All Points East Festival 2022

All Points East Festival, London, 28th August 2022

With a propensity for pulling in the biggest names, All Points East returned this year with another impressive run of weekend events that included headline slots from Disclosure, The National, Tame Impala, Gorillaz and culminating last Sunday with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

Cave’s last performance at APE in 2019 is still revered and doubtless this one will be talked about for a long time too. A captivating showman with a setlist spanning the career of The Bad Seeds, the two hours plus on stage was once again a showcase of how to hold a crowd in the palm of your red right hand.

Still, there were plenty of reasons to be there earlier in the day too with some excellent main stage sets from Chilli Jesson and Kae Tempest amongst others. Jesson seems to be more accomplished with each performance, and Tempest could easily have been much higher up the line-up and without doubt captured some new fans.

Over at the BMW #PlayNext stage, lots of new talent throughout the day with exciting sets from Attawalpa, Bonnie Kemplay and fast rising stars The Dinner Party.

The North stage played host to some great music with light shows to match from the likes of Jehnny Beth, Spiritualized and Sleaford Mods, while the Ray-Ban West stage had the pleasure of Michael Kiwanuka’s presence, always a flawless production.

An eclectic mix and an open opportunity to see some firmly established acts while discovering new breakthrough artists just around the corner. Looking forward to seeing who APE manage to sign up in 2023.

Words and photos by Siobhan

7th September 2022

Victorious Festival 2022

Victorious Festival, 26th-28th August 2022, Southsea Common

Long established as a local festival, Victorious has grown over the years and now attract tens of thousands of people from near and far across the late summer bank holiday weekend. Family friendly and with some huge names performing, there’s a wide variety of music and activities running over the three days and, at the risk of throwing in a well versed cliche, there really is something for everyone.

Previously a two day event, the Friday opener is now well established and this year kicked off with Primal Scream playing in the hot, hot sunshine. From Bobby Gillespie’s Screamadelica inspired suit, to the gospel voices joining the stage, to the entire crowd singing along to Come Together, this was the perfect start to the weekend and a beautiful reminder of the power of live music.

Another standout on the main stage was (unsurprisingly) Self Esteem. Victorious has been criticised in the past for a lack of female artists on its line-up. It was really good to see a significant turnaround on this, as the rows of teenage girls loving every second of this set will attest – would be great to see a switch-up in the daily headliners too next year – 2022 offered up Stereophonics on Friday, Paolo Nutini on Saturday and Sam Fender on Sunday. Other big names across the weekend included James, Anna Calvi, Bastille, Sports Team, Anne Marie and Suede.

There was also plenty going on at the selection of smaller stages with some great showcases from loads of local favourites – amongst others Jerry Williams, Marley Blandford, Flowvers, Welly and the inimitable Van Gosh, who never disappoint visually but don’t be lulled into thinking they’re just a gimmick band; they can really play. Lots more to see and discover across the common too with a kids’ area, comedy tent, skatepark and an impressive choice of food and drink vendors and festival shops.

All in all, a really successful weekend with lots of memories made. If you want to join in the fun, tickets for 2023 are on sale now here. Check out our photo gallery below and see if you can find your favourite act (or even yourself) in there!

Common Stage

Primal Scream

Primal Scream, We Are Scientists

Self Esteem

Soak

James

Acoustic Stage

Paddy Taylor

Amba Tremain, Margo Cilker, Jerry Williams

Marley Blandford

Beats & Swing Stage

Utah Saints

Showcase Stage

Ben Brookes

Andy Foster

World Music Stage

Hutch

Welly

Castle Stage

Sports Team, Coach Party, Only The Poets

White Lies

Casemates Stage

Filta, Jordan Duke

Flowvers

Van Gosh

Words by Siobhan
Photos:
Acoustic Stage, Beats & Swing Stage, Showcase Stage and Casemates Stage by Hannah Mesquitta
Common Stage, World Music Stage and Castle Stage by Siobhan

2nd September 2022

Brighton & Hove Pride – Parade & Portraits

Brighton & Hove Pride, 6th & 7th August 2022

After a two year gap, it was fantastic to see the return of Brighton & Hove Pride for its 30th anniversary outing. Undisputedly one of the biggest and brightest events on the local calendar, the theme for this years Pride celebration was LOVE · PROTEST · UNITY.

The Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade was back too in all its glory, crowds of all ages lining the streets from Hove Lawns to Preston Park as the carnival rolled its way through town. A feast of colour and noise, local community groups, charities and businesses were out in force to show their support, with international representation firmly in the mix too.

Brighton & Hove Pride is operated by Brighton Pride CIC, a not for profit community organisation. All ticket revenue raised goes directly to the operational and running costs of producing the Pride Festival, Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade, Pride Village Party and community fundraising. Over £936,000 has been raised for the Brighton Rainbow Fund, Pride Cultural Development Fund and Pride Social Impact Fund in the last seven years. The Brighton Rainbow Fund has a remit to receive donations and to use them to give grants to LGBT and HIV groups and organisations in Brighton & Hove. The Pride Social Impact Fund benefits good causes giving grants to a range of local groups.

Once the huge parade eventually reached its destination, the party continued in Preston Park with music, fairground rides, cabaret, dance and much more. The stages played host to Christina Aguilera, Paloma Faith, Jake Shears, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Todrick Hall, Raye and Björn Again amongst others, and the atmosphere was as hot as the sun.

Huge thanks to all involved and to all the fabulous attendees who made this a very special event. Did we catch you on camera? Check out our gallery of Pride Portraits below…

Brighton & Hove Pride – more information here

Words and photos by Siobhan 

8th August 2022

Hammer & Tongs Festival 2022

LET THE MUSIC PLAY

Hammer & Tongs Festival, 9th July at Corporation Sheffield

Header shots – Left: Steal the City, Right: Hunted by Elephants 

The modern music scene is suffering; gigs frequently cancelled, stadium tickets prohibitively expensive and, if you need to travel, increased fuel costs and hotel bills, so don’t be afraid to take a risk and listen to new talent playing local to you, for it is surely out there!

Concrete Kingdoms

Check out the bands on Spotify/YouTube. Research their socials. The future of modern music is in everyone’s hands, so if people continue to just go for nostalgia, where will we be as the ‘old ones die off’ one by one?

Hammer & Tongs Festival was an all-day event at Sheffield’s iconic Corporation venue. It promised to be a bargain gig with TEN quality rock bands across the day for the incredible price of just £12 (You do the maths)! Unfortunately, with a couple of days to go, a couple of alterations to the bill were made due to Covid, but top local replacements meant expectations remained high.

There was something for every rock music enthusiast including exciting young talent such as Archy & the Astronauts, Unknown Refuge and Mad Haven which, for a 14+ venue, is a fantastic way to inspire young hopefuls.

Archy & the Astronauts 

Stepping-up to headline was Nottingham-based classic rock trio BlitZ who never fail to deliver that end-of-the-night party feel! Dipping into the breach came local boys, Steal the City, whose incredible energy leaves the venue on a high after every performance.

Steal the City

With equally outstanding performances from Circus 66, Concrete Kingdoms, King Voodoo and Hunted By Elephants, Hammer & Tongs Festival must have been the best value Saturday rock show anywhere! Everyone attending was of the same mind: Hammer & Tongs Festival was a fantastic occasion.

Left: Unknown Refuge, Right: King Voodoo 

The message is loud & clear: don’t be afraid to try something new. They say the music goes on forever; but if we don’t support its growth, as Don McLean predicted, that’ll be The Day The Music Dies.

All bands mentioned in this article can be found on the usual online music platforms. Why not choose one and check them out? It may just brighten your life!

Words and photos by Tina Sherwood at All The Ts Photography 

18th July 2022

2000 Trees Festival 2022

2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham, 7th – 10th July 2022

After a difficult couple of years for everyone in the festival business, it was an absolute joy to be back at 2000 Trees at the weekend. Ask anyone who’s been and you’ll always hear about the brilliant atmosphere – year on year Trees is one of the friendliest festivals you’ll find; a treasure trove in the heart of the Cotswolds with all the stages only a few minutes walk from each other.

And if you want to see just how easy it is to put on a line-up that’s full of diversity and talent, look no further. Here are some highlights from Saturday…

I swear the sun always shines on 2000 Trees and this year was no exception. It was HOT at the main stage, but easier to handle as the rest of the stages are under cover. No let up in energy though despite the heat as Dream Nails had the crowd bouncing along to their lunchtime set.

Taking shade in The Axiom, Hotel Lux brought their well-versed line of deadpan narrative to the table, complete with strings and a choice selection of hats. Always a good line-up addition (the band and the hats).

Back in the sunshine, Mannequin Pussy treated the crowd to a kinetic performance, their recent UK dates clearly bringing new fans to the party.

Second trip to The Axiom for Kid Kapichi – it’s always hard to judge how a band fairly local to you are viewed outside of that space, but there could be no doubting that this is not a phenomenon specific to the south coast any longer. A packed tent and one of the biggest singalongs of the day showed just how much support the band have on a much wider scale.

To the Neu Stage next, for all the punk-filled fun that comes with Gen and the Degenerates. An explosive performance with plenty of time for audience interaction between a fine set of tunes. A great fit for the Trees’ ethic.

Another outfit on point for this fantastic festival came in the shape of Nova Twins. Filling the main stage with ease, their energy is infectious and it would be no surprise to see them climbing higher and higher up future line-ups.

Filling up the space at the Neu stage again, you know an artist is going to be well received when they’re getting huge cheers for their soundcheck – deservedly so for Lauran Hibberd (and the actual set was on point too).

Headliners over the week included Jimmy Eat World, Thrice and IDLES, and lots of other big names and regulars featured too. So, a fabulous array of acts to see, a new Forest stage for those quieter moments, and the usual warm welcome from both the event and the weather – 2000 Trees is without a doubt one of the things I’ve missed most. See you next year.

Tickets for 2000 Trees 2023 available here

Words and photos by Siobhan

11th July 2022

Fringe – Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun

Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun at Spiegeltent, Brighton, 6th May 2022

This year’s Brighton Fringe is well and truly off the mark, with an influx of performers descending on the city and a huge array of shows to see over the coming month. Theatre, comedy, performance – whatever makes you happy, you’ll find some of it here. And what better way to kick things off than with Fringe stalwart Alfie Ordinary at Spiegeltent. Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun absolutely lived up to its name on Friday night, bringing ‘some of Brighton’s most beloved drag performers, Spiegel favourites and special guest clowns’ to the stage, just what the glitter doctor ordered and an opportunity to shake away the restrictions of the last couple of years; photo gallery below.

Alfie is back at Spiegeltent on 4th June with Now That’s What I Call Bingo.

Alfie Ordinary | Brighton Fringe

Words and photos by Siobhan

9th May 2022