Preview – The Great Escape

The Great Escape, Brighton, 14th – 16th May 2020

A stalwart of the UK festival season, The Great Escape is a huge showcase for new music and spreads across the whole of Brighton with venues of all shapes and sizes playing host to hundreds of artists from all over the world. In just two months’ time it’s all due to take place again.

In the light of current international festival cancellations, it’s a waiting game for all involved to see how things will develop but the latest information from TGE says ‘At this time, all shows and events are going ahead as planned. Please be assured that the safety and health of all staff and visitors is our main priority and we are implementing recommendations and instructions appropriately. We are closely monitoring official guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, UK Government, local public health authorities and are working with event promoters and organisers as information evolves.’

Hopefully things will improve in time for the festival to go ahead, even if not in its usual form. In the meantime, we’re taking a look at some of the artists on the line-up and hoping that all is good to go ahead. Here are six of the best UK acts who each come highly recommended…

Arxx

Local two piece Arxx play full throttle garage rock with a sense of purpose and determination. Favourites on the Brighton scene, their live sets are always worth catching.

Kid Kapichi

From not far along the coast in Hastings, Kid Kapichi are attracting lots of attention, having recently toured with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes amongst others. Check out their full on indie tunes reminiscent of early Slaves.

Lazarus Kane

A live highlight for us last year, Lazarus Kane is a lot of fun to watch and brings bucketloads of fine indie disco – featured in our ones to watch in 2020 list, don’t miss seeing the band if you get a chance.

Lucia & the Best Boys

Part of the brilliant current Glaswegian scene, Lucia & the Best Boys are gradually becoming better known across the country and offer up accomplished indie grunge with an 80s’ synth backdrop, lots to take in here.

Lynks Afrikka

Having had the privilege of seeing Lynks Afrikka live recently, this is a big recommendation for tongue-in-cheek art pop with plenty of fun and dressing up thrown in, you won’t be disappointed.

Walt Disco

Another band in our ones to watch for 2020 list, Walt Disco are another excellent product of Glasgow’s new music scene. Combining indie disco with all the flair but none of the saccharine of the New Romantics, this band are clearly on the up and deserve your attention.

All festival details, updates and ticket links are on a The Great Escape website and you can listen to the artists featured here on the playlist below…

* UPDATE 23rd March 2020: Sadly, as expected, this year’s Great Escape has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions – tickets can be carried forward to TGE 2021 or refunded from point of purchase *


Words and photos by Siobhan exc Lucia photo by Alan

13th March 2020

Preview – All Points East Festival

All Points East, Victoria Park, London, 22nd-24th & 29th-31st May 2020

Following on from its success in previous years, All Points East returns to London over two weekends in May, a host of big names already announced and more to come.

Headliners already confirmed are Bombay Bicycle Club (22nd), Tame Impala (23rd), Massive Attack (24th), Kraftwerk (29th) and The Kooks (30th). The last night, Sunday 31st, is still to be announced but, if the others are anything to go by, the news is set to be worth waiting for.

There are also plenty of other artists to look out for on the various line-ups – the inimitable Iggy Pop, guitar legend Johnny Marr, the exceptionally talented Nadine Shah and everyone’s favourite disco cowboys Warmduscher to name just a few.

To coincide with the festival, In The NBHD will be putting on a calendar of free activities including cinema, music, arts and creative workshops coupled with a selection of street food sellers and bars. This year focuses on sustainability and there will be opportunities to learn how to upcycle using repurposed and natural materials.

Check out the All Points East website for full details of who’s been announced so far, updates as they come through and ticket links.

In light of other recent music events being affected by COVID-19, please keep a check on news from all festivals/events to make sure you have the latest information

*UPDATE 27th March 2020: Sadly, as expected, this year’s All Points East has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions – tickets will be automatically refunded from point of purchase, you are advised that you do not need to contact your seller unless you haven’t heard from them by 9th April *

Words by Siobhan

9th March 2020

Icebreaker Festival, 2020 (Winter)

Icebreaker Festival, Southsea, 25th January 2020

Drawing a long, cold January towards its conclusion, Icebreaker Festival was back with a bang at the weekend, offering up another huge variety of live music from the freshest faces on the local and national scenes. Filling up The Wedgewood Rooms and a fine selection of pubs along Southsea’s Albert Road and Elm Grove, this year’s event certainly seemed to be the busiest so far with crowded rooms from early till late – brilliant to see so much support for new artists and independent venues as always.

Icebreaker is a great place to discover bands and singers who you haven’t seen before; this year starting with some sunny sax-filled pop tunes from Yasmin Natasha at the Edge of the Wedge while next door, Bella Estelle opened up the Wedgewood Rooms’ stage with a confident set full of big pop-rock songs, setting the tone for some huge performances over the day.

Along the road at the Wine Vaults, it was a pleasure to catch the chilled, soulful sounds of The Isle of CC – definitely one to watch.

Doing Littlehampton proud (and it’s usually only the cafe on the beach that can say that), Gloo took the volume up a level or five with their crashing punk antidote to traditional seaside living, making a big impact on the main stage audience.

A scoop for Icebreaker as Fast Trains played their debut at the festival – lots of local support on display for the already award winning project from Tom Wells, ex of Kassassin Street, bringing along some familiar faces to play with him on the day. An accomplished first performance boding well for the future.

Every time LibraLibra play they seem to up their game and another stand out set left the crowd in awe once again. Fabulous to see them on a bigger stage, their heartfelt punk-glam hybrid is just captivating. A very smart booking for any festival – can’t really recommend them highly enough.

Another two bands who are both firm favourites on the local festival scene, Drusila gave their usual energy filled performance and The Howlers never disappoint live – check them both out if you have the chance.

Locals The Stone Birds’ reputation is steadily building and they  definitely squeezed one of the biggest crowds of the day into the Wine Vaults. Their blend of 60s’ tinged blues and rock sets them apart from a lot of other new bands and, with new music and live dates pending, it will be interesting to see how things develop for them. Certainly on this occasion the big crowd was well deserved.

Closing the Edge of the Wedge stage, Currls brought some solid indie grunge tracks and a fitting party atmosphere to end the night on a high note.

Hot on the heels of this weekend’s success, Icebreaker have announced that there will be a new summer event – stick a star on 18th July in your diary and keep an eye on the website for updates…

More from Icebreaker here

Words and photos by Siobhan

28th January 2020

Preview – Urban Festivals 2020

While the whole of the UK seems to be fighting with Storm Brendan (a rather friendly moniker for endless downpours and winds that blow you off your feet), thinking about outdoor festivals may not be top of your agenda. However, the rise in popularity of the multi-venue city festival offers the opportunity to plan some outings that don’t involve taking a tent along. We’ve picked out 5 across the UK that are well worth putting in your diary…

Stag & Dagger – Edinburgh 2nd May, Glasgow 3rd May

Picking up steam and recognition every year, Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger takes place across venues in a compact area of the city centre in early May. With much more to come, acts confirmed so far include the eclectic mix of Shame, Ezra Furman, Hockey Dad and Vanishing Twin. This year sees the festival extend to Edinburgh the same weekend for its own event, line up to be announced imminently.

Stag & Dagger Glasgow  /  Stag & Dagger Edinburgh

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The Great Escape – Brighton 13th – 16th May

The prototype of urban festivals, Brighton’s The Great Escape has been a fixture in the city since 2006. It’s by far the biggest of this kind of event and plays host to hundreds of artists from around the world. Given the extent of the venues involved it’s helpful to have some local knowledge or test things out with a dry run as you can cover some serious distances over the few days. The line up is still in progress; some of those already confirmed are Lazarus Kane, Girls in Synthesis, Molly Parton and Sinead O’Brien.

The Great Escape

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D2D – Manchester 22 May, Bristol 23rd May, Nottingham 24th May

Dot to Dot takes its line up to 3 cities in 3 days, making it a bit more accessible to more people with less travel. The lucky locations are Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham and this year a collection of venues across each of them will play host to the likes of Easy Life, Gracey, Spacey Jane and Drug Store Romeos plus many more to be announced.

Dot to Dot Festival

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Dials Festival – Portsmouth, 3rd October

Heading towards the end of the year for the next two which may seem a long way off but past events suggest they’re definitely worth a bookmark. First up, Dials Festival has built up over the last few years into an established showcase for a whole range of genres and talent. Raising funds for charity partner Solent Mind, this is music with awareness and that combination is surely something worth celebrating. Keep an eye out for announcements throughout the year.

Dials Festival

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Swn Festival – Cardiff, 16th – 18th October

Wales’ first and biggest multi venue metropolitan event, Swn Festival returns to maintain its reputation for bringing new music to the fore, with many past performers having gone on to much bigger things. Details of this year’s line up will emerge in the run up to the festival and you can sign up to their newsletter now to receive updates.

Swn Festival

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Words by Siobhan

16th January 2020

Preview – Icebreaker Festival

Icebreaker Festival, Southsea, 25th January 2020 

Back in its regular January slot, Icebreaker Festival once again brings a plethora of new musical talent to Southsea’s Albert Road and Elm Grove, putting on over 80 artists in 1 day at 7 venues in the area. With a wide range of genres included in the line up, there’s an opportunity to discover some new favourites live and that’s just what we’re hoping to do, as well as catching up with some acts that are already making waves.

Returning after strong performances at last year’s event, look out for some lively desert rock from The Howlers (Wedgewood Rooms) and soul-infused garage from Currls (Edge of the Wedge).

Highlights at other local festivals this year, it’s also great to see mighty art punks LibraLibra and electro duo Drusila on the bill – both on the Wedgewood Rooms stage; neither of whom should be missed.

A few more recommendations for the day come in the shape of…

– Blues-soaked rock from local favourites The Stone Birds (The Wine Vaults)
– 90s influenced grunge-rock from Dutch Mustard (Edge of the Wedge)
– Some lovely laid back soulful sounds from The Isle of CC (The Wine Vaults)
– And what looks set to be a blow the roof off performance from indie punks Glossii (The Deco)

We’ve added tracks from all the artists mentioned to the playlist below so you can listen at your leisure…

*Edit – sadly, it seems that Glossii have decided to call it a day and won’t now be appearing but give their music a listen anyway and keep an eye on new projects from band members*


Check out the full line up complete with stage times for each venue on the Icebreaker website.

Words and photos by Siobhan

7th January 2020

Festival – Dials 2019

Dials Festival, Southsea, 5th October 2019

Returning to its now regular early October slot, Dials Festival brought another hugely impressive line up to Southsea’s Albert Road at the weekend, hosted across five venues all within a few minutes walk of each other. In a sometimes overcrowded market, it’s difficult to find a USP for a festival these days… well, how about this? Dials is run by volunteers, works hard to apply inclusivity towards artists and attendees and raises money and awareness for local mental health charity Solent Mind… now that’s a difference worth taking notice of.

And if that’s not enough, the musical talent on display is a joy to discover. Channeling their inner New Order, Two Tribes gave a great performance at The Wine Vaults, as did Sarpa Salpa with their synth infused dance tunes opening the venue’s stage. I love that people come out early for Dials and support the acts playing from opening slots to headliners.

Across the road at Lord John Russell, Heebie Jeebies kicked off a relaxed atmosphere with guitars and sax aplenty while The Loft saw some some sharp drumming and grunge appeal from Dad Hair and Eno-esque experimental synth loops from Friday Night Weird Dreams.

A firm favourite on the local live circuit, Madonnatron packed the room at The Edge and did not disappoint with their unashamedly brash post punk psychedelia and razor sharp multi-vocals.

As always with Dials, I found some great new bands who I hadn’t seen before, in fact the vast majority were new to me live. Quite how I’ve managed to miss Arxx so far is a bit of a mystery but with a set including fierce grunge tracks, a dabble with country and a Eurythmics cover to boot, they’re firmly on my must see again list. Representing the increasingly impressive Bristol music scene, the discordant drawl of spikey post punk from Haze and some ethereal slacker rock from Wych Elm also both come highly recommended.

Last year, LibraLibra opened one of the smaller stages and more than made their mark at Dials. This year they made an unquestionably triumphant return with a performance so powerful it may be worth checking if the Edge of the Wedge is still standing. Vocally it’s as though Gossip have been shaken up by X-Ray Spex; this is not a band to be missed. I assume by next year they’ll be well on the way to world domination.

Hot on their heels on the main stage next door, another absolute stand out set from Glasgow’s Walt Disco. Their uniquely dark brand of art rock disco is streets ahead of many of their contemporaries, largely because their material stands up on its own and doesn’t rely solely on the performance. That said, the performance is pretty spectacular. Billy Mackenzie would be proud.

One thing that Dials does consistently well is to bring a mix of genres to the table with cross appeal for those attending, allowing different moods and styles of music to reach new ears. From boiler-suited dancealongs with BASH! to Acid Tongue’s folk influenced garage and the dulcet vocals of Megan Lara Mae (including a cover of Minnie Riperton’s Loving You that managed to avoid screeching that note) there really was something for everyone.

Bigger festivals could learn a thing or two about applying gender mix to their scheduling from Dials; the line up this year once again proved that it’s really not that hard to find quality artists across the board with Saltwater Sun and Another Sky both drawing big crowds to The Wedgewood Rooms.

And after a line up so strong, who do you pull in to headline? Kicking a final blast of  vigour into the proceedings, The Blinders took no prisoners with their closing set, a visceral assault on the senses, a last chance for the crowd to decide that they still had enough energy to take on a mosh pit, a fitting close to a brilliant day with a guest appearance on stage from the Dials Fox.

Across the last few years, Dials hasn’t started just another festival; it’s started and built up something to be etched into your diary way in advance safe in the knowledge that each event keeps getting better than the last – till next year…

For more about Dials Festival please check their website

You can find out about the work Solent Mind do here

Words and photos by Siobhan

7th October 2019

Preview – Dials Festival

Dials Festival, Portsmouth, 5th October 2019

The summer festivals may be safely tucked away but there’s no shortage of indoor events to look forward to, with the added bonus of not having to worry about getting sunstroke or washed away in the rain. Starting the winter season off in style, Dials Festival is back with another fine line-up, all hand picked from a huge pool of new and emerging talent to make up a really well thought out mix of artists and genres. Held at The Wedgewood Rooms and surrounding venues on Southsea’s Albert Road, this year’s headline slot is filled by The Blinders, bringing a phenomenal live reputation and plenty of searing post modern anthems, their set will undoubtedly be a highlight of the day.

Returning from hugely popular sets in 2018, it’s great to see LibraLibra and Fake Empire back on the bill. Both bands took early slots last year but pulled in the crowds and made big impressions – both well worth checking out.

The rest of the line-up looks equally appealing, some acts I know, some I don’t… yet. Having attended all the Dials events so far I can honestly say I’ve found new favourite bands every time and am looking forward to history repeating itself once again. Three of the best come highly recommended in the shape of menacing melodies from the mighty Madonnatron, pure disco-infused indie from Walt Disco and an intense hit of raw punk from Luxury Apartments.

Aside from the artists, Dials is once again supporting and raising funds for Solent Mind, a much needed and utilised local charity. There is no doubting that music can give a massive release from mental health issues and the pairing of Dials and Mind is one that makes perfect sense. If you haven’t got a ticket yet there are limited numbers still available at the incredibly cheap price of just £20. There’s just a month to go so make plans, get along, support a great cause, come and say hello then find some favourite new bands of your own.

More info from Dials Festival here

Words and photos by Siobhan

5th September 2019

 

Festival – Victorious 2019

Victorious Festival, Southsea Common, 23rd – 25th August 2019

Once again, Victorious Festival managed to entice a huge range of artists to play by the seaside at its late summer bank holiday weekend gathering. The line up is so varied that there really is something for everyone and it manages the family friendly tag with ease. As well as offering showcase spots to local emerging artists, Victorious pulls in some big players, both current and long established acts. Seemingly growing every year and now running across three days, this year’s headliners encompassed the eclectic bunch of Two Door Cinema Club, Rudimental and New Order. Across the myriad of stages and activities, no genre was left unturned and with a weekend filled with blazing sunshine, this looks to have been one of the busiest years ever. Here are our highlights from Saturday.

A long road trip from home, West Lothian indie four piece The Snuts have been much lauded as ones to watch and had some early singalongs going on, clearly a widespread fan base on their hands already. South coast blues pop trio Hooli graced the Seaside stage with a chilled set and plenty of local support; probably the only UK festival stage with passenger ferries running along the river on the other side of the wall.

Another rising young artist, Casey Lowry, brought his own brand of catchy trop pop tracks to the table. A suitably sunshine feel to the songs as he and his band breezed through their set, his initial suspicions that everyone would leave after ten minutes to see All Saints were soon allayed.

And so to a long established festival favourite and Victorious returner, the infectiously happy Tim Burgess. Having played here with The Charlatans two years ago, Tim returned for a solo set backed by his other bandmates The Anytime Minutes (also making waves in their own right as Average Sex). A mix of songs old and new put a smile on everybody’s face, I’ve never seen this man do a set that isn’t feel-good and full of energy – a sound booking for a show of any size.

Arriving onto the Common stage, Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy looked slight bemused by the size of the crowd, asking if he was at the right festival. His performance is always understated but doesn’t take long to remind you exactly why he should be here. Over the years he’s written some beautiful songs and it was great to hear tracks from one of my favourite films and soundtracks About a Boy in amongst the set.

Considering the numbers there and the fairly intense heat, the atmosphere across the site was a happy one with areas for comedy and kids’ activities, a village sized merch and shopping square and a wide choice of reasonably priced food vendors. There was even space to dance by the castle in your wedding dress if you felt the urge…

Drawing one of the biggest crowds I have ever seen at any stage at Victorious (Castle stage is the second largest but must have outnumbered the main stage here), man of the moment Lewis Capaldi received a rapturous welcome from an all ages audience. His 7pm slot must surely have been booked some time ago; there’s no doubt he could have headlined and still had people watching him from as far as the eye could see. Capaldi’s self-disparaging songs of love and heartbreak combined with his imperturbable sense of humour look set to see him continue his rise to the top.

Difficult to follow… until you realise that next up is The Hives, Sweden’s incorrigibly wonderful rock ‘n’ rollers who hit the stage with such force that you knew the party had just moved to a different level. From Come On and Walk Idiot Walk to the inevitable closer Tick Tick Boom, it wasn’t hard at all to see why The Hives are still so popular, 20 years of mayhem and still going strong.

Headlining the Castle stage, Bloc Party provided the perfect way to end the evening, playing their landmark debut album Silent Alarm in full and no doubt creating waves of nostalgia for many of those present in the process. The tracks more than hold up over time, Bloc Party were never your bog standard indie band and the intricacy of the songs is clear to see, She’s Hearing Voices and Banquet personal favourites that it was an absolute pleasure to hear live again. Stunning.

The end of a long day but still these guys on security were having the best night, checking that everyone was ok while throwing synchronised dance moves to the sounds of Rudimental closing up the Common stage in the background – thanks to all involved for another memorable festival, see you next year.

No doubt Victorious 2020 will be even bigger and better – early bird tickets are already available here.

Words and photos by Siobhan

26th August 2019

 

Preview – Victorious Festival

Victorious Festival, Portsmouth, 23rd – 25th August 2019

Since its beginnings in 2011 at the Historic Dockyard, Victorious has grown in numbers and stature every year, now transforming Southsea Common into an enclosed festival village each August bank holiday weekend. The scope of the site allows for multiple stages, food and retail vendors and activities for all ages, making this a really family friendly event.

Last year’s event saw the sun setting over the fitting inclusion of Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the main stage just a few hundred yards away from the seafront. Earlier highlights included an impressive set from PINS, plus crowd singalongs with Happy Mondays and a stand out performance from The Cribs.

This year’s headliners cross genres nicely with indie favourites Two Door Cinema Club on Friday, drum and bass from Rudimental on Saturday and the legendary New Order closing on Sunday. Other big names playing across the weekend include The Specials, Doves, James Bay, Lewis Capaldi, Clean Bandit and The Vaccines. But keep some time free for the smaller stages and event tents. Check out a heady fusion of jazz hip hop from Omar Baba at the People’s Lounge on Saturday, Isle of Wight style psych from Plastic Mermaids at the Castle stage on Sunday, a great mix of artists at the World Music stage plus there’s the Comedy Tent, Literacy Live and lots for families with children to do elsewhere in the festival.

Providing excellent value for money, you’ll often pay less for a day ticket to Victorious than it would cost just to see one or two of the bands playing. And there’s no disputing that they have one of the best locations going on the edge of the beach with a castle, museum and skate-park all on site.

Remaining tickets and full details are available here – book now for a bank holiday trip to the seaside with a difference. There’s just a month to go so be quick!

Words and photos by Siobhan

23rd July 2019

Festival – 2000 Trees 2019

2000 Trees Festival, Upcote Farm Cheltenham, 11th – 13th July 2019

Picture if you will a farm in rural countryside, transformed into an award winning festival location where you can walk the length of the site in 10 minutes, catching big names and new music, choosing from the best selection of festival food around and taking in the friendliest atmosphere you’re likely to encounter. No need to worry about carrying or losing money as the cashless system works a treat, just have your wristband scanned to pay. Families, fancy dress, diehard punks and metal-heads, they’re all here and they’re all having a brilliant time. You can only imagine the amount of work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes because the team and volunteers at 2000 Trees have thought of everything and everyone – artists, crowd, vendors, security – the whole crew seem to love being here. It’s a beautiful setting and there’s more diversity in the types of music on offer than many people realise.

2019’s event even brought the sun out of hiding, along with an enormous string of new and established artists. Whether it’s to catch a favourite band or discover a new one, 2000 Trees is a massive recommendation. Just be aware that when you’ve been once it’s very hard to not pick it up as a habit that’s hard to kick. Here are some highlights from Friday from a huge selection of what went on this year…

Deux Furieuses getting the day off to a solid start on the Axiom stage – powerful riffs and no holds barred drums belying the fact that they are only two.

Fresh from playing a string of sold out shows together, Gouge Away (The Cave) and Slow Crush (Neu) filled their respective marquees, with both receiving a great crowd reaction.

Lice have gained a well deserved reputation for their live performances and this was no exception – a stand out set of satirical art punk on the Neu stage which saw some excellent bookings this year.

You have to have your photo taken and take some of your friends by the Trees sign – it’s the law.

Carnage in The Cave. Bringing Belgian noise rock and their very own language, Raketkanon are not to be missed live; for fans of vocalists crowd surfing in doughnut inflatables, this is not the time to forget your earplugs.

Time out to recharge the batteries at the beautiful Forest acoustic stage with a chilled set from locals Watercolours and some indie psych back at the Neu stage from Indigo Lo.

2000 Trees crowds are the friendliest crowds – it’s not compulsory to have an inflatable handy in the food queue.

A long way from home, Australia’s Hands Like Houses pulled in a big crowd on the main stage who provided an equally big UK welcome.

Still on the main stage, the classic mix of 2000 Trees and Pulled Apart by Horsesalways a pleasure to see them individually; together is hard to beat. Stage jumps, circle pits and a guitar accompanied dive into the crowd are what Trees is all about.

Everyone welcome, dress code whatever you please. (By the way, any discarded rubbish disappears after each set, kudos to the litter picking / recycling team).

Really happy late afternoon vibe for Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly – packed marquee too at the Axiom.

Fast becoming firm favourites on the indie punk scene, Heavy Lungs put on a frenetic show, catch them in a smaller venue while you can, this time the Neu stage grabbing the spotlight again.

So, with this year’s 2000 Trees all packed away, it seems fortuitous to think a long, long way ahead and be aware that next year’s is already in the making. 9th – 11th July 2020 – put it in your diary, you won’t regret it.

Early bird tickets are available now.

Words and photos by Siobhan

15th July 2019

 

 

Preview – 110 Above Festival

110 Above Festival, Twycross, 2nd – 4th August 2019

You have to wonder how much longer 110 Above Festival can be touted as ‘indie’s best kept secret’ as word continues to spread about what a great event it is. Now in its 10th year, there is no let up in the array of hugely popular artists playing, but the limited capacity of around 1,000 people and intimate stages on site will ensure that this remains a slightly more up close and personal experience than many other festivals. Set on the outskirts of Twycross on Gopsall Hall Farm, this year’s headliners tick the full set of indie boxes with new music from Swim Deep, the continuing rise of Pale Waves and the wonderfully named Eel Pie Island’s best known export, Mystery Jets.

The rest of the line-up is equally worthy of your attention – we had a chat with four acts you’ll be glad you didn’t miss over the weekend – look out for CHILDCARE, Hunger Moon, The Tin Pigeons and Hey Charlie…

CHILDCARE

For anyone just discovering the band, tell us a little about CHILDCARE and your music… 

We’re quite simply the best south London capslock soft-core psych quartet who are also running a revolutionary wellness campaign around.

Your album Wabi-Sabi has just been released to much acclaim – how long has it taken to put together and how does it feel now it’s out in the world?

It’s been a really long process actually because I kept thinking we weren’t ready to record an album. It was only when Emma (bassist) sat us all down and we listened to about 50 songs we’d recorded over the last 3 years that we realised it was probably time to put an album out. Now that the album is out fans are being healed all over the world.

Over the last year and through this summer you’re festival regulars – how does playing festivals differ to playing gigs, do you get a different reaction?

Festivals are fun because the crowds tend to be bigger, it’s glorious walking round on the grass in the sunshine and bumping into and watching other bands, but the gigs themselves are never as intense and focused as single shows.

What can people expect if they catch your set at 110 Above?

They can expect poise, personal glory, Chinese finger cymbals and hips.

And what else is on the horizon for CHILDCARE?

Continuing our Get Well Soon campaign, this will involve live healing at shows including the Radio 1 stage at Reading and Leeds, on a tour in September and at our biggest headline show to date, Scala in London in December. We’ll also be taking our Personal Glory™️ retreats round the country – events where we impart our twisted versions of mindfulness, meditation and yoga on fans.

Facebook    Spotify

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Hunger Moon

Photo © Laura Chen

Can you give us a quick intro to the band and your music?

Absolutely, we’re James and Natalie and we’ve been writing songs together as Hunger Moon since December 2017. We describe our sound as ‘melancholy alt pop’ and draw our songwriting inspiration from the world around us, from emotions to, more recently, current affairs.

Your latest single Honey is getting great reviews, how did the song come together and how does it feel to read people’s reactions to it?

Yeah, we were discussing only today how crazy the response to the track has been. We’re getting people around the world popping up on our socials now, and have had such a great response from radio and blogs already. It’s a really great feeling to know that something you’ve built from nothing is connecting and reaching not only with friends and their friends but with complete strangers too. We’ve been growing as an act with every release, and it really feels like the momentum is too.

What can everyone look forward to if they come and see you at 110 Above Festival?

Our usual set of emotional alt pop bangers. We love festivals as they’re a chance to play in front of completely new people in new places, so that always feeds into the adrenaline of our performances. We love meeting new people, so we’ll be looking forward to having a chat too.

If you were putting on your own festival and had no restrictions who would you choose to play alongside and headline?

We love Amber Run, if it wasn’t for those guys we wouldn’t be making music together, so we would definitely pick them. Aurora, Stereo Honey, The National and Radiohead would all make appearances too.

And what’s next for Hunger Moon?

We are playing a handful of festivals this summer before heading over to Europe for a week to play some dates in late September / early October. New music will hopefully follow!

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The Tin Pigeons

Say hello and tell us what it’s essential to know about Tin Pigeons…

Hey! Fraser and Thom here from Tin Pigeons! We think its pretty essential to know that we make music you can bounce to! Who doesn’t love a good bounce?

You’ve been described by BBC Introducing as ‘one of the best festival bands we know’ – what did you do to deserve such an accolade?

This comment came after we were named as Radio 1’s track of the week so they were showing us loads of love which was amazing, we just try and have as much fun as possible at our shows, and try and get people to dance along with us!

What have you got planned for your appearance at 110 Above?

We have been recording loads so we’ve got some brand new, hot-out-the-oven tunes to smash out!

Which other artists have you been listening to lately?

We have a load of mates all making music that we LOVE – we’ve been listening to loads of our good pal Lauran Hibberd who is sick!

And what does the future hold for the band?

More music! Working on touring plans for winter, then more studio time and new releases out very soon!

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Hey Charlie

© Victoria Holmgren 

Introduce us to Hey Charlie and your music…

We are a pop-rock band combining crunchy guitar riffs with sugar pop melodies. We manage, book and style ourselves and are trying to challenge the expectations of what it means to be a band in 2019.

What’s your desert island disc (ok, you can choose 2 each)?

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
Neck Deep – in Bloom
The Band Camino – Daphne Blue
Bloxx- Headspace

Any top festival tips?

Talk to strangers and go see a random band you don’t know.

What’s in store for your set at 110 Above Festival and who else is playing that you’d like to see?

We have a new guitarist! So you can meet her…
We can’t wait to see Bloxx and Indoor Pets!

And what’s happening for the band in the coming months?

We’re touring the UK in July which we’re super excited about! We’re writing a lot of music at the minute and planning on getting in the studio over the summer.

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Lots more information and remaining tickets for 110 Above Festival available here – be quick to get in on that best kept secret…

Photos reproduced with artists’ permission

17th June 2019

Preview – Y Not Festival

Y Not Festival, Pikehall, 25th – 28th July 2019

It’s incredible to think that Y Not started life as a house party and is now heading into it’s 14th year as one of the largest UK festivals. Set in the rolling hills of the Peak District, this year sees as impressive a line-up as ever of big names from the indie, rock and alternative world – expect huge performances from headliners Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club and Foals across the 3 days.

Elsewhere, the Giant Squid stage hosts a brilliant line-up including two Dublin bands that  everyone’s clamouring to see in the shape of Fontaines DC and The Murder Capital – if you haven’t been able to pick up tickets for their live shows recently this is a great chance to catch them. On the same stage, soak up some acid-washed fuzz from Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, look out for some uncompromising lyrics and jagged refrains from the excellent Hotel Lux and don’t miss the powerhouse cacophony that is Demob Happy – always a set to remember.

Check through the full line-up poster to see the complete array of artists playing over the weekend, along with top names from comedy and The Nighthawk Cinema offering some downtime from the music on site.

Remaining tickets and all the other information you need can be found here.

Words and live photos by Siobhan

6th June 2019

 

 

Preview – 2000 Trees Festival

2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham, 11th – 13th July 2019

In the thick of the flurry of summer festivals all boasting the same acts, headliners and promoters, 2000 Trees stands apart as a fiercely independent option for fans of all things rock, indie and alternative. Setting up its annual home at Upcote Farm in the Cotswolds, the festival is the perfect size to walk easily from stage to stage, catching your favourite acts and chancing upon something new on the way. From crowd-surfing in inflatable dinghies to chilled acoustic sets in the woods, you’ll see it all here in the midst of one of the friendliest atmospheres you could wish for.

This year’s headliners include Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, You Me at Six and Deaf Havana and there’s much more to see elsewhere on the bill – amongst many others, we recommend that you enjoy some gratuitously dark art-punk from Lice and a head on crash into raw garage rock from their Bristol neighbours, The St Pierre Snake Invasion. The ever popular Martha always bring the happiest fans to the table with their angst-filled pop riffs and expect a very warm welcome back for mighty rockers Pulled Apart by Horses, who have been known to climb a tent pole or two mid set in previous years. 

If you need a break from the music, this year also sees an new area devoted to spoken word, talks, poetry, podcast recordings, debates, workshops and comedy.

Tickets for 2000 Trees 2019 are selling fast – to get yours and for more information about the festival check the website here –  don’t miss out!

Words and photos by Siobhan

31st May 2019

 

Festival – Alternative Escape 2019

Alternative Escape, Brighton, 9th – 11th May 2019

Every year, The Great Escape brings a heap of music to venues and makeshift spaces across Brighton (not to mention a swarm of confused looking industry types with oversized lanyards, trying to find the nearest pub and referencing 6 Music loudly in every second sentence in case you didn’t understand how serious they are). If you prefer to catch a glimpse of what the city’s regular DIY scene is like, or simply can’t afford the ticket price, The Alternative Escape traditionally runs parallel, offering mostly free access to some of the best local and visiting bands, plus there are a few free main festival events in public spaces. This year, the Alt Escape shows were limited amidst rumours of hefty fees being charged for use of the title but thankfully the showcases continued under other names. It’s impossible to even come close to seeing everyone on your wish list but here’s our photo gallery with 12 of the best to look out for.

The Nude Party at East Street Tap

Los Bitchos at Jubilee Square

White Room at Beyond Retro

Nice Biscuit at Casablanca Jazz Club

The Cosmics at Casablanca Jazz Club (plus header photo)

BDRMM at The Hope & Ruin

Ugly at Beyond Retro

Average Sex at Beyond Retro

The Slaughter House Band at East Street Tap / Hare & Hounds

Italia 90 at The Admiral

Mint at The Richmond

False Heads at The Richmond

Photos by Siobhan

13th May 2019