Welcome to our second issue of Cult Media Magazine. Last month we managed to distribute the entirety of our stock across Cambridge and not forgetting our launch at this years Strawberry Fair. Now we’re approaching the Summer Festival Season, well we’re hoping for the summer sunshine! In this issue we’ve packed it our with news on all the local and alternative festivals happening in our region, an interview with the growing folk talent Tom Copson and featuring a new section of the magazine, Artist of the Month, promoting the work of Zsuzsa Goodyer (front cover illustrator June issue). So have a read through and look out for the coupon this month at the back for Volition, Cambridge’s only true metal club night! Be sure to pick up a copy every beginning of the month and follow us on Facebook & Twitter for the latest news updates. Enjoy the summer people!
ACOUSTIC & ARTS 4 GIGS YOU MISSED 6 LAST GANG IN TOWN 13 TOM COPSON 14 Rock Lobster 16 Stabbed Panda 17 Artist of the month 18 poet of the MOnth 19 STRAWBERRY FAIR 20 FESTIVAL SPECIAL 22 BUSKER 35 Listings 36 Coupons 38
Managing Director - Samuel Douglas Content Editor - Leah Herman Graphic Designer/Front Cover - Daniel Holub Assistant Editor - Jack Martin Advertising Agent - Darren Douglas Writer - Christine MacDonald Writer - Lenny Reid Writer - Wesley Freeman-Smith Writer - Brendan Sharp Writer - Luke Hawkins Photographer - Gareth Morgan Photographer - Karran Sahadeo
Wallop Festival Curious Yellow Weekends Stabbed Panda Productions Last Gang in Town Bannedesigns GMPhotography
t’s that time again to let you know about some the best upcoming gigs for July. If you tend to enjoy your café’s hip, basements candle-lit, and guitars of the acoustic variety, the following may be for you.
Get over to CB2 for this month’s Acoustic & Arts house night, delivering words and wisdom via spoken-word maestros Fay Roberts, Hollie McNish and Jessie Durrant. Interwoven amongst the wordy madness will be some work to Alice Nicholls’ guitar and uke – two of the many instruments she has mastered. It promises to be a miniature marvel of an evening. Tuesday 3rd July, CB2 Basement, £5. In case you’d rather soak up the sunshine, Curious Yellow’s taken all the songstress that is Annie Dressner. See our festival special later in this issue for details and how to get tickets! 6th to 8th July, Peterborough, £40 adv. night will be hitting a church near you this month, Cambridge’s new home-brewed solution to ennui. Following on from previous nights at St Paul’s church, SHINDIG will feature three great musical acts encircled by as many other disciplines as is considered sensible. This month we thrill and some pastoral delights from Hella Better Dancer, All We Are & Model Staggs. There’s pudding, too. Saturday 14th July, St Paul’s Church, £8 door/£6 adv. Written By: Brendan Sharp
May 25th - Echo Trails, The Binewski Murder, AlicebanD, Faye Roberts Writer - Brendan Sharp
he tranquillity of the candle lit church epitomised the relaxed vibe that lingered throughout the evening at St. Pauls. First on the bill was Echo Trails, an intriguing collection of musicians-violinist, keyboardist, cellist, and a drummer, who are all Music Technology students at Anglia Ruskin University. Their sound was extremely distinctive, with a guid in its tone, perfectly complimenting the rhythmic drum work and the eerie violin of their superb musician, Julia Vaughan. First song, ‘Above the Cloudless Skies’, was wonderfully melodic, hushing the crowd in expectation. This was followed by ‘The End’, which was strongly reminiscent of The Doors with its psychedelic, climactic vibe and layered sound. The lyrics, ‘there is no way out that I can see’, exuded philosophical resonance alongside their arty, surrealist projections that could have only be described as apt in this church setting. Thirdly, they stunned the crowd with a jazzy number, and the lyrics, ‘you smoke your cigarettes, when you love me they are mine’, ing; with a jittery wall of drums and keyboard building into an explosive climax. Demi then lost herself completely in the music; her anguished yet soulful chorus was simply stunning during the last song of the set, ‘Hazy Horizons’. www.facebook.com/echotrailsband Up next, The Binewski Murder, with their blend of folk and Gogol Bordello-esque gypsy anthemic vocals and stabbing drums. Their next song, ‘Lost at Sea’, was pure cabaret and amazingly infectious despite its fragmented nature. These musicians are each characters in their own right, offering Cambridge a short journey into the wonderfully obscure and would appeal to fans of numerous genres, from world to punk. www.facebook.com/Binewski
Headliners, AlicebanD, were very impressive with their dark, profound lyricism and emotive range, audible in their abrasiveness: ‘I feel like being crushed and brushed away’; vocalist, Alice, held an uncannily likeness to Kate Nash, portraying a similar charismatic demeanour on stage. As a regular on the Cambridge circuit, make sure to see for yourself Alice’s inviting performance, either as a solo act, or with the talented musicians who make up AlicebanD. www.facebook.com/alice.aliceband Lastly, performance poet Faye Roberts added another dimension to the evening, with her soft wistful lyrics and endearing charm found in her dreamy romanticism: ‘we passed a lifetime on that echo of a day that rushed by.’ Towards the end of her short but sweet set, she involved the now entranced crowd in her spoken word material, concluding the sheer festivity of an unbelievably varied and atmospheric mixture of musical genres.
May 30th - Stabbed Panda Zombie NIght
writer - Brendan Sharp
Without hesitation, This Is Not An Exit burst onto the stage with their charismatic lead singer erupting with pop punk energy. The youthful faces in the crowd seemed expectant and matched her endearing enthusiasm. Their third song, ‘Zebra’, was performed with explosive exuberance, with a mixture of droning lead guitar and biting vocals. They are all about extravagance, which is blindingly clear from their green glittering drum kit and their front woman’s tattoo sleeves and bright red hair. ‘Breaking Even’ was a passionate three minutes of amp fuelled anthemic guitar and with a blues overtone that just unexpectedly exploded into a death metal jam. ‘Don’t Kid yourself Alice’ pleased with its suzzy guitar and brutal lyrics, like ‘baby its true that I’m sick of the state of you’, getting everyone going. www.facebook.com/thisisnotanexitmusic Next up was Press To Meco, whose Placebo style vocals are enigmatic as their lead wailed, ‘I hope this is the darkest reaction, whilst the immense drumming speed created an incredible war drum effect, pounding through the set. The bassist added brilliant joked about his guitarist almost sitting on a pint. They also interjected punchy lyrics with amazing timing and tenacity, as the crowd lapped up the energy. An amazing jam went prowess was a highlight, particularly in their last song. www.facebook.com/presstomecouk The third act, Littlehounds, opened explosively and had an array of catchy lyrics; the resounding, ‘You use sticks and stones, shatter the rest of our broken bones’ pleasantly counteracted by the placidity of the bass. New song, ‘Athenia’, was passionate and anthemic, and would not sound out of place in a larger venue with its stadium sized soundscape. Finally, Hopeless Heroic concluded the night with a rampant set. Their single ‘Guinea Pig Syndrome’ was incredible with its looping lead, jittery violin, and inventive tempo changes throughout; their Enter Shikari sound gripped the night’s throng of youths. The chorus sent the crowd into a pandemonium, as the whole room shouted along in www.facebook.com/TheLittleHounds
June 8th - DTSP, Ivory Seas, Model Staggs writer: Luke Hawkins Photos: Tom Turpie
Slate the Disco presented a showcase of talent even though they only managed to round up enough gig-goers willing to brave the perform were emerging Cambridge act DTSP. The cryptically named four-piece combine driving beats, rumbling bass, and innovative guitar playing, into hearty portions of indie rock. Although lead vocalist Josh was reserved talking to the audience between numbers, when DTSP play, they exude a modestly detached panache, and a highly energetic, evening commendably, with a set that’s likely to improve their reputation. www.facebook.com/DTSPband The second act of the evening was London four-piece, Ivory Seas. Formed in 2011, these relative newcomers fuse guitars, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums and vocals into a richly-layered delicate sound. Painfully stylish and emotive, with the merest hint of melancholy, Ivory Seas cohesively deliver skilfully blended chord structures and beats with angst-ridden harmonies. Ivory Seas display a strong ability for musical arrangement and innovation. The performance of their new song, ‘Mother’s Tongue’, was a captivating highlight of their set. www.facebook.com/ivoryseas
vocals, and Ash on drums, this two-piece has inevitably been compared to The White Stripes. Model Staggs produce a sound more expansive, and less rigidly blues-derived than The Stripes; a sound they describe as “bluesy melodic folk garage”. Tom’s use of guitar effects and reverb, alongside Ash’s use of a full drum kit and electronic drum pad, give this duo the power of a four-piece. Model Staggs counterpoint melodic expression with savage outbursts of distorted guitar and pounding rhythms. Tom’s affable, yet powerful vocals engaged the listeners throughout, as Model Staggs showed that they’re capable of punching above their weight. www.facebook.com/modelstaggs
June 11th -The Doozer, Le Adventures Sous La Mer, R.Stevie Moore Writer: Wesley Freeman-Smith
Photos: Gareth Morgan
The Doozer played as part of a duo tonight, though it’s possible more band members were hiding in his majestic beard. Like taking a wilfully demented stroll through an otherwise pastoral landscape, he embraced surrealism in a quintessentially English fashion – the most obvious reference point here being Syd Barrett. Backed by droning psychedelic loops, a friendly looking bass man, and a retro looking Casio keyboard, this The Doozer exclaims “Why didn’t you make the notes clearer, Ben?!”, Ben replies “Can’t read my handwriting...” It was a normal exchange by any standard, but in context took on an air of surreal comedy. Perhaps it’s something in the water. If Rasputin decided he’d bit like this gentleman. For those adventurous alone, it should prove worthwhile to track this man’s strange meanderings. Another duo, Le Adventures Sous La Mer were fronted by a man who looked strikingly like Wayne Coyne on a massive coke bender. In a mostly good way. Synths clash across the stage like the territorial battle of some great Meccano stags, roaming from the rhythmic and melodious to eerie drones, fwap’s, and apocalyptic bass rumblings.
Imagine Talking Heads by way of Squarepusher, or Moby after a few months locked in Chris Cunningham’s basement. Bursts of random noise, amorphous synthesized basslines, and some standard guitar thrown in for good measure – surprisingly, it sounded phenomenal. For something peering so closely over the precipice of sheer experimentation, it actually held itself together well, even if it was wracked by compelling structural tension all the way. Though it sounded like someone throwing cutlery at a pissed off Nintendo at times, it’s sometimes breathtaking to observe the sheer velocity of said cutlery. looks a bit like God might if he spent awhile taking the wrong kind of drugs. Shortly after Moore and band - young, we’re given a soliloquy consisting of the sentence: ‘Donna Summer on the radio, Donna Summer on the adio...’ on repeat, with ‘radio’ occasionally being usurped by words like ‘refrigerator’. And so it goes: white, scrunchy bearded American in pyjama bottoms playing some insanely great tunes, interspersed with diverse oddments from across the whole alternative spectrum. We had Beefheart-esque jams, along with a mid-song game of musical bursts of static; whispered growls spiralling slowly into intense free-jazz chaos, Zorn in years. And then songs like, ‘I Like to Stay Home’ and ‘Why Should I Love You?’ could have been hits in a different world. After a surprisingly tender turn on ‘Caroline Will You Come’, Moore and co end on a heavier song that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Nirvana’s Bleach. The crowd were rapturous and grateful throughout, giving a warm reception to a man who spent a lifetime doing the kind of music one assumes the nineties created. An encore was inevitable. All in all, it was possibly one of the strangest gigs I’ve been to. Ever.
June 15th -Ten Tigers, Poesi, Eureka Stockade The Portland Arms ought to be commended for helping to keep the live music scene alive! They played host to three bands that Friday, but unfortunately it got off to a slow start; as per usual, they were running fashionably late. It was a rather shocking state of affairs to see that the room was almost empty and to such a miniscule audience. In hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t the best night to arrange a gig, with such an important England match taking the limelight. The band tried very hard not to let it affect their performance, yet the unfortunate thing was that they just weren’t all that professional during their set, which only seemed to add to the already awkward atmosphere. The organization of the evening seemed weak, due to a lack of informaif this was just a garage rehearsal, but as time went on - and the football had ended - the night livened up. Eureka Stockade was the headlining act of the night, but the second band, Poesi, really stole the show. The vocalist didn’t have the best range, but the overall musicality and talent of this band brought them aces above the rest. Just like a rollercoaster, this gig had its ups and downs, but everyone has to start somewhere.
Written by Lenny Reid
him a speedy recovery. The Zipheads kicked the night off with a very energetic set, with all three members wearing trademark ‘Z ray specks’ and the lead singer wearing a jacket which closely resembled that worn by Smilin’ S Stan. Stanman - from the Monkey Island series. They played their original rockgreat cover of ‘Bank Robber’, by The Clash. Taking to the stage with an epic instrumental intro to their set, Mojo Kings got things really moving until an unfortunate technical mishap. These things happen, and no one seemed to mind that there were a couple of birthday celebrations going on that night. It was hard to miss with dancing that energetic and animated. I think that it should be noted that not only did Graveyard Johnnys save the night, they beat the laws of time and missioned it over after playing another gig in Bedford. To my knowledge they were still on stage at nine o clock. Jumping back on the road and high tailing it, to return to Cambridge for the second time in the space of a month. You couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief when they eventually turned up and began moving their equipment inside during Mokjo to see them in Cambridge soon. Written By: Dom Benatar
Photography By: Gareth Morgan
An interview with...
Tom Copson Written by: Wesley Freeman-Smith Photos: Karran Sahadeo
Festival and Curious Yellow Weekend. We met up one rainy summer’s day down at the Mill Pond to have a chat about his début album, Woven, the quandaries of a full-time music career, and where it all began... So to start with, how would you describe your sound? by Damien Rice, more recently Nick Drake, and a bit of Jeff Buckley.” Would you count them as inspirations? “Pretty much; songwriters of that calibre. Maybe not to actually start playing, but they inspired me to be good and to hone my craft. Before then I was just inspired because I enjoyed singing, and naturally enjoyed writing songs more than doing covers.”
ing Man’. It was just about my dad’s slightly hippy friend - he was this guy who came round with a guitar covered in lots of stickers from lots of different countries. He and my Dad would go on to consume a bottle of Bailey’s or two, and then play records ‘til 3am.”
Did you grow up on your parents’ music taste? “Well, I would probably argue that mine is more vast than theirs [laughs] but there are two sides [to how I was raised around music]. There are the records that my dad used to listen to, like Supertramp; even if the music wasn’t directly inspiring, maybe the mood of that 70’s music was. [Then] through my teens I was also involved in a lot of Church youth group stuff. There were chances to be involved in music through that as well – playing a lot of contemporary Christian songs. That was
What’s your favourite local venue or night to play? “The Alma’s Songsmith Sessions is probably my favourite local night, simply because I’ve been in and out of the Cambridge scene for years, and my most recent resurgence came after playing at the Alma. This is the third attempt, and I’ve [now] been able to establish myself a bit more in Cambridge, which is kind of my home musical city. So many other places too, like The Portland Arms, and The Boat Race - may it rest in peace - was a great place to play.” What obstacles have you found to doing music as a full-time career? “Aside from the obvious one of money, it’s learning how to organize your mind and do it properly. Maybe you need breaks; maybe you need other things in life. Sometimes I see people [as] really productive precisely because they’ve got another job. When they do go into music they’re more focused. The self management ing about a Facebook post more than writing a song – that’s horrible - but sometimes it’s tempting to believe that if you don’t think about some business things, you might just stay in the same place with no one ever getting to hear your music, without it moving forward.”
How would you like to see it move forward? released on Monday, 4th June, so if I die Tuesday I’d sleep happy in my grave. Now I’m at a slight crossroads about what to do next. I think my next aspiration will be to write an album which is somegrow into themselves more and more, so I’d predict that’d happen more on the second album. Which I’ll enjoy – [though] doesn’t mean anyone else will!” Did you enjoy the recording process on Woven, your début? be done in a couple of months. [The] highlights for me were getting those beautiful string players all playing together, hearing them as a six or seven piece, in an echo-y church building was just beautiful.” In the liner notes it says some of it was recorded in a church, in a stairwell... “Yeah, exactly. Half of it was recorded in London, half in Northern Ireland... It basically documents the journey of myself and a producer called Stu Reid, [and] our friendship. What the album reprejust lost it all, and met Stu again. We started doing some recording, and probably three to four years later the album is being released. I feel like a happier and much more complete person, willing to take on music in a whole new way. Thanks very much for talking to us Tom!
ock Lobster has come a long way in the past 3 years. Already in its 2nd year at the Q Club it is a far cry from its humble, geeky origins of 2 speakers, a decrepid broken mixer placed on 2 stools and a table in a small unknown pub which no longer exists in Cambridge.
Walking into the Q Club you are automatically transported 20 years back ert Smithesque goth hidden in the corner. The sultry tones of Souixsie Soux, Morrisey, Joy Division, The Cure et al... Resonate across the Q Club... It feels like this club has not changed at all since the 80’s. plethora of punks skank to their madness’ “one step beyond”. The beat with Billy Idols White Wedding being chanted in unison by everyone. clientel. Whether you are a goth, punk, mod, rocker or dare I say it, happily bouncing around in a neon head band, leg warmers, stone washed jeans, shoulder pads and wearing every accessory known to man... You are involved in a night of 80’s excellence. The DJ’s (who both look like they would feel more comfortable in a mosh pit!) play a varied and uplifting set, some classic 80’s cheese. There is something there for everyone and well worth a Saturday night out.
s a species, we’re always looking to the future, towards the pale horizon of time. Behold, for like a prophet I bring you news of the shape of things to come!
This month I bring much the same as last time; news and reviews. I’ll open with some home-grown interest, from our own Stabbed Panda artist, Ronnie Disaronno. This month he has kindly put out some pre-release tracks from his next album, Irradiated Hamster Alert, available in full later this year. This album leaves behind many of the psychedelic elements found on Shadows in the Sand - available iTunes and Spotify - and leans more towards a cinematic-rock feel. Keep up to date with Ronnie Disaronno on Facebook.com/RonnieDiz, Reverbnation.com/RonnieDisaronno
In other news, indie rock group, Band of Brothers, are returning to the UK to perform after a month in to the stage of Cambridge Rock Fest on August 2nd. For those of you not in the know, Band of Brothers feature three British brothers, Francis, James and Lawrence, and their French comrade Manu. They guarantee a lively show and as history serves, their gigs are always well performed and masterful in their execution; you won’t be disappointed. After the release of their debut album Learning to Fly in 2009, their popularity went through the roof. Check out the songs ‘Space Cowboy’, ‘Memory Lane’ and ‘So Far so Good’. They can be found at: bob-band.co.uk. Last but not least, newcomers, Screen People, will be performing for Stabbed Panda on the 14th July. Made up of three friends, these guys are pretty new to the rock scene, having only been about since late 2011, but have already made plenty of waves by performing far and wide and releasing several Keane and Beyonce, it can be expected that this close-knit trio will put on an unmissable show. Their ScreenPeople. If you want more, check out the interview with Cartoon Suicide on the Stabbed Panda blog stabbedpanda.blog.com - or like us on Facebook: StabbedPanda. Peace out, The Reverend Mickey Kink.
The sunlight illuminates, delicates and demonstrates, Natureâ€™s ever-growing beauty, like you You are lightened by a smile, it grows Into your cheeks and like cherries it blossoms Your heart is beaming, your soul Takes the mysterious moonlight and Twinkles through you black frog spawn eyes Bobbling with watery loveliness and magic Your toes feel the soft warm earth, The smile feed on its life through the stems The stems of your legs and lengthy limbs The petals blow in the wind and the spirits play But when a man takes your hand When a woman leads you too, beware Beware of the mysterious moonlight souls That change with the sea, their tides sweep You along with them and your eyes Suddenly drip and drop and spill Leaving a puddle of pity and regret
Written by: Christine Macdonald
Photos: Karran Sahadeo
ost Cambridge residents will not need to be told about Strawberry Fair; if you’ve been a local for more than a year, you won’t have been able to ignore the city’s proudest summer event.
Equal parts carnival, hippy haven and music festival, Strawberry Fair embodies all that we love and love to hate about the British summer. Despite envisioning yourself in the sun, soaking up the best of local Cambridge musicians, clubs, organizations and food,you arrive on a gray day that threatens rain at every moment – too cold to enjoy your cold beer and too damp to take the plunge and sit on the dewy grass comfortably. Yet you press on, and blatantly ignore your discomfort, in honor of your community’s proudest effort to celebrate summer. attracts:dreadlocked hippies, well-to-do sweater vest clad couples, the tattooed youth and wholesome families alikegathered on Midsummers Common toenjoy the completely voluntary, self-fund-
visit Cult Media’s old friend and winner of the Strawberry Fair Cambridge Band Competition, Grace but lucky for her the slightly warmer, drier and generally more pleasant conditions under the tent fostered a rapid growth in audience numbers, as well as her pleasant music of course. Loud cheers from her dedicated fansaccompanied Grace as she movedthrough songs, such as ‘Crystal World’ couldn’t help but notice the very impressed facial expressions of the middle-aged adults in attendance, even detecting a few whispers among them, saying, “Why, she’s quite good”. Quite good, yes. Dare we say the British folk scene’s answer to Taylor Swift? By one o’clock the fair was bustling, the weather had warmed and the party had really begun. At the epicenter the fairgrounds stood Arco Iris, the festivals own samba heart-beat, if you will: 3 lines of percussion instruments including shakers, snares, lap drums and heavy bass drums, reminiscent of a military drum line but with an incredibly infecting drive and energy. The conductor called out the next beats with hand movements and whistle calls, even getting the crowd involved with claps, hoots and hollers at rhythmicallyclimactic moments.
TheCambridge Community Circus drew nearby crowds with their rope swinging acrobatics and trickeries of the eye. The adrenaline byproduct of watching their performance was arguably more such a rickety setting. When the circus acts weren’t busy demonstrating their skills, they were happily teaching and promoting circus skills to interested participants, emphasizing the voluntary organization’s weekly workshops often used to train “quite a lot of professional performers,” explained by the group’s manager Tom Puckett. With so much diversity to soak up – the prayer tree, community art space, Rastafarian tents, the focus your attention for more than a minute. Though, I must confess, I had a child-like fascination for a certain mechanical robotic horse that was slowly making its way through the festival grounds by means of remote control. The horse, part of a Mechanical Menagerie production (www. including straw for a tail and light bulbs for eyes. It reacted to events around it by neighing, snorting, and blinking said light bulb eyes. It also, very humbly, carried a cup in its mouth in anticipation ofgenerous donations. It played music from its chest and had a bag of carrots attached to its haunches - I presume even robot horses enjoy carrots. To me it was the tech-savvy man’s answer to War Horse; theatrical, animated and alarmingly real. Watching the children react to it as if it were alive was particularly enjoyable. ered by two men on bicycles, pedaling for power. By 3:00pm the Strawberry Fair festival was a montage of Morris Dancers, Lindy Hoppers, independent crafts and trades, carbon footprint minders, medical herbalists, watermelon eating children, teenagers donning their best Topshop festival Attempting to break the world record for “most fairies gathered in one place”, festival-goers were asked to come dressed as a fairy. The exact details were left largely to interpretation, but each fairy - large and small – was asked to gather at the fairy meeting point at a designated timeto previous record of 67 fairies in one place had been crushed. As participantschanted for more fair-
player from the Morris dancer group as his princess. The king was a neon-clad fairy with wings that resembled a ninja star, and his queen a classicTinkerbell style fairy. Despite slightly dubious claims surrounding previous Strawberry Fair gatherings, this year’s festival seemed void of hostility; the police presence minimal and the St. Johns Ambulence tent sat twiddling its thumbs. With a Guinness World Record now under its belt, it’s time to start planning for next year.
T S E F ! P O L L WA ak Ipswich l 8th July, Roya
Written by Jack Martin
egular East Anglian gig promoters, Pint of Bin Promotions, Kibou Records and Dusty Curtain Face Records bring us their first one-day music festival: Wallop! At only a short walk from Ipswich station and a steal at £7 on the door or £5.50 in advance, this one-day punk/grind event is a must see.Doors open for the day at 1.30pm, allowing you to still get your Sunday lye in, and with a curfew of 9pm,you’ve got plenty of time to grab a few beers after and still catch the last train home! Headlining the festival are Chicago based power-violence/grindcore heavyweights,Weekend Nachos, who are currently touring the UK,and thelegendary booze-core merchants,The Afternoon Gentlemen, from Leeds. Other bands on the bill cover a range of styles; from the hard-GORE grind of Chestbursterto Three Thrones’ heavy progressive sludge, Sweatshop’shardcorestylings andLeeresHirn’slo-fi noise punk. Wallop! Fest is a completely Do-It-Yourself, non-profit event set up by the promoters for their love of music. There aren’t many local festivals devoted to Wallop!’s scene, which makes for a nice change of pace. So if it’s a day of punk/hardcore/grind noise that you’re after then Wallop! Fest is where you need to be on Sunday, 8th July. For more information and details on how to get advance tickets, check out their Facebook event: WALLOP! FEST.
end k e e W w o l l e Y Curious orough 6 -8th July, Pe
Written by Jack Martin
urious Yellow, established in 2000, has been putting on parties across the country for more than a decade, and now finally they bring us their first festival: Curious Yellow Weekend, in association with The Electro Swing Club in Cambridge. It promises to be their most extravagant party yet, with ‘over 70 musicians and DJs across 3 stages, bold art installations and walkabout performances from mischievous festival fairies’. It’s not just about the music either; there’s a circus, fire arts, crafts and healing workshops and plenty of little secrets for you to discover. It seems like this festival will live up to its name and indeed be a most curious weekend. At the heart of their events is a focused aim; they want to make an impact on club culture and stand out from the norm. With an eclectic range of alternative music from Electronica to Broken Beat, to Techno Jazz and Funk, complimented by a unique style of decor, Curious Yellow plan to cater for everyone without jumping on the mainstream’ bandwagon. The Smyley Stage, aka the main stage, will range from indie to folk during Friday’s daylight hours, through to spine tingling electronic beats of glitch-hop and psy-breaks late into the night. Saturday is set to wind back the clock into a world of decadent ballroom-esque fantasies, where all but are profound, think spats and fascinators guys, top hats, dandies and feather boas. Sunday is all about an alternative take on dance, and live shows from dub side masters of the turntables, to blues core bands reliving the 50’s hillbilly rhythms. True to their MO, one of stages is a converted double decker bus dressed to the nines with lights and decorations. You’re guaranteed to find something here you like, and more than likely discover a new love of all things musical. With everything from folk, jazz, swing and funk to dance, dub, breaks and house, there’s something for everyone that’s for sure. The Flourodome is where Curious Yellow started, so it wouldn’t be right if there wasn’t one at their first festival. The CY dome is to be their base for the weekend. They want you to think of it as ‘the living room; the very hearth and home of the festival’. They’ll be recreating the unique vibe that was born in the Welsh mountains at their ‘Magic at the End of the World’ party. Going from strength to strength and having honing their party skills over countless subsequent events and clubnights, the Curious team have gone all out for their festival dome. The Curious Yellow posse will take you on a meandering journey through the annals of house and techno while caressing your senses with their mind-bending UV decor and 1000Mw laser show!
The Curious Yellowteam are all about the details, so they’ve spent a lot of time into getting the sound right. There’s a lot of techy stuff about drivers and compression tops, but what is certain, is that the sound quality is there and ‘always blows people away’. As if the music delights weren’t enough, there’s even a whole area devoted to workshops, stalls and unleashing your creative side. There are holistic and spiritual healing tents, where you can unwind with a massage, a ‘Make Drift’ tent where you can make festival masks and, well, your imagination is the limit. And it doesn’t stop there! There are hourly activities throughout the day, for all ages, including stalls from jewellery designers, hand drawn t-shirt printers, fashion artistes and all manner of arts and crafts. As if Curious Yellow couldn’t excite your fancy already, scattered around the site is a collection of artwork by Blight Society Art. Based in Cambridge, BSA is a collective of graffiti, urban and street artists who create original artwork as well as teaching workshops in the UK. They are dedicated to changing the public perception of these misunderstood art forms and helping to show how graffiti, urban and street artwork can be used to help build communities and improve public spaces. This year they will be bringing their #WallDonation project to the Curious Yellow Weekend. The project is pretty transparent; it encourages land owners to provide wall space to generate a legal, public platform for urban artists to express themselves. There’s plenty of exciting things going on at Curious Yellow Weekend that doesn’t stimulate your eardrums, but it is after all a music festival, so let’s delve into the tunes the Curious team have lined up for us. Headlining the festival are psychedelic tech-funk DJ Hedflux, electro swing band Future Swing Stories and the genre-traversing Pedestrian. Hedflux, the synonym for PhD Quantum Physics graduate Steve Young, seeks to create a ‘genetic hybrid characterized by laser-precision engineering, liquid-tight grooves and a visceral, hypnotic energy’. Seems like those science classes actually do come in handy for his pioneering breakbeat tracks. If you fancy a dance or two - or several - you can’t go wrong with Swing and Future Swing Stories is no exception. Although working within the electro swing genre, FSS borrows heavily from old school hiphop breaks, nu-school bass lines, dusty drum loops and swing era samples. Closing the festival on the Sunday is notorious sound wanderer and sonic sculptor Pedestrian. His DJ sets vary from luxurious, melodic beats, right through to the nastiest basslines that hip hop, house, garage and everything in between have to offer. We like to remember that it’s not all about the big headline acts, and with many bands hailing from Cambridge, you are more than likely aware of a fair number of the up-and-coming musical sensations. One being garage rock band, Ill Murray, who recently playing alongside Ash, Feeder, Roots Manuva and Spector at Norwich’s Playfest. Also, don’t miss out on the wonderfully sublime lyrical workings of AliceBand andacoustic genius Tom Copson, who can often be seen busking around Cambridge despite his rising popularity. For just £40 a ticket, Curious Yellow Weekend is easily one of the summer’s cheapest festivals and with so much going on besides the music you’re almost guaranteed to have an amazing time. For more information and to get tickets, log on to:
stival e F k l o F e g d i r Camb
26 -29th July
Written by Lenny Reid
round this time every year, deep in to the chilled-out heart of the grounds at Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, the world famous Folk Festival arrives to make the area even more relaxed. People come from all over the world for the Folk Festival, and once again the organisers have managed to pull in acts from every corner of the globe. With a wealth of headlining acts across the four jam-packed July nights, there’s no reason not to soak up the talent on your doorstep. Join Billy Bragg as he celebrates Woody Guthries 100th Birthday to kick start the festival. Later he is joined by Ireland’s folk-pop pioneers, Clannad; Scotland’s most famous twins, The Proclaimers; American folk firebrand, John Prine; the up and coming, James Vincent McMorrow; Canadian born Celtic music songstress, Loreena McKennitt; and the legendary Joan Armatrading, to ensure the Folk Festival is well worth the travel wherever you call home.The Cambridge Folk Festival - for the uninitiated - has the love of the eclectic and quieter music community for its laid back atmosphere, family vibes, and well-oiled organisation. As well as showcasing the world’s greatest folk talents, this festival also boasts an unrivalled music market, a bustling signing tent, and workshops for the many types of world music on offer. Just some of the evidence that this festival caters for the casual folk fan as well as the hardcore musician/musical historians.
If you find yourself at a loose-end at the Cambridge Folk Festival, then you must be trying pretty hard as between the stages and even on the campsites, the festival organisers have set up a full day of activities on every corner. The two separate camp-sites host Storytelling with John Row; Street Theatre with Artizani, The Bread and Butter Theatre Company, and others; Drawing Workshops, Juggling Workshops, a T’ai Chi and Healing Area, and a Reed Garland and Willow Sculpture Workshop. You’re more likely to have trouble deciding when to fit in sleep. The Music Workshops that are a mainstay of the festival are as eclectic as the line-up, and include a Guitar Workshop with Tim Edey; a Harmonica Workshop with Brendan Power; a Fiddle Workshop with Cathal Hayden; a Singing Workshop with Karine Polwart; and a Northumbrian Pipes Workshop, with a whole team of experts on the subject. This shows the tremendous grassroots philosophy of the Folk Festival, who clearly want to nurture the interest in the wide-scoping genre rather than let it slip through the cracks of the festival atmosphere. Away from the main stage is last year’s newest addition, The Den. A cosy, living-room-style setting which hosts the newest ground-shakers in the folk community and will provide the backdrop for this year’s acts: Top 5 single artist, Charlene Soraia, the Adam Ant of Folk, King Charles, and the heavenly-voiced bluesy, Liz Green. Representing Cambridge on this stage will be the New York flavoured song-writing of Annie Dressner, and the soulful and hair-raising, Tom Copson. Not many cities in the country can say they have a world famous festival on their doorstep and the Cambridge Resident Discount that the festival offers is a unique and worthwhile incentive for locals. For folk-fans and the casual observer, this festival is one of the more relaxed and rewarding experiences you can have partaking in live music and proves to be another success judging by the line-up. Find out more and how to buy tickets at:
Festival k c o R e g d i r b Cam
st 2nd -5th Augu
Written by Lenny Reid
he annual Cambridge Rock Festival descends onto Barton, Cambridge, at the beginning of August and unloads loud amps and strong ales into the outskirts. This festival is always a great weekend that, over the years, has played host to some of the most compelling tribute acts in the world, alongside a barrel full of acts that may not be pulling roots up in the mainstream anymore, but are still rocking out the only way they know how. This year, on the Thursday, festival-goers are treated to tribute acts on stage one, including ZZ Tops and the Ultimate Eagles; two acts that nail the sound and feel of their namesakes, and carry the torch with a passion. Over the weekend you can look forward to rocking out to the likes of Dutch prog-rockers, Focus - of ‘Hocus Pocus’ fame; eighties rockers, It Bites; New Wave Of British Heavy Metal touring enthusiasts, Tygers Of Pan Tang; and sixties cult legends, Caravan. Saturday night brings founding Mott The Hoople keyboardist, Verden Allen, to the stage playing a set of Mott The Hoople tracks, as well as songs from his solo career. Somewhere in between the real deal and tribute act are X-UFO. This Saturday night act is unique purely for the fact they’re all ex-members, yet they play both official UFO songs and their own, more recent UFO stylings. The final night on stage one builds up to its awesome festival finale of the working-man’s blues of Snakecharmer which follows current Deep Purple keyboardist - and owner of one of the most impressive CV’s in rock - Don Airey. He will be bringing some friends along for an exciting run-through of tracks from his past. Having worked with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, and Whitesnake - to name but a few - I’m sure this set promises to be a killer.
Over on stage two, things get heavier with the edge-crushing, Kyrbgrinder, alongside the symphonic metal act, Winter In Eden, which shows there is something for everyone in Cambridge over the weekend. The straight-up rock band, Jump, are joined by two blues specialists, Mick Ralph’s Blues Band and Del Bromham’s Blues Devils. Old School covers act, Wheelz, are also in attendance to get the crowd moving with some well known tunes. The final night on stage two is headlined by hard rock blues quartet, Nitroville, who willbe backed up by The Dave Edwards 3 Piece Suite and Marcus Malone. If you like your music turned up to eleven, then stage twois for you. If not, there is always the acoustic stage for a bit of relaxation betweenbursts ofhead-banging. This year it’s home to a number of acts, including Pearl Handled Revolver, Fred’s House, Adrian Nation, and Tracie Hunter, whilst also hosting the various musical workshops every day. Like most entertainment in Cambridge, its not just proud of its music but also of its real ales and assorted alcoholic beverages. As such, this festival draws more than just music enthusiasts to the sleepy outskirts of Cambridge. The Cambridge Rock Festival is a constant fixture in the city’s musical calendar, and you can always trust them to bring classic acts and musicians back to the local area, no matter how long it’s been. Then they just throw in some up-and-coming acts alongside the local talent for good measure, and soak it all in ale. Rock and roll. For more information and to get tickets, log on to their website:
l a v i t s e F n o i l l e Reb , Blackpool 2n d - 5 t h A u g u
Written by Lenny Reid
hould you happen to find yourself in the “Las Vegas of the North” around the beginning of August, then I can guarantee that there are thousands of worse things to do than attend Rebellion Festival at Winter Gardens. Reflecting the timelessness of punk in spectacular fashion, over a dizzying selection of stages, this promises to be one of the highlights of the UK’s festival season in 2012 - and you don’t even have to camp! The main stage at Rebellion is called The Empress Ballroom, where acts include punk’s perennial flag-bearers, Buzzcocks; influential Oi!-punks, The Business; Snuff; California classics, Social Distortion; and having just released a wonderful new album This is..., the main stage is treated to a live performance by John Lydon’s, Public Image Ltd. (PiL). If this wasn’t enough of a treat, then you can also catch UK punk perfection in Ruts D.C.; Rancid; and the UK Subs. Having a number of stages means there is always something to watch, and every stage has a gem or five at least. The “Bizarre Bazaar at The Opera” stage features a performance by Malcolm McLaren’s foray in to New Wave, Bow Wow Wow; and over on the “Bizarre Bazaar at The Pavilion” stage is a rare performance by post-rock’s best kept secret, The Cravats. Other stages host legends like Conflict, Stiff Little Fingers, Agnostic Front, DOA, and Ginger Wildheart, who rub shoulders with punk’s newest heroes in Dirty Revolution, as well as Citizen Fish, and Craig Temple of Moral Dilemma. All sides of the punk-rock coin are on display here, so this is a must for fans of the louder, faster, smarter variety. Check out their Facebook or rebellionfestivals.com for more information and to get tickets.
st 3rd -6th Augu
Written by Lenny Reid
here is no coincidence that the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park is hosting this year’s Hevy Music Festival, as the festival organisers have booked some of the planet’s wildest and heaviest bands. These ones are just a little harder to cage. On the Hevy main stage is: the human optimism bomb, Andrew W.K.; chugging time signature inventors, Meshuggah; and thrash metal frat-boys, Municipal Waste. The Sunday on the Main Stage is a punk/hardcore master class, involving Los Angeles’ punk legends, Descendents; New York hardcore stalwarts, H2O and Madball; followed by the Orange County’s hardcore reply, Ignite. If the sheer volume of energy, speed, and crushing bass wasn’t enough on the main stage, then take a gander at the RockSound TV Stage, where the hardcore cult, Glassjaw, share headline duties with the Hell’s House Band, Converge, and are backed up by melodic punk-metal act, A Wilhelm Scream, and the respected and feared lords of chug, Will Haven. Not content with filling up two stages with legends, Hevy are hosting two more, to better cater for each genre. The third one, The Punktastic Stage, is the perfect punk riot, with Deez Nuts, Trapped Under Ice, post-hardcore flag-bearers, Shai Hulud, Norma Jean, and Rolo Tomassi. The buzz of the stage, however, is that the UK’s Hundred Reasons will performing their hugely popular album, ‘Ideas Above Our Station’. The amount of must-see sets is alarming, but there will also be the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage where up and coming bands can try their damnedest to win your affections amongst the talent and prestige on offer. Swing, slither, gallop, trample, or climb to this one, which will be the scene for many a legendary performance for those willing to travel just a bit further this summer. For more information and to get tickets, log on to: hevy.co.uk.
ir a F n w o t m o o B 6th -9th August , Hamp Matterly estate
Written by Lenny Reid
hen a festival has a dress code, it will raise a few eyebrows, but when a festival insists that the dress code theme is Outer Space, then eyebrows are pointless unless they are inside a hand-made space helmet and matching silver foil astronauts get-up.None of this is surprising from Boomtown Fair, known for their wonderful obscurities and eclectic nature. Most festivals cater to a certain audience, but Boomtown just threw away the rules and came up with something beyond your wildest dreams. Billed as “THE UK’S MADDEST CITY!”, complete with an exclamation mark and everything, this festival boasts high-energy, good vibe bands to keep the party going from start to finish. Bands on The Town Centre (main stage) include American SkaPunk superstars, Reel Big Fish; Ska legends, The Skatalites; London’s genre-mashing, Asian Dub Foundation; and the pioneers of SkaCore, Capdown. The main stage offers further enticement, by also dangling a mystery headliner in front of our curious faces. The Boomtown Fair is unique as it offers any reggae enthusiasts their own stage, The Lion’s Den, where they’ve spared no expense in bringing acts like the notorious Beenie Man, Jamaica’s Tanya Stephens, and the UK reggae-scene’s brightest youngling, Natty.
Other stages included in this sealed-off musical utopia include The Bassline Circus where Rave is King and the chosen acolytes include Caspa, Jackbeats, and a Dub Pistols (DJ set). And to get your astronaut on, head down to the outer space themed Arcadia Dance stage, which hosts Dirtyphonics, Krafty Kuts, and ShyFX. The Devil Kicks Dancehall is a 19th Century themed Pyschobilly/ Punk haven offering an embarrassment of riches to its visitors, including the truly legendary genre-starters, The Meteors, The Filaments, Manchester’s day-glo energy merchants, Sonic Boom Six, Random Hand, the funny and folky, Smokey Bastard, and Brighton’s brassy-punk heroes, The Junk. With such a jawdropping line-up, as just one area of the festival, its obvious they mean to impress. They don’t even stop there. The Boomtown Fair understands that even the hardiest party-goers need to unwind occasionally, which is why the Wandering Word has been set up to offer respite from a sweat-soaked day of excitement. This stage offers Spoken Word, Hip-hop, Blues, and a handful of Singer-Songwriters. Also, The Hidden Woods offers up the rest of the weekend’s hidden gems with Cardiff’s black sheep, Sicknote, and the astoundingly young and talented stars of the future, The Skints. If a community vibe, imaginative organisers, and eclectic underground music is your thing then this festival is a must this year. We’ve barely scratched the surface with all the weird and wonderful things this festival has to offer. Venture down the rabbit hole at: boomtownfair.co.uk, for more information and to get tickets.
L nd September, 31st August -2
ode Written by Jack Martin
odeStar, now in its fourth year, can be found just outside the city in, you guessed it, Lode. At only a twenty minute drive from the city centre, it is one of the closest camping festivals to get to. Each year LodeStar improves upon the previous line-up and ‘2012 looks to be the best yet’. In 2011, they had American alternative rock band Cage the Elephant, the charming The Magic Numbers, and Brazilian new ravers CSS, to name but a few of this three day festival’s lineup. This year, LodeStar have gone all out and secured Sir Bob Geldof as Saturday’s headline act, alongside The GO! Team and Michele Stodart (of The Magic Numbers) headlining the Friday and Sunday respectively. Only a partial line-up has been announced so far, but with the likes of BIGkids, Ryan Keen and Frankie Rose already booked, it promises to be an epic three days of musical delight. Doug, LodeStar organiser and land owner, has dreamt since his teenage years of staging a festival on the land his family have cared for and worked on for generations. Understandably then, he and the rest of the LodeStar team put a great deal of thought and effort into planning the festival to make it one of Cambridgeshire’s top festivals. Special care goes into hand picking the caterers and market stall traders for the festival. Let’s face it, festival food is usually the worst offender for high cost and low standards, but the priority for LodeStar is to supply quality local produce to create delicious menus for its customers. The market stalls offer around the world product as well as local ones, so there’s something for everyone. Alongside the wonderful music and tasty food, there are charities putting on special events to fundraise in unique, entertaining ways. From comedians to make you laugh you’re way to the headliners and outside events such as dizzying Zorbing - do not attempt after a few beer - and uplifting power kiting, for those who want to try their hand at breaking the land speed record, LodeStar has it all on your doorstep. So if you want music, good and a good time, and aren’t looking to travel far this summer, then LodeStar will be that summer weekend you’ll never forget! For more information and to get tickets, log on to: lodestarfestival.com.
Meet Sarah Louse. She is sixteen years old, from South Cambridgeshire and began playing guitar and writing songs in 2009. and Unsigned, and has featured on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire as well as in the 4th annual Cambridge Busking Festival. She has been a regular in the Cambridge busking scene ever since. You are so young at 16, what encouraged you to start busking? It was a New Year’s resolution because I’ve always wanted to be a singer. Last year I decided that it was the best way to earn money and that going out in public was a great way
at their pub, which was great. What sort of music do you cover and do you ever perform your own songs? Mostly pop or covers that are bit more folky - I sing my own stuff a lot, which is also folk/pop. What is your favorite song to sing at the moment? Lego House by Ed Sheeran Which song do you think gets the best reaction from an audience? I sing my own songs because if you know they don’t know the song and they’re having a good reaction to it, it’s got to be pretty good – you can’t ask for anything more, really. Do you perform anywhere else that we should know about? Any upcoming gigs? I perform at the Alma’s open mic nights regularly on Wednesdays. Finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years time with regards to music? Hopefully in the charts!
Written by Christine Macdonald