Swaffham start for milk float challenge

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Enterprising Norfolk singer-songwriter Paul Thompson will launch his tour in Swaffham on Thursday – but he won’t be arriving in the rock ‘n’ roll vehicle many would expect.

The music maverick has succeeded in gaining Arts Council of England funding to embark on a three-month tour, travelling from Norwich to Edinburgh on a milk float.

The Sheringham-based musician, who is releasing his third self-penned and produced album, will kick off his tour at the Green Britain Centre.

Travelling at 15 miles-per-hour, 30 miles a day, across Britain in a specially-converted electric milk float, it is no surprise to find that he will be the first solo musician ever to tour Britain in the vehicle.

Paul said: “I wanted to think of an original way to do a music tour, that was fitting to my style of music and that also incorporated sustainable technology.

“Performing at mainly outdoor locations, the milk float will double up as my tour bus and music performance space, with solar panels on the roof powering music equipment and other adaptations, allowing the float to charge up at Electric Vehicle charging points across the country.”

On Thursday night, Mr Thompson will be performing his music from the specially-converted milk float, which will be transformed into a stage.

Joining him from 7pm on the night will be two local acts, three-piece harmony girl group Vibe and singer-songwriter Steve Young.

Mr Thompson said: “I’m interested in exploring the idea of music performance in fresh and original contexts, and expanding my opportunities to play at new venues

“I’ve researched places to play that have an emphasis on environmental awareness, but that might also not normally be considered by musicians as a ‘venue’.

“This led me to approach the Green Britain Centre in Norfolk, which has a theatre, an organic garden, and the world’s largest wind turbine with a viewing platform.

“Although they’ve never had music at the centre before, they were really excited by the idea.

“As well as booking me for a workshop and performance, they have expressed an interest in doing further events if things go well.”

The Floating to the Fringe tour will end with a 12-day stint at The Edinburgh Fringe in a prime position in George Street.

Paul’s music has been described as ‘blissed out Donovan meets John Martyn’, and he uses a loop box to layer guitar, vocals and rhythm.

Tickets for Thursday are priced at £6 in advance and £7 on the night.

They can be purchased by calling 01760 726100 or visiting www.greenbritaincentre.co.uk