The best festivals for 2014 – an update

Here’s an update of some of my top festival recommends for 2014 and as of the time of posting, still have tickets available. These are all small to medium-sized gatherings (no hour-long trudges to the arena). All these festivals have plenty of well thought-out activities for children and a fairly broad age range of attendance, so whether…

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Music news: Phildel and Metallica (but not together)

Phildel has just won Pop/Top 40 category for Moonsea in the International Songwriting Competition where she was up against over 20,000 entries. A fantastic result from a multi-talented and extremely hardworking performer. This prestigious songrwriting competition was judged this year by such luminaries as John Mayall, Black Francis (The Pixies), Robert Smith (The Cure),  Tom Waits and Imagine Dragons.This is…

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Review: Kurt Vile at St James’s Church

St James’s Church, Piccadilly, it’s a beautiful jewel of a church designed by Christopher Wren, and like several London churches, moonlights as a music venue. Nothing of the Metallica variety, obviously. We are here to see Kurt Vile do a solo set which is more in keeping. Despite its beauty, the church’s viewing experience is only just adequate;…

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Event: The Second Breath. Take to the streets for a mystery tour

The Second Breath will be happening for one day in May, bringing together clubbing culture, circus skills, a mystery tour and climate change stories. The Second Breath is a walking mystery tour of Leeds, with dazzling circus acts and daring stunts, projections, stories and psychedelic dance music. The soundtrack was especially written for the performances by local DJ, KWAH and the projections are by…

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Review: Simone Felice at Bush Hall

Simone Felice starts his gig at Bush Hall with New York Times – it’s a haunting and gritty number which encapsulates familiar Felice territory – man’s vulnerability and cruelty, human struggle, death. But also love, finding beauty and joy in life, and the pleasure and importance of good friends. Of the grittier subject matter, Felice doesn’t shy away but tackles things head on, and…

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Animal magic with Blue Zoo, 02 Academy Islington

The 80s – a much maligned decade for music but dig deep and there was plenty to enjoy. I’m a fan of my office’s occasional “Power Ballad Thursdays”. Instead of a sea of hunched computer nerds nodding along to their own private world via their headphones, we’re all sharing the moment as Africa by Toto and Urgent by Foreigner blast out…

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Green and pleasant: festivals for 2014

Dust down the sleeping bags and camping stove, the start of festival season is only a couple of months away. These days, music festivals are working harder to attract a following, offering debating sessions and workshops, banquets and ballooning, hoping to carve out a unique and identifiable image from a sea of formulaic events. Here…

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Review: The See See – psychedelia with attitude at The Lexington

The See See were part of a swirly psychedelia night at The Lexington on Pentonville Road two years ago, and they particularly caught my attention. (Also memorable were Canadian band Elephant Stone whose music is enriched with Rishi Dhir’s mesmerising sitar playing). Fast forward two years and we were back at The Lexington last week for The…

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