A WEEKEND of live music kicks off on Friday as part of Halton's Borough of Culture festival.

The Celebrate Halton MUSIC event runs from September 3-5 at venues right across the borough with bands and performers including A Certain Ratio, Man and the Echo, HENGE, Rioghnach Connolly, Natalie McCool, Ukulele Uff Trio and the Heavy Beat Brass Band.

It all begins with a free event at Culture HQ at Runcorn Shopping City on Friday at noon, which includes Widnes singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natalie McCool, now a star in the UK indie world.

She will be joined at the launch event by BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2019 and 2020, Rioghnach Connolly who will present a special set for the launch with her musical partner Ellis Davies, which she describes as 'songs of the people'. Ríoghnach is a traditional singer and flautist from Armagh, now based in the North West of England.

Manchester Factory Records legends and post-punk act A Certain Ratio are co-headlining the show at The Studio, Widnes on Saturday. Formed in 1978, they sounded like nothing else around them, which led to Joy Division’s manager Rob Gretton putting them in touch with Tony Wilson who was setting up the fledgling Factory Records.

Over the past few decades the band have influenced countless influential musicians from Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor, The Orielles, Sink Ya Teeth and Andrew Weatherall.

Joining them at The Studio will be Man & The Echo from Warrington. Their eponymous debut album was quickly picked up by Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and John Kennedy (Radio X) and was named as 'Album Of The Day' on 6 Music.

They have performed on Billy Bragg’s Leftfield stage at Glastonbury and other major festivals such as Kendal Calling, Reading & Leeds, Secret Garden Party and The Great Escape.

Tickets are available from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrate-halton-music-a-certain-ratio-man-and-the-echo-plus-support-tickets-167357447631

Acts also include The Racket, a four-piece Indie-Rock band from Widnes, who have supported artists such as Louis Berry, Cast, Lottery Winners and Twisted Wheel, the UKULELE UFF TRIO, who specialise in 1920s/30s style jazz, and the cosmic electronic band HENGE.

Venues will include The Studio, Culture HQ, Widnes Market, Runcorn Hill Park, Victoria Park Widnes, The Castle, Norton Arms, The Lockdown Pub, Society Tap Room, The Mersey Hotel (The Snig) and The Tavern.

For the full line up visit: www.celebratehalton.co.uk/events/harmony-halton-music-weekender.

Borough of Culture is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region, as part of the Combined Authority’s culture programme. The aim is to increase participation in cultural activity across Halton.