Category Archives: Features

Ones to Watch 2014

Just a quick note to say that I wrote a list of bands and musicians to watch in 2014, over on my new blog, you can view it here. I’d also add BROODS, Tobias Jesso Jr, Hayley Coupon and Tess Parks to that list.  I’ll probably do a records of the year at some point.

I am also occasionally writing about music for Crack in the Road.

Miss you guys!

Happy 2014. Anna x

Here’s a song I have enjoyed this year.

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Festival Preview: Glastonbury 2013

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Glastonbury Festival is my favourite place on earth. To me, nothing even compares to the feeling I get when I arrive at this festival. I feel like I am home. After the festival took a break in 2012, I am even more excited than usual to get back to Worthy Farm. Glastonbury 2013 will be my 5th Glastonbury, and with the Rolling Stones headlining the Pyramid Stage and the weather looking up, I have a feeling it could be one of the best.

Writing a preview for Glastonbury is near impossible. I don’t want to tell you what to do, or who to see, because essentially, Glastonbury is about self-discovery. Each of the 175,000 ticket holders will have a different experience, see different bands, and end up down a different rabbit hole (often quite literally). I think Glastonbury is best approached with no expectations, no plan, no list of bands to see. Come with an open mind and I guarantee you will never want to leave.

I beg you to use this preview as a mere guide to the festival. There is no rule book, no must sees, just explore.

The Park

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My favourite area of the festival, The Park is a festival within a festival. Host to one of the smaller main stages, this year The Park hosts the likes of Solange, HAIM, Devendra Banhart and Cat Power. The area is also host to a number of other stages, bars, a silent disco and numerous art installations.

If you walk up the hill behind The Park, you get one of the best views of the whole festival. And if you keep on walking, yep, keep on going, up and up, you will eventually reach a tiny little tent entitled The Crow’s Nest. This stage hosts a secret line-up, and often from bands playing larger stages around the festival. Head up early in the weekend to get a copy of the line-up, it’ll be worth the walk.

The Green Fields

The Green Fields describe themselves as ‘A joyous celebration of life’, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Celebrating everything from yoga and meditation (The Healing Field), arts and creativity (GreenCrafts Village), and creating a greener planet (Green Futures), the area is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of the festival. The Tipi Field is one of the best places to get delicious homemade vegetarian food and The Stone Circle is the best place on site to watch the sunrise with thousands of others.

The best way to experience the Green Fields is to wander round on Wednesday or Thursday with plenty of time to take it all in, it’s rather huge.

Shangri-La/Block9

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My favourite nighttime area is the infamous Shangri-La. A broken down city created within the festival, Shangri-La features many indoor tunnels which are home to some to tattoo parlours, underground rave bars, and some stuff which has to be experienced to be believed. It’s a bit of a mind-fuck but in the best possible way. The field often gets full so head over there straight after the headliners finished to have the best chance of getting in.

Block9 (pictured above), located next to Shangri-La is also worth a nighttime’s exploration.

The Pyramid Stage

For all you Glastonbury virgins, the Pyramid is the main stage. It’s literally shaped like a pyramid, and is the stage that The Rolling Stones, The Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons will headline this year. At a festival like Glastonbury, many people will write off the pyramid in favour for the smaller stages like The Park or Williams Green. What is often forgotten about the Pyramid, is that the atmosphere is often incomparable to anywhere else on site. There is something so special about being surrounded by a hundred thousand people, all singing the words to the same song. It’s completely euphoric.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have never headlined Glastonbury before, and they’ll probably never do it again. It’s gonna be special.

To see the full line-up click here. For all the information you could ever need about the festival, click here. Tickets have sold out. If you’re lucky enough to have one, i’ll see you at the farm.

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Festival Preview: The Great Escape

Tomorrow I shall be heading down to Brighton for the UK’s answer to SXSW, The Great Escape. It’s a wonderful weekend packed with some of the most exciting new bands in the world. Unfortunately  it’s not looking like we’re gonna have the weather of SXSW, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great.

If you missed by day by day line-up recommendations, check out Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And below is a collective playlist of all 29 bands I think are must-sees! I’ve also listed some tips for first-timers.

Top Tips:

– Make sure you check out how far venues are from each other. You can do this using the handy map that is already online, click here. Some venues take 15 minutes to walk between so make sure you’re prepared.

– If you really, really, really want to see a band, make sure you get there early. I’d particularly say this is true of shows from CHVRCHES, Tom Odell and London Grammar. The evening corn exchange shows also usually fill up.

– Check out the city of Brighton during the day, the North Laine area (pictured at top) is particularly great, lined with wonderful little cafes and record shops.

– While your there, make sure you go to Resident Music Brighton’s finest record. Last year I managed to pick up a Girls vinyl which had sold out everywhere else.

Bombay Aloo, a Vegetarian Indian take-away restaurant I become slightly obsessed with for my three days in Brighton each year. £1.99 for a takeaway box of all you can eat curry. And it’s amazing. Thank me later. Located on St. Ship street, just off Kings Road.

– Beyond Days at Beyond Retro- the last few years they’ve had an array of great bands play in the vintage shop. Sometimes they publish the line-up online, but that’s not happened this year yet, so pop into the shop and pick up a leaflet. Beyond Retro is located on Vine Street, near the North Laine area.

– Sign up to the exclusive Great Escape text alerts. They send you info about secret gigs taking place around the city. Over the last few years I’ve seen the Smoke Fairies on a balcony, and James Vincent McMorrow play at the end of a pier. They also usually let you know when venues are full. Details are in the festival guide.

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– Don’t forget about the Alternative Escape! Check out the line-up before you go, as it’s not usually fully listed in the guide.

– Relax, the best shows happen when you least expect. Go and see a band you’ve never heard of before, they might be your new favourite. Great Escape can be one of the best weekends of the summer, it can also be one of the most stressful!

See the full line-up here and schedule here.

The Great Escape Festival takes place this weekend from the 16th-18th May. Tickets have sold out. See you on the beach!

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Festival Preview: The Great Escape- Saturday

In case you missed it, Thursday is here, Friday is here.

12:30 Sisters

 
 

14:30 Blue Hawaii

Old Ship Paganini Ballroom
 

15:15 Highasakite

Komedia Studio Bar

18:00 Farao

The Festival Hub

 

18:30 Parlour

Audio

19:15 DIANA

Digital

20:45 MO

Digital

21:45 CHVRCHES

Digital

22:15 Big Deal

Blind Tiger

22:30 White Fence

The Dome Studio Theatre

00:30 MOKO

Coalition

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Festival Preview: The Great Escape- Friday

12:30 New Desert Blues

Fishbowl
 

13:40 On and On

The Courtyard
 
 

15:30 Empress of

Fitzherberts
 

16:00 Susanne Sundfor

The Courtyard
 
 

19:30 Marika Hackman

Unitarian Church

20:45 WALL

St. Mary’s Church
 

21: 15 MO

Queens Hotel
 

22:05 Tourist

Audio
 

22:15 Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Coalition
 

23:30 Misty Miller

The Basement
 

1:00 Merchandise

The Haunt
 

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Festival Preview: The Great Escape- Thursday

Welcome to the start of Great Escape week on the blog. For the next few days i’ll be going through who you should see and when. So let’s start with Thursday. This is who i’ll be gearing up to see this time next week…

14:30 Honeyblood

The Dome Studio Theatre (they also play at 19:45 at The Haunt)

19:30 Tom Odell

The Warren (also playing at 22:15 at St. Bartholowmew’s Church)

20:15 Wolf Alice

Coalition (also playing at 22:30 at Latest Music Bar)

21:15 London Grammar

St. Bartholowmew’s Church

22:15 Merchandise

Corn Exchange

23:00 Mac DeMarco

Green Door Store

23:30 Phosphorescent

The Dome Studio Theatre

00:00 Jackie Onassis

Green Door Store

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Festival News: Barn on the Farm 2013

Last summer I had the pleasure of working on the artist liaison team at Barn on the Farm Festival. Located in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, the festival takes place on a working farm, and the main stage is literally a barn. What this festival offers, which so many others don’t, is a community vibe. It’s super small and so, by the end of the weekend you feel like you know everyone on site. Plus you can walk everywhere in less than 5 minutes and, the way the stages are organised means there is no clashes, you can see every band!

I have happy memories of seeing a whole barn of people singing along to Lucy Rose, dancing away to BOY’s ‘Little Numbers’ (photo above), and the famous late night bus parties, followed by bonding with total strangers until 5am sat on sofas in an old barn. You really get the sense that this is what festivals used to be like, what they are supposed to be like.

Like always, this years line-up is already killer, and there’s more to come! I’ve highlighted some of my favourites  but you can check out the whole thing here. For only £60 for a weekend ticket you can see all this and have one of the loveliest weekends of your summer…

Matt Corby

Matt Corby is one of the most incredible musicians of our time. He is also A.W.E.S.O.M.E live. He’ll headline the Sunday of the festival, and it’s sure to be pretty special.

Orla Gartland

I saw Orla at last year’s festival and was very impressed. More than just another singer-songwriter, she’s got some real musicianship and some great songs.

Mt. Wolf

One of the most blogged about artists of last year and continually getting better, I’m yet to catch them live but based on what i’ve heard, they don’t disappoint.

Indiana

A voice to watch for 2013 (and one of my own Ones to Watch), Indiana is fast making waves with her Ellie Goulding meets The XX sound.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Gentle, beautiful, homegrown love songs are sure to be a perfect fit for Over Farm.

Barn on the Farm Festival takes place from the 5th-7th July 2013, tickets are on sale now from here!

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