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Bez set for earth-shaking Godiva gig.

ENVIRONMENT campaigners are delighted the prospective MP for Salford and Eccles will be headlining at the Godiva Festival.

He is the artist once known as Bez, the wild dancer with the Happy Mondays who are the star turn at this summer's Memorial Park bash.

Although now 49, Bez is expected to rock the stage with his trademark percussive moves and maraca accompaniment on July 5. But meantime he's morphed into a wannabe MP who's campaigning on an anti-fracking manifesto with the catchy slogan "I'm shaking my maracas at the frackers."

And his targets, if elected as an Independent on his home turf, are the businesses who profit from drilling for underground gas and shake up the countryside in the process.

The cult figure, real name Mark Berry, is an unlikely champion of the environment, being once famous for having plumbed the depths himself in search of substances better left alone.

But he brings an energy to the anti-fracking argument that protest groups in Coventry and Warwickshire are keen to harness.

"It's my duty to get into people's conscious minds and make them realise what they are doing," Bez told a patronizing Andrew Neil on BBC's Sunday Politics programme.

Anne Patterson, co-ordinator of Gas-Free Coventry, plans to contact Bez to tell him his maracas will be pointing in the right direction when he takes the stage at Godiva.

A massive potential site for Underground Coal Gasification, which uses similar techniques to fracking, has been identified in an area stretching from near Baginton way into south Warwickshire.

Campaigners maintain: "If fracking is a nightmare - then UCG will scare the hell out of you."

Both are blamed for water pollution, but while fracking is accused of causing earth tremors, UCG is held responsible for igniting coal fires underground.

They are hoping the would-be MP will see the festival stage as a fitting platform to give his support. ? Bez is no stranger to Coventry, having once guest DJ'd at the Scholars nightclub and later headed for the Britannia Hotel with a companion.

The earth didn't move for the couple however as Bez spent the night drinking and chatting to a couple of fans he met at the taxi rank.

Warwickshire. ? HOW many men does it take to check the newly-installed traffic lights at the A45- Kenilworth Road junction? Last week's picture of seven highways workers posed the question and the following day the lights conked out for half the morning. Obviously more than seven, then.

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Wannabe MP and anti-fracking campaigner Bez is heading to the Godiva Festival
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 28, 2014
Words:425
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