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FREE LIVE MUSIC: SAMARA @ Abbeyfest (Merton Abbey Mills, Colliers Wood)

  • Aug 2, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Abbeyfest is a fantastic local mini-festival - with lots of events - live music , stand-up comedy, theatre and more:

The Friday music evenings (mainly Soul music) are FREE and OPEN-AIR:

The music kicks off at 8pm but I'd like to meet at 7 pm so we can ensure we're near the 'stage' and so we can be seated together (it's jam packed come 8pm)...but also so we can chat, drink, eat before the music gets under way. The open air music evenings are thoroughly enjoyable and a great way to make the most of the summer sun (hopefully!!!) and long evenings in a local setting.

See below for more event info & re what you need to know for the event/evening.

“SAMARA” is a six piece jazz/latin group which I lead, and suffice it to say I think the guys in the band are just great! The pianist, Neil Angilley works with Vanessa Mae, Shirley Bassey and “Down to the Bone”, Dill Katz, the bass player is visiting professor at the Guildhall, Nic France the drummer has worked with just about everyone, including “Loose Tubes” and Bill Withers, the percussionist, Dawson Miller is generally recognised as one of the most versatile and experienced players on the scene, and the singer Jacqui Hicks, with her strong, clear, voice and assured, exciting, but always very musical style. The music is an infectious blend of Brazilian Samba, jazz/latin and Soul, and everyone has a great time! “Cracking Latin-jazz quintet led by 606 proprietor Steve Rubie on flute and alto saxophone…explores these Latin jazz classics in great rhythmic style” Time Out

“Polly Gibbons…a truly exceptional, once in a generation talent, possessing a voice of such sizzling intensity and raw emotion you could fry an egg on it” Jazzwise


The music finishes about 10pm and then if the weather is nice ppl can stay on to chat/have a few drinks (if you want to).
There is usually live comedy from 10-12pm in the Colourhouse theatre which is on the same site as the bandstand (basically opp the bandstand)- tickets go on sale at 9pm on the nite so if you want to go to the comedy you can buy tickets during the music interval (the interval is at 9pm).

DRINKS & FOOD: I suggest you buy your drinks/food @ Abbeyfest rather than bringing it with you - so as to support the event and hopefully ensure we can enjoy it for FREE in years to come :)

- There's a pub and

- some restaurtants: Pizza Hut/Kentucky Fried Chicken/ a British Cafe / a Belgian Cafe/ Thai, Italian, Indian & Caribbean restaurants plus

- stalls selling booze and food (cooked food and snacks).

- picnic blanket or towel - to sit on (else you'll be sitting on concrete!); you can bring folding chairs if you don't want to sit on the ground
- enough cash - as I'm not sure if eg the stalls would take cards (there's no cashpoint on site)
- sunscreen and
- a warm top layer (as it can get windy/chilly as it's open air - I know it's boiling now, but weather changes!) plus
- an umbrella in case of a shower; if it's wet - do still come along - it shouldn't be cold & hopefully even if it rains it won't last long.

Merton Abbey Mills is a short walk from Colliers Wood or South Wimbledon tube stations - there's a map on this weblink - but see below for walking directions: (

See (a different) map below - the red line is what you should follow if you're walking (not the blue line) - ie when you get to the big Sainsburys (and M&S) go through the entrance and out the other side into their car park and walk straight ahead across the car park and you'll see a small underpass with a sign for Merton Abbey Mills - walk through that and then walk to your right and you'll pass Pizza Hut and KFC (as marked on the map below) - when you pass KFC there's a small road to cross - and Merton Abbey Mills is across the road from KFC.

Once you cross the small road, keep walking ahead and you should be able to find the Bandstand (it's a small area/venue).  That's as detailed as I can be for directions! So please don't contact me for directions on the day.

See below for parking availability in the vicinity.

click to zoom


Parking restrictions are subject to change so please read the signs before you park, but from what I'm aware this is what's available:
-in Abbey Mills for free - for 2 hours (you have to display a ticket - but the ticket is free for the 1st 2 hours) - parking is limited in Abbey Mills
- in Tandem Centre for free - for 3 hours (no ticket needed) - there's plenty of parking there in evening
- in Savacentre for free - for 4 hours (no ticket needed) - plenty of parking


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  • Steff

    Another brilliant evening! Thank you again Shereena for arranging another great night! You definitely have the best Meet Up group!

    1 · August 4, 2013

    • david

      Hmm the old double bluff!! Now which to believe?!?

      August 16, 2013

    • Shereena

      @ Steff: Don't encourage him!! @ David: You're dead to me remember!

      August 31, 2013

  • Judith

    A very relaxed and pleasant atmosphere in great company. The music also got more lively as it progressed, she had a soulful voice. I had a very enjoyable night.

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • michele

    lovely to be in the open air, eating, drinking and chatting..........

    1 · August 4, 2013

    • Shereena

      It was! Thx for sharing your snacks Michele!

      August 4, 2013

  • Naomi O.

    thank you lots Shereena for organising this meet up. Naomi and Andre xx

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • julie

    really good night out, music was great and a lovely atmosphere!

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • Louise

    Once again, a really nice meet up, it was good seeing familiar faces, great atmosphere and so so lucky with the weather. Many thanks to Shereena for doing so much to organise the events.....

    1 · August 3, 2013

    • Shereena

      Thx, it's a pleasure to do them, when I know ppl enjoy and appreciate it :)

      August 3, 2013

  • Shereena

    Wow, what a great turn out (even more than at the last last one)! Thx to everyone who came - you're a fab & friendly bunch! I did my best to mingle & chat to everyone during the evening...hope you all enjoyed the evening too. I thought the singer had a great voice and the band were also good...but the sound man was late so they hadn't had a sound check beforehand and I do think that the sound levels were too low for the event and that meant the performance was rather tame, I think if the sound levels had been cranked up a notch or two it would have had more impact. But we got up dancing eventually and I had a great evening overall!

    August 3, 2013

  • Daksha M.

    my apologies shereena -something came up with my sister - I had to go to hers... straight from work

    August 3, 2013

    • Shereena

      Oh OK, I did wonder where you were...see you at another event!

      August 3, 2013

  • Shereena

    Sorry if I didn't manage to get pix of everyone, but ppl were moving around plus arriving/leaving at diff times etc
    PS if you ended up with a black umbrella that's not yours, then it's mine-if so I'd appreciate it back next time pls :)

    August 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lovely evening despite music not being what I'd thought it was going to be!! Sorry to have rushed off at end - something came up. Hope to stay longer and chat next time!

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • Caroline

    Such a lovely friendly group, really enjoyed the evening

    1 · August 2, 2013

  • Judith

    Will be thr by 9pm due to other commitments but wil stay on for chat and socializing afterwards.

    August 2, 2013

  • Shereena

    I am wearing a bright pink t-shirt/top with the image of a woman on it and it has some silver sequins (so I should be spottable!) plus black leggings and I have long dark hair.
    I'll be at the bandstand at 7pm - as you face the front of the bandstand I'll be sitting to the RIGHT HAND SIDE of the bandstand - by or on the steps - the river runs behind the bandstand and their's an Italian restaurant (Mama Rosa) to the left of the bandstand - I'll be on the right hand side (so the opp side to the Italian).
    It's an open-air event so I can't reserve an area - so please do get there as soon as you can - otherwise you may not be able to sit with us - as it gets pretty busy from 7.30 onwards.
    Don't forget to bring something to sit on, as it's a concreted area and you may want to bring a brollie & top layer, just in case!
    See ya soon!

    August 2, 2013

  • Judith

    Another AbbeyFest to make my Friday Eve, Super :-)

    1 · July 31, 2013

  • david

    I have always loved six piece jazz / Latin music especially when played live in a south London environment close to a major retail outlet that has ample parking !

    2 · July 28, 2013

    • Shereena

      What am I gonna do with the pair of you????....perhaps throw you into the Wandle, whilst said Jazz band is performing!! Sweet ;)

      July 28, 2013

    • david

      Paul , don't even get me started on 4 piece!!

      1 · July 28, 2013

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