts and Leroy Arnold have reunited with help from his close friends Chris and Tony (from Ratzinasack) as a one off for Al. All of the profits from the event will be donated to St Nicholas Hospice Care and if we have the support we are hoping to make this a yearly event.”

Snake Oil will be performing a selection of their songs plus classic covers from Joe Walsh, Steve Earle, Jimi Hendrix, Creadence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Ratzinasack will also be bringing their own unique style to the stage as they cover AC/DC, the Cranberries, Status Quo and plenty more.

The festival, which starts at 6pm, will also feature music from Mind the Gap, who were also good friends with Alan.

Tickets which are on sale now cost £7.50 in advance or £10 on the door. They can be bought online at or by telephoning 01449 774 678.

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