Two weeks of live music gigs at local venues, many of them free, from October 18-31.

A FORTNIGHT of musical fun beckons as the Barnstaple Fringe returns with a top field of talent top entertain at venues around the town from tomorrow (Thursday).

Between then and October 31, helping to dispel those gloomy autumn evenings, the Fringe offers an array of local, national and international performers laying on everything from folk, jazz and blues music to indie, Americana, world music and much more.

Admission to more than half of the events is free, but tickets will be required to see some of the big names, including magical West African musician Seckou Keita, master of the Kora, the 21 stringed African harp, plus his seven piece band at the Queens Theatre Studio on Tuesday from 8pm.

Dartmoor folk singer extraordinaire Seth Lakeman performs at the Queens Theatre on Wednesday, October 24 with tracks from his brand new album.

Before all that, tomorrow Claytons in Barnstaple hosts Connie Lush plus her band Blues Shouter, widely recognised as one of the finest blues singers the UK has ever produced. On Friday Claytons hosts The Paper Moon Band, fronted by charismatic jazz singer Lucy Moon. Both gigs are free and start at 9pm.

On Sunday the Boston Tea Party features the smooth, soulful vocals, excellent guitar skills and superb compositions of Phil King from 2pm.

On Monday local music legend Peter Bruntnell presents the first of two live music nights at Lilico's, featuring performances from himself and special headline guest Richard James from 8.45pm.

Find out more and download the full Barnstaple Fringe brochure at www.northdevontheatres.org.uk or pick one up at participating venues Queen's Theatre, Boston Tea Party, Claytons, Lilico's and Broomhill Art Hotel.