The Rickmansworth Festival has for many years been one of the shiniest diamonds in the town’s live music crown.

The worst thing about it is it’s so many months away, in May. Now stuck frozen fast in the most miserable of months – I can barely remember what the sun looks like – but fear not because the music refuses to hibernate.

For the first time, organisers of the festival’s are putting on a whole series of gigs throughout the year, with the aim of raising funds for the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust.

“We can’t solely rely on the festival anymore,” explains Clive Fennell, from the trust, “we’ve got to diversify and get some money from other directions.

“If the weather’s bad on the festival weekend, the trust could essentially die – we can’t be in that position so we need to think outside the box.”

The gigs will take place at Mill End Sports and Social Club and, during the summer, at Batchworth Lock.

“We want people to see what we actually do,” says Clive. “We want to open the area up more and get people down there. The lock and that area would probably be derelict now without us. It’s an amazing arena.”

The gigs kick off with two local favourites: Colvex and Tom Craven.

Watford trio Colvex released their self-titled debut last year, full of powerful rock anthems and hook-heavy indie tunes.

From sing-alongs to heartfelt ballads, Tom’s indie and folk tunes are delivered with emotion and confidence. He is a bold acoustic troubadour for whom spinning a story is a real strength.

A must-see gig and all for a good cause – summer is closer than you think!

Colvex and Tom Craven play Mill End Sports and Social Club, Rickmansworth on Saturday, January 26 from 8pm. Details:

Bands have been rehearsing until their fingers bleed - now it's all to play for.

The Watford Colosseum Battle of the Bands competition takes place on January 26 at 6pm, where one of the judges will be yours truly.

There’s a great stack of prizes to be won – but to get it, they’ll need your help.

Cheer, whoop, whistle, go crazy and help support the town’s top acts.

Details: 0845 075 3993