NozStock 2015 Review

Have you heard of Nozstock before? I wouldn't blame you if you haven't. This modest 5000 capacity festival, aptly sub-headed 'The Hidden Valley' is hidden deep within the Herefordshire countryside- near the Hamlet of Bromyard. Now in it's Seventeenth year, Nozstock has established itself a dedicated fanbase of locals, and those from increasingly further afield. Each year has a theme, and this year's- A Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, saw the site lovingly decorated in everything space. The theming did stop there though, with space related workshops and activities for the younger members of families and the audience, those tired from listening to music could retreat to any of the activities area to participate in Jetpack making, building spaceships, rockets, blacksmithing, to the vaguely advertised 'Space crafting' (at the Enchanted Glade 17:00 Sunday).

In my now seemingly traditional festival journey, a gruelling 8 hour drive down to Bromyard at lunchtime had me pitching my tent in darkness, in the hammering rain, undeterred from enjoying ourselves, we set off to explore the site and listen to some music.

Nozstock festival has an intriguing demographic, due to it's diverse acts -as you will hopefully read throughout this writeup- and as the night draws on, the crowd grows wilder, heading down to the COPPICE, BULLPEN, and CUBICLES stages, all dedicated to different styles of Dance, Electro, Dub, 2 Step, Hip-Hop, Garage, Basscore and Drum 'n' Bass. Admittedly, upon arrival; and without any prior knowledge of the festival I was worried that my only dance move 'Big fish, Little fish, Cardboard box' wouldn't last me throughout the weekend and I would be ousted as an impostor of dance and electro music. Much to my relief, the friendly crowds didn't catch on.

Heading to the Orchard Stage for NEVILLE STAPLE BAND's headline set, we caught a jam packed performance full of crowd skanking in the mud, churning up the sodden floor, kicking the first night of music off with a energetic and tight performance. It has to be noted however- that this festival breaks the tradition of curfew by 11, or half past, with headline sets on the mainstage starting as late as 23:45, with smaller bands playing throughout the site to as late as 2:40, before music stopping around 3:30. The site however is fantastically laid out with sound from each stage not spilling over into over crowds, and bearing in mind that it only takes 10 minutes to complete a circuit of the site, this is a seemingly impossible but well realised feat.

SATURDAY

We kicked off Saturday with HIPICAT, winners of the 'Gigslutz PlayNoz 2015' competition, who brought the new day in with easy to process (for those hungover) Psychedellic rock. Luckily the rain for Saturday had abated, and throughout the day, the churned mess in front of the stage dried out enough to sit down and enjoy the weather. As mentioned earlier, before around 8pm the day had a completely different vibe to the night time, becoming more diverse musically, and more appealing to families with younger children. South African loop pedal artist, JEREMY LOOPS wowed the afternoon crowd with multilayered tunes consisting of massive harmonies, beatboxing, harmonicas and guitar arrangements that have taken him around the world, picking up bits of culturally diverse sounds and mashing them up into a impressive set.

It has to be said about the hospitality of the NozStock press team, which was second to none. Instantly upon arrival, Damo and Nolly were on hand to answer any questions about the site or anything else, and organising a press picnic on Saturday was the icing on the cake. ROZELLE treated an unfortunately modest crowd to an expertly crafted set of Indie Rock tunes, and personally I thought they would have been better suited to a later slot than they were given, or been allocated a place on one of the bigger stages at a similar time. As the evening grew cold, back on the Orchard Stage SKINNY LISTER kept the crowd warm with their pub folk tunes, rallying mass dance offs, swaying, and mass cheers to a highly energetic set.

As are most festivals, NozStock is not just limited to stages for music, with the Wrong Directions Cinema Tent providing short and feature length films throughout the day, the Laughing Stock stage promoting comedy, and Bantam of the Opera & Velveteen Valley offering magic, theatre and late night cabaret to indulge in. Saturday's comedy headline came from Seann Walsh, who through his blend of current topics, anecdotes about living with his girlfriend and stand up comebacks gave the audience 40 minutes of non-stop laughter.

WU-TANG CLAN's set was flawless, apart from the fact that they didn't actually show up. Pulling out of the festival late last week, they had yet to provide a reason for this late and very unprofessional cancellation by Saturday. The disappointment throughout the crowd was noted, with expletives slamming Wu-Tang's to be found scrawled on toilets around the site. Fortunately DE LA SOUL was on hand to provide a heavy and incredibly well received set, expertly encouraging crowd response, easily drawing the biggest crowd of the weekend.

SUNDAY

The clouds burst early Sunday morning, turning the just dried ground back into a sloshy mess. This however didn't dampen spirits, as the crowds were back out in full force come 4pm for TANTZ's high octane Yiddish dance music set. Combining elements of reggae, electro swing, power-klezma, rock, dub and upbeat insanity, Aaran Kent riled the crowd up into a frenzy between -and whilst- on Clarinet duties. TANTZ, despite the miserable weather were able to deliver a hard hitting set that was without fault, and one of my favourite of the day.

The eclectic mixture of artists over the stages was impressive, and NozStock seemingly taking pride in promoting a lot of local and nearby artists, giving the crowds the opportunity to take a punt on many bands that they may not have heard of. This is a great attitude to have when organising a festival, as the promotion of smaller artists is invaluable to those working as musicians.

MR B THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER graced NozStock with two sets on Sunday, one at the Orchard Stage, and a later set on The Bandstand. The well spoken ambassador of rhythmic lyricisms split his catalogue for the event, self notedly playing more of his pop ditties earlier in the day, before giving a more chap-hop set in the evening. MR B's one man quest to 'introduce Hip-hop to the manners of the Queen's English' went down a treat, building a solid rapport with the crowd throughout the duration of his set. We stopped to eat later by the Orchard Stage whilst BROKEN BRASS EMSEMBLE's expertly arranged set of swing tunes drew an active crowd, an act I couldn't have even imagined playing at the same festival as the one I had initially seen upon my arrival on Friday. The brass troupe from Holland would transcend from swing into funk and Hip-hop styling flawlessly, and then come straight back into big band arrangements as though it was nothing, with slick professionalism.

Sunday night drew to a close with Motown legend, MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS on the Orchard Stage. Unfortunately getting off to a late and rocky start- Martha Reeves called a abrupt end to her opening number within the first 15 seconds of coming on stage, before complaining to the sound engineers and starting over again. Martha Reeves' voice sounded a bit strained throughout their performance, but held up well regardless. Appealing to an audience of older and younger fans, it's lovely to see that the Motown Veteran's music has crossed the generations and was being sung along to, danced to, and enjoyed by such a diverse audience.

If I had to summarize NozStock 2015 in one word, it would be: Crazy.

Allow me to explain, and since being back for 12 hours (at time of writing) the 2 examples I have used to explain the unprecedented madness of this weekend to friends and family are: Firstly, the penultimate act for me this weekend involved me having to follow a guy dressed as a badger into a small room covered in zigzags where we had to dance to gain access to a secret stage, where I watched a three piece post-rock band who consisted of a Peter Serafinowicz doppelgänger and a mannequin torso on stage. And secondly, whilst out and about I saw a person dressed as a button being chased by a pack of kids with sparkly wooden spoons, attacking him under the command of a woman dressed as what looked like a salt shaker.

This weekend has been fantastic, and I would like to thank the team at NozStock for their hospitality and for such an unexpected experience, which I'd hope to experience again next year!

 

 

Wu Tang Clan cancel this weekend’s Nozstock appearance, De La Soul added to the linup

It is with great sadness and shock to Nozstock The Hidden Valley that Wu-Tang Clan have cancelled their forthcoming UK shows this weekend without any explanation as to why.

The organisers have been working around the clock since yesterday to find a suitable replacement, and are now very proud to announce that De La Soul will be joining the party this weekend for the 17th Nozstock in beautiful Bromyard.

For over 20 years they have rocked the world with their De La songs full of inscrutable samplings, whimsically irreverent lyrics, social commentary, light rhythm and laid back rhymes. They have gained huge respect within and outside the hip-hop community with their contributions to rap, as well as jazz, funk, soul and alternative genres. Not only are their musical innovations acclaimed and respected worldwide, but they paved a path for many alternative rap groups to come after them. Classic tracks include The Magic Number, Me, Myself and I and Saturdays. Their debut, the ground-breaking 3 Feet High And Rising, remains a peerless album of immense repute.

Ella Nosworthy, one of Nozstock’s founders, says: “It is with massive regret that we have to announce the cancellation of our Saturday night headliner, Wu-Tang Clan. For many of us it was going to be the highlight of our weekend and we are crestfallen that Wu-Tang Clan are going to be missing out on one of the best audiences they could ever wish for –  you guys! We have received no specific reason for the cancellation and are without control to enforce their attendance at Nozstock, we are told we will receive an official cancellation announcement by the end of this week, which we will share with everyone. In the same breath, we have to say a massive thank you to De La Soul for agreeing to headline the Orchard Stage in their place. We’re really excited to have them here and to have them step up at such very short notice, and we know they are going to put on a brilliant show for everyone. The festival itself is looking ready – the site looks incredible and we can’t wait for it all to start!”

De La Soul join an already amazing lineup which includes Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Fuse ODG, Neville Staple Band, Beardyman, Hollie Cook, Molotov Jukebox, Will and The People, By The Rivers, The Mouse Outfit ft. Dr Syntax & Sparkz, The Computers, Electric Swing Circus, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Beans on Toast and many more.

V Festival 2015 lineup complete annouce and stage splits

V Festival, sponsored by Virgin Media, is proud to announce the addition of legendary hip-hop pioneers, De La Soul to its 20th anniversary line-up. The game-changing trio will give crowds a hotly anticipated comeback performance, alongside an eclectic mix of the biggest hit-makers and rising stars of the moment.

Pendulum (DJ set), MNEK, The Coronas, Conor Maynard, Shift K3Y, Sinead Harnett, Seafret, Zac Samuel, James Glover and Nick Jonas, will complete the line-up of the summer.

Over 150,000 fans will get the chance to see the newly announced acts perform across the weekend, as they join Calvin Harris, Kasabian,Sam Smith, The Script, Stereophonics, Ellie Goulding and Spotify’s most sought-after names of 2015, George Ezra, James Bay and Hozier.

De La Soul’s Kelvin Mercer said: “Every time we perform in the UK we get the best reception, from the craziest crowds! V Festival 2015 is going to be the biggest rave of the year, so we’re looking forward to being on that stage and joining the party!”

Grammy-nominated MNEK said: “This year has been a whirlwind and it’s not over yet. I’m so chuffed to be part of such a brilliant line-up and can’t wait to get out there.”

Nick Jonas commented: “I'm honoured to join such an incredible line up at the 20th anniversary of V Festival.  My fans have been very supportive of my new music so I'm really excited to perform for them at one of the UK’s greatest festivals.”

The hottest names in music will be performing alongside hilarious comedy headliners including Russell Kane, Frankie Boyle, Shappi Khorsandi and Matt Richardson, who will all take centre stage in the Glee Club Comedy Tent.

V Festival today also announces its stage splits for 2015:

Saturday 22nd August – Weston Park / Sunday 23rd August – Hylands Park

VIRGIN MEDIA STAGE:

Calvin Harris, The Script, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, The Kooks, Ella Henderson, Gregory Porter, Imelda May

MTV STAGE:

Stereophonics, Clean Bandit, Kodaline, The Charlatans, Sigma, Maverick Sabre, Ella Eyre, Echo and the Bunnymen, Scouting for Girls, Hilltop Hoods

THE ARENA:

Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Duke Dumont, De La Soul, LunchMoney Lewis, Nick Jonas, Wretch 32, Conor Maynard, Lawson, Indiana

THE DANCE TENT:

Oliver Heldens, Philip George, Toddla T, Goldie, Marvin Humes presents Luvbug, Moxie, James Glover (Saturday and Sunday at Weston Park)

Saturday 22nd August – Hylands Park / Sunday 23rd August – Weston Park

VIRGIN MEDIA STAGE:

Kasabian, Sam Smith, Hozier, Courteeners, Annie Mac, James Bay, Marina & the Diamonds, The Proclaimers

MTV STAGE:

Olly Murs, Tom Jones, Chvrches, Labrinth, Mark Ronson DJ Set, Jess Glynne, Fuse ODG, Reverend and the Makers, Bleachers, The Coronas

THE ARENA:

Nero, Andy C, Example + DJ Wire, Pendulum DJ Set, Tove Lo, MNEK, Aston Merrygold, Sinead Harnett, Seafret

THE DANCE TENT:

Hannah Wants, DJ EZ, Mistajam, My Nu Leng, Shift K3Y, Alex Adair, Sam Feldt, Zac Samuel (Saturday and Sunday at Hylands Park)

 

Common People 2015 Full Review

Bank holiday weekend in Southampton, all the cool kids are down at the beach right? Wrong. This weekend there’s a new festival on the scene brought to you by the wonderful wizards behind Bestival and Camp Bestival and it’s called Common People. Held on the beautiful Southampton Common smack bang in the middle of town, it’s easy to get to and find places to stay, family friendly and with an eclectic line-up sure to please each and every person in your squad.

Saturday sees the likes of George The Poet energising the main stage whilst the rolling thunder of The Portsmouth Batala band is going strong in the foodie area, and people are soaking up the sunshine and sipping pitchers of cocktails on the grass. Around the corner from the Uncommon stage hides the exciting kids area, featuring a tiny chair-carousel, a massive inflatable slide and a whole host of activities from crafts to stilt walking. A group of dads are also haphazardly trying to one-up each other with their hula-hooping skills.

Over on the main stage The South Sea Alternative Choir are looking decidedly mod but are banging out some classic covers from the likes of The Beatles and Blur. The VIP area is awash with sunbathing bodies on the woven canopy beds and the arena is starting to fill up for the masked Ninja DJ, Jaguar Skills. Jag’s set starts out loud and heavy, mixing in his musical influences and pop culture references, The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’ makes an appearance, as does the festival’s (already much played) namesake tune ‘Common People’ from Pulp. Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ gets a round of applause from the Dad contingent, and everyone loves a bit of Faithless ‘Insomnia’. It’s a powerful set, if a little weird to witness in the daytime, instead of a dark grimy warehouse. 

DJ Yoda is up next, a Bestival stalwart who usually has an incredible AV show, which was advertised but doesn’t seem to have materialised. Nonetheless, Yoda’s mixes are seamless and the guy just looks permanently happy. From Macklemore to The Sugar Hill Gang, Chic to the Sesame Street theme, DJ Yoda just knows how to deliver a great set.

Following Yoda comes De La Soul, who spend the first few minutes of their show joking with the crowd and calling “Can all the photographers, all the journalists down here, just put their cameras down for a second and put one hand up in the air… and get down” as well as teasing the VIP area saying “VIP? We don’t do that bullshit”. Their no-nonsense style brings out the gangsta in the crowd, and there are random gang signs being thrown up all over. 

Around 8pm appears to be dinner time in the south, as the queues stretch out in front of each food outlet, but the offerings are better than your average city festival. No dodgy burgers or disappointing noodles to be had here – it’s gourmet grilled cheese for us (brie, pear and walnut) from a little independent trader, washed down with a cocktail from the Day of the Dead Cocktail Bus.

Big Top headliners Waze & Odyssey are going off and the stripy tent is bouncing as the sun goes down. The Main stage welcomes firm festival favourite and long time Rob-da-Bank pal Norman Cook, also known as the epic Fatboy Slim. Bringing out a choir to intro ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ is a touch of genius and something completely special, even to those who have had the pleasure of seeing a Fatboy Slim show before. With his creepy white mask torn off, and signature Hawaiian shirt out and proud, Norm hypes up the packed arena with a host of hits and mixes at ear-bleeding levels, and everyone loves it. There’s something pretty exciting about seeing parents and teens raving alongside each other, covered in neon paint and totally lost in the music together. Giant inflatable balls are thrown out for ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and the crowd is going absolutely mental. Finishing up with lasers and another choral rendition of ‘Praise You’, it’s clear that Fatboy Slim has made Common People his own, and to top it off a barrage of fireworks breaks out as the sitewide exodus into town begins.

 

 

Read our Fatboy Slim review here

Sunday starts out a little cooler and there are decidedly less people in early, though judging by the state of some of last night’s revellers, that may be down to hangover recovery in nearby hotels and homes. Over on The Uncommon Stage a decent crowd has gathered for young bid-winners The Costellos who thank everyone for coming out to see them, before diving headlong into a fun and energetic set.

People are dancing on benches and drinking cocktails out of hollowed out watermelons over at the Day of The Dead bus, whilst the West End Kids put on a great main stage show. It’s a pretty clever and creative idea for the early slot at a festival actually, something that is lively and entertaining but can be sat and watched, it’s a wonder more festivals haven’t yet tried it. DJ Craig Charles wants everyone to know that his alter egos from Red Dwarf, Coronation Street, Takeshi’s Castle and Robot Wars are ‘not him’, and that he’s just a DJ who loves to play funk and soul. Despite a bit of a mishap repeating ‘Uptown Funk’ at the beginning, it’s a set that dragged the masses from their bums to the front for a good old boogie.

Following on comes the unstoppable and lewd force of The Cuban Brothers. For those who’ve never seen them before, it is a life-lesson in exactly what the watershed exists for. The cheeky chaps bounce around the stage break dancing and throwing shapes like there’s no tomorrow, with a couple of big jumps and lifts from One-Erection and Kengo-San, some head-spinning and of course an almost-nude run around the gangway by Miguel. Archerio in a lycra fringed onesie is an image which could haunt a child, but luckily his moves are memorable and there are more than a few kids worryingly trying to imitate his twerking. Miguel carries a kids-only chant for “Kenny… the bastard” before making up his own little ditty about touching husbands’ wives whilst they go to the bar… #miguelitomumtouch. Yelling “I’ve had five punnets of nose-whisky” to explain why he can’t run for Mayor of Southampton, Miguel drops into ‘Mike for President’ and the crowd is loving it.

Next up, Kitty, Daisy and Lewis are joined onstage by enough equipment to power the London Philharmonic, which they swap and change frequently. They do a good job and play some truly beautiful music, but in terms of atmosphere, it is a bit of a comedown after the wild abandon of The Cubans. Hot band of the moment, neo-punk rockers Slaves strut onstage and launch into an aural assault of drums and riffs that would be right at home with Vyvyan and Rick from The Young Ones. Gurning like bosses they get everyone amped up, but it might be a bit more of a style over substance situation. At least ‘Cheer Up London’ is an anthem for those who’ve travelled down from the city.

Stand out performance of the day goes to BBC Sound of 2015 winners Years and Years. The unassuming electro-popsters take to their first ever festival main stage and completely blow everyone away with their mix of soulful style of house beats and beautiful vocals. ‘Titus’ and ‘Eyes Shut’ have the (extremely young and female) front row screaming at the highest pitch, and when lead singer Olly really gets into it and winds down to the stage – the mood is electric. New single ‘Shine’ is a surefire hit, and their already fan-favourites ‘Real’ and ‘Kings’ are standalone incredible. 

Band of Skulls bring a rock and roll edge to the proceedings with ‘Hoochie Coochie’ and tell the crowd “We’re so proud to be here for the first Common People, thanks to Rob for inviting us, we hope this goes on for a very long time”. ‘Sweet Sour’ is raw and brilliant, but ‘The Devil Takes Care of His Own’ is the standout song of their set.

Up next Clean Bandit clearly have a following as a slight delay sees people chanting for them to come on, and ‘Come Over’ gets a warm welcome as we say goodbye to the last snippet of sun-sun-sun-sunshine for today. Jess Glynne collaboration ‘Rather Be’ is the final song of an amazing set, and seems like a perfect sentiment for a Sunday afternoon of revelry, especially considering it’s a bank holiday tomorrow. 

As a black curtain is raised over the main stage, it’s time for the final act of the first ever Common People. The ever bonkers Grace Jones is a breath of fabulousness that comes from years of not giving a single eff what anyone thinks of her. Striding on in an ensemble that can only be attributed to the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, and high heels, Jones proves that she is the ultimate performer, gadding about the two layer stage and winding with an extremely buff male pole dancer. Hits ‘La Vie En Rose’ and ‘Pull up to the Bumper’ go down well, but it’s her combination of ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ and her mad hula-hooping skills that set the night alight. Grace Jones has been there, done it, got the tshirt and discarded it for a thong. As the fireworks explode over the Common, it’s clear that Rob-da-Bank and crew are onto another winner. With Bestival, Camp Bestival and Bestival Toronto all still to come this year, Southampton has had the first tasty smackerel of this summers’ winning formula, and it is spectacular.

Read our review of Grace Jones here

 

 

New festival Forgotten Fields reveals lineup with Super Furry Animals and more

The creative minds behind Kendal Calling bring you Forgotten Fields, a ground breaking new festival at Eridge Deer Park in Sussex.

Celebrating 10 years of Kendal Calling, the Cumbrian team are launching a show in the South of England their vision that captures the heart and spirit of the original festival, and condenses it for an intimate audience of just 4000 party goers. Much like its Lake District counterpart, Forgotten Fields brings together unrivalled atmospheric charm and a quality line-up of emerging and established talent that spans the genres, all in a stunning location at a fantastic price.  Those 4000 festival fans who snap up tickets will share in the good times this beautiful little festival will offer and cherish them for years to come.

Re-formed, psychedelic rockers, Super Furry Animals return to the fray after a 6 year hiatus and bring a huge back catalogue of incredible tracks to Forgotten Fields.  The band are one of the most imaginative and powerful acts the UK has produced and there appearance is sure to be a stand out summer festival moment.

Basement Jaxx will headline the Friday night of the festival, bringing their genre-defining sound to the Main Stage, with hits like 'Where's Your Head At?', 'Romeo', 'Red Alert' and countless others set to feature.  Saturday will see the south coast’s favourite sons and festival favourites, The Levellers top the bill with a set full of folk-rock sing along anthems. 

The Horrors look set to provide a suitably immersive performance from across their critically acclaimed back catalogue, hip hop pioneers De La Soul will be showing exactly why they’ve stood the test of time and Public Service Broadcasting will perform their incredible new album The Race For Space.  British Sea Power played the first ever Kendal Calling festival and fittingly perform at the inaugural Forgotten Fields alongside American indie rockers Augustines. Hip Hop turntablist and cut n’ paste maestro DJ Yoda & The Breakfast Of Champions will showcase his unique style with many more acts still to be announced across the two main stages.

Other acts performing include Skinny ListerSam BrookesCoco and the ButterfieldsBeans On ToastWooden ArmsTom WilliamsGet Inuit and many more.

Three other stages will provide a different musical focus. The Gypsy Disco will be a must-visit for fans of Ska, Balkan, Swing and immersive theatre, whilst the House Party stage will provide the perfect setting for ground breaking comedy. Arguably one of the most exciting areas of the festival, The Horizons stage will host the hottest new bands and artists, the type of acts you'll expect to see storming up the festival bills in years to come. 

For fans of the finer things in life there is world-class gourmet food available on site as well as a dedicated real ale bar, and those averse to the idea of camping can enjoy a multitude of bespoke accommodation options.  There will also be extravagant site art, festival games, fancy dress frolics, boutique stalls and camp fire tales all set in the picturesque English Countryside.

Forgotten Fields is perfect for families and revellers alike, with The Prickleback Urchin Kids Area built for the younger party animals in your group and The Late Night Cinema sitting as the ideal alternative to the wealth of musical options available across the site.

Needless to say, Forgotten Fields looks set to further cement Kendal Calling's outstanding cultural legacy. 

Lineup below:

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS / BASEMENT JAXX / LEVELLERS / THE HORRORS / DE LA SOUL / PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING / BRITISH SEA POWER / AUGUSTINES / DJ YODA / SLAMBOREE AND MORE CONFIRMED FOR INTIMATE PARTY 

SKINNY LISTER / COCO AND THE BUTTERFIELDS  / BEANS ON TOAST / KESTON COBBLER’S CLUB /FICKLE FRIENDS / TOM WILLIAMS / SAM BROOKES / GET INUIT / LAZY HABITS / PHORIA / TOO MANY T’S / WILL VARLEY  / JACKO HOOPER / COCOS LOVERS / WOODEN ARMS / TIME FOR T / ISLAND CASSETTES / NATIVE PEOPLE / FIRST FAMILY / ABI WADE / SKIES / MOK / MOLLY WARBURTON / ED PROSEK / GANG / GLASS CITY VICE / VELUDO PLANES / REALMS / THE BEAUTIFUL WORD / HALF CROWN / GARDEN HEART / FISH TANK / THE DUBARRYS / FLAGS / EDEN CIRCLE / THE COMMON TONGUES

REAL ALE BAR / GOURMET FOOD / KIDS FIELD / LATE NIGHT CINEMA / SITE ART

Tickets available to those who have pre-registered – Thursday 26th March 9AM

General Ticket Sale – Friday 27th March 9AM

Ticket prices Tier 1 Early Bird £90, Tier 2 £95, Tier 3 £99, Tier 4 £105

Eridge Park, 7 – 9 August 2015 / #Forgottenfields 

Fatboy Slim and Clean Bandit lead lineup for new festival Common People

A man that can effortlessly start a party and get it bouncing before he’s even dropped the second tune, Fatboy Slim is the master, a true king amongst men, and one of our favourite DJs ever. From the likes of Everybody Needs a 303 and Gangster Trippin’ to recent top ten smash Eat Sleep Rave Repeat, Norman Cook has soundtracked some of the greatest moments of our lives, we’re massively proud to have him onboard for the launch of our brand new show, and we can’t wait to welcome him to Southampton Common on Saturday 23rd May as Common People’s first ever headliner!

Commenting on his headline slot, and quoting a classic tune in an exclusive video just for us,Fatboy Slim said: “Living in the love of the common people, smiles from the heart of a family man. Momma’s gonna buy you a dream to cling to, Fatboy’s gonna love you just as much as he can. And he can. Join me on Southampton Common with the Bestival family, 23rd May.

Warming the cockles for the big event on the Isle of Wight this September, Common People will also have live sets on Saturday 23rd May from daisy age hip-hop legends De La Soul, sick beatmeister Jaguar Skills, and Sound of 2015 hot tip George the Poet, plus Plastic Mermaids, our Battle of the Bands winner, Funky Little Choir, and Lycra-clad enigma Mr Motivator.

Sunday 24th May capers will feature a very special guest indeed who will be announced very soon, plus live action from pop behemoth Clean Bandit, who will be showcasing their inimitable brand of classical riffs with a healthy dose of baroque pop nous for all the Common People. With their chart topping smash Rather Be racking up over a million sales, making it the third biggest selling tune of 2014, and their debut album New Eyes reaching the top three, Clean Bandit are a proper big deal and we couldn’t be happier that they’re joining us.

We’ll also have hometown riffers Band of Skulls, who said of their Common People appearance “We are extremely happy and proud to be playing Common People festival. We grew up here in Southampton and the common has played a big part in our lives. Hometown shows are always great, this will be extra special. See you in May”.

And there will be even more Sunday joy with authentic rock n rollers Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, incendiary two-piece Slaves, cut & paste master DJ Yoda, funky breakdance geniuses The Cuban Brothers, 6 Music funk aficionado Craig Charles and West End Kids.

Bestival’s creative team will be flexing visionary moves, taking the spirit of Bestival to the heart of Southampton, transforming the common into a world of wonder. Amongst the hysteria you will find plenty of mind-boggling Common People antics including the woven magic of Yarn Bombing, legendary Mr Motivator Workouts, and psychedelic 19th century salon, The People's Front Room.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to have a small libation with an array of stunning bars, including the vintage vibes of the Day of the Dead Margarita Lounge Bar featuring cabaret, rock n roll, alternative, world and gypsy music, fantastically exotic concoctions from Josie da Bank’s super chic Jam Jar Bar and lavish behaviour at the VIP Hospitality Bar. A huge selection of delicious treats from cocktails and craft beers to lip-smacking afternoon teas and a tantalising selection of the finest Streetfood vendors around will delight the most adventurous of souls and keep you all coming back for more.

A whole host of fantastical fun, daytime diversions, amusements and good times will entertain one and all including, Bigtopmania Circus, Lost & Found, Tree House Theatre, Big Foot the Clown Show, The Fez Heads, Big Bears Big Balloon Disco, Big Bubble Bash, Trapeze lessons, Circus Skills, Crazy Inflatable bundle madness, Face Painting, Toddlers Play Area, Craft tents, Welly Wanging, Morris Dancing, Hoedowns, and Brass Bands.

Much like at sister festivals Bestival and Camp Bestival, The Big Top at Common People will play host to some of the most exciting underground electronic music the world has to offer. Saturday will see Junk at the controls with sets from Dusky, Huxley, Dense & Pika, Leon Vynehall, Luca Pilato and Jordan McKinlaySwitch takes over on Sunday with Chicago house legend Derrick Carter taking pride of place, with sets from Rob da Bank, Friend Within, Toyboy & Robin, and Muddywellies. We’ll also have Southampton’s illustriousJoiners adding to the mix in our new bands tent, and plenty more to boot.

Kendal Calling 2014 Review

 “Make sure you pack your sun cream…it’s going to be a scorcher next weekend!”

These words did not end up ringing wholly true. In fact, this was one of the wettest, muddiest festivals I have ever experienced…and I've been to at least 20. If you are going to have your festival in the Lake District, who knows what weather you are going to get, but this was a Northern festival, with proper double-hard Northern people who were ready for anything.

…then this little guy turned up and showed us all how it was done…

Mud monster

We arrived early on Thursday, this being the first year to allow entry the day before the main festival.
After finally getting up our beast of a tent, we caught the first half of Craig Charles’ 
thumping set in the Glow tent, before some Yorkshire Ska in Chai Wallah, courtesy of The Talks.

Friday started out in the real ale tent, and not even for beer (this time!), but instead to avoid the first
heavy downpour of the weekend. Samba bands were a feature across the site, and kept everyone
entertained until the stages started. By the early afternoon the rain had stopped, giving way to sack
races and plenty of activities to keep families busy in the Ladybird Kids area. Teenagers got their dancing shoes dirty early on at the Jägermeister stage and in the House Party tent. The first big crowd
of the day was for The Dub Pistols, a band who just seem to be made for festivals, getting everyone
stomping those wet weather blues away.

There was disappointment for some as the next act Ella Eyre was unable to attend due to illness, but fear not…The Sunshine Underground served up an extremely last minute indie dance set that kept everyone happy while they refuelled in anticipation of De La Soul

Unfortunately, owing to an accident on the M6, their set was cut short, but the enthusiasm they provided more than made up for it. 
“Me, myself and I” put lots of smiles on faces. With as many years of experience as they have they worked the crowd as you would expect.

Just enough time to grab some food. There was plenty on offer, ranging from exotic burgers
(Llama; wild boar and wagyu beef) to delicious momos from the Tibetan Kitchen (my photographer is now completely hooked on these badboys).

Suede headlined Friday night and began with a quiet opener “The Next life” from their first album.
They had won the crowd over by the third song “Trash”, followed by “Animal Nitrate” giving
everyone a chance to sing, and Brett Anderson to strut his stuff like the mid 90’s were here again.
Mid set we were given a new song “Tightrope” which the crowd were not really sure about, and
their set finished with “Beautiful Ones”.They closed the main stage with an encore of
“She’s in Fashion”, and a wonderful rendition of “Stay Together”.

Suede

After hours there was plenty to do with particular highlights being the Britpop set in the Tim Peaks Diner and the jazzy breaks of Mr Scruff.

 

As morning broke on Saturday, the site was turning to a liquid red thanks to the Cumbrian mud and morning rain. That didn’t stop large numbers of aliens, and sci-fi characters emerging from their tents to lighten up the gloom. The Glow Tent hosted a mass moonwalk to the song “Billie Jean”, as hundreds of MJ’s strutted their stuff.

Mid-afternoon, as the sun peeked out, Newton Faulkner played to a background of bubbles drifting across the field, “Teardrop”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I love you baby” bringing the crowds in. Athlete continued the summer vibe, and the sunglasses were out by the time Razorlight took to the stage. Sporting a lovely beard (trust me, I know about beards!) Johnny Borrell and the boys played a high energy, hit filled set.

Then, it was ALL about Madchester, with bucket hats and Lennon glasses being the necessary uniform. The Happy Mondays began with Bez informing us of his political intentions, which is either genius, or the most bonkers thing you’ve ever heard. The majority of this crowd would definitely vote for him. Shaun planned to keep it a PG performance, and entertained the crowd by never being quite sure which songs were coming next. Rowetta looked fantastic in her cowboy hat and tassels, and people were literally climbing the trees to get a good view. The sound was great and the whole arena was rocking to party classics from “Loose Fit”, to “24 Hour Party People”.

The Happy Mondays

Frank Turner started his set with a smaller crowd, hampered by the rain, but that crowd grew and got to enjoy a very special headline slot. This being his third time at the festival, he’s
definitely earned his Kendal stripes, and when he announced how honoured he was to play, you really knew he meant it. His band, The Sleeping Souls, threw themselves around the stage and really stepped up the volume, with stomping tunes like “Photosynthesis” getting the crowd all clapping and singing along. He dedicated his new song “Angel Islington” to all the Northerners. Despite a re-tune mid song and a broken string, nothing could faze Frank tonight!

Frank Turner

Sunday, originally predicted to be the best day for weather, was the worst, with frequent showers turning the main arena into a mud bath. Children and adults kept their spirits up by sliding down the hillside, and one of the great moments of the weekend was the chap in neon and a flat cap, cruising round a pool of mud in his electric wheelchair, chasing people. The Lancashire Hotpots played at lunchtime and won the award for most costume changes, and as they said, it was like a Lady Gaga gig! Conga lines, beach balls and songs including “We Love the North”, and “Chippy tea”, were just what was needed to keep everyone from flagging.

Reel Big Fish were the afternoon high point, Masters of styles they gave us the Ska Punk we all expected, but also a touch of Disco, and even a bit of Square-dancing. With choreographed kicks they finished with “Take on Me”, and as the dancing increased, the mud was flying. Tom Odell didn’t go in for quite the same level of onstage action, but instead let his music do the talking. It only took him to point to the girls at the front to get them all screaming, as he hammered away at the piano. A new song “Jealousy” from his upcoming album was particularly well received.

Miles Kane was taking no prisoners with a straight up rock and roll show. Dressed in a psychedelic shirt, his strutted around owing the stage, scissor kicking as he went. By the time he played “Don’t Forget Who You Are”, he had the audience joining in from the front to all the way up the hill.

Miles Kane

The final act on the main stage was Example, the biggest crowd of the weekend, and everyone wanted to be at the front. The sound from the stage was massive, with filthy bass lines shaking the sodden ground. Dressed in black he electrified the entire field, with lasers and a completely awesome neon drum kit. “One more day (Stay with me)” “Changed the way you kiss me” and “Kickstarts” were by far the biggest sing-a-longs of the weekend. As the set finished with air cannons
and ticker tape, the epic firework display was a worthy end to a sometimes challenging but ultimately celebratory weekend.

Example

After the main events, we headed back to Tim Peaks Diner for some energetic table dancing and a storming funk and soul set from Tim Burgess.
Just time to pop back to the real ale tent, this time for a well-deserved pint, we’d all survived!

 

Words by Reuben Crowther
Photographs by Andy Sawyer

Y Not Festival 2014 Review

One of the UK's fastest-growing festivals, Derbyshire's Y Not returned for its ninth outing and delivered a weekend chocked full of 'I was there' moments; be it the triumphant closure of Dizzee Rascal's compelling Saturday night headliner set, the smooth hip-hop of American trio De La Soul or the rousing, foot-stomping bangers that pumped out of the Saloon Bar all weekend long, there was something for every music lover, young and old, at this year's gathering. 

For me, it began on Friday with exciting Birmingham band Superfood. Scores of teens flooded the main stage front to see the intriguing four-piece, who proceeded to belt out guitar-led anthems that were shouty, loud and fun. A band who'd been on my radar for a while, exceeded my expectations and kicked off the festival nicely. Intermittent rain showers were just a preview of the weather to come, but still it led me to the Saloon Bar in the middle of the site, to check out Three Minute Heist. 

The Saloon Bar is a perfect replica of an American Western bar, with only the stench of Somersby cider and cans of Tuborg giving away the fact we were at a festival in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside in 2014! Nevertheless, that didn't stop the aforementioned quartet bringing their brand of country blues and sing-a-longs along to transport us back a century. The packed out venue was rocking, especially so with closer 'Johnny B. Goode'.

After checking out the finest reggae and drum 'n' bass tents Y Not has to offer, it was off to the wetter Main Stage to check out London's very own Spector. Lead singer Fred Macpherson's powerful and unique vocals managed to keep his band alive, as they put in a so-so performance of their back catalogue 'Chevy Thunder' and fresh cuts from an upcoming new record, that managed to keep the crowd bobbing along to their bouncy pop-rock.

The first of the weekend's big boys then took to the Main Stage; Johnny Borrell leading his Razorlight bandmates out almost a decade after headlining a stage at Glastonbury. They reeled through a Greatest Hits set in which you could sense their class, but it was all pretty unexciting. Borrell was never the greatest of stage presences, and whilst his ambition was there, his band never quite reached their fullest of potential with either their career or this subbing set. 

A headline set by Reel Big Fish is a must-see. The pop-punk band are an assured live act, and got the Quarry crowd up off their feet for a good chunk of the gig. Live brass bands are always a plus, and the band had their crowd in the palm of their hand, with circle pits forming as far as the eye could see, a packed crowd revelled in the moment in what was surely one of the most memorable Quarry sets. Finishing with their famed cover of a-ha's 'Take on Me', was predictable, yet incredible.

A quick dash back over to the Main Stage, saw White Lies begin. Despite their tunes lacking the considerable 'oomph' of their fellow headliners, the indie-rockers kept sections of the crowd entertained, with an enjoyable if forgettable set. 

My Saturday began over at the Quarry, to check out up-and-coming rap/pop artist Ady Suleiman. Describing him as a 'better' Ed Sheeran might be a step too far (and I'm not a fan of Sheeran!), but Suleiman was the perfect hangover cure for many, as he and his band rattled through their half-an-hour set, leaving you wanting far, far more. If there could be any criticism, it would be that his lyrics could develop moreso, hearing song after song about the generic 'lost woman' does tire after a bit, but this is a man to watch out for. Equally experiemental beatboxer Shlomo was another top pick. Using his loop machine, he treated us to stories of how he discovered his talent, a great cover of 'No Diggity' and a pulsating climax.

One of the most anticipated artists of 2013 were Brummie's Swim Deep. Scintiallating cuts of sun-laden summery tunes were released periodically by them throughout the year, before the release of debut album, 'Where The Heaven We Are' disappointed many, myself included. This set though, reignited some hope within me, that they can reach the heights promised by songs like 'Honey' and 'King City', as they impressed hugely in 'Arcade Fire'-esque blue facepaint. The all-important second record could make or break them.

Scots The Fratellis, know all about that, debut album 'Costello Music', providing them with a springboard into British music, before their follow-up 'Here We Stand' flopping, and the inevitable hiatus following. But they brought back memories of their 2006 breakthrough with hit after hit. Even the songs that weren't ingrained into our brains, were pretty good, bouncy tracks. However, throughout the set, bottles and cans of beer littered the stage, leading to frontman Jon Fratelli to warn 'one more of that and that's your lot'. It ceased the flow, but still was an unsavoury incident, and not the last of it at all…

The man most of the 12,000 festival-goers had flocked to see, Dizzee Rascal took to the stage a little after his 10pm start time, but delivered in a massive way. His set was eclectic and his famed live show, was a tour de force in pure entertainment. All he needed was his DJ, a couple of hype men and the stage was set for a victorious performance. His collaborations with other artists, opener 'Here 2 China' with Calvin Harris, 'Heavy', from Chase & Status and the excellent 'Dirtee Love' with Florence + the Machine, reminded you of the quality of Dizzee's back catalogue, but his standalone hits, 'Holiday', 'Bassline Junkie' and the sheer power of 'Bonkers', makes you wonder how long it will be before Dizzee headlines ascends to headliner status at one of the UK's greatest and biggest festivals.

With the crowd size having thinned out following Mr Rascal's Saturday night slot, I thought it best to check out the finer sights of Y Not on Sunday…the funfair! With a cheap roller disco, a cracking dodgems and a postponed paint fight, Sunday was a riotous day, with the sun finally coming out to dry the festival site considerably by the evening. It boosted the fatigued amongst the Y Not crowd, and was grand preparation for a fantastic end to the festival.

Derby band Joint Honours managed to fill the Allotment stage to the max, bringing some poppy, guitar-driven tunes to the fore and getting the crowd going hugely for late afternoon on a Sunday. One of my favourite bands of the minute, Palma Violets did not disappoint on the Main Stage. The powerful rock band, were uber-confident and strutting around the stage for an extended 45-minute set. 'Best Friends' has to be the biggie, but I cannot wait for their second album to drop so they can expand their ambitious sound and step up to the next level.

A switch in sound, to the hip-hop stylings of legends De La Soul. Hit after hit followed as the trio participated in some hilarious crowd participation, promoting inter-crowd rivalries, before daring the very same idiotic people who had pelted bottles at the Fratellis the previous day to try the same with them, but letting them know how stupid they were, provoking yet more acclaim. Their set was a perfect exercise in getting a field full of weary bodies to dance to some classic tunes for one last hour.

There was only one man who could close such a festival, take to the stage Y Not three-timer, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls. Frank's last outing in these parts came in 2009, a well-overdue return saw him rise to headliner status. The cult rocker entertained in huge doses, as he reeled through tracks from 2013's 'Tape Deck Heart', his fifth studio album, as well as crowd favourites 'I Still Believe' and 'Wessex Boy'. The riotous fireworks that marked the end of his hour and the end of the Y Not weekend were special and poignant.

Here was an artist and a festival that have never been better, Y Not will celebrate its tenth birthday next August and whilst it is hard to see just how it will be able to cram more goodness into one weekend, you can bet that organisers will try their hardest to make 2015 bigger and better than this stellar weekend!

Kendal Calling Festival sells out in record time

Kendal Calling festival has sold out a remarkable 11 weeks in advance of this year’s festival. Kendal Calling has sold out in each of its previous 8 years but this year’s sell out is the quickest yet, leaving the From The Fields team to thank those festival goers who have snapped up tickets to the winner of the UK Festival Awards Best Medium Sized Festival in 2013.
 
This year’s festival features act such as Suede, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Example, De La Soul, 2manydjs, Frightened Rabbit, Clean Bandit, Happy Mondays, Miles Kane, Jimi Goodwin, Gorgon City, Ella Eyre and hundreds of others over 3 days in the stunning Lake District, indisputably one of the most beautiful festival sites in the world.
 
Kendal Calling is one of the highlights of the festival calendar featuring the Kendal Calling Goes Beyond The Stars fancy dress theme, Tim Peaks Diner, a real ale festivalgourmet food, a dedicated children’s Ladybird Arena, a diverse array or markets, the Garden Of Eden healing area,Q and A’stalks and much more.
 
Having broken the world record for the most people dressed as Superman in one place in 2014, this year Kendal Calling revelers will attempt to break the world record for the most people moonwalking at the same time.
 
Kendal Calling promoter Andy Smith comments – "We've sold out in record time…I'm in a transport of delight!"
 
LINE UP
 
Suede / Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls / Example
 
Happy Mondays /  De La Soul /  Miles Kane / 2ManyDjs (dj set) /  Tom Odell / Razorlight / Augustines / Jimi Goodwin / Frightened Rabbit / Simon and Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene (acoustic) Clean Bandit  / Newton Faulkner /  Athlete / Ella Eyre / Mr Scruff / Lewis Watson / Admiral Fallow / Reel Big Fish / The Heavy / Catfish & the Bottlemen / Rae Morris / Saint Raymond / Dub Pistols / Jess Glynne / Women's Hour /  Findlay / Breton / Josh Record / Black Rivers / Team Me / Norma Jean Martine / Mirror Signal / The Tea Street Band / Champs / Dario G (DJ set) / Lauren Aquilina / Lyger/ Big Sixes /  Etches /  Molly Warburton / Gypsy Hill / Smerins Anti-Social Club / Kimberly Anne / Amber Run / Gallery Circus / Lanterns on the Lake /  The Lucid Dream / Johnny Borrell & Zazou / The Lancashire Hotpots / Aquilo  / DJ Food, DJ Cheeba, DJ Moneyshot – Caught In the Middle of a 3 way mix /  Zion Train – Perch & Dubdadda / Reeps One / The Melodic / By The Rivers / Typesun / Will Varley / We Were Evergreen / Tantz / John Langon Band / Talisman / Will Tramp!  / Drop the Mustard DJs / Zutekh DJs /  English Disco Lovers / Herbal Sessions / Dub Central / Showhawk Duo / Urban Sabotage presents: Davos LIVE / Lisbon / The Membranes / Skutch Manos / Metisa / Colt 45 / MDNGHT / Berlin / Berlin / You / $ista $ista / WALK / Honeyfeet / Harlequin Marching Band / Skittles & Live Band / Cut Capers / Lauren Housley / René / Gypsies of Bohemia / Scatters the Funky Disco Pig / The Grand Old Ukes of Yorkshire / Treedrum / Riot Jazz Brass Band / The Dakota Jim Band / Taylor Jackson / Charlie Cooper / Thingumbob & The Thingumajogs / From A Window / Buffalo Brothers / The Big Easy & Swing Dance / Flamingus / Flavia / The Bear around Your Neck / Whiskey Moon Face / Felix Hagan & The Family / Too Much Love / Saluation Dub Collective / The EME / Dave Rybka / Xander Smith / Urban Folk Quartet / Mint Royale / Baggy Mondays / Dave Haslam / Black Cat DJs / Father Funk /  Gareth Brooks (XFM)  / King Eider / The Hummingbirds / Phoneys & the Freaks / Howling Rhythm DJs / Aaron Wright & Jacqui Abbott  / Kommix Kut / The Raged / Our Fold / Dub Sex / Mark Abbott / Fallback Productions / Sam P / Karl Yates / Northern Soul Dance Classes
 
Glow Dance Tent:
2manydj’s (dj set) / Andy C / Zane Lowe / James Zabiela / Gorgon City / Goldie / Dub Phizix & MC Strategy / Shadow Child / Friend Within / GQ / Lapsley / Ash Howell / My Neu Leng
 
BONDAX & FRIENDS presents
Bondax b2b MJ Cole, Karma Kid b2b Monki, Star Slinger b2b TCTS, Kartel b2b French Kiwi Juice
 
Woodlands
BIRD / Seattle Yacht Club / Love For Zero / Jakarta Club /  Evil Blizzard / The Templebys / The Pinstripe Pigeon Band / Fiona Clayton / The Lottery Winners / Jake & The Jellyfish / Ivan Campo / The Orchid Hunters / Nancy Kent / The Lumberjack Cowboy Heartbreak Trucking Co. / Arran George / Joe McCorriston / Alex Hulme / Mylittlebrother /Baksheesh / Ben Dyson / Gritty Britain
 
Thursday
Craig Charles Funk and Soul takeover

Y Not Festival adds De La Soul, Palma Violets and many more!

Y Not Festival announces some massive additions to this years lineup including De La Soul, Palma Violets, British Sea Power and more.

At Y Not, we're over the moon, stars and everything in between, to announce the third wave of bands playing this year.

See the latest additions below:

De La Soul
British Sea Power
Palma Violets
Spector
Tom Vek
The Sunshine Underground
Bipolar Sunshine
Josh Record
Shlomo
Sonic Boom Six
Turbowolf
Luke Sital Sing
Natives
LostAlone
Fight Like Apes
Slaves
Hotei
God Damn
Baby Godzilla
Blitz Kids
Empire
Freeze The Atlantic
Tangled Hair
Woahnows
M+A
Post War Glamour Girls
Doctrines
Emperor Yes
Emperor Chung
In Colour
INVSN
Lyger

Check the full lineup below:
Friday-Sunday
White Lies (HEADLINER)
Dizzee Rascal (HEADLINER)
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (HEADLINER)
Razorlight
The Fratellis
Newton Faulkner
Shed Seven
Reel Big Fish
Swim Deep
Andrew W.K (solo)
The Blackout
Ella Eyre
Cerebral Ballzy
Yuck
Catfish & The Bottlemen
Circa Waves
Itch
Beans On Toast
DZ Deathrays
Eliza & The Bear
Darlia
Lonely The Brave
The Wytches
Menace Beach
Best Friends
Night Engine
Flyte
Brawlers
King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys
Amber Run
Black Moth
Nordic Giants
Nothing But Thieves
Youth Man
The First
Tigercub
Hungeroff & The Wild Roots

Thursday (because three days is never enough)
Goldie Lookin Chain
Max Raptor
James Warner Prophecies
Bare Knuckle Parade