By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 18th July 2013 at 11:00 am
Two weeks ago we previewed this year’s Lodestar Festival, featuring headliners Dragonette (pictured at top), Ryan Keen and The Joy Formidable. And as previously promised, we’ve got a Lodestar-flavoured competition for you!
The organisers of Lodestar have kindly given us a pair of weekend festival passes, including camping, to give away to a lucky TGTF reader and his/her guest. Want to win? Enter in the form below, taking good care to include your real first name and surname and your email address. Then answer this question: in what year did the first Lodestar Festival take place? (Hint: Find this out on the festival’s About page.) Get your entries in by noon British time on Thursday the 25th of July. We’ll then choose a winner from all the correct entries received. Good luck! Please note: this contest is open to UK residents only, and duplicate entries will be discarded.
If you’d rather not chance it and would like to buy tickets to the festival, the last of the mid-bird tickets are available at £64, but probably not for that much longer.
This contest is now closed and the winner will be contacted by email soon.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 17th July 2013 at 4:00 pm
One of our favourites from SXSW 2013, Story Books appeared last week at T in the Park on the BBC Introducing stage, and we’ve got live footage from the performance. Watch the band playing ‘All Those Arrows’ below.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 10th July 2013 at 4:00 pm
Similar to this album that the Cure released in 2011, the current incarnation of New Order have released ‘Live at Bestival 2012′, a charity CD to support the Isle Of Wight Youth Trust. This video just released is of the legendary Manchester band bringing it to the festival last year to perform ‘Temptation’, in all its 9-minutes plus glory. Watch it below.
New Order’s ‘Live at Bestival 2012′ is available now from Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best label, with all proceeds go to the Isle of White Youth Trust, a charitable, independent and professional organisation offering counseling, advice, information and support services to young people aged 25 and under who live on the Isle of Wight (the home of Bestival, natch) and, in some cases, their parents or carers.
What do you need to know about Kendal Calling? It’s taking place this year 26 to 28 July and it’s situated in a beautiful part of the Lake District, easily accessible from Scotland, northern England, and even somewhere like Coventry is less than 3 hours away. The entertainment lineup is superb this year, possibly one of the best ever, and the festival has already been dubbed “The Glastonbury of the North”. This may be so, but its sensible size means there’s still a pleasant local feel to the event. The great news for TGTF readers is that at the time of writing there’s still a handful of tickets left for Kendal Calling this year, so let me tempt you with some tasty morsels of what’s in store…
There’s two excellent places to watch bands – the Main Stage with its big names, and the equally promising Calling Stage with up-and-coming and alternative acts. The big headliners appear to come in pairs each night, and Friday sees Chuck D, Flava Flav and DJ Lord taking a brief holiday in rural Cumbria – yes, it’s Public Enemy, fresh from a triumphant Somerset set, looking just as angry as ever, and ready to rip your ears off with their politically-charged flow. And who better to get the first evening’s party started than Basement Jaxx, the perennial pop-dance outfit with a string of hits longer than a wet weekend in Barrow-in-Furness.
For those of a less party persuasion, the Calling Stage has some real gems on the first day. Concrete Knives were twice superb at Liverpool Sound City, and they’re back across the channel for a rare UK apperance with their funk-laden musique raffinée. Foy Vance and his incredible voice will surely deliver a soulful, acoustic interlude, Waylayers add an early afternoon dance vibe with their summery, Balearic-influenced tracks, and TGTF favourites The Heartbreaks (who editor Mary just interviewed in London a couple weeks ago at the Scala) will supply their stylish, upbeat, typically British guitar-pop sound as the sun goes down.
And for night owls, there’s any number of DJ sets, the biggest of which take place in the Glow Dance Tent, where your late-night shenanigans are enhanced by the no doubt head-scrambling presence of LEDs, lasers and enough UV light to bring on cataracts ten years early. Friday will see Oneman, remixer of The xx and TLC and purveyor of minimalist yet grimily atmospheric techno, young Brightonian Dismantle who specialises in “sort of dubstep”, young Lancastrian duo Bondax and their intimate, blissed-out electronica, before climaxing with Artwork, who, as one-third of Magnetic Man, released one of dance music’s biggest albums in 2010.
And then it all happens again on the Saturday! Highlights from the Calling Stage include Welsh art-pop from Sweet Baboo, delicate folk stylings from Fossil Collective, and an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about London Grammar – are they just an xx rip-off or is there something more there? Unmissable on the Main Stage are Mike Skinner and Rob Harvey’s intriguing project The D.O.T.; there’s an opportunity for people of a certain age to rock out like it’s 1996 with Ash, and I Am Kloot bring their delicate songwriting and ensemble melodiousness to life just before Saturday’s headliners The Charlatans (pictured at top) reveal whether or not they’re any good any more.
Sunday is surely the strongest Main Stage lineup – having had to suffer the ignominy of being Tom Watson’s favourite band, hopefully Drenge will play with even more venom and spirit today; and I don’t really need to explain anything about what is effectively a triple-headline bill: Johnny Marr, Seasick Steve and Primal Scream bring the whole affair to a resounding climax. As if that’s not enough, there’s a distinct drum ‘n’ bass flavour to the Glow Tent on Sunday, with Grooverider warming up for none other than Sir Roni of Size. World-class stuff.
And of course there’s stacks more going on around the site. There’s an entire jazz strand called Riot Jazz. Chai Wallahs have their own acoustic and chill out stage. The Houseparty is apparently someone’s front room transported to the middle of a field with loads of random stuff going on: world-class DJs, punk bands, and perhaps a bit of karaoke – and don’t forget Leeds’ Wind-Up Birds – the underground tip for set of the weekend. There’s the Woodlands stage (maybe that’s in, um, a wood?), where all the acts with the best names are playing; the Soap Box, a lighthearted variety show which has previously hosted Howard Marks and John Cooper Clarke; and a tea shack run by Tim Burgess himself! Not forgetting the little ones: there’s the Ladybird area with different fancy dress each day, and crafts and workshops galore.
With so much going on, and the festival capacity limited to just 13,000 people, Kendal Calling is surely every decent festival rolled into one – the music is top-class, but with just a fraction of the crowds which you could expect at a bigger event. As we go to press there’s just a handful of tickets left (go here for more information), so you’ll need to be quick if you want to be there!
In terms of summer music festivals, Cambridge was previously best known as the locale for the Cambridge Folk Festival. Not anymore, it shouldn’t. It’s very odd but this was the first time we’ve been contacted about Lodestar Festival, taking place just 15 minutes outside Cambridge city centre. This year’s event takes place 30 August to 1 September, and in its family friendly programming, it could very well be the South’s answer to Deer Shed Festival (Well, I’ll have to consult Martin about this, obviously…) We’ll also be running a competition related to the event in the coming weeks here on TGTF so…
But for now, let’s concentrate on what we do best, the music, shall we? The headliners for this year’s Lodestar are brilliant: Friday will see rising South Devon singer/songwriter Ryan Keen, Saturday’s festivities will star our good friends The Joy Formidable, with Ritzy Bryan holding court as shown in the header pic and Canada’s Dragonette will close out the festival by getting bodies bumping with their brand of dance funk.
However, just watching music is not just the only focus of Lodestar. Fancy bringing out your inner Gloria Estefan? The Pan-Jam workshop will allow you to try out steel drums, the instrument that brings calypso and reggae music their distinctive sound; other workshops are yet to be announced. Did our Oxford mates Stornoway ever make you curious about the sport of zorbing? You can do that at Lodestar, along with archery and power kiting. Comedy and dance troupe performances are also scheduled.
Adult mid-bird tickets are still available for £64 for all 3 days, with only £5 extra for your tent or caravan. Comparable mid-bird tickets for 15 to 17s are £56 for 3 days; children 14 or younger are free. For more information on tickets, visit the official Lodestar Festival Web site.