TWO of Southend's most long-standing music and arts producers known for putting on a smorgasbord of cutting edge spoken word, live music and other arts acts will be coming together to put on their joint birthday party.

Sundown Arts will be celebrating its 14th year while Shangri-La will be celebrating its 10th.

The free event will kick off with spoken word from Sundown Arts' two organisers Jo Overfield and Ray Morgan.

"We've always included spoken word in our events to mix it up - there are lots of live music nights out there, but to bring a bit of poetry or comedy can give it a more cabaret-style feel to it," says Jo, who has been part of the Sundown team since its inception 14 years ago, and is now its director.

"It's important to acknowledge these milestones, for both us and Shangri-La. We've both been running for over a decade, which has spanned difficult economic times, with little or no funding. And we're still here, doing what we love."

Ray added: "Also performing is comic poet Simon Blackman, whose bon-mots on the minutiae of life include odes on boot sales, chip shops, and Susie Dent. Always a popular performer at spoken word events, Simon's wit and humour shines. Just don't get caught laughing. He hates that.

"Performance poet Cherry Scott will also be taking to the stage, who was also involved in Sundown Arts events from the very beginning, attending the first event along with Jo. She brings street smarts and fierce rhymes, not afraid of addressing important social issues. A must-see from the local poetry scene.

"We have music from Southend's pithiest pop group, The Tumbledryer Babies, aka Andrew Moore, who takes inspiration from Daniel Johnston, Neil Young and Jeffrey Lewis. He has a great turn of phrase, and brings lo-fi treats to your ears.

"Lance Baldock has been the organiser of Shangri-La with Tom Burgess for 10 years and they will be performing under their 'Cusack' guise, a dreamy pairing of vocals and guitars reminiscent of The Lemonheads. A true classic Southend band.

"Helen McCookerybook is a musician and songwriter, alongside having written a book on female musicians in the punk era - Helen was in punk band The Chefs, who you need to investigate. They did a song about thrush which Jo loves dearly. Helen is a great musician and all-round good egg, and Southend is very lucky to have her perform!"

The evening will be rounded off by psych-folk Totnes legends Diamond Family Archive; a two-piece comprising keyboard, guitar and drums, accompanied by drone, electronica and beards.

Transporting you to a different plane, this band is not to be missed.

Doors are at 7.30pm and entry is free, but there will be a whip for artists so please give generously.

It all takes place on Thursday November 16, from 7:30pm at the The Railway Hotel, Clifftown Road, Southend.

Although the event is free, there will be a whip round for the artists.