Rock, pop, jazz and folk music have all been central to Bridgwater’s creative life at one time or other.

   In the last century Cecil Sharp rediscovered British folk music in the aural tradition of  the Somerset Agricultural workers and wrote it down for posterity. Today Halsway Manor at Crowcombe  near Bridgwater is the home of the English Folk Song and Dance society.

   In the 1940’s American servicemen based in Somerset brought with them big band, swing and jazz music.

   During the 1950s and 60s rock n roll inspired the Nation. American rock legend Eddie Cochran played his last concert at bristol Hippodrome before being killed in a car Crash and dying at the age of 21 at Bath Hospital ,Somerset.

   During the 60’s top acts like the Who and the Stones played Bridgwater as part of the gig circuit of the day. Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison visited Somerset as teenagers and chose locations for their later films in the Bridgwater area. The trainn scene from '‘Hard days Night” was filmed in Crowcombe station. The Beatles also once stopped at Terry Downes café in Bridgwater.

   The Glastonbury pop festival-now the countries largest such event, originated in Somerset as a series of ‘Free Festivals’ during the 1960’s and 70’s.

   The Bridgwater Arts Centre under the management of Bob Ormrod in the 1970’s was a centre of modern  Jazz and blues music with world famous acts such as the South African Brotherhood of Breath and American bluesman Dr.Ross the harmonica Boss inlcuding Bridgwater on their tour

   In 1977 the Art Centre was home to the Bridgwater punk scene pioneered by THE DANGEROUS BROTHERS and developed by SHEEP WORRYING the Alternative theatre, rock and publishing Collective which ran a series of gigs at the Art centre throughout the 1980’s , fighting a constant battle against Conservative opponents and finally losing in the 1990’s. During the 80’s the Art Centre was a Regional centre for original, contemporary  music seeing such National bands as CRASS, UK SUBS, CHUMBAWAMBA, PETER & THE TEST TUBE BABIES, BLACK ROOTS, & HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT playing there alongside 3 or 4  original  local bands

   Today Rock bands in the Bridgwater area have again formed themselves into a co-operative movement (The Sedgemoor Contemporary Music group) and although the Art Centre can no longer put on Rock gigs-due to the imposition of a noise limiter at the venue (after years of campaigning by next door neighbour, former Tory councillor Margaret Rees) once more the town is gaining a reputation for being a centre of Original contemporary music.

2 CD albums by local bands are available through us for £5 each

“Moo”- 1999

“Woof! We are destroying your Culture”  2000

"This is Bridgwater (Volume 3) 2001

"Smells Like Bridgwater" 2002

  SCMG meets regularly at the Bridgwater arts centre and runs regular gigs featuring local bands at the 3 crowns. We also  organise the Annual Somerfest rock event .

SCMG member Matt Bartlett has set up the ‘Midnight Mango’ web site..tap into this for more information

Sedgemoor Contemporary Music Group, Sheep Worrying,
The Dangerous Brothers
, Club Whoopee, The Sedgemorons,
Red Smed and the Hot Trot Smash the System Boogie Band
, The Spanners, The Visitors, The Funbunnies, Thermo Lovelies, Dexter Brinks, Bikeshed, Copyright Rita,
Bridgwater - Czech / Slovak Friendship Society, Back to the Bridgwater page

Milos Salus 1999