Thursday 28 February 2013

Bearded Theory Festival 2013 Updates

Derbyshire's biggest family friendly festival



Bearded Theory Festival, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

BEARDED THEORY FESTIVAL have announced that award winning Celtic Fusion band, Peatbog Faeries will headline the Magical Sounds Dance Stage on Sunday night. They will be performing a unique Celtic Soundclash session with legendary progressive Celtic band Shooglenifty, in what should be an unforgettable climax to an incredible weekend of musical performances.

Other acts performing on the Magical Sounds stage over the weekend include live performances from Subgiant, A Guy Called Gerald (feat Special Guests) and Sicknote. Ed Tangent, Kickflip, Clumsy and more than 25 other live acts and DJs will also perform.

Bearded Theory's Main stage hosts an extensive number of major artists from the UK and around the world. Friday boasts a double headliner line-up, featuring headline performances from both New Model Army and Reverend and the Makers. Also on the bill are Midlands heroes Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Hummingbirds and Karine Polwart. Derby's very own indie chart toppers The Beekeepers will also play a rare live set.

Saturday's billing is topped by the legendary Asian Dub Foundation. Joining them are Seth Lakeman, Macka B, The Quireboys, Ruts DC, Citizen Fish, AHAB and Zombie Met Girl.

Levellers will close the festival in style on the Sunday night. They are joined on the bill by Stiff Little Fingers, The Farm, Goldblade, Ezio, New Groove Formation, and The Lancashire Hotpots. Local success story, The Life & Times Of Brothers Hogg complete the bill.

Michael Eccleshall, spokesperson for Bearded Theory Festival says, "We are delighted to announce that Peatbog Faeries have been added to the bill for Bearded Theory 2013. We believe they are the final piece in the jigsaw, completing our best ever line up ever! Everyone at Bearded Theory HQ is looking forward to welcoming you all to Bearded Theory 6 in May"

Tickets are priced at £79 (Adults), £40 (Under 16's), £10 (Under 12's). Under 5`s are free (ticket required).
A Family Ticket for 2 Adults & 2 Children is £220. Booking fees apply.
Additional tickets options available include Thursday camping.
Tickets are available from, or by calling 08432 081 835.
All include 3 nights of camping and access to all music and on-site events.
No day tickets will be sold for Bearded Theory 2013.

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Milky Wimpshake announce album and dates


Following their fun-fueled new album Heart and Soul in the Milky Way, Newcastle's indie punk stalwarts Milky Wimpshake will be playing some gigs over the coming months, including two indiepop weekenders – this weekend's London Popfest and the Now We Are Festival in the West Midlands over the May Bank Holiday.

Milky Wimpshake also reveal their new video for one of the album's highlights "Without You", a lovely duet between Pete Dale and Sophie Evans. Here's what Pete says about the video: "No expense is spared in Milky Wimpshake's extravagant bid to create the more high-budget, tech-savvy video performances this side of Kanye West. How do they do it? And, more importantly, why on earth do they bother? One redeeming feature of this, though, is the excellent Sophie Evans - how she manages to mime so well when her vocal partner is so clearly inept is one of those deep mysteries, comparable to though not synonymous with trying to get the aluminium strip off a cartoon of Soya Milk without spilling any. Know what I mean?"

Nearly 20 years since releasing their first cassette album, Milky Wimpshake unveil their fifth 'proper' album Heart And Soul In The Milky Way, out now on Fortuna POP! Recorded in a single day, it consists of 15 more songs from the pop/punk chocolate assortment box which the band have raided for so many years: love songs, silly songs, songs about obsolete items of stationary and such like, all set to a basic guitar buzz and kick drum combo.

Video for "Without You”

Friday 1 March - London - The Grosvenor - London Popfest (featuring Standard Fare, This Many Boyfriends etc)
Friday 19 April - Reading - venue TBC
Saturday 20 April - Oxford - Port Mahon
Saturday 25 May - Middlesborough - venue TBC
Sunday 26 May - West Bromwich - The Public - Now We Are Fest (featuring Allo Darlin', Darren Hayman etc)

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Giant Drag to release new album ‘Waking Up Is Hard To Do’ - first new material in seven years

"Giant Drag are ace. There. I said it." - NME

"They sound great when they're barely trying." - Pitchfork

Front woman Annie Hardy has made the surprise announcement that cult lo-fi LA alt-rockers GIANT DRAG will self-release their long awaited sophomore LP "Waking Up Is Hard To Do" next week on Tuesday 5th March through Full Psycho Records. The first new material for seven years from the band, Hardy explains the reasons behind the hiatus in the following heartfelt statement:

This LP has been a total curse on my existence; every time I team up with a record company or person to get this thing out something goes wrong and it just ends up sitting there like it has for 7 years now, so I am putting this thing out myself this coming Tuesday 5th March” says the singer.

I want to engage people once again and make the rest of the world care as well. Basically the last couple years of my life were pure hell and I spent it (and my "success" period of GD) a slave to prescription drugs, only to go to rehab last October to get clean” Hardy explains “Legal battles were won and health problems have remained and I'm kind of getting honest with everyone for the first time. Since my family now knows I'm not afraid to tell truths about what's been holding me and my music back for so long. I've been through a lot surrounding addiction and dealing with issues of mental health watching my ex-boyfriend lose his mind (go Full Psycho). It's totally overwhelming but there's been a shift of perspective in me and I want to help other people if I can.  It's already turning out to be a wild ride and I think things will keep getting better. I hope if you survive listening to this record you'll be excited as I am about what’s to come.

I have no current plans to tour Giant Drag but Charlotte Froom and Tennesse Thomas from The Like will be helping me to reform GD for a select few shows to promote the record and say goodbye to the band properly so I can concentrate on my new project Annie Hardy and the Psychos as well as my pet project PnP. I will be finishing up recording EPs with Joe Cardamone of The Icarus Line, and of course the live LP Shredding Leeds is meant to be out right now but I stupidly committed to laborious hand-made vinyl packages for the fans so I'm working on that nightly.

Killing Giant Drag is something Hardy feels like she has to do to move on, and giving these songs the airing they deserve is all part of the process. Fans of the band’s early work won’t be disappointed, as the heady swimming vocals, fuzzed-out rolling bass lines and poetic lyrics evident on ‘We Like The Weather’ and ‘90210’ are an instant reminder that Hardy is still a songwriting talent deserving of attention and, if anything, her experiences have made her stronger and imbued her songs with an undeniable passion and drive. “Yeah, this is happening” croons Hardy sarcastically on the unexpected lounge-jazz of ‘Messif My Face’, a track that shows a distinctly different side to the band with reverb laden guitar solos intertwined around tinkling ivories. As always when art imitates life, there’s a touching honesty that threads through the tracks on this release, not least on classic GD closer ‘Seen The Light’ with its gospel crescendo which sees Hardy proudly declaring “Now I feel alright. You want fame and adulation, I want my own home and a short vacation. Everything I hate in you is what I hate in me.

Waking Up Is Hard To Do stomps, grooves and melts to a blissed out climax in all the right places and serves as an honest and timely reminder that sometimes after a fall, great talent just needs time to collect and take stock before it can breathe again. So what does Hardy see next for her future?

I’m basically flying by the seat of my pants” she smiles “for the first time in a while.

Waking Up Is Hard To Do is released on Full Psycho Records on Tuesday 5th March 2013 via

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Caitlin Rose: new single and UK tour continues...

Caitlin Rose is touring the UK this week to celebrate the release of her highly-acclaimed second album 'The Stand-In'. Album highlight and country rockin' road trip of a song ‘Only A Clown’ is the record's new single and the brand new video has just launched on Caitlin's YouTube page here.    

Released this week, Caitlin's second album has already been declared 'one of the first truly great Americana albums of 2013' by Uncut, whilst BBC Music called it the 'essence of modern country music'. 

UK Dates
Thurs 28 Feb Leeds Brudenell £11
Fri 1 March Manchester Ruby Lounge £12
Sat 2 March Glasgow CCA £10
Sun 3 March London Brixton Windwill SOLD OUT
Mon 4 March London Rough Trade East in-store

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Review: Catch Release – Asleep Is A Friend Of Mine

Catch Release – Asleep Is A Friend Of Mine (Independent)
I’m sure Melbourne five-piece Catch Release will find themselves pigeon-holed as a folk group of sorts, though listening to their new six-track EP, there seems too many ideas and musical approaches for easy genre definition. Boasting an instrumental line-up that includes violin and French horn, complimenting the usual guitar, bass and percussion, there’s no shortage of interesting things happening, though they remain focused and steady throughout, and in singer (songwriter and guitarist) Tom Lee-Richards, they’ve a frontman who brings to mind both Antony Hegarty and a Buckley or two.

The combination of brass, strings and voice provides a fascinating core to Catch Release, though they’re very much song based. These songs, recorded live, though with remarkable clarity, paint plenty of enthralling pictures. They start with “Motion Sickness”, which almost arrives in parts, though the interplay between Lee-Richards’ voice and Tim Hannah’s French horn is a constant. It’s a perfect start, and better still is “Out Of Sight”, where Navin Gulavita’s violin becomes central, and the group as a whole display a remarkable lightness of touch; with drummer Bill Bates building a rhythm that’s simultaneously playful and dark. I think my favourite is “Christmas In The Jungle”. It’s almost filmic, the combination of lyrical flights, involving lions and the forest floor, sweeping atmospherics and splashing percussion is intensely satisfying.
Phil S.

Rolling Stones in NME award double

The Rolling Stones were double winners at the NME Awards, more than half a century after they first featured in the magazine's pages.

The veteran group were named best live band, and their documentary Crossfire Hurricane landed the best film prize.

The event, at London venue The Troxy, saw rock trio Biffy Clyro named best British band, while The Killers landed the best international band prize.

And former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr took NME's "godlike genius" award.

The accolade was to recognise his achievements during a 30-years musical career during which has he has worked with acts such as Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs.

Another double winner at the annual bash was Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine.

She was named best solo artist and provided the vocals on Sweet Nothing, by Calvin Harris, which was named best dancefloor anthem.

Meanwhile, One Direction, the chart-topping group which picked up a global success prize at the Brit Awards last week, was named worst band.

And singer Harry Styles was named villain of the year.

Ryan Jarman, lead singer of the Cribs said: "To get something like the Outstanding Contribution Award, it's a big deal for us after 10 years. The whole thing is kind of surreal."

NME award winners in full:
BEST ALBUM: The Maccabees
BEST TRACK: Inhaler' Foals
BEST TV SHOW: Fresh Meat
BEST MUSIC FILM: The Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane
BEST RE-ISSUE: Blur - 21
BEST SOLO ARTIST: Florence Welch
BEST NEW BAND: Palma Violets
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
BEST FESTIVAL: Reading and Leeds festivals
BEST LIVE BAND: The Rolling Stones
BEST DANCEFLOOR ANTHEM: Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing
BEST TWITTER: Alana Haim (@babyhaim)
BEST BOOK: Mike Skinner - The Story Of The Streets
MUSIC MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Olympics opening ceremony
HERO OF THE YEAR: Barack Obama
WORST BAND: One Direction
BEST FILM: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Source: BBC

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Tonight at The Musician: The Gren Bartley Band (28th Feb.)

Greenbird Promotions Presents…

The Gren Bartley Band
Thursday 28th February
plus Mellow Peaches
This is the launch gig for singer-songwriter Gren Bartley’s new album, his follow-up to the acclaimed “Songs to Scythe Back The Overgrown (“a quiet masterpiece” – fRoots, **** Spiral Earth). It’s also a rare opportunity to see him with a full band. Gren started off playing in a duo with fiddler Tom Kitching (Pilgrim's Way) but has always had a parallel solo career. He sits on the edge of the ever growing link between English and American folk music and explores the whole range from traditional English songs to the darkest American blues ballads.

Support comes from Birmingham’s Mellow Peaches, purveyors of rootsy stomps and gutsy grooves, traditional, organic and freshly sourced American blues and roots.

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling:

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Richard III Blue Boar painting bought by university

A Victorian painting of Richard III in Leicester has been bought by the university for more than £7,000.

The picture shows the king outside the Blue Boar Inn, setting out to meet his fate at the Battle of Bosworth.

The university said it was important a work by a local artist depicting such a significant moment in the region's history should be kept in the city.

Last year a team from the University of Leicester discovered and later identified the remains of Richard III.

The 1880 painting, by John Fulleylove, exceeded the £3,000 estimate and sold for £7,300.

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: "I am delighted that the University of Leicester has been able to acquire this work of art.

"A picture of Richard III at the Blue Boar Inn was a 'must have' for the University, especially as it was painted by a local artist, and is an accurate portrayal of the inn and links to our world-class research. It will be a valuable addition to our art collection."

Richard III was reputed to have stayed at the inn on 20 August 1485 before setting out to Bosworth, where he was killed by the forces of the future Henry VII.

His body was buried in a city church but the location was lost when the building was demolished.

An exhibition about the archaeological dig for Richard III's remains has attracted 15,000 visitors in its first two weeks.

Source: BBC

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Review: Diatessaron – Cobalt 60 Blue

Diatessaron – Cobalt 60 Blue (Independent)
Calgary quintet Diatessaron are throwback to the classic early / mid ‘70s progressive era, though they sound remarkably contemporary. Perhaps it’s their uninhabited musical ambition that marks them out, or maybe they’ve hit upon a sound that’s simply timeless. Whatever the reason, they’d sound perfectly at home sharing a bill with current UK prog rock poster-boys Syd Arthur, and on this showing, it’d be toss-up which of them went on last.

“Cobalt 60 Blue” is the third EP they’ve released since 2010, and although the album seems the natural format for this sort of music, these short, four or five song bursts make sense when we take into account how today’s music fan buys and listens to music. The four songs presented here provide a snapshot of a group in development, and as a suite, it holds together rather well.

They begin with “Kitestrings”, a title track of sorts, and it’s a stunning group composition. What especially impresses is their ability to embrace genuine pop hooks within an arrangement that often challenges and confronts. “Castaway” is perhaps easier, and contains several pieces of quiet, intense beauty – the opening moments in particular. “The Hourglass” exposes their harder edges, though the song remains central, and they finish with perhaps the most daring track of the collection, the exceptional “A Magnet's Love Song”. It’s nigh on impossible to pin down its compositional structure, but it’s sexy and progressive; two words rarely seen in the same sentence.
Phil S.

Diatessaron: Cobalt 60 Blue

Review: The World Palindrome – Particularly Hello

The World Palindrome – Particularly Hello (Air House Records)
Although previous incarnations (The Royal Palestine and The World Palestine) have been full band line-ups, for “Particularly Hello” and latest name change, The World Palindrome, we’re now down to just the one member, Les Easterby.

He cites influences as far and wide as New Kids on the Block, right through to the noise workouts of Jim O’Rourke. To simply sum up his style, it’s a lo-fi blend of progressive rock, new wave and shoegaze, with pop perfect vocals, where exceptional melody meets dischord, dissonance and occasional experimentation. His tired and lazy (not quite dreamy or lysergic) lyrical delivery contrasts nicely the jagged and rougher edges, which fizzle with low-key antagonism.

Tracks of note are the title track, “Cut The Cake” with its marimba-esque underpinning, the very brief “The Zap”, “Marital Bliss” with its outrageously tuned (or un-tuned) guitar and the finale, “Trombone Moan pt 1 & 2”, which is two-thirds a Red Crayola type freakout with an Ian Dury and the Blockheads demo (Sello)taped to the end.

The World Palindrome: Particularly Hello

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Madness to play BBC Television Centre farewell gig

Madness will perform live in the front of BBC Television Centre as part of an evening of entertainment bidding farewell to the iconic building.

Celebrating its 53 year history, BBC Four will produce the hour-long programme to be shown on 22 March, nine days before TV Centre closes its doors.

Coldplay and Beyonce have performed in the car park in past years.

Madness, whose hits include One Step Beyond, said they are "honoured" to be part of this "fond farewell."

A statement from the ska act, who rose to prominence in the early 80s, read: "We've played at some exciting places in London lately but the closing of BBC TV Centre... well... that is close to our hearts.

"As a band we grew up there, those walls have plenty of Madness tales to tell, a sad day, the end of an era, oh, but what a celebration."

The band will play new material from their recent tenth studio album Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da alongside the hits Baggy Trousers, I Never Knew Your Name and Our House.

The transition to the BBC's new London home, the central New Broadcasting House, began in October last year.

The 1960s building in west London, once home of Top of the Pops and Blue Peter and sold for £200 million, closes on 31 March and will be redeveloped into hotels, flats, a cinema and office space.

The main television studios will be retained and refurbished for leasing out to production companies, including the BBC, from 2014.

Richard Klein, controller BBC Four, said: "I can think of no better band than Madness to help celebrate a golden age of television coming out of the BBC's Television Centre.

"I am really pleased that one of Britain's finest groups has agreed to come along and help BBC Four celebrate in fine style."

The concert will be followed by a two-hour special, pre-recorded on 18 March, called Goodbye TV Centre.

Hosted by former BBC chairman Michael Grade in front of a studio audience, it will feature interviews with the likes of Sir David Attenborough, Ronnie Corbett, Noel Edmonds, Sir David Jason and Sir Terry Wogan.

 Source: BBC

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