Which local festivals do best by local acts? Two are absolute stand outs.
|Nile tearing it up at MoJazz|
Festivals can mean different things: the term has stretched from the idea of a day or three of music in a field somewhere. Now it's one-dayers, sometimes inside, sometimes all night. Or it's mega operations - holiday camps with drugs - where tens of thousands of punters shell out fortunes to trudge through mud and pay over the odds for designer food. I'm not exactly broken up that Wireless have swerved Perry Park again. But I am dead chuffed that Moseley Folk has headed back closer to its folk roots.
Tenbury and Notts takeoversThere's a lot going on. Including a virtually 100% Birmingham line-up, with – depending on your taste - some very hot bands... that's taking place 50 miles out of town. In fact there are two such festivals - the other one is 50 miles away in exactly the other direction. That's not counting Lunar who are a mere 9 miles away to the south.
|Swingamajig underneath the arches|
Shambala itself remains shrouded in exotic mystery, and that's part of the deal. They're a late August bash. Aficionados swear by it. They've only recently been persuaded to reveal part of their line-up. But there's a solid Brum connection – including a Swingamajig tent/event.
In fact Swingamajig are everywhere this summer, as the Moseley/Lunar complex continues to grow apace. June 3 to 5 sees a larger event at Lunar in Tanworth In Arden, just south of the city, with Swingamajig, Leftfoot and This is Tmrw all representing local DJ talent. Lots of big big festival type names headline, and locals like Victories at Sea, Black Mekon, Flamingo Flame, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, Boat to Row, Rhino and the Ranters - who are everywhere this summer - Bentley Rhythm Ace, Katherine Priddy and Andy Wickett.
You never know just who else might show up....
This is a benefit event for Teenage Cancer Trust, supported by some remarkable names. Rumours always seem to swirl around who else might be appearing. It's interesting to see such a diverse line-up, especially with ADO and Goodnight Lenin working in a lot of new material in public for the first time.
Which brings us to Moseley. The organisers have come up with two festivals and an extra gig squeezed in between after Mostly Jazz wraps up. MoJazz has the usual selection of interesting names from a few decades back: Funkadelic, De La Soul, Average White Band, and from half a damn century ago, Booker T, back for another shot. For me the exciting local names include ADO (again), and Call Me Unique, who switches to MoJazz after a MoFo slot a couple of years back. There's a set from Stone Foundation too, which is a good call. You still have to scratch around for a bit of Jazz. But Jazzlines and the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra are there to represent.
A week later, there's a sweet gig, on the left-over stage. So sweet, in fact, that they're repeating the day, and that second day is nearly sold out already. Ocean Colour Scene play Moseley Shoals and more, with The Twang supporting, and a promising underbill.
Folk me! Proper folk at MoFo!
Then things calm down a bit while monster festivals hoover up all the big acts and people's money. When we get to the very beginning of September, I'm really rather excited. Moseley Folk have some very solid and rather more contemporary headliners, and this year offer a lot more Folk and a lot less Indie. Not only that, they back it up with local names like ex-Nizlopi Luke Concannon, the first Brum appearance of the Fair Rain (once the Old Dance School), and welcome slots for Dan Whitehouse, the Chris Cleverly band and Rhino and the Ranters. Add to that an acoustic tent picked by the folks at the Kitchen Garden Cafe. With one or two further acts to be announced, I'm a happy bunny.
Updates???I don't have details of what Kitchen Garden Cafe will be laying on for MoFo, and of course festival line-ups change and grow. So if I've missed you, please update me!
Check Brum Radio for features on all of the above as the summer progresses, with some live coverage too.
Here's John Fell talking Lunar Festival (and a bit of MoJazz and MoFolk) with me.
And here's Tom Hyland talking Swingamajig with me.
Tue 19th, 4pm: In The Studio: David Campbell
Wed 20th, 11pm: Acoustic Night at the Jam House
Repeated Sat 23rd, 11am. Fri 22nd, 3 pm: Muso Takeover: Ruby Turner
After airing, these can be found on Brum Radio's Mixcloud page.
All Radio To Go shows are listed here.
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