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.
The anomaly here though which stretches the label’s scope far wider is with the experimental sounds of improvisational jazz outfit Zaum. Led by drummer/percussionist Steve Harris, Zaum originally came together in 2002 and have put together several records, most notably Above Our Heads The Sky Splits Open (Slam, 2004), which received high acclaim in The Penguin Guide to Jazz, as well as the new record I Hope You Never Love Anything As Much As I Love You, released last month on Amazon, and described by the Wire as “…quite simply the best British improvised record in more than a decade”.
Following on from the success of DigiSlang 1, City Slang have taken the next logical step to release the sequel.
The new City Slang digital sampler is not only FREE but it has tracks from the latest and greatest City Slang offerings.
Mark Ronson is playing London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 25th and we’re able to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets for the show plus a stay at the prestigious K West hotel (in association with Columbia).
Chicago band The Changes is promising to dispel any thoughts their music can be pinned down to a blueprint when their debut album is released on Monday, September 17th — by claiming to make it impossible to compare them to anyone.
The Modfather Paul Weller has gone back to his Northern Soul roots by teaming up with Britpop DJ-turned-artist Andy Lewis.
All awards ceremonies are flawed: hailing one album better than all others across genres is ridiculous and taste-specific (and as experienced as the judging panel is I’m sure they haven’t got any 16 year old grime kids on it), but the Mercury Music Prize is still an improvement on most. Better than the glossy industry back-slap/sales-boost of the Brits, better than the bizarre categories of the Grammy’s (“Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” anyone?) and better than the admittedly fun, but narrow-focussed NME Awards. M-People apart it has rewarded some great records in the past, like Screamadelica, Dummy and Different Class.
The August Bank Holiday Weekend is always packed full of fantastic music events, but it just wouldn’t be the same without an annual dose of the highly acclaimed TDK Cross Central. Slap bang in the centre of London at an urban Victorian Goods Yard dating back 150 years and incorporating three of the capital’s finest late night spots, the two-day festival of cutting edge sounds should be on everyone’s hitlist for either Saturday, August 25th or Sunday August 26th — or even both for the party animals.
We here at zap! bang! sincerely wish you all a very happy festive season. Get out there and savour the local Christmas ales, then do some Christmas shopping (it’s easier that way round) and then when you are done, get back home and help yourself to a present or two from us at zap! bang! and some of our many friends. Check them out, Santa’s bag is indeed a mixed one this year!
I was sent on behalf of zap! bang! Magazine to the BE THE RIOTTT! (Sic) festival, which took place in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on November 11th, 2006. In brooding over how to begin composing this text I found myself debating if some questions should even be asked. That is to say that upon entering the auditorium – or even further back, in my ascent from the city’s underbelly parking garage to street level — I was by degree overcome by an awed understanding and scaling disgust for the situation laid before me.
Top artists will take centre stage of new digital download music programme From the Basement. With no host and no studio audience, it aims to bring you pure, intimate and unadulterated performances launching with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.
Idlewild are back after almost two years away with an exclusive new track to coincide with their sold out UK tour. The band will be previewing material from their latest album Make Another World (Sequel) released in February 2007 on six dates, but if you did not get a ticket you can still get an early listen to one of the tracks.
This was the third installment of the yearly music festival, and again the Fuck Yeah Fest transformed Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, Los Angeles, into the likeness of an east coast style block party. Hundreds filled the streets waiting to see the over fifty bands, plus local comedians and art exhibits.
The Make Roads Safe campaign has scheduled another gig to raise awareness of the dangers of the roads, to be held this Wednesday — with Dirty Pretty Things and Metro Riots playing. The gig is now sold out, with 400 tickets having been won in a competition run by the charity, and hopefully this will give a large audience to the cause’s message.
Melua: Exactly, I mean it’s obviously not taking itself too seriously but it’s only because she can’t afford to. I mean, that’s part of the MySpace world — everyones frontin so you never get caught out because you never divulge your true personality.
Digital: I know what you mean. But Lily Allen despite this, does seems to have this charismatic personality on record and off that seems to attract people — even if it isn’t a very original one.
Star Chamber are hoping 2006 will be a major year in its long yet history after the band took some time out to concentrate on new material and recording. Now the indie-rock band are on the road again with gigs lined up in London and a new EP under their belt. Will it be their break through year?
What made this line-up even better was how you could make a link back to The Mars Volta, their members and their musical parts, for all of the acts there, threading it together and making the festival work well as a whole piece – as it should.
You can win 1 of 5 pairs of tickets to Mr Scruff’s New Years Eve bash at the London Forum on Dec 31st…