The hotly-tipped three piece band Rosie and the Goldbug claim they could fill any arena with their stage performance and even give Muse a run for their money, along with being softer on the eye too. They are right in the middle of a huge touring schedule — details below — including Bestival on the Isle of Wight, and their EP War of the Roses is out now.
4th July saw the launch of Independents Day, a new annual initiative in the UK from the Association of Independent Music (AIM) to celebrate the importance and success of independently released music throughout the world — with album/event activity replicated globally under the umbrella of WIN, the Worldwide Independent Network) — and also to raise a bit of cash for charity.
Complaints of Jay-Z as headliner, rumours of poor ticket sales, what was described as a disappointing line up, talk of the threat of constant rain — all the hallmarks of Glastonbury 2008 being one of the worst weekends in its long and famous history of the festival you just have to be at. Yet an impressive set from Jay-Z going solo without any guests, the most sunshine in years, only a light splattering of rain and a spirited atmosphere from start to finished from the ‘effective sell out’ crowd of 137,000 proved there was no threat of it becoming a blot on its copy book. Glastonbury thrived under the pressure of being written off and Michael Eavis has every reason to expect demand to be even stronger in 2009.
The festival famed for it’s laid back nature, The Big Chill puts atmosphere first, music second for a vibe that is the envy of others. This year it has teamed up with the Sunrise Celebration after the Somerset based festival was washed out by terrible flash floods that hit the area to make a unique festival within a festival space. This year’s event at Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, Herefordshire will be an extra special treat as a result, read our preview for what to look out for over the three days.
Kanye West making his only UK festival appearance of the summer at Global Gathering might be a surprise to many given the dance origins of organiser Godskitchen, but it could prove to be a defining moment for the festival as rivals opt for tried and tested big names still doing the rounds. Together with the likes of Mody, Tiesto, Sven Vath, John Digweed, Sasha, 2ManyDJs and more than 100 other leading acts and DJs, he will entertain 55,000 revellers as main headliner of the two-day event on Long Marston Airfield in Stratford Upon Avon on Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26.
Legendary proto-punk heroes, The New York Dolls, have been announced as the headliners for Kent’s Lounge on the Farm next month. As the band’s only UK headline festival appearance for 2008, it is an opportunity to catch one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest live bands at close quarters.
London DJ Rattus Rattus serves up a treat of dubstep, electro, grime, funk, bassline and garage in one of his signature mash up mixes that keeps the rave spirit alive throughout. Still spinning the vinyl while everyone else seems to be opting for CDJs, his new mix Raped by Bass Volume II does exactly what you’d expect — provide another onslaught of bass-heavy tracks that leave a serious imprint on your ears.
Germany’s biggest electronic exports, Booka Shade, headline the third Noise of Art microfestival celebrating the convergence of music and visual art in the digital age. A week on the Southbank, in East London and central London will feature art installations, club nights, gigs, music and film events between Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 19.
A festival fancy dress theme of 30,000 freaks under the sea could only be the brainchild of Bestival head-honcho and Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank for another weekend of fun-filled musical madness on the Isle of Wight. More popular than ever, this year’s event has already sold out; but for those lucky enough to get tickets a mouth-watering line-up awaits. For those who will be missing out, there is still time to buy a ticket to the inaugural Camp Bestival in July. Read on for details of both…
For some it was a toss-up between Japanese artist Worlds End Girlfriend and the first half of the FA Cup at the start of Saturday ‘s line-up. For others it was a toss-up between leaving the beach or not. It still wasn’t amazing weather yet there were several cricket and football matches in action on the Minehead sands. There was a large crowd gathered though by the time A Hawk and a Hacksaw took to the stage in the massive tented Pavilion — one example of several seemingly strange choices for the more open and large of the three musical areas.
After the previous week’s adventures with All Tomorrow’s Parties playing against Pitchfork in Camber Sands, Minehead’s monstrous Butlins played host to the more traditional format of single artist-curated ATP festival with Texan post-rockers Explosions in the Sky taking on the necessary choosing duties. Their pick list ranged to include a whole host of US indie alongside math and art rock bands and several folk styles represented along with smatterings of lo-fi noise, bouncing hip-hop and techno.
You may have seen a computerised soul singer wandering the music channels singing about love in an uplifting, gospel style song not far off the Gnarls Barkley style which saw them make it big with “Crazy” in 2006. Well, the video is of SugaRush Beat Company’s “L-O-V-E”, and looks set to catapult them into the big time.
Strong winds and constant rain — a combination British festivals always run the risk of being undone by. Gatecrasher’s first ever two-day Summer Sound System with camping suffered at the hands of the elements when its first day of windswept dance music to a backdrop of sunshine was met by incessant rain on Sunday morning. While never causing the same kind of chaos as Glastonbury’s near-annual mudfest, spirits struggled to remain high as disappointing organisational efforts fought against increasingly poor conditions.
A run of three years of beautiful sunshine for the first Glade Festival events came to a momentous end in 2007 when a monsoon seemed to have enveloped the site causing chaos. Yet, the organisers hauled the event out of troubled waters and the crowd shrugged off the weather conditions to party on through the mud and rain. The weather may not be guaranteed for 2008, but 2007 proved that as long as the vibe and music is right, nothing can stop a good party.
Head to Scotland for a little northern exposure to top music acts at the festival on the shores of the legendary Loch Ness. This summer’s two-day Rock Ness line up is shaping to be an exciting mix of electronic, dance and rock’s most celebrated names, although you’ll probably have to find any legendary monsters yourself.
What is it with holiday parks these days? Once the preserve of families looking for a cheap and easy beach break, now they are being taken over by party animals. Bang Face Weekender, dubbed as “Neo-rave Armageddon”, took over Pontin’s Camber Sands for the second dance music event at one of the venue this year following Bloc Weekend at the Great Yarmouth in March. Taking its cue from the London club night of the same name, the promise of mild paced reggae and dubstep through to techno and acid as well as the crazier stylings of jungle, breakcore and gabber is enough to send most modest ravers into meltdown at just the thought. For the Bang Face Hard Crew in attendance, it was more like euphoric hysteria.
Chill on a Kentish farm for the weekend and see a host of top local acts alongside heavy hitters with the south east’s Lounge on the Farm. The three-day July festival is set in the idyllic surrounds of Merton Farm in Canterbury, and its rustic charms will host 160 bands spread across six stages geared towards all ages. Whether you want to see live acts, DJs or tuck into a hog roast, Lounge on the Farm promises an ethos firmly rooted in the local community to make it a friendly, corporate-free experience.
Gatecrasher is not quite the giant in clubland it once was. Indeed, all the dance superbrands have found the going tough since the turn of the millennium, culminating in overexposure and a re-aligning to offer more infrequent events. This year sees Gatecrasher’s Summer Sound System expand to over two days on the second May bank holiday weekend with the option of camping and a few surprises away from the beaten track to lure 60,000 clubbers to the Turweston Aerodrome near Brackley in England.
The stage is dark, the tension in the air is weighty. A sign saying ‘Hotel Hades’ is the only thing that’s lit. And you’re attracted — like a moth to a flame. You’re welcomed in, your course guided by a familiar hand. Step inside, make yourself at home and take a tour around the home of the Jazz Devil…
Winner of the best small festival in the 2007 Festival Awards, Blissfields returns in 2008 to a new home of The Matterley Bowl near Winchester. Following in the footsteps of the late and respected Homelands dance festival, Blissfields is a three-day, wallet-friendly event running from July 4th to 6th with big ambitions. Its three headliners range from the quirky in The Wonder Stuff, the fresh in The Whip and the legendary in the form of Roni Size Reprazent. Yes, Blissfields is looking to put itself well and truly on the regular festival calendar for all in 2008.
A dose of techno, a game of air hockey, a flirt with dubstep then go-karting and a quick nap in a chalet bed before hitting the 24-hour dancefloor again may not sound like a normal weekend at the family holiday park Pontin’s, but that was exactly what was on the menu in Great Yarmouth for the second three-day Bloc Weekend where the party really didn’t pause for breath thanks to a superb range of artists and an even better selection of festival-goers keeping one of the most friendly vibes alive throughout the first major party of the year.
Less than a month away, the final details of Bloc Weekender 2008 have been revealed — including details of the previously secret headliner and what sounds like one of the most madcap final days to a festival imaginable. Read on to find out more…
A few of us over at zap! bang! thought we’d discuss what we particularly enamoured with in 2007, so here’s some lists of our individual favourites.
it’s competition time again!
Dance fans who like their music fresh and away from the glare of mainstream gloss should set aside a long weekend in their diary for 2008: March 14th to 16th for the second BLOC Weekend. Its mix of underground electronic dance music is one of the newst to the UK’s growing number of fesitvals at holiday parks and after a highly-rated first event, this year’s promises to be even bigger.