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Award-winning acts set to play gigs hosted by Essex libraries

10 Apr Award-winning acts set to play gigs hosted by Essex libraries

Plugged and Unplugged was born after customers suggested libraries could be great venues for live music events. 

Ray Cooper, former cello, bass and mandolin player with award-winning folk-rock legends Oysterband, will play three acoustic sets in Coggeshall, Wivenhoe and Writtle in early May.

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, past winners of Best Duo at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, will then play five concerts in Maldon, Rayleigh, Billericay, Harwich and Loughton in mid-June.

The tours have been organised by library staff Miranda Bedwin, Jo Norris and Charlotte Britton.

Ray Cooper, who toured the world with Oysterband and now lives in Sweden, went solo in 2013 and his informal, intimate gigs will feature him on cello, guitar and mandolin, playing songs from his imminent third solo album.

Ray said: “Libraries are quiet places full of stories and I invite people to come along and see me on my Essex Libraries Tour where they will certainly hear some fascinating tales.”

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin came to the agreement that every town in the country has a purpose-built community space, perfect for bringing people together – the library. After winning the prestigious Best Duo award at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards and being nominated again in 2016, the pair has toured relentlessly, and in June will turn their attention to five Essex Libraries.


Both acts have generously agreed to donate 10 per cent of all ticket sales to support future community events in Essex Libraries.


Tickets and information on both events: Tickets are available online at