Hard Rock Calling 2013: Sunshine, plastic grass and no mud!

Saturday 29th June 2013

Hard Rock Calling; the sun shone brightly as we strolled down the wide paths of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into the open space where the main stage lay in front of us. Crowds were already making themselves at home on the plastic grass, enjoying the sunshine and the catchy rock melodies of Lower than Atlantis. Across the bridge, and when I say bridge, we found the other two music venues crammed right next to each other fighting to be heard. U-turn back to the main stage and Kodaline, were winning over new fans, their mandolin led tune 'Love like this' was an instant hit and unexpected highlight of the festival.

As the day progressed, the crowds began to fill into the main stage where Miles Kane played an electric set, filled with wild solos and sing along moments, the momentum really began to pick up. Paul Weller played through all the classics to a crowd that loved it, ‘That’s entertainment’, ‘What you give is what you get’ and of course, everyone went wild singing ‘Town called Malice’.

Almost an hour later Kasabian were ready to start, the stage transformed from all black to brilliant white, cheers rose from the crowd they walked on stage for their debut at Hard Rock Calling. Tom Meighan screams ‘All humans on the earth, raise your hands to the f***ing hands to the sky!’ The beat drops, with a full LED screen behind them and a string quartet to help out, this it seems, was what we'd all been waiting for. Hit after hit from their 2004 album, heavy beats and rock anthems combined to make a great show, we paused for a quieter moment with 'Everybody's got to learn some time' A few tracks later, cue the unforgettable piano intro to Fatboy slim’s epic tune ‘Praise you like I should’ supported by the sustained and piercing notes of the trumpet, mashed up into L.S.F. It was truly epic. As crowd cheered for the encore the heavy drum and bass sounds of Switchblade Smiles began, but swathes of people reluctantly had to leave, it was a good gig, but not worth missing the last train home.

Sunday 30th June 2013

From early on the next afternoon there was a buzz in the air. The crowds which had been decent the day before, now swelled across the roads and pavements on the way to the park, and everywhere we looked were American flag bandana’s, and Bruce Springsteen t-shirts. If we hadn’t known any better we would have thought we were about to attend the Bruce Springsteen fan-club convention. We could have played Bruce Bingo with the huge variety of fan t-shirts we spotted. Walking to the main stage the soulful tones of Alabama Shakes greeted us, they were a perfect warm-up for the day, and a female vocalist was a welcome break to our ears form the men that dominated the line-up, the day before.

We really enjoyed Josh Doyle’s set in the Hard Rock Rising Tent, though it was a shame when his ballad, 'I figured the world out' was overpowered by the Pepsi Max stage only a stone’s throw away. As the Hard Rock Calling hot air balloon rose a few feet off the ground we chilled out in the Olympic garden, then slowly idled our way towards the main stage once again to watch legends of rock 'n' roll, The Black Crows. It was an hour of guitar solos, and old school rockers singing along to 'Hard to handle', but now everyone was ready for Bruce.

In fact everyone had been ready for Bruce all day.

As usual Bruce did not disappoint, the E-Street band were on top form, from 'Born in the USA' to 'Dancing in the Dark', where his mum joined to dance on stage and his little sister played guitar with him it was the family Springsteen show, pretty much all the essentials were covered. Encore after encore, the e-street band played relentlessly to a crowd that could not get enough until unexpectedly it seemed the band had enough, the show ended, half an hour before the program said. I wonder, did budget cuts mean that Bruce and his band also need to catch the last train home? Or was this just a statement about last year’s catastrophe, when the power was cut before the end of the show guest starring Paul McCartney. Either way, we all walked away happy and caught the last train home.

This years Hard Rock Calling Festival organisers made a bold move by moving the festival into the Olympic grounds, and in some ways it was a great venue, but we couldn’t help but feel the festival was dwarfed by the magnitude of the grounds, with only three venues, and little else to see, there simply wasn’t enough going on to fill out the huge space. On top of this, it seemed like all the attention was put on the main stage bookings and the two smaller stages, which in many festivals provide some of the most memorable gigs were relegated to the back fighting over each other to be heard. Regardless of that, the sun shone, there was some great acts, and absolutely no trace of mud, that's pretty good going for a festival in the UK.

Leeds Festival 2012

Leeds and Reading festivals are probably two of the biggest music events in the UK, time and time again they bring in the biggest and brightest acts of the year as well as legendary performances from bands that have stood the test of time and this year was no exception.

Friday was by far the best day with Foo Fighters headlining the Main Stage, they gave an outstanding performance that lasted two and a half hours playing songs like Everlong, Best of You and Monkey Wrench.  It felt like almost everyone at the festival turned up to watch them and though fireworks mark the end of the show they definitely didn't mark the end of the night.

The complete high that everyone felt after the first nights headlining act meant that Saturdays headliners were a bit of a disappointment. Though the day and was packed with quality bands such as; Bombay Bicycle Club, Hadouken!, Paramore, Proxies and The Hives, The Cure just seemed like a bit of a let down in comparison to the Foo Fighters, their set dragged on longer than it should have, half the crowd had left after the first hour to see what else was going on, and as they finished with that one song that everybody knew (Boys Don’t Cry) it was almost like the band was as glad as the people watching that their set had finished.

Sunday was yet another day with quality bands to enjoy, in particular we loved indie-pop band Los Campesinos!, Billy Talent, The Shins, and NME Stage Headliners, At the Drive In. On top of this there was tonnes of great comedy to chill out and watch, we really enjoyed Jason Byrne and Jimmy McGhie.

Highlights for us this year were, Anti Flag, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the crowd surfing cereal boxes and Foo Fighters, but we couldn't help feeling like Leeds played second fiddle to Reading all weekend.  Green Day played a surprise set at Reading on Friday, which much to our disappointment, was not repeated at Leeds and having the Foo Fighters play on the first night instead of the last like they did at Reading, meant the festival didn’t really end on a high,  the way it would if they had been the ones to close the festival.

Nevertheless, the line-up was still great and the venues really work well together, the only thing we felt Leeds lacked was a bit of character, its all about the music at Leeds and we cant fault them for that but a few more quirky smaller venues definitely wouldn't hurt.

Bruce Springsteen’s Wig, Haggis and the Fight against Cynicism, just another afternoon with Hue and Cry

We caught up with the Scottish duo Pat and Gregory Kane from Hue and Cry at Isle of Wight before their set on the main stage on Saturday, to talk about their latest musical ventures and sticking it out in the music industry for the long haul.  It turned into a conversation about wigs and cynicism…standard.

SFG: You've just started touring your new album hows that going?

Gregory: We did a series of stripped back tours just Pat and I on our own, and we played beautiful theatres all over England, from way down south, Bournemouth to all the way up north in Newcastle.  And we've just reached out to all the people that liked Hue and Cry in England for the past two months, and there was a great response.

How have you found playing such a stripped back tour, compared to playing with a full band?

Pat:  When you're playing acoustically, the stakes are higher.  When you're facing an audience, of  three hundred or four hundred people every note counts and every moment counts, its quite exhausting, draining actually because you have to commit to it.  I’m not saying you can be indifferent with a band but at least there’s seven other people around you.  You play your part in a collective production as it were, not everything relies on you.  Where as with me and Gregory its just the melody and the chords and the words and the keys and the guitar, but that can be magical.

SFG: As a band an as a song writing collaborative you've have been able to carve out a career over a long period of time.  In a day of flash-in-the-pan artists and bands that break down after one or two albums how have you managed to continue working together?

P:  Well brothers don’t beat themselves to a bloody pulp…usually.  They usually figure out ways to sustain each other so, we have a deep relationship and a deep musical relationship.  We keep coming back to drinking from that well, cause its inexhaustible.  

G:  Its a vocation for me, I love what I do, I've made music my whole life since I learned how to play the piano at 9 years old, 34 years later I’m still here playing the piano.  I did a paper round to help pay for my first saxophone.

SFG: Do you think your songwriting process has changed significantly or do you still work in the same way?

P:  We're quite naïve songwriters; we kind of write from the heart and don't really copy any body and don’t write for a market.  We write for ourselves.  A lot of the songwriters I know who are much more successful than us are a bit more cynical than that.  We've never really done that, we just get together and we sit ourselves in a room around a piano or a guitar and we see what happens.  We don’t plan it out.  And in the production side of it, then we'll decide what kind of record we want it to be.

SFG: How have you managed not to become cynical?

P:  Because we couldn’t stand up and sing it with a straight face…We feel we've spent our whole careers trying not to be cynical in what we do.  We lasted five years in major-record-company-land; touring with Madonna and playing with James Brown, and that was enough.  The last album we did, the third album, was the most eclectic thing we'd done, a seven piece jazz outfit from Edinburgh and our poor London record company were scratching their heads thinking 'Oh no what are they doing?'  I think that was the final straw for them, we wouldn’t go and write with who ever had the last hit.  Seymour Stein one of the most famous A&R men from the eighties; he discovered Bruce Springsteen, flew over to Glasgow to see us and we met with him and saw the potential in us.  He saw it in us, but we didn’t see what he saw, so we didn’t go with him.

G:  I told him, I couldn't work with someone who had a leather piano key tie, and a Les Paul badge, so that was it.  I wonder if he'll be here with Springsteen tomorrow we could say Hi to him.  We also have to ask him if he's got a wig on.

SFG:  Springsteen or Stein?

G:  Bruce, its definitely a wig.

P: Yeh.

SFG:  If we could make it really windy…?

P: Oh no, its a rock wig, its beautiful.

G: I was thinking a fishing line…

SFG:  So anyway…What's the best festival that you guys have ever played?

P:  We played the Cork Jazz Festival many moons ago and it was the wildest jazz audience.  Appreciative wild Irish passionate audience,its the best festival I’ve ever done.

G: They were soaked in there own urine most of the time.

P: Oh yeh, not pretty, but they were an appreciative jazz audience.

SFG: For new listeners, How would you describe your music?

G: Erm, basically, if you scrunch together the lyrical ambition of Elvis Costello, with the musical eclecticism of Prince and Steely Dan, and then put it in a haggis wrapper…

P: and boil it…

G:  Boil it and then eat it…

P: and then shit it out.

G:  Shit it out…but draw nutrients from it in the process. 

P:  That would be Hue and Cry.

Isle of Wight Festival 2012 Review

We arrived on the Isle of Wight fearing the worst, news of the chaos, mud and traffic nightmares had bombarded us from every side.  When we finally arrived at the festival we began to see what all the fuss was about, every path was ankle deep in mud for miles.  After a mild disagreement with a gust of wind, we managed to put up our tent successfully then, with some well earned food and a drink in us, we headed down to explore the main festival grounds.  On our way we saw the wreckage that the mud had caused already; tents had been abandoned, covered in mud and the festival area itself wasn't looking any better.  But drawn to the sound of Noah and the Whale we caught the last two songs of their set, and that put us right back in the mood for a great weekend.  Fridays highlights for us were surprisingly Elbow; the four piece band from Manchester who drew us in with the beautiful sweeping melodies from their latest album 'Build a rocket boys', and old time rockers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who were just great fun to watch. 

Saturday started off slow, Signals a new band from Southampton played the main stage in the morning to an enthusiastic audience, and as the afternoon rolled in excitement began to grow for performances from Jessie J and Tinie Tempah.  Then a complete crowd switch before Biffy Clyro pulled out an amazing set, which not only sounded great but was visually stunning too and after Pearl Jam, we headed down to the very crammed venue Hipshakers to end the night as it always should, with a bit of funk. 

We didn’t think it was possible but, the last day brought with it even more mud, nevertheless we set out to explore the smaller venues on site such as Kashmir Café where we found a ukulele orchestra, performing renditions of Amy Winehouse songs and Life's a Beach where a limbo competition was taking place.  We caught Switchfoot play a solid set in the Big Top and then waded to the Main Stage to catch Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds finish their set with some old school Oasis songs.  Someone didn’t seem to enjoy that as much we did though, because they tried to throw a flare and Noel's head, thankfully it missed.  Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band closed the night with an outstanding three hour long set, which we did not expect to enjoy as much as we did.  His fourteen piece band engaged the crowd like no one else had and left everyone wanting more as they performed their version of, 'Twist and Shout' and fireworks marked the end of yet another successful Isle of Wight Festival.

Overall the weekend had a good atmosphere, some great acts and a few quirky venues.  The mud and the transport issues were unfortunate and more could have been done to resolve the issues quicker but it didn’t stop anyone at the festival from enjoying themselves.  We thought that the main venues were great, but the smaller venues were too few and lacked a little bit of imagination.  If you're looking to discover new bands in quirky venues with a handmade feel, you might leave the island a little let down, but if you're looking to go to a festival with established headliners, and main stream acts, with a relatively chilled out atmosphere then your bound to have a great time at Isle of Wight Festival, but don't forget to bring your wellies…just in case.

Liverpool Sound City 2012

300 bands, 19 venues, a music expo, the student music awards and an industry conference crammed into 3 short days. Is it possible? Well according to Sound City, yes. Born in 2008 its grown from strength to strength and this year was set to bring bigger acts from a wider range of genres than ever before. Headliners included, Professor Green, Temper Trap and Alkaline Trio among a host of other local and international acts. Armed with a festival map and a list as long as our arms of bands we wanted to see, we headed down to check out the action.

After a few misses, another attempt with google maps, and some friendly bar staff we managed to find our first venue, a little later than we'd hoped, to catch the Mystery Jets, woo an audience back to optimism and a belief in love at first sight. The band was tight and sounded as harmonic as ever, and the crowd, loved every minute of it. We're not sure the venue itself was a real life music venue in its everyday existence, in fact, we're pretty certain it was a dressed up car garage, but, we'll give it to them, it worked.

Other highlights for us were Alkaline Trio, performing the last date of their European tour at the O2 academy and GhostPoet who played an intimate gig at a great boutique theatre style music venue called The Kazimier, performing tracks like 'Survive It' from his latest album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam. If anyone had any doubt about this artist's skill and talent, they were forgotten by the time he finished with his infectious hit Cash and Carry Me Home.

Overall the festival was a mixture of chaos and good fun, if map reading isn’t your forte you may find yourself wandering aimlessly through the back alleys of Liverpool, but once you found where you wanted to be, you're sure to have a good night.


Greenbelt Festival 2011 Review by Christina Boonstra

The August bank holiday weekend is a feast for all festival lovers. With events littered across the country, you can gorge yourself on festivals till you pass out from exhaustion. From the majors like Leeds, Reading and Cream Fields, to the niche folk festivals scattered all across the country, the festival goer must choose carefully, before carelessly throwing away such a precious weekend in the festival calender.
So out of all the things happening that weekend, why would anyone decide to go to Greenbelt?
That's the very thing we were thinking as we accustomed ourselves with the festival lay out on Friday afternoon. After pitching tent, and gathering our bearings, we turned our eyes to the program and begin to feel a little dizzy with choice.
Greenbelt claims to cram arts, faith, and justice, into one short weekend at Cheltenham racecourse, resulting in 30 venues packed with debates, discussions, performances, music, food and comedy. 
On Friday, we wandered around like lost children trying to make sense of it all. Made ourselves feel a little better, by taking pictures sitting on a tiny horse statue, and then, got down to the serious business of figuring this festival out. Flight Brigade, a seven piece folk band began the night early on the Underground stage, and by the time it came to Billy Bragg's rather bizarre headlining set on the Main stage, Greenbelt was really growing on us.
Determined to rise to challenge of taking in everything Greenbelt had to offer, we woke, relatively early on Saturday morning in order to seize the day. But instead, we watched on as much early birds took part in a spot of yoga outside the Performance café, caught the end of a set by Rend Collective, and realised that trying to take part in a meditation workshop when you're starving, does not work. After leaving the class as inconspicuously as possible, we feasted on possibly the best choice of festival food we’ve ever seen, from home made sausage and mash, to falafel, it made a great day, even better.
One thing that struck us about this festival is the amount of children present. There was a real family feel, but not in an annoying screaming for ice cream kind of way. A very relaxed vibe, where you'll see retired hippies, chatting to young parents as the Franciscan monks walk by (yes we said Franciscan monks).   Mingled in with artists like the Duke Special, having a pint at the festival's very own local, the Jesus Arms.
Greenbelt is unique in many ways, it brings together great performances such as Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and Idlewild, with up and coming music talent and comedy, as well as a host of drama and dance performances housed in unique venues with a home made feel about them. At this festival you're more likely to be queuing up for a show at The Playhouse than for a pint. But, if all the festivals you've been to lately seem to have blurred into one, maybe next summer spend your precious bank holiday weekend on Greenbelt, it will definitely be different.
(4 stars)

Heineken Open’er Festival 2011 Review

It was the tenth anniversary of the Heineken Open’er this year and with headlining acts including; Prince, Coldplay and The Strokes, this years was a line up that rivalled any other main stream festival. Situated in the north of Poland, it might not be the first to come to mind when thinking about going away to a festival next summer, but it’s soon making a name for itself for as an international festival. We arrived on Friday morning having, much to our dismay, missed sets by Daktari, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Paulo Nutini and Coldplay, but that was not to get in the way of a great line up for day two. Once we’d battled with the wind and rain to set up our tent, we set off to explore the festival grounds, but came to find that they were actually a bit of a ghost town. Each day the festival grounds didn’t open until four, so until then, there wasn’t actually anything happening.
Heineken Opener
The festival really only got going at around 8:30pm with Abraham Inc. opening on the World Stage, a blend of Klezmer music, funk, hip hop and jazz, with a beat so infectious, the crowd though soaking wet, could hardly contain themselves, and neither could we. Headlining on the main stage, Pulp performed a set that no one would easily forget, as the rain poured relentlessly on to the stage the band refused defeat and continued playing to a soaking wet, yet wildly adoring audience. The frenzy culminating as Jarvis Cocker screamed out to the crowd, ‘Gdansk would you like to Gdance?‘ and they did, breaking out into manic dancing the party continued regardless of the stormy weather.
Day three, like day two, got off to a slow start. We were rudely awakened at a ridiculous time, (before midday), by music blaring out from speakers set up on the camp site. Not cool. Forced to get up, we trudged to the town to find some warm food, before the festival kicked off again. Prince, put on an amazing show, confetti cannons, four encores and fireworks, he never did do things by halves did he? Day four brought with it the sunshine that we had been expecting all along, and These new Puritans, as well as a set by James Blake were truly breathtaking. The clash of organic sounds and tribal rhythms, with the produced sounds of the synths, make These New Puritans absolutely unmissable. And James Blake’s, pensive melodies, artful use of delay and relatively small band left chills running down our spines.
These New Puritans
On the main stage that night, The Strokes opened with ‘New York City Cops’ and continued to play almost their entire début album, to an ecstatic crowd. Then Deadmau5 took over to close the festival with an unforgettable set which the crowd absolutely loved, it was the perfect end to an almost flawless festival.
As we left for the final time, we had little to complain about, the Heineken Open’er definitely competed with all the major festivals around today, but there was something missing. If festivals are about the music alone, then the Heineken really did deliver, but, if its about more than that, if its about the experience of being taken to a new world, of street artists, creative spaces, quirky venues, and a unique shared experience, then this festival comes up short.
The big sponsor, left little room for any sort of character, everywhere we looked there was the Heineken logo, and though drinks were way cheaper than you will ever find them at a UK festival, the choice was Heineken and nothing else. If you want to explore a new city, and go to a festival with a line up pretty similar to a UK main stream festival, then the Open’er is great, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique and quirky then this probably isn’t it.

Parklife Weekender 2011 Review

From Piccadilly station, across the city centre, and over to Fallowfield, a buzz of anticipation spread across town, as Manchester geared up for the return of Parklife Festival. Only in its second year, Parklife has a growing reputation for a party that you won’t soon forget. If waking up in a soggy sleeping bag isn’t your style, then this urban festival offers the best of both worlds; a weekend crammed with great music, without the pain of figuring out how to set up a tent. Relatively small, with only seven venues over two days, Parklife does all it can to pack as much as possible into that short time.  From the relentless beats of the Chibuku tent on Saturday, to the best sounds coming out of Manchester in the Now Wave venue on Sunday, not to mention, the massive acts lighting up the main stage; Parklife may look small, but it’s one big weekend.


Following the crowds pouring into the park on Saturday afternoon, we were welcomed by Everything Everything, giving it their all up on the main stage, to an already pumped up crowd.  As we explored the rest of the park, walking past the Chibuku tent, whose heavy bass already had the place packed out, we came across the secret garden; fabric art installations by Donna Jevens and the Elephant collective, as well as bath tubs to sit in and watch as spoken word acts, and buskers perform on their own stage.  This slightly surreal, dreamscape installation was alive with people enjoying a rest from the unyielding party that continued on just around the corner. If that wasn’t already enough to spark our curiosity, past the spoken word, circus acts and tunnels of love, we came across the Truly Treemendous Treehouse Stage, which housed silent disco DJ’s in a tree, as well as a dance floor and some giant vegetable seating for everyone else to enjoy.

Back to the main stage, and Beardyman had replaced Everything Everything, enchanting crowds with his almost unbelievable beat boxing skills, cross over to the Now Wave tent to catch Jamie XX start off his set, and as the audience throw themselves into the rhythms, it was hard to believe that it was only six o’clock. Katy B’s clear vocals cut across the park, and drew the crowd back to watch her perform tracks like Broken Record and Perfect Stranger, with a completely different feel to her recorded work.  Live band, coupled with a small brass section gave the set a more soulful feel than her latest album allowed for.  

Katy B

With the sun setting over the festival main stage, and the carnival atmosphere continuing, before we knew it, debut festival headliners Two Door Cinema Club, began their electrifying set.  Playing tracks from their album, Tourist History, as well as new materiel with an infectious beat, they left the crowd screaming for more. As the throng poured out of the park and into numerous after parties, we were left to wonder, how could tomorrow top a night like this?

Day two broke with the sun rising over the city, but soon gave way to a more traditional UK festival climate. The rain transformed green grass pathways into mud planes, and we rejoiced as mudslides and wrestling commenced and the multitude turned from an array of colour to slimy brown. It was inevitable really, and nothing was going to get in the way of a great line up for day two.

In the Juicy tent, rammed all the way to the entrance, one of our Parklife highlights was Riot Jazz, a ten piece brass band, who pumped out a combination of punchy jazz, hip-hop, and funk beats, in true style.  Making it impossible for anyone to be standing still, as tune after high energy tune blasted out in ecstasy before the rain drenched audience. The energy was astounding and just as we thought the crowd couldn’t dance any longer Broke n English took over to prove us wrong. Torn between staying to watch the set, and catching Labrinth’s debut festival appearance, we pulled ourselves away to head to the main stage, but before making it there, we crossed paths with a samba band and crowds dancing behind them. 


The rain had stopped, but the mud was rising with Labrinth’s opening song to his first ever festival crowd. And after a bass heavy set from Skream & Benga, two thirds of legendary magnetic man, the air was heavy with anticipation as the crowds waited expectantly for day two main stage headliners, Chase & Status.  With pounding rhythms, and heavy bass, soaring melodies, and awesome visuals, not one person was standing still as the main stage lit up for the final act of the year. And though sweat poured down their mud caked faces, the audience were swept away by a performance that kept getting better. Before leaving we popped into Now Wave to find a crowd of dancers falling in love with the crushed harmonies, and catchy melodies of Mystery Jets. And as our tired legs left Platt Field Park for the final time, we couldn’t help but think that Parklife, will only keep getting better.


Interview with Dreadzone

You’ll be playing Glade and Glastonbury this year; will you be sticking round to watch any other artists? If so who are you most looking forward to?
Trentmoller is on the Friday at Glade so will definitely be catching him. He is one of my favourite artists, in fact one of the most innovative in the whole electronic music scene. It is possible that we willonly be there for the one day though so will only be checking people on that day.
Your live performances are known to be very different from your studio work, what can fans expect from the live shows coming up this summer?
A lot of energy and a bunch of tunes from our best of Dreadzone release ‘The Good, The Bad and The Dread’ plus some from our last album ‘Eye on the Horizon’. As myself and Leo have been off doing Big Audio Dynamite shows we are bringing back a high level of playing power into our set, so it should be well bouncing.
How do you think your 2010 album ‘Eye On the Horizon’ album translates to a live setting?
We play quite a lot from the new album and it translates really well. They are quite song orientated so maybe more linear stuff will work better at Glade. Different tunes work for different shows but the new stuff stands up well next to the more well known tunes.
You guys have seen some big changes in the music industry since the days of playing with Big Audio Dynamite, how do you think the industry has changed since then?
The landscape has changed so much that its a challenge to keep fresh enough to stay afloat.  There is lot less long term investment so its harder to build a band, the benefits are it makes more artists be more independent and understand the mechanics of the industry.
Has this affected the live shows that you do?
It has meant that a lot more work comes from the touring and less from the records. We always seem to be on the road, especially at festivals
You released a greatest hits album recently, are there plans to record some fresh material?
I am currently working up a lot of new ideas for a Dreadzone library album and that will form the basis of our next record. We are always writing and formulating new ideas. The next Dreadzone album will be more live, dynamic and be made quicker than the last. And a bit more rock and roll
With Big Audio Dynamite on tour again, you’re only playing a few gigs this summer, does that mean Dreadzone is on hold for now, or do you have plans for the band once the B.A.D tour is over?
We are trying hard to keep the two in tandem, some of the BAD schedule affects the Dreadzone schedule for a few months but we have a full UK tour planned for Dreadzone for late summer/autumn plus a bunch of festivals. Dreadzone are never on hold.
What artists are you listening to at the moment? What are the most played tracks on your IPod?

Trentmoller, Foo Fighters, Dubstep, film soundtracks, Led Zeppelin, Jamie Woon, James Blake, 140 breaks, Queens of the Stone Age
You’ve seen the dub, dubstep and electronica scene change and grow over the past years what do you think will be the next thing to shape the UK music scene?
It’s impossible to know where the innovation will come from next but am pleased to see and hear stuff that comes from dub foundations to make an impact on the scene so much. The space, production and ideas are so forward thinking.
Interview by Tina Boonstra
Dreadzone’s latest album, The Good, The Bad and The Dread, is out now, click here to buy it.

For a list of upcoming shows visit: www.myspace.com/gregdread