Desert Trip festival 2016 – view from an English perspective

Desert Trip fes­ti­val, in the Cal­i­for­nia desert: some of the heavy­weights from my teens in one palm-tree-fringed, sun-soaked par­adise. Nor­mal­ly I steer clear of any­thing of this ilk but nev­er­the­less this sound­ed some­what appeal­ing. I remind­ed myself that I’d far rather hang out at my sort of UK fes­ti­vals, hear­ing plen­ty of emerg­ing artists in a friend­ly atmos­phere, all…

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A Heavenly January on its way in Hebden Bridge

The Trades, Heb­den Bridge 2017. Drea­ry old Jan­u­ary. Dark rainy nights, emp­ty bank account, bud­dies off the alco­hol… is there any­thing the wretched first month has going for it? Well, yes! A Heav­en­ly week­end at The Trades in Heb­den Bridge, where the esteemed venue hosts a mini fest of musi­cal delights. Last Jan­u­ary 2016, we saw…

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Fightback: Music Venue Trust Roundhouse gig

If you care about live music, it’s time to put your full sup­port behind it – which means going to as many live gigs as you can! The amount on venues which are clos­ing coun­try­wide is tru­ly heart­break­ing. The Round­house is host­ing a Music Venue Trust gig at The Round­house in Cam­den on 18th October…

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Review: Festival Number 6 2016

The good, the bad and the mud­dy… On a pos­i­tive note, Fes­ti­val Num­ber 6 yet again had its moments of music, mag­ic  and dis­cov­ery.  The loca­tion is Port­meiri­on, the beau­ti­ful and quirky Ital­ian vil­lage in north Wales. And it was com­mend­able to note just how many of the artists appear­ing on Fes­ti­val No 6’s var­i­ous stages were from…

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Green Man 2016 review: indie and lots of weather

Fore­casts were for gales, thun­der and tor­ren­tial rain. What we actu­al­ly got were tan­ta­lis­ing peeks of sun, and show­ers which float­ed down with clock­work reg­u­lar­i­ty like a sprin­kler sys­tem. If you’ve ever want­ed a qui­et word with the Met Office when they get things wrong, by for­tu­nate coin­ci­dence there they were, at Ein­stein’s Gar­den, Green Man’s science /…

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If Location, Location did festivals…

If the TV pro­gramme Loca­tion, Loca­tion, Loca­tion were to fea­ture fes­ti­vals instead of hous­es, I imag­ine the fol­low­ing would be select­ed. These have a mag­ic loca­tion ingre­di­ent, being either gor­geous, rur­al, coastal or just unique. A fes­ti­val in a great loca­tion can inspire you in the way a good hol­i­day does. Blue Dot (above)  22 – 24 July A new…

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The Secret Life of No:36 – an art project in a London terrace

An unas­sum­ing ter­raced house in north Lon­don trans­formed into an excit­ing, exper­i­men­tal art project proved to be one of the most intrigu­ing and orig­i­nal events in the cal­en­dar of a local fes­ti­val. Enti­tled The Secret Life of no:36, the project, shown as part of Crouch End Fes­ti­val, was inspired by the his­to­ry of the house and its…

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Field Day festival 2016

I was tempt­ed to call this piece “A Tale of Two Fes­ti­vals”. Sat­ur­day at Field Day 2016 was pri­mar­i­ly geared towards a mid-twen­ties crowd, with plen­ty of dance music and DJs on offer. The cen­tre of the site fea­tured the fes­ti­val’s delight­ful Vil­lage Men­tal­i­ty area where games and gen­er­al silli­ness were in full flow on the ‘vil­lage green’, com­plete with hay…

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Bearded Theory review 2016

The weath­er gods smiled down on Beard­ed The­o­ry again this year: I can only imag­ine it was at the sight of so many hir­sute indi­vid­u­als dis­port­ing them­selves in the Mag­i­cal Sounds dance tent, stomp­ing along to The Lev­ellers on the main stage, or maybe it was the giant pink pup­pets pranc­ing about the fes­ti­val site. Each year, Bearded…

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Review: Earl Slick Station to Station

At the 02 Isling­ton, Bowie’s long-stand­ing gui­tarist Earl Slick and his assem­bled cast of musi­cians per­formed their fourth night of what so far has been a huge­ly suc­cess­ful run of his mini tour of Sta­tion to Sta­tion. The band includ­ed Steve Nor­man from Span­dau Bal­let on gui­tar, sax­o­phone and per­cus­sion (I saw Steve with Holy Holy in 2014). Also on gui­tar was Luis…

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