Category Archives: Festivals

Standon Calling 2017: A Seismic Year Of Festival Memories

Serving up its biggest year to date, Standon Calling 2017 proved itself to be the true definitive British festival experience – bringing plenty of sunny memories across the weekend. From show-stopping headline sets from the iconic Grace Jones, Clean Bandit and Orbital, to the packed Standon Calling Dog Show, the incredible Horrible Histories bringing Barmy Britain Live to the Main Stage, Mr Motivator starting Sunday in a fashion only he can and the glitter-soaked force of nature that is Sink The Pink – there was a memory waiting at every turn.

Standon Calling 2016

Standon Calling

Festival Founder and Director Alex Trenchard said:

“As we planned and geared up for Standon this year, we kept saying how this year was going to be the best yet, but it’s gone even further than that over the weekend. Seeing so many happy faces, both old and new, young and older was amazing and we were absolutely delighted to see the looks on people’s faces when they saw the likes of Grace Jones, Orbital, Clean Bandit, Sink The Pink and many more. Thank you to everyone who came down this year and made it such an incredible experience – we’ll see you all in 2018!”

With Standon Calling 2017 locked in the memories of over 15,000 happy festival-goers, earlybird tickets for next year’s event are set for release shortly. With deposit schemes available at limited low prices, along with Lavish Lands, Camping and Campervan spots – it’s the perfect moment to lock in those all important dates for 2018.

Standon Calling will return between July 26th-29th 2018.

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Standon Calling 2017: The Fairyland Trust

The Fairyland Trust is a unique charity which encourages children and their families to discover the magic of nature through unique events and workshops.

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Nick Field spoke to Dave from the Trust about the work they do and you can hear the interview again below:

 
You can find our more about the group’s charitable work by visiting their official Facebook page.

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Standon Calling 2017: Flyte

Nick Field caught up with Flyte – Will, Nick, Jon and Sam – just before their Sunday afternoon set on the Laundry Meadows stage.

Flyte

The London foursome combine a wealth of influences ranging from the wry storytelling of The Kinks, the off-kilter new wave sensibilities of Talking Heads and the lyrically incisive optimism of the best mid 90s British bands. And you can hear what they had to say to Nick below:

 
You can find out more about what the band are up to by following their official Facebook page.

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Standon Calling 2017: Mudlarks

Mudlarks is a Hertford based charity who aim to integrate people with learning difficulties and mental health issues into the community through gardening.

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Nick caught up with Gina and Christine who talked about the work they do, which includes horticultural training, therapy and work experience at the Mudlarks community allotment in Hertford.

You can hear the interview again below:

 
You can find out more about Mudlarks at their website – mudlarksgarden.org.uk.

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Standon Calling 2017: Alex Trenchard

Without Alex, none of this would happen. He’s been organising this annual music event since 2004 and seen it grow from a birthday barbecue to a one-day one-stage event to the multi-stage event it is today.

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Paul spoke to Alex about how it has all gone this year and whether he’s managed to see any of the bands himself!

You can hear the interview again here:

 
Alex will be planning the 2018 event shortly and we look forward to telling you all about it!

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Standon Calling 2017: Gary Numan

Gary is about to release his 21st album, Savage (Songs From A Broken World), and is embarking on a mini-tour of festivals before a more major jaunt in the autumn around the UK and North America.

Gary Numan with Paul Golder

We spoke to Gary just before his Main Stage performance today. Gary explained why he chose a dystopian theme for his new record – and which real world event was the inspiration behind it.

You can hear the interview again here:

 
You can find out all the latest news about Gary’s album and tour at his official website.

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Standon Calling 2017: KT Tunstall

We grabbed the lovely KT Tunstall for a few minutes before her main stage performance at this year’s Standon Calling!

KT Tunstall with Paul Golder

KT, who now lives in Los Angeles, is currently writing a trilogy of life-affirming albums with the first of these, KIN, already out and the next one due in the spring. She spoke to us about her love of touring, her inspiration for her new work and also chatted about WarChild and the amazing work they do. You can hear it all again here:

You can keep an eye her latest news by following KT’s official Facebook page.

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Standon Calling 2017: John Hassall & The April Rainers

We were lucky enough to chat to the members of the Denmark-based band The April Rainers, prior to their set on the Laundry Meadows stage at this year’s Standon Calling festival.

The band are based around the bassist, member of Libertines, John Hassall.
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The band spoke about their perceived influences and the new album, Wheels to Idyl.

John made it clear that the Libertines are still a fully-functioning band, who are “more on that off lately”.

To listen to the interview, click below.

Click here for the band’s Facebook page.

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Standon Calling 2017: Cabbage

Prior to their set at the Laundry Meadows stage at this year’s Standon Calling, we spoke to one of the frontmen from the band Cabbage, Joe Martin.

Joe from Cabbage

Joe from Cabbage


Being described by the Guardian as “Manchester’s most exciting new band” Joe spoke to us about the meanings behind a number of the band’s songs.

Joe described the band as being politically motivated, with a number of messages in their songs.

For more details on the band, go to their Facebook page.

To listen to the interview, click below.

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Standon Calling 2017: Plastic Mermaids

Before their set on the Laundry Meadows stage for this year’s Standon Calling, we got to chat to the guys from Plastic Mermaids.

Plastic Mermaids at Standon Calling

Plastic Mermaids at Standon Calling


From the Isle of Wight, the band have been busy working on their new album and spoke to us about their recent escapades and plans.

To listen again to the interview click below.

To find out more about the band, with all the social media links, click the following link:-

www.plasticmermaids.com

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Standon Calling 2017: Tangerines

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
Fresh from their performance at the Laundry Meadows stage on Saturday, we had a chat with Gareth, Isaac, Miles and Ricky, otherwise known as London band Tangerines.

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The band were fully refreshed and in high spirits as they told us about their new album, “Into The Flophouse”, their exciting forays into darkest Essex and their unusual sources of inspiration.

You can buy the new album and find out what the band are up to by following their official Facebook page.

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Phoenix FM at Standon Calling 2017

The team from Phoenix FM – Paul Golder, Steve Robertson, Nick Field and Graham Stannard – were back at Standon Calling for the third year running.

Standon Calling is one of the hottest small festivals in the UK, with dozens of acts over eight stages, so there’s plenty to see and do without suffering the crushing crowds from bigger events.

Click on the links below to hear our interviews again:




KT Tunstall



Gary Numan



Lucy Spraggan



Organiser Alex Trenchard



Cabbage



Fickle Friends



John Hassall and the April Rainers



Plastic Mermaids



Strong Asian Mothers



Alex Francis



Tom Grennan



Club Drive



Flyte



Tangerines



Mudlarks



The Fairyland Trust
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Club Drive – Phoenix FM at Standon Calling 2017

Early on Friday at Standon Calling and having a pleasant wander around the Standon Calling festival. We arrived at the main stage and it was great to be able to grab a conversation with Club Drive, a young pop/funk/rock band from Hertfordshire.

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They are looking forward to playing at a local festival and connecting with their audience here. I asked them how they met, how much they enjoy the artists that inspired them and how they’ve enjoyed touring around the UK.

They have a new single and video released today called ‘International’. Let’s hope that it will help them manifest adventures further afield.

You can hear the conversation here:

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Standon Calling 2017: Strong Asian Mothers

Click here to listen to the interview:

 
We caught up with Strong Asian Mothers just before their Friday afternoon performance at the Laundry Meadows stage.

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London’s Strong Asian Mothers’ blend of styles and emphatic live show has been making waves on London’s underground gig scene for a while and now the band are about to step firmly in to the lime light.

Best friends since their early years, Amer, Khushi and Josh have played in bands together throughout their childhoods but it was under Strong Asian Mothers that they really found their strength. Tying together influences from Hip Hop and Trap with Pop in a live band aesthetic really sets this band out all on their own path.

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They chatted about how they got together and what they were looking forward to at today’s festival.

New EP Animal is out now and you can find out more about the band on their official website.

*They were also at pains to let everyone know this was not their car.

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Phoenix FM at Latitude 2017

The team from Phoenix FM were back at the UK’s biggest and best music, arts and culture festival for an 11th year this year.

Click on the links below to hear our interviews again:




Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy



Mark Gardener from Ride



Declan McKenna



ActionAid UK



Dream Wife



Ben Ward from SuperGlu



Marcus Foster – Seramic



Black Thorn



Gurr



Bruno Major



Bessie Turner



Rad Pitt



Suffolk Wildlife Trust



Katy Arnander from Sadlers Wells



Victoria Shulungu from Far From the Norm



Disco Shed



Margaret Glaspy



Gill Landry



Lisa Wright



Science In A Van With Dr James Kilner



Forest Fringe



#LoveNotLitter with the Forest Faeries



Huw Stephens
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Latitude 2017: Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
I caught up with Matt from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust who was at Latitude to raise awareness of the trust’s work.

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The Sufoflk Wildlife Trust organise nature trails and pond dipping around the site – the pond dipping was particularly popular this year with children and families.

You can find out more about the work the trust does on their official website.

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Latitude 2017: Rad Pitt

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
I caught up with Suffolk band Rad Pitt before their Sunday lunchtime performance on the Lake Stage.

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The band put on a grgreat and chaotic set in front of a growing crowd of festival-hungry punters.

You can find out more about Rad Pitt on their Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: Lisa Wright

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
Lisa is a 24-year-old country artist from Essex.

After she spontaneously booked a flight to Nashville on a music trip, Lisa returned with her debut EP, ‘Before I Die’, which launched her career. She has been compared to Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch. She was listed in Introducing Essex’s Sound of 2017.

It was good to catch up again with Lisa, who’s been a guest on my Curveballs show three times before!

You can find out more about Lisa at www.lisawrightmusic.com.

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Latitude 2017: Huw Stephens

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
I caught up with Huw Stephens when he wandered into the press tent, no doubt looking for more things to do!

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Huw has been a DJ on BBC Radio 1 since 1999 when he was one of the station’s youngest-ever DJs.

Huw also introduces stages at Reading and Glastonbury as well as Latitude.

You can find out more about Huw at his Radio 1 page.

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Latitude 2017: Forest Fringe

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
Forest Fringe is a community of artists making space for risk and experimentation at the Edinburgh Festival and beyond.

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They began in 2007 as a totally independent, not-for-profit space in the midst of the Edinburgh Festival and sought to build a community around this space in which experimentation and adventure were cherished and supported. A space that offered artists and audiences alike a different kind of opportunity the chance to come together collectively, contributing their time and energy to make exciting, improbable, spectacular things happen. The kind of things that no one could achieve individually.

I spoke to Ira about the group’s current works.

You can find out more about the Forest Fringe at http://www.forestfringe.co.uk/about-us/

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Latitude 2017: Science In A Van with Dr James Kilner

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
Scientific research is in the middle of a so-called “replication crisis”. Scientists have found that the results of many experiments are difficult or impossible to replicate on subsequent investigation.

Dr James Kilner from Science In The Van

The replication of results from previous studies is central to the scientific process. The aim of the Science in the Van is to take experimental science on the road and run previously published experiments to test how reproducible they are. In Science in the Van at Latitude we will be asking you to volunteer in different experiments that enable us to study how aware people are of what’s going on inside their bodies.

Dr James Kilner is a neuroscientist in the Institute of Neurology at UCL. He is interested in theoretical models linking perception and action.

I spoke to Dr James in the Faraway Forest and you can hear it again above!

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Latitude 2017: Declan McKenna

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
18 year old singer/songwriter Declan McKenna chatted to us just before his appearance at the BBC Music stage.

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Declan has just released his debut album, What Do You Think About The Car, which is currently sitting in the top ten in the midweek album charts.

It’s been a great couple of years for Declan, with an appearance in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll, a recent performance at Radio 1’s Future Festival, and a healthy trail of media support throughout 2016 including a show-stealing performance on Later With Jools Holland.

In a very short period of time, he’s become synonymous with wrapping his fizzing alt-pop songs in smart, engaged lyrical content.

You can find out more about Declan at www.declanmckenna.net.

More photos from Latitude:

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Latitude 2017: Bessie Turner

Click here to listen again to the interview:

 
We chatted to Essex singer/songwriter Bessie Turner before her performance on the Lake Stage on Friday.

Her style is an eclectic pastiche of her musical heroes; she is influenced as much by MIA as she is Dionne Warwick. Yet it is her own uniqueness – in both her personality as well as her music – that sets her apart as an artist and performer. Her voice rings with a soulfulness that floats like a cloud; wistful, effortless and above all charming.

Bessie released her debut single Big Sleep in April 2017 to critical acclaim. You can find out more about Bessie on her official Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: Ben Ward from Superglu

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We’ve been tracking Manningtree’s finest, Superglu, for some time now and we’re hoping they go onto greater things – judging by their storming performance on the Lake Stage on Friday, anything is possible.

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Before coming to Latitude, SuperGlu release their brand new single Simmer Down’ via Antigen Records in April as a highly anticipated taster for their forthcoming EP Fig’, released later this summer.

Earlier this year, SuperGlu performed multiple official showcases at SXSW 2017 in Texas, including Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq’s showcase at the British Music Embassy.

We chatted to drummer Ben about the band and what they’re currently up to.

You can find out more about the band by keeping an eye on their official Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: Bruno Major

Click here to listen again to the interview:

 
One of the many endearing things about Bruno Major is that he doesn’t seem to have any idea what a powerful and emotionally searing singer he is.

Ask Bruno about his guitar playing though and, sheepish grin out of the way, he’ll wax lyrical about an instrument he first picked up at the age of seven, and which has seen him through good times and bad, triumphs and false starts, ever since.

It comes as no surprise whatsoever to learn that Bruno studied and mastered jazz guitar – studies that saw him earning a living as a session guitarist from the young age of 16.

Gareth chatted with him just before his performance at the Lake Stage on Saturday.

You can find out more about Bruno on his official Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: Marcus Foster – Seramic

Click here to listen again to the interview:

 
A first for Phoenix FM as birthday boy Gareth interviews birthday boy Marcus!

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We caught Marcus just before his perforamnce at the Sunrise Arena on Sunday.

Seramic is Marcus’s new project. Combining his visual and musical sensibilities, it’s an exciting space for him to blend his many musical influences into one place. Drawn to immediate, joyful rhythms and chest-swelling choruses, he combines his love of legendary singer-songwriters with fresh, piercing electronic sounds and experiments with the hip-hop approach of sampling. A sound that The Sunday Times has dubbed “Prince meets D’Angelo meets Tom Waits meets Joe Cocker. Foster intends “the music to be forward-thinking, to be present. The way I see it, I’m never going to make a better soul record than Sly and the Family Stone, or make a funk record that’s better than Funkadelic’. The most important thing for any artist is embracing change.

You can find out more about Marcus on his official Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: Black Thorn

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Sheffield band Black Thorn – Joel, Adam, Jack and Josie – had a chat with us just before their performance on the BBC Introducing stage on Sunday.

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They also related a tale of mistaken identity at one of our own local festivals!

You can find out more about them on their official Facebook page.

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Latitude 2017: ActionAid

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
ActionAid are one of Latitude Festival’s charity partners and were in attendance for the third time this year.

We spoke to Jessica Holland about the work the charity is currently doing in Africa – in particular busting myths and taboos and giving support and education to women and girls facing the challenge of menstruation.

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Why are we talking about periods at Latitude?

Having your period at a festival can be a real challenge, when clean loos and sanitary items are hard to come by.

Millions of women and girls around the world face these challenges on a monthly basis – no sanitary products, no proper toilets, no clean water.

Apart from the discomfort, lack of access to toilets and sanitary items also leads to gender discrimination: in Africa, one in ten girls misses school when they have their period. This has a huge knock-on effect on girls’ education and often leads to them dropping out, reducing their chances of being able to support themselves later on in life.

Despite menstruation being completely natural, damaging myths about periods and a culture of shame continue to hold women and girls back.

You can find out more about ActionAid on their official website.

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Latitude 2017: Gurr

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
We chatted with Berlin duo Gurr just before their performance at the Lake Stage at Latitude on Sunday.

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Andreya and Laura Lee talked about how they got together, their current album and even a special forthcoming performance with Berlin resident Eddie Argos from Art Brut.

Gurr then went on to complete a very cool and accomplished set in front of a big afternoon crowd.

You can find out more about the band on their official Facebook page.

More photos from Latitude:

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Latitude 2017: Dream Wife

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We caught up with Dream Wife just before their performance at the Lake Stage at Latitude on Sunday.

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Alice, Bella and Rakel chatted to us about how they got together, their new album and their ever-increasing live reputation.

The live performance was amazing too – the band drew a massive crowd around the stage. It was definitely one of our highlights of the weekend.

You can find out more about the band on their official Facebook page.

More photos from Latitude:

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Latitude 2017: Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
We caught up with Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy just before his Obelisk Arena performance at Latitude on Sunday.

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Neil was in great form, very relaxed and happy to chat about his most recent album, Foreverland, which reached the top 10 last year.

Neil and his band will be touring the UK later this year, including dates at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on 29 November and UEA Norwich on 2 December. We think the band may have something else going on, but did we get any clues?

Big thanks to Neil for the chat and also to Natalie de Pace, Neil Adams and Holly for helping set it up and running the best band social media site on the planet!

The Divine Comedy’s official website can be found at www.thedivinecomedy.com.

More photos from Latitude:

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Latitude 2017: Mark Gardener from Ride

Click here to listen to the interview again:

 
We were delighted to get a bit of interview time with Mark Gardener, singer and guitarist with Ride.

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Even though the band were on site late due to a delayed flight, and were on stage in about an hour and half, Mark and his management made me feel like they had all the time in the world. And I seriously had to fight myself from falling asleep on the bus – it was so comfortable!

After four albums – including two which reached the top 5 in the UK – Ride called it a day in 1996, with the band members moving to other musical projects – Mark formed the Animalhouse and performed with Goldrush, and guitarist Andy Bell forming Hurricane No 1 and then joining Oasis as bassist for their final three albums.

The band reformed in 2015 and after a few packed gigs released a fifth album, Weather Diaries, last month. The album has continued their earlier success, peaking at no 11 in the charts. And needless to say their performance at Latitude was in line with high expectations!

Ride’s official website can be found at www.thebandride.com.

More photos from Latitude:

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Standon Calling – bigger and better than ever!

Standon Calling, Hertfordshire’s annual music festival is back again this summer. Some amazing acts are taking part, including headliners Orbital, Clean Bandit and Grace Jones along with Editors, Kate Tempest, KT Tunstall, Slaves, Laura Mvula, Gary Numan, British Sea Power and many more.

standon poster 2017

In addition there are some fantastic DJ appearances to look forward to, including sets from Faithless, Idris Elba and Phoenix FM’s very own Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi!

We spoke to festival founder and director Alex Trenchard about the bands playing and you can hear the interview again here:

 
Along with great music, there’s also comedy, children’s entertainment and gourmet food. It’s one of our favourite festivals and we’re looking forward to going back again next year.

Standon is just a couple of miles to the west of Bishops Stortford and just 40 minutes’ drive from Brentwood. (We reckon that’s nearer than the V Festival in Chelmsford once you factor in traffic times …)

Standon Calling takes place from the 27th to the 30th of July. Tickets are on sale at standon-calling.com.

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The 1975, Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes to headline Latitude

Courtney Barnett at Latitude 2016 (Pic Paul Golder)

Latitude Festival has announced the line up for their twelfth edition, which takes place on Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th July 2017 in the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk. Tickets are available here.

Fresh from their Best British Group win at the BRIT Awards and two sold-out nights at the O2 Arena, The 1975 will headline Friday night at Latitude, bringing with them a remarkable stage set up and a fiercely dedicated fan base. Following last year’s critically acclaimed No.1 album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, the Manchester outfit have gone from strength to strength over the last four years, going on to sell out arenas across the world since first performing on The Lake Stage back in 2013.

Mumford & Sons will take to the Obelisk Arena as Saturday night headliners in a UK Festival Exclusive. The Grammy Award winners will be bringing their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover to Henham Park, presenting their personally curated Saturday line up of some of today’s biggest new bands, before bringing the night to a close with an unmissable headline performance.

Mumford & Sons said:

“This collaboration with Latitude is one of the most exciting things we’re doing this year. Ever since we started working on Gentlemen Of The Road Stopovers we’ve really enjoyed curating line ups and sharing not only our own music but also sharing music of artists who we love and are listening to regularly. It’s almost like creating a mix tape with a best friend, but instead it’s a whole day of music, across multiple stages, with 40,000 people!”

Fleet Foxes make their Latitude debut this July in a UK Festival Exclusive, as they headline The Obelisk Arena on Sunday. Returning from a hiatus and armed with a platinum debut album, their first British performance in five years will no doubt make for a memorable end to the weekend.

Fleet Foxes said:

“After being holed up in the studio for a year, there’s nothing we’re more excited about than performing new songs and revisiting our catalog at Latitude!”

Melvin Benn, founder and creator of Latitude Festival commented:

“Following the incredible success of our eleventh edition last year, we had set the bar high for this year’s festival. The 1975 have more than proven themselves over the past year and I’m thrilled to give them a well-deserved headline slot. Mumford & Sons have chosen Latitude as the only stop in the UK for their Gentlemen of the Road Takeover, and Fleet Foxes’ will headline their only UK appearance at a festival this year. Latitude 2017 is already simply unmissable.”

Lucy Woods, music talent booker for the Latitude Festival music stages said:

“We have phenomenal headliners, but in addition to this there are hundreds of acts to stumble upon at Latitude Festival, with the Lake Stage and much more still to be announced. The festival’s legacy of championing undiscovered music is stronger than ever, and in what’s been my first year, I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come.”

The Obelisk Arena will also see performances by some of today’s most exciting and respected artists. Making their Latitude debut after almost 20 years together, Goldfrapp will set the arena ablaze in a long awaited performance, with the addition of returning festival favourites The Horrors in aUK Festival Exclusive, and captivating singer-songwriter Lucy Rose. Fresh after a huge 2016 and the release of their second album How To Be A Human Being, Glass Animals will also bring their energetic live show to Latitude, alongside returning indie rockers Grandaddy off the back of their first album in ten years, Senegal’s mesmerising Baaba Maal, and the critically adored Tinariwen and The Very Best.

Velvet Underground founder John Cale will perform from over five decade’s worth of solo material in The Obelisk Arena, along with orchestral pop band The Divine Comedy and gospel legend Mavis Staples. Joining fellow label mates The 1975, The Japanese House brings her atmospheric synth-pop to Latitude, along with country singing duo Ward Thomas and enigmatic Belgian rapper Baloji.

The BBC Music Stage will welcome alt-rock pioneers Placebo for their Latitude debut and UK Festival Exclusive performance, bringing with them an extensive back catalogue including favourites ‘Infra-Red’, ‘Every You Every Me’ and ‘Pure Morning’. The iconic RIDE will deliver their seminal shoegaze, while the legendary Fatboy Slim will bring his barrage of hits to Henham Park. Also joining the line up is innovative rising rapper Loyle Carner, backed with the recent release of his touching debut album, Yesterday’s Gone, alongside the incomparable SOHN, Irish national treasureLisa Hannigan in support of her recent At Swim album, and BBC Sound Of 2016 winner Jack Garratt.

The BBC Music Stage will also see performances from London electronic duo Mount Kimbie, hotly-tipped pop powerhouse Maggie Rogers,prodigious multi-instrumental two-piece The Lemon Twigs, and the return of young indie rebel Declan McKenna. The Radio Dept. make their Latitude debut alongside indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso, and Antipodean songwriter Julia Jacklin.

Festival favourites Ibibio Sound Machine, model turned folk singer Karen Elson, dance pop prospects Formation, BBC Sound Of 2017 nominee Tom Grennan, and Icelandic garage-rockers Kaleo will take to the BBC Music Stage. Appearances will also come from ascendant French duo HER, the first signing on Ben Howard’s label A Blaze of Feather, and US folk favourites The Head and the Heart.

Latitude Festival welcomes Kurupt FM as headliners of the Music & Film Arena. The stars of BBC smash-hit People Just Do Nothing will take over the arena, dropping nothing but first-rate garage, grime, reggae & DnB.

Latitude Festival also welcomes Will Young to headline the Music & Film Arena. The critically acclaimed singer will join Latitude with his band for a rare performance of Summer Jazz Sessions. Irish musician Imelda May will also headline the stage, performing songs from her forthcoming albumLife Love Flesh Blood. Performances will also come from iconic dub poet, writer, social commentator and musician Benjamin Zephaniah and The Revolutionary Minds, a re-imagination of Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas by Festival Voices and a Swing Jazz Takeover by White Mink wherethey will transport the audience back to the early twentieth century through a collection of DJs and burlesque performers.

The Sunrise Arena returns with an eclectic line up that boasts some of the most exciting, genre-defying musicians of the moment. Atmospheric krautrock trio Beak> will give a headline performance, as will one of the hottest names in UK hip-hop right now, Dave. American troubadour Kevin Morby, psych revivalists Temples, the highly-praised power trio Sunflower Bean, hyped London quartet Palace and the exuberant duo Honeybloodwill all take to the Sunrise Arena. Joining them are Chicago slacker sweethearts Twin Peaks, Scandinavian starlet Sigrid, the much-loved Liverpudlian trio All We Are, the ever-evolving might of Esben and the Witch, genre-straddling experimental trio Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, and classical pianist Lubomyr Melnyk. Hidden away in the woods, grunge-rock singer Margaret Glaspy, electronic producer Max Cooper, raucous London outfit Goat Girl, contemporary soul singer Kadhja Bonet, mysterious producer Seramic and ascendant Irish singer Áine Cahill will also take to the stage,followed by Joe Goddard who will DJ late into the night.

Latitude Festival’s most intimate and adored arena, DIY presents the Alcove Stage will also return in 2017. Performances will come from hugely hyped 4AD sensation Pixx, the much-loved hushed and hymnal Benjamin Francis Leftwich, fellow Dirty Hit signees King Nun, rising pop sensationYoungr, German electronic duo Lea Porcelain, British singer-songwriter Joe Fox and driving four piece Mosa Wild who have made a remarkable impact since emerging in late 2016.

Jorja Smith is the first of many handpicked for the Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover on Saturday. At just 19-years of age, she has already received praise around the country including being named fourth in this year’s BBC Sound Of poll, and will perform on the Lake Stage this summer.

Celebrating the biggest names in dance and performance; the UK’s finest multi-arts festival returns for its twelfth edition, today announcing The Waterfront Stage line up, amongst others, which promises an unrivalled breadth, depth and quality of programming.

Tania Harrison, Latitude’s Arts Curator says:

“Latitude celebrates the very best artists, both emergent and established, across myriad art forms, and this ethos is embodied in the fullness and diversity of the Dance bill for this summer. We’re incredibly proud to offer audiences not only the chance to see the very best ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance from around the globe, but also the opportunity to learn from these companies through practice, with BalletBoyz, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and Far From The Norm each offering the Latitude audience the chance to take part in a workshop or class on our iconic Waterfront Stage.”

BalletBoyz will be bringing their new work Life. to the Waterfront Stage, featuring two new commissions by internationally acclaimed choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos. Life. takes an elegant, powerful and sometimes provocative look at life and death, presented in BalletBoyz’ inimitable style and performed by its all-male company of ten incredible dancers.

Sadler’s Wells, the UK’s leading dance house returns to the Waterfront Stage for the tenth year to present a diverse programme including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, which celebrates thirty years of innovative dance this year, to the Latitude audience. An extract from Town and Country;Country is a heartfelt pastiche led by the evocative music of Edward Elgar, Noël Coward and Percy Grainger, amongst others. Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures will also lead a workshop on the Waterfront Stage, open to the Latitude audience.

Following the Grammy Award nominated success of INALA, a Zulu ballet performed with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sadler’s Wells present Sisters Grimm’s Voices of the Amazon on the Waterfront Stage this summer, telling the majestic tale of a water spirit from the Amazon River through enchanting contemporary ballet and capoeira, accompanied by live music by Brazilian songwriters and world-renowned percussionists, Olodum.

Sadler’s Wells will present the BBC Young Dancer 2017 Finalists, a showcase providing the Latitude audience with a taste of the best of young British dance talent from the competition’s finalists; showcasing the energy and electricity of a street dance solo, the versatility of contemporary dance, the classical precision and artistry of ballet, and the grace and fine detail of a South Asian dance.

The Get-Down, featuring Boy Blue Entertainment, is a specially curated event which will showcase the very best movers and shakers in the world of hip-hop theatre complete with performances and demonstrations set to a live DJ soundtrack. The Get-Down features Boy Blue Entertainment,whose compelling contemporary dance strives to reflect the world in flux.

Completing the Sadler’s Wells line-up are National Youth Dance Company, with their latest production Tarantiseismic, created by 2016–2017 Guest Artistic Director Damien Jalet. A Sadler’s Wells’ commission presented by a company of 40 dancers; the piece addresses themes such as melancholia, ritual, control and abandon. Jalet’s revered choreographic style combined with the dancers’ energy and talent is set to produce a mesmerising experience that shifts the consciousness of the audience.

Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer and dancer Botis Seva will return to the festival with his company Far From the Norm and their new work Da Native. The piece will explore the timely topic of cultural displacement through a high-energy combination of physical theatre, contemporary dance and hip-hop. The Latitude audience will also have the chance to experience a Far From The Norm workshop.

Award-winning comedian and the presenter of BBC Proms Proms Unplucked podcast, Vikki Stone will present a premiere of her orchestral work,The Concerto for Comedian & Orchestra on The Waterfront Stage. An orchestral piece where the soloist is a comedian, The Concerto for Comedian & Orchestra is the first of its kind, blending Vikki’s unique comedic songs with her love of classical music.

Opera North are committed to challenging conventional perceptions of opera. At Latitude 2017, they will transform Latitude’s woodlands into a magical immersive soundscape as Opera North Projects bring Underworld to The Faraway Forest; a Greek mythology experience formed through words, music and light. Find a path through the Forest and listen out for Orpheus: His voice is in the trees and under the ground; it’s coming.

A brand new yoga experience suitable for yogis of any ability; Disco Yoga will encourage Latitude to ‘Glitter Up’ before a session of flow yoga set to a disco soundtrack in the Cabaret Arena.

Latitude will also welcome a host of DJs to Henham Park for late-night party performances. In the Comedy Arena, the world’s best travelling dance party Hot Dub Time Machine will be coming to Latitude for the first time. After sell-out performances at festivals, theatres and on rooftops across the globe, lead DJ Tom Loud will take audiences from 1954 to the present day with the best pop hits. The ultimate pop safe space, Guilty Pleasureswill return to the festival armed with the most unashamedly and unapologetic chart hits whilst Buttoned Down Disco will also return to Henham Park with their eclectic mix of pop, indie, quirky covers and house. Late night Latitude Festival favourites Disco Shed will return to Pandora’s Playground with their 8 x 6 ft garden shed, keeping the party going every night with the best soul, funk, house and techno.

TICKET INFORMATION

Adult Weekend tickets £197.50 face value + £8 booking fee per ticket

Accompanied Teen Weekend tickets (13-15 years) £132.50 + £8 booking fee per ticket

Child Weekend tickets – £8

Adult Day tickets £77.50 + £7 booking fee per ticket

Child Day Tickets – £10

Adult Weekend Instalment tickets:

If you purchase your Adult Weekend Ticket  instalment plan between 9am on 1st March and midnight 31st March 2017 your first payment will be of £73 + £8 booking fee on purchase. The second payment of £65 will be on 2nd May and the final payment of £67.50 + £6.50 postage payment will be on 2nd June.

Disabled access requirements and PA/carer ticket applications will open on March 31st. Please refer to the website or contact the access team on accessuk@festivalrepublic.com for more information and guidance.

M ore ticket information / Tickets available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/latitude

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Brentwood Festival 2017 – Laurie Edmonds reveals first acts

The Brentwood Festival is back next year and the festival team have already booked their first acts!

Laurie Edmonds Brentwood Festival 09-06-16

Laurie Edmonds spoke to Mike Porter about the festival, now in its 7th year, and you can hear the big announcement below:

The Brentwood Festival takes place from 14-16 July 2017. Early bird tickets go on sale on 1st November and you can find out more at brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

The White Horse Beer, Sausage and Cider Festival takes place from 28-30 October and will feature many festival regulars including Missing Andy and Expose. Profits will go to Blesma, The Limbless Veterans charity. You can find out more on the event’s Facebook page.

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Standon Calling 2016

For the last weekend in July Phoenix FM attended the music festival in Hertfordshire, in its 11th year having a pirate theme with the title “Legend of the Lost Seas”.

Standon Calling 2016

Standon Calling Site 2016

Standon Calling has everything for the family, ensuring the family pet isn’t missed out. The dog show this year had categories including “Dog with the Waggiest Tail” and “Best Walk”. The proud winners and their owners had the chance to parade their rosettes on the Clocktower stage.

Standon Calling Dog Show Winners

Standon Calling Dog Show Winners

We caught a lot of the acts, playing across the various stages at the weekend.

Lea Lea

Lea Lea on Stage

Lea Lea on Stage

From Hackney, Lea Lea was into music from an early age, with a family of musicians including a mother who was an opera singer. You can find out more at her LeaLea.co.uk. We spoke to Lea Lea behind the Laundry Meadows stage before her Saturday afternoon set. To listen to Steve Robertson’s chat with her , click below.

Standon Calling Interview with Lea Lea

Steve Robertson with Lea Lea

Steve Robertson with Lea Lea

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

Rag 'n' Bone Man on Stage

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man on Stage

From Sussex, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man played the main stage on Saturday afternoon. Progressing from a rapper to a prolific blues and soul singer, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man is making a name for himself as he steps out of the underground scene – more details are available at his official website. He proved his versatility on the main stage with a varied set to an audience of all ages. Following this, he spoke backstage to Steve Robertson.

Standon Calling Rag ‘n’ Bone Man Interview

Behind the Main Stage with Rag n Bone Man

Behind the Main Stage with Rag n Bone Man

Emma McGrath

Emma McGrath with her band

Emma McGrath

At Just 16 years old, Emma McGrath has been writing and performing her own music, much of that music which she played on the Laundry Meadows stage on Sunday. She has already won awards, including a PRS Foundation prize for female songwriters. Further information is at on her website. After she played her acoustic set, Emma spoke to Steve Robertson.

Standon Calling Emma McGraph Interview

Emma McGrath Backstage with Steve

Emma McGrath Backstage with Steve

Cuban Brothers

The Cuban Brothers on the Main Stage

The Cuban Brothers on the Main Stage

Music, break dancing and comedy on the main stage Sunday afternoon was what the Cuban Brothers gave the Standon Calling audience. They delivered! More information is on their website It was an interesting conversation with Miguel, to hear this click below.

Cuban Brothers Interview

Backstage with Miguel

Backstage with Miguel

Kiko Bun

Kiko Bun on the Main Stage

Kiko Bun on the Main Stage

Sunday afternoon on the main stage saw Kiko Bun delivering his own brand of reggae. He’s worked with the Wailers, and his music has been featured on TV. All his social media channels are on his website. The Loner spoke to Phoenix FM and hou can listen to the interview below.

Kiko Bun

Kiko Bun behind the Main Stage

Kiko Bun behind the Main Stage

It was a great weekend. We’re already looking forward to next year.

Standon's Busy Junction

Standon’s Busy Junction

Standon Calling 2016

Standon Calling 2016

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The Phoenix FM stage

The Phoenix FM stage – a haven for people who appreciate quality musicians who don’t judge you if you buy your clothes from Primark.

Here are some of the acts who played our stage at this year’s Brentwood Festival. Thank you to Ricky Allen for the photos – you can visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ricky.allen.186.

Anthem

Anthem

Archive

Archive

Black Cherry Pop Tart

Black Cherry Pop Tart

Defunked

Defunked

Frog On A Rocket

Frog On A Rocket

Johnny and the Raiders

Johnny and the Raiders

Nobody's Fool

Nobody’s Fool

Ocean Flaws

Ocean Flaws

Paolo Morena

Paolo Morena

The Cajonoisseurs

The Cajonoisseurs

The Cracked

The Cracked

The Prefabs

The Prefabs

The Reggaelators

The Reggaelators

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Brentwood Festival 2016

Phoenix FM presenters were out and about talking to some of the performers and festivalgoers at this year’s event, which took place at the Brentwood Centre from 15-17 July.

Libby and Marielle talk to Jazzy B from Soul II Soul

Jazzy B (Libby and Marielle)

Tracey chats to Mark King from Level 42

Mark King from Level 42 (Tracey)

Libby and Marielle chat to Simon from the Brand New Heavies

Simon from the Brand New Heavies (Libby)

Tracey chats to Katie Green from Brick Lane

Katie Green from the Brick Lane stall (Tracey)

Tracey talks to Jonathan and Eileen from the Wigs Hats Glowsticks and Guitars stall

Jonathan and Eileen from the Wigs Hats Glowsticks and Guitars stall

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 01 - crowd

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 02 - crowd

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 03 - crowd

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 04 - Phoenix FM stage

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 06 - main stage

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 07 - Antonia and festivalgoer Charles

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 08 - Antonia and Jazzie B

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival - Antonia 09 - Caron Wheeler

2016-07-15 Brentwood Festival 01 - second stage

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 01

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 02

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 03

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 04

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 05

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Tony 06

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 01

2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 02

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2016-07-16 Brentwood Festival - Vic 12

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Brentwood Festival – stage times announced

Stage times have been announced for this year’s Brentwood Festival, which takes place from 15-17 July at the Brentwood Centre.

Friday – gates open at 18:00

MAIN STAGE
19:30 The Brand New Heavies
21:30 Soul II Soul

PHOENIX FM STAGE
18:30 Paul Woodley
20:30 Bif Bam Pow

Saturday – gates open at 12:00

MAIN STAGE
12:00 Ska ‘n Mash
12:45 Sam Knight
13:35 The Big Sing
14:25 The Earnshaws
15:50 Undercover
17:20 Missing Andy
19:15 The Dualers
21:30 Level 42

PHOENIX FM STAGE
12:00 DJ
13:00 Black Cherry
14:15 Frog on a Rocket
15:30 Rob Jones
16:30 The Cracked
17:45 The Reggaelators
19:15 Archive

Sunday – gates open at 12:00

MAIN STAGE
12:15 Funky Voices
13:25 The Renegade Blues Brothers
14:45 The Signatures
16:00 Exposé
17:45 ABC
19:30 Tony Hadley
21:30 The Boomtown Rats

PHOENIX FM STAGE
12:00 DJ
13:00 The Cajonoisseurs
14:15 Johnny Gunner and the Raiders
15:30 The Pre Fabs
16:45 Defunked
18:00 The Scorchers
19:15 Paolo Morena
20:30 Ocean Flaws

For tickets and more information visit brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

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The Phoenix FM stage comes to the Brentwood Festival

Phoenix FM will be hosting music at the Brentwood Festival for the first time. The Brentwood-based radio station has been announced as the official sponsor of the festival’s second stage.

 
The festival’s Main Stage kicks off on Friday 15 July and the Phoenix FM stage will operate from midday until 10pm on each of Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July.

Saturday sees The Cracked, The Reggaelators, Archive, Frog On A Rocket and Black Cherry Pop Tart all playing on the radio station’s stage.

Sunday will feature Phoenix FM host listeners’ favourites Ocean Flaws and Paolo Morena along with The Pre Fabs, The Cajonoisseurs and The Scorchers.

Phoenix FM presenter Michelle Ward will also be in front of the crowds as well as backstage, as her band Defunked has also been announced for Sunday’s schedule.

The stage will be bigger than last year’s second stage to reflect the larger crowds expected at the festival, which is now in its sixth year at the Brentwood Centre.

Station chairman Paul Golder said, “We’ve been covering the Brentwood Festival since its very early days at the White Horse, but this is the first time we’ve had our own stage. Our presenters are very excited about watching and chatting to the many acts who’ll be playing there over the weekend.

“The artists who appear on both festival stages are all well known to our listeners and we’re very proud to continue our association with the Festival Team who have done some sterling work in growing the festival to where it is today.”

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Tinie Tempah joins the line-up at BSTK

BSTK has announced chart-topper Tinie Tempah, drum and bass producer Netsky and Brit dubstep duo Delta Heavy as the latest additions to the line-up for this year’s event, which takes place on the weekend of 8th-10th July.

tinie-tempah[1]

Also heading to fields of Morris Farm this summer are a host of local talents who’ll rock the Treehouse stage, including Phoenix FM favourites Jordan Gray, who’s currently appearing on BBC’s The Voice, and Southend band Asylums.

More local bands have been announced for the Treehouse Stage, including Arcaves, Grizzly Bears, Crème de Chèvre, Mullally, Drama Lamas, Mandeville, Scarlet Echo, Lemoncurd Kid, Emma Lauran, Cassia and Rob Jones.

They’ll be joining previously-announced headliners Mark Ronson, Annie Mac and Katy B at the South Woodham Ferrers festival.

We spoke to one of the BSTK organisers, Emmeline Gordon from Count Of Ten, about the big names and local bands who’ve been added to the bill. You can hear the interview again below:

2016-03-21 Emmeline Gordon from Brownstock (Paul)

Tier 3 tickets are still on sale – just £89 gets you three days of music plus camping. Click here to order and for the latest information about the festival keep an eye on BSTK’s Facebook and Twitter pages, or just keep listening to Phoenix FM!

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Saint Etienne to headline Indietracks

Saint Etienne, The Aislers Set and The Spook School are among the first 22 artists confirmed for this year’s Indietracks.

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We had a great time at last year’s festival and came away with a bucketload of interviews, CDs and great memories. You can see and hear our coverage here.

And there are some great bands this year. Saint Etienne are a much-loved British trio made up of Sarah Cracknell, Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley. Their debut album Foxbase Alpha was released in 1991 and since then they have released eight albums, two of which reached the top ten of the UK album charts. Their most recent album Words and Music received numerous glowing reviews, with Pitchfork calling it their “best LP since 1994 masterpiece Tiger Bay” and the NME saying “this record is the soundtrack to your life.”

The Aislers Set are an American indiepop six-piece much loved by the late BBC Radio One DJ John Peel. Their three albums received wide critical acclaim and they have toured with a myriad of bands including Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney and Belle and Sebastian. The band went on hiatus in 2003, reuniting briefly in 2012 and then again 2014 for a handful of shows in America to celebrate the reissue of their albums. They haven’t played the UK for four years and Indietracks will be their only UK show this year.

Joining them on the bill today are Shopping, Expert Alterations, Flowers, Seazoo, Po!, Chrissy Barnacle, ¡Ay Carmela!, City Yelps, Soda Fountain Rag, Charla Fantasma, Vacaciones, Songs for Walter, Two White Cranes, Falling & Laughing, Maggie8, Lorna, Pete Green, The Charlie Tipper Conspiracy and Prizefighter. Dozens more artists will be added to the bill shortly!

Around 50 indiepop bands from across the globe will be playing across four stages at Indietracks. The festival will also host a range of art and craft workshops and a selection of discos after the bands finish.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the festival, which started as a one-night event in April 2007. Indietracks takes place on the weekend of 29-31 July at the Midland Railway Centre in Derbyshire.

We had a chat with one of the organisers, Nat Hudson, about this year’s event and you can hear it again here:

2016-03-15 Nat Hudson (Paul)

Tickets are now available at an early bird discount price of £72 (weekend) and £39 (day). These cheaper prices are available until 9pm on Sunday 15 May. After this date, prices will be £79 (weekend) and £41 (day). So adult weekend tickets are £7 cheaper if you buy them early!

Weekend tickets for children aged 5-15 are £10, or £6 for a day ticket. Children under 5 get in free.

Tickets are available by calling the railway direct on 01773 747 674 during office hours or by visiting: http://indietracks.gigantic.com.

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Mark Ronson to headline BSTK 2016

BSTK kicks off summer in Essex across the weekend of 8-10 July 2016 with Annie Mac, Mark Ronson, Katy B, Krept & Konan, Wretch 32 and many more.

BSTK

Annie Mac and Mark Ronson are today confirmed as the first headliners for BSTK 2016. Mark Ronson, the Grammy award-winning international DJ, producer and musician will take to the decks crowning the main stage whilst Annie Mac, the taste-making DJ, broadcaster and TV host will top the bill in The Good Shed.

Also confirmed for the festival is the critically acclaimed Katy B, soon to release the follow up to her number 1 album ‘Little Red’, and world record holders for ‘Highest-Charting UK album by an Unsigned Act’, Krept & Konan. Elsewhere BSTK welcomes the arena-filling ‘Blackout’ hit-maker Wretch 32.

For guitar-lovers Scouting For Girls promise a prime slice of indie pop whilst MOBO Award winner Fuse ODG provides for BSTK’s afrobeat needs. An iconic name confirmed for this summer’s event is the multi platinum selling rapper and producer Mike Skinner.

Across the line-up further additions cover a whole host of party-fuelling sounds from both DJ and live acts across the dance, pop and urban spectrums of music such as Mistajam, Justin Martin, Big Narstie, Huxley, and Ms Dynamite. Names familiar to major airwaves, the top ten and the UK dance floors come in the forms of Charlie Sloth, Artwork, Izzy Bizu, Doorly, DJ Craze, DJ Yoda, Becky Hill, Bonkaz, Yungen and Lady Leshurr.

Further additions include an array of talent such as Sonny Fodera, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Hauswerks, Ivy Lab, Crissy Cris, Mampi Swift, Nicky Blackmarket and DJ SS. Whether its house, UK garage, drum n bass or techno BSTK has all bases covered for raving into the early hours with Drumsound & Bassline Smith, FuntCase, Logan D, Mat Format, Erb N Dub, Harry Shotta, Carasel, Unknown, Youngman, Indica and Nuklear.

BSTK returns this summer renewed and refreshed; as well as details of further artists future announcements will unveil further headliners, details of the VIP offering and all manner of entertainments to delight festival goers this coming July.

Weekend tickets are only £89, available from BSTK.co.uk.

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Brentwood Festival announce final headliner – Level 42

Festivalgoers in Brentwood will be living it up as the sun goes down with the addition of its final headliner, LEVEL 42.

Level 42_2

The band were a mainstay of the charts in the 1980s and beyond, enjoying six top 10 singles and six top 10 albums in the UK, including hits such as Lessons in Love, Something About You, Leaving Me Now, Running in the Family and The Chinese Way. They will be supported on Saturday 16 July by well known ska/reggae outfit The Dualers and Essex rock band Missing Andy.

Jazz funk group, The Brand New Heavies, will bring their set to the festival’s Friday line up. Best known for their 1990s hits like Midnight at the Oasis, Never Stop, and Dream on Dreamer, the band will perform alongside British soul stars, Soul II Soul.

A free after party for ticket holders will take place on the Friday and Saturday nights until 1am, featuring Phoenix FM’s very own Tony Smith and Pete Lacey of Ska ‘n Mash.

Festival Director, Jason Jopson, said, “We really stepped up the festival last year with headliners like Billy Ocean, The Human League and Sister Sledge. People have told us they want an 8’s rewind weekend, which we think we’ve delivered with performers like Tony Hadley, ABC, The Boomtown Rats, Soul II Soul and now Level 42. The whole festival team is really excited about the line up and looking forward to July already!”

Held in aid of charity each year, the Brentwood Festival will also feature a real ale tent sponsored by Brentwood Brewing Company, street food, free children’s activities, festival market and funfair.

Tickets are on sale from 14 February via www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk/tickets

If you would like to volunteer at the festival, please contact the events team on info@brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

BF_Poster_Lineup2016_rev120216

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Brand New Heavies added to the Brentwood Festival bill

The Brand New Heavies have been added to this year’s Brentwood Festival line-up.

The Brand New Heavies

The London acid jazz/funk band, best known for their chart hits Midnight At The Oasis and You’ve Got A Friend, will be playing the Main Stage alongside Soul II Soul on the Friday evening of this year’s event at the Brentwood Centre, which takes place between 15 and 17 July.

Other acts already confirmed for this year’s event include The Boomtown Rats, Tony Hadley, ABC, The Dualers and Missing Andy.

Friday night ticketholders can also go to the festival’s free 80s afterparty that night, which goes on until 1am.

Early bird tickets go on sale on Sunday 14 February at 9am. Visit brentwoodfestival.co.uk for more details.

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Back To Life, Back To Brentwood

British R&B band Soul II Soul will headline the 2016 Brentwood Festival on Friday 15 July.

Soul II Soul

The band are best known for their 1989 chart-topper “Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)” and won two gongs at the 1990 Grammy Awards.

Also added to the festival’s line up are 80s new wave band ABC. Fronted by lead singer Martin Fry, the group racked up a string of UK Top 10 hits including “The Look of Love”, “Poison Arrow”, “Be Near Me” and “When Smokey Sings”.

Martin Fry

They will be supporting Tony Hadley and The Boomtown Rats on the Sunday line up.

By popular demand, two local favourites, The Dualers and Missing Andy, return for Saturday night.

The Dualers are a 9 piece ska/reggae band from South East London, who hit the headlines when their single “Kiss on the Lips” stormed in to the UK top 30 in 2004.

The Dualers

Tyber Cranstoun, lead singer for The Dualers, says:

“We’re really excited to be back on the main stage at Brentwood. It’s one of our favourite events – the crowd is just amazing. Our set will introduce some of the tracks off our new album Reggae Street as well as all of the reggae and ska classics.”

About to kick off their 2016 reunion tour, Essex-based band, Missing Andy, will take to the festival stage on Saturday 16 July.

Missing Andy

Their Britpop, mod-influenced set will feature hits like “Feel Like This”, “Mr Policeman” and “Money”.

Festival Director, Jason Jopson, says:

“We pay a lot of attention to the feedback and suggestions from our regular festivalgoers and think we’ve come up with a 2016 line up that will make everyone happy. Friday will be our usual fun, party night; Saturday will spotlight ska and pop; and Sunday will be an 80s rewind for the whole family.”

The name of the main headliner for Saturday will be released soon. The festival box office will open on 14 February, with discounted early bird tickets on offer for 14 days. Passes will be on sale at www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

Phoenix FM DJ Tony Smith will once again be playing the afterparty with Pete Lacey.

Held every year in aid of charity, the festival is in its 6th year and has raised over £160,000 for local and national organisations, including SNAP, Little Havens, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, and Saint Francis Hospice.

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Tony Hadley set for Brentwood Festival

We are pleased to exclusively announce that the second big name in this year’s Brentwood Festival will be TONY HADLEY!

Tony Hadley

As frontman of Spandau Ballet he enjoyed 10 top 10 singles including a No 1 single, “True”, in 1983. The band also had 5 top 10 albums including a No 1, also called “True”.

He will be familiar to younger listeners as one of the stars of the recent I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! where he finished in 6th place.

Tony’s live shows features a big chunk of Spandau Ballet favourites, songs from his four solo albums and also some unexpected cover versions too!

Tony wil be playing on Sunday 17 July – the same day as THE BOOMTOWN RATS and another big 80s band, to be announced next week.

Discounted early bird tickets go on sale on 14 February for 14 days.

Visit www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk and sign up to our mailing list to get the latest news on performers and offers.

You can also follow the Brentwood Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Phoenix FM at Indietracks 2015

We had a fantastic time at Derbyshire’s Indietracks Festival this year.

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Time Out recently voted it as the 44th best festival in the world, which is impressive but we don’t believe they’ve been to all of the other 43. This annual institution is much, much higher inside our top 50.

The relentless rain couldn’t dampen the enthusisam of thousands of festival-goers who enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the rolling countryside along with the quaintness of the heritage Midland Railway which forms the backdrop to the stages and attractions. And everyone was so friendly there too!

Phoenix FM presenters Paul Golder and Ben Knight covered the event for the first time. You can hear the interviews on the following links:

Baker Island

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/08/03/indietracks-festival-2015-baker-island/

Bunnygrunt

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-bunnygrunt/

Chorusgirl

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/08/05/indietracks-festival-2015-chorusgirl/

Colour Me Wednesday

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/08/03/indietracks-festival-2015-colour-me-wednesday/

The Darling Buds

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-the-darling-buds/

Desperate Journalist

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-desperate-journalist/

Eureka California

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-eureka-california/

Fever Dream

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-fever-dream/

JUNK.

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/29/indietracks-festival-2015-junk/

Laetitia Sadier

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/29/indietracks-festival-2015-laetitia-sadier/

Martha

http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/28/indietracks-festival-2015-martha/

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Chorusgirl

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Chorusgirl are a London-based noisepop 4-piece, formed at the start of 2014 by Silvi Wersing (of Mikrofisch) and friends. They blend the sounds of Lush, the Cure, the Breeders, Pulp, the Bangles, surf, girl groups, melodies, dirt, jangle and noise into a swirling & shimmering mix that spins your head until you’re dizzy. The lyrics are personal, delicate and angry, about losing and giving up, but all of that heartache and anger is layered underneath enough noisy rubble and happy fizz. They’re releasing a single as part of the Odd Box Records 100 Club Series in 2015.

Chorusgirl

We had a chat with Silvi from the band about how their summer has been so far, her thoughts on IndieTracks and what the future has in store for Chorusgirl.

You can stay up to date with the latest news on Chorusgirl’s music on their official Facebook page and also their website.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Colour Me Wednesday

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Colour Me Wednesday are a four piece DIY punk/indie pop band based in West London. Their long-awaited debut album ‘I thought it was morning’ was released on Discount Horse records in the summer of 2013. In summer 2014 they released a 10 song split record with Spoonboy (Washington, DC) on Lauren Records and toured the East Coast of America promoting the new release, including performances at New York Popfest and Plan-it-x Fest.

Colour Me Wednesday

We had a chat with Jen and Carmella from the band about how their summer has been so far, their thoughts on Indietracks and what the future has in store for Colour Me Wednesday.

You can stay up to date with the latest news on Colour Me Wednesday’s music on their official Facebook, BandCamp, Twitter and Soundcloud pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Baker Island

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Baker Island are a fuzzy pop band from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Their new single ‘Spanish Trails’ was released on 27 April and will be followed by an album in the summer.

Baker Island

We had a chat with the band about how their summer has been so far, their thoughts on IndieTracks and what the future has in store for Baker Island.

You can stay up to date with the latest news on Baker Island’s music on their official Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Twitter pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: JUNK.

Click below to listen to the interview again:

JUNK. are a scuzzy slacker-pop trio from York, UK. Eschewing technical ability in favour of short, jangly hooks, JUNK. blend male / female vocals à la The Pastels and The Vaselines, with the Big Muff moments of Dinosaur Jr. Having played together for just over a year, the band have fast developed their own brand of woozy, sun-glazed punk laced with bittersweet lyricism and fuzz-coated guitar melodies.

JUNK. - IndieTracks Festival

We had a chat with Estella from the band about how their summer has been so far, their thoughts on IndieTracks and what the future has in store for JUNK.

You can stay up to date with the latest news on JUNK.’s music on their official Facebook and Soundcloud pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Laetitia Sadier

Click below to listen to the interview again:

I’m a self-confessed fan of Stereolab, who not only produced great music in the 1990s and 2000s but lots of them too – 20 albums between 1992 and 2006.

The band are now on permanent hiatus but it’s not all bad news for fans of the band, as lead singer Laetitia Sadier is still writing and recoring new material – three albums with her solo project Monade and three under her own name, the most recent of which was 2014’s Something Shines.

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After a fantastic set in the summer rain we had a chat about her writing and recording processes, how her music has improved by ironing out bad habits, touring America and the connection between Stereolab’s music and hip hop!

You can stay up to date with the latest news on Laetitia’s music on her official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: The Darling Buds

Click below to listen to the interview again:

One of the great bands that soundtracked my late 80s and early 90s, the Darling Buds disappeared from our TV screens (Top Of The Pops AND The Chart Show, no less) after the release of 1992’s Erotica album (which was around about the last time I caught them live, playing a show at the Clapham Grand supporting Kitchens of Distinction).

I could barely believe that I had the chance to see them again last year when they reformed for a gig at the Borderline – and I could believe it even less that I was now sitting on a Newport Transport bus having a chat with Andrea and Matt about the band’s past and future!

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The live show was, as ever, a joy to watch – and I didn’t even notice the rain, which I was told was the heaviest of the whole weekend when they were on stage.

Some exciting news came out in the interview – the band have messed around with demos from their unrecorded fourth album and some of the songs are starting to sneak into live sets, and writing and recording new material is very much in the band’s mind at the moment. But you’ll have to listen to the interview to find out whole story there.

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You can stay up to date with the latest news on the band on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Martha

Click here to listen to the interview again:

I had a chat with JC from Durham band Martha in the merchandise tent on Sunday morning.

Martha

JC is the lead singer with Martha whose excellent debut album Courting Strong was released just over a year ago and has had plenty of airplay on Phoenix FM.

We talked about whole Indietracks experience, some of the ideas behind the songs on the album and what to expect in the future.

You can find out more about them on their Facebook, Bandcamp and Twitter pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Bunnygrunt

Click here to listen to the interview again:

I managed to catch a fantastic rock and roll set from Saint Louis’s Bunnygrunt on Saturday, and spoke to singer Matt Harnish the following morning.

By the way that’s not crackling on the audio – it’s the sound of rain on umbrellas. We were standing in the POURING RAIN streaming down like you CANNOT IMAGINE, and I got Matt to stand in the children’s play area under an umbrella while we did the interview – how many other bands would go above and beyond like that?

Bunnygrunt

We spoke about the band’s origins and their recent material.

You can find out more about them on their official website and Facebook pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Desperate Journalist

Click here to listen to the interview again:

After watching a blistering set from Desperate Journalist on the Indoor Stage on Saturday, I met up with Jo, Rob and Simon for a chat.

Desperate Journalist 1

We’ve already met lead singer Jo at Phoenix FM – she’s also the lead singer with Joanne Joanne who recorded a fantastic session for us back in April 2013.

Desperate Journalist have been described as “intense and shimmering post-punk”, “powerful, melodic and full of emotion” and “thoroughly ace”, all of which are completely accurate.

We had a chat about the festival, side projects and new recordings.

Desperate Journalist 2

The band will be touring the UK in October and there will also be a new EP – which is going to be “heavier and softer” – around the same time.

You can find out more about them on their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Eureka California

Click here to listen to the interview again:

I met up with Jake and Marie from Californian duo Eureka California on the morning of the second day at this year’s Indietracks.

We had a chat about how the band got together and also enjoyed a preamble on the music scene in Athens – a city which spawned great bands such as REM and the B-52’s and is known in the states as the Liverpool Of The South!

Eureka California

You can find out more about them on their official website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

And if you’re quick you can catch them at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston on Saturday.

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Indietracks Festival 2015: Fever Dream

Click here to listen to the interview again:

It’s a small world – you drive 150 miles to a festival and the first band you speak to has a drummer that went to school less than a mile from our studios! (Brentwood County High, in case you’re wondering …)

Fever Dream 1

Fever Dream opened up the festival on Friday night with a great and difficult-to-pigeonhole set of noise and melody.

We had a chat afterwards about the band’s history and progress so far AND we talked them into recording a session with us which is great news for everyone concerned!

Fever Dream 2

You can find out more about them on their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude 2015: Luke Wright

Essex’s very own Luke Wright again spoke to Nick Field, at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Latitude is a regular fixture for Luke, for this year is both host and co-programmer of the poetry arena for what has become one of the largest poetry events in Europe.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright

Nick chatted to Luke straight from seeing him perform on the poetry stage and spoke about his busy weekend and short-term plans as he was previewing this year’s Edinburgh show “What I learned from Johnny Bevan”. To find out more about Luke, visit his website at lukewright.co.uk

To listen to Nick’s interview with Luke click the audio player below.

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Latitude festival 2015: Music Angel Social Power

We were lucky enough to chat to Baard Johannessen and the team from Music Angel Social Power at the Latitude Festival.

Baard from Music Angel

As a Festival Republic Partner, Music Angel had two locations – both in the village and the family camp, with the aim of providing a fully charged batter pack to plug in to your own mobile phone to keep it charged – and £20 included a recharge card entitling anyone to 2 battery exchanges in any one of their tents. So the £20 would entitle you to a total of 3 charges, with the battery being yours to keep.

The idea behind Music Angel Social Power is that for every battery sold, Music Angel will give one to a Rwandan child, giving at at least 5 years reading light and providing a child with the necessary resource to continue to provide light for the children of Rwanda.

Music Angel Social Power are attending a number of festivals in Europe throughout the summer. To find out more, visit their website at musicangelsocialpower.com.

To listen to the interview, click the audio player below.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Chill Welfare

Last weekend at the Latitude Festival we spoke to Michelle from Chill Welfare, the organisation running the welfare tent situated in the Village area of the festival.

The Chill Welfare Team

The Chill Welfare Team

Michelle spoke about the work of the team, with all of the volunteers being qualified drug and alcohol workers.

The festival is a busy time for Michelle and the team, being open 24 hours each day to provide caring and confidential help for all kinds of practical and personal problems offering general assistance and advice, counselling, a messages service and help for distressed / missing people.

To listen to what Michelle had to tell us about the amazing work of Chill Welfare, click the audio link below. You can also find out more at chillwelfare.org

 

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Latitude Festival 2015: Clean Break

The Clean Break Theatre Company was formed in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that the theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. Over 35 years later they are going from strength to strength, whilst continuing to work towards effecting profound and positive change in the lives of women offenders.

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We spoke to Róisín McBrinn about the plays being shown at this year’s Latitude Festival, Including Joanne which is directed by Róisín and performed by Olivier Award nominated actor Tanya Moodie. The other play we discussed was Sweatbox, which takes place in a prison van, located in the Faraway Forest.

Prison Van - Sweatbox

Prison Van – Sweatbox

To find out more, their website is at cleanbreak.org.uk.

To listen to what Róisín had to say, click below.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Mr Mead

We managed to speak to artist Tom Mead as he created work on 8 foot boards in the wooded area of the festival.

The Bristol artist was at Latitude for the very first time and was working alongside a number of artists taking part in the Lavish Live Art display.

Mr Mead

Mr Mead

Known under the professional name of Mr Mead, Tom’s influences include dark imagery from traditional folk lore. New characters were created for the weekend and he told us more about his work and future plans.

Tom’s website is at mrmead.co.uk

To listen to the interview with Tom, click below.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Hunt & Darton

We managed to catch up with Hunt & Darton in the Forest Fringe on Thursday, prior to their hosting of the Not Great British Bake Off. They spoke to us about this, along with their Set Menu: A Three Course Not For Consumption show which includes menu items such as the Delia Dance.

Hunt & Darton

Hunt & Darton

Hunt & Darton are on their way to Edinburgh but can also be seen at Firstsite Gallery in Colchester.

For more information on Hunt & Darton, go to their website at huntanddartoncafe.com

To listen to the interview, click below.

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Latitude Festival 2015: child.org Charity Concierge

With just a few weeks to go until the completion of the rename from Kenyan Orphan Project, we spoke to the Managing Director of child.org, Thomas Muirhead.20150717_145513 copy

The team from child.org were busy throughout the weekend, initially assisting campers as they arrived in pitching their tents and then serving over 3000 festival goers from breakfast time to late into the evening. The money raised through the weekend was matched by Festival Republic. Thomas spoke about the work of the charity at the festival, with many new friendships being created during the weekend.

With the money raised child.org can continue in their quest to transform the lives of children in the most difficult places in the world. The support of Festival Republic has meant they have access to a good meal, clean water, health services, everything they need to spend a happy, productive day at school.

To listen to the interview, click the player below.

More details are available at www.child.org.

 

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Latitude Festival 2015: Superglu

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Ben Brown is no stranger to Phoenix FM, having played an acoustic session with us (under his Dingus Khan name of Mick Squalor) two years ago and also catching up with Dingus Khan livein the Alcove at Latitude last year.

This year it was the turn of Ben’s other band Superglu which he’s formed with Ben Ward, Alex Brown and Krista Lynch. We caught up with Ben and Krista after their Friday set on the Lake Stage.

Paul with Superglu

You can find out a bit more on Antigen Records’ Superglu page as well as on the band’s Facebook page.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Ed Harcourt

Click below to listen to the interview again:

We managed to snatch a few minutes with Ed Harcourt after his performance on the main Obelisk stage at this year’s festival.

Paul with Ed Harcourt

Ed is currently in the studio with Flood recording “harder, louder, darker and euphoric” new material which will be out in 2016.

To keep up to date with this keep an eye on his official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Nick Field

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Once again our Nick Field finds his namesake in the Faraway Forest!

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Nick (not our Nick) was here with his one to one performance, “Be My Friend”, which explores the negotiations and complications of friendship in a world of fractured selves.

Nick would like to be friends – would you? Festivalgoers could choose something at the festival to see together, and also Nick’s outfit for the occasion. It’s a shared experience, an exchange of stories, a moment that makes or breaks; a bargaining with ever-changing rules. Nick aims to discover why we pick the friends we do, and maybe make new ones.

Find our more about Nick by visiting his official website and Twitter feed.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Neon Waltz

Click below to listen to the interview again:

One of the bands I’ve enjoyed discovering over the last 12 months are Neon Waltz, a young psychedelic indie rock sextet who were tipped by the NME as one of their “50 Brand New Artists Set To Storm 2015”.

They write and play their melodic, sun-drenched, sonic soundscapes in a remote croft, located in the wilderness of Caithness, Scotland. In fact they give their location as John O’Groats and I’m not sure if they ALL come from there, but it’s certainly a long way away from sunny Suffolk.

I caught up with lead singer Jordan Shearer just before their performance at the Lake Stage on Saturday.

Paul with Jordan Shearer

The band’s first official release “First Light” was released in April and big things are due to follow from the band, who are newly signed to Atlantic Records.

You can find out more about the band at their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Wolf Alice

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Phoenix FM first caught Wolf Alice live two years ago on the Lake Stage here at Latitude and then again last summer when we chatted to them at their headline gig at the Portland Arms in Cambridge.

They’ve come a long way in a short space of time, with their debut album My Love Is Cool reaching no 2 in the UK charts, and a barnstorming appearance at this year’s Latitude on the much bigger 6music stage which was packed to the rafters.

Nick with Joel and Theo from Wolf Alice

Nick Field caught up with Theo Ellis and Joel Amey after their show to talk about what they’ve been up to this year.

You can find out more about the band at their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Brentwood Festival 2015: The Bracknall and Electric Child House

Both local bands The Bracknall and Electric Child House are regular performers at The Brentwood Festival. With Electric Child House recently releasing their EP Goochie Goochie Goo and The Bracknall having an upcoming support slot for Bryan Adams, the boys see as busy as always.

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Being good friends, after their sets both bands were hanging out by stage two when I had a chat with them about the festival. They had some strong views!

The interview can be heard here:

The bands also gave details on The Flag Factory Festival, another summer event which supports local bands:

 

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Latitude Festival 2015: Marika Hackman

Click below to listen to the interview again:

We’ve been keeping our eye on multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Marika Hackman for a couple of years and loved her debut album We Slept At Last, which came out to much critical acclaim in February.

Nick with Marika Hackman

Nick Field caught up with Marika after her appearance on the iArena stage on Saturday.

You can find out more about Marika at her official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Dan Kitchener

Click below to hear the interview again:

Essex artist Dan Kitchener has been appearing at Latitude for the last five years.

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He’s a professional mural artist, illustrator and painter who’s worked for some major clients including Sir Paul McCartney, Kylie Mingoue and Calvin Harris.

Dan Kitchener with Paul

We watched Dan at work throughout the weekend – and had a chance to chat to him about his work in the woods and elsewhere.

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You can find our more about Dan and his work by visiting his official website and you can also see his work on Flickr as well as following him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Vessels

Click below to listen to the interview again:

After four years of incremental musical evolution, Vessels emerged in March with a brave and brilliant new sound on their new album “Dilate”. Masterfully fusing the widescreen builds and elegant breakdowns of their previous work with altogether more physical electronic rhythms, it sees the band firmly focused on the euphoria of the dancefloor.

Even more remarkably, every bit of it is played live. Subsequently, recent performances have seen the quartet maintain the crystalline melodies and crushing dynamics of their previous life as a rock band with two drummers front and centre and the band and audience feeding off each other’s energy.

Vessels

Nick Field caught up with singer/keyboardist Tom Evans and drummer Tim Mitchell to talk about the band about their history and recent performances.

You can find out more about the band at his official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Adam French

Click below to listen to the interview again:

A self-taught multi-instrumentalist from Cheshire, Adam French first caused a stir by touring Africa before he had even completed his debut UK tour.

Inspired by an enthusiasm for travel, he played shows across Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and caught the eye of BBC Introducing, who featured Adam prominently on their website.

He went on to release last year’s “More To Life” EP, which has now had (at the time of writing) very nearly 140,000 Soundcloud plays to date.

Adam French with Paul

We caught up with Adam before his appearance on the Alcove stage on Sunday morning.

You can find out more about Adam at his official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Memrise

Learning charity Memrise were at Latitde this year for the first time with The Magical Memory Bus (aka the Membus).

The Membus is an art-work, tour vehicle, and mobile lecture hall which aims to narrate the mysteries and glories of memory.

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Nick spoke to Olivia from Memrise about the project and you can hear the interview here:

Memrise is an online learning platform that helps you learn almost any language combining science and fun. For more details visit www.memrise.com.

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Brentwood Festival 2015: Jack Pack

Click below to listen again to the interview:

Jack Pack are a four-piece vocal harmony swing group comprising of Alfie, Andrew, Sean and Martin. They finished 4th in 2014’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Jack Pack

They spoke to Tony Smith before their Main Stage appearance at this year’s Brentwood Festival.

You can find out more about the boys by visiting their their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Latitude Festival 2015: Stornoway

Click below to listen to the interview again:

We’ve been playing Stornoway quite a bit on Phoenix FM over the last few years – not least recent singles Get Low and Man On Wire which both made appearances on the station’s A List, so we were delighted to chat to lead singer Brian Briggs and keyboard player Jon Ouin down by the lake.

Stornoway with Paul

We chatted about their recently-released album Bonxie which of course is heavily influenced by Brian’s love of birds – it’s a little known fact that he has a degree in zoology and a PhD in ornithology, and this isn’t hidden in both the songwriting and recording process. We also talked about the gigs they recently played at RSPB centres, the Other Voices stage here at the festival, future festival appearances and the resumption of writing and recording duties!

New album Bonxie and current single Man On Wire are both out now. You can find out more about the band at their official website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Brentwood Festival 2015 – line up and stage times

Phoenix FM can now reveal the full line up and stage times for this year’s Brentwood Festival:

FRIDAY 17 JULY:

STAGE 1
18:00-19:00 Sour Mash DJ
19:00-19:40 D’lys
20:00-21:00 Alexander O’Neal
21:25-22:45 Sister Sledge

STAGE 2
17:00-17:45 Josh Gleaves
18:00-18:45 Edd Coates
19:00-19:45 Paul Woodley

SATURDAY 18 JULY:

STAGE 1
12.35-13.20 Looking for Liam
13.35-14.20 The Victories
14.35-15.20 The Earnshaws
15.35-16.20 The Doors Project
16.25-17.10 Sour Mash DJs
17:15-18:00 The Show
18:25-19:25 Jack Pack
19:55-20:55 Rebecca Ferguson
21:35-23:00 Billy Ocean

STAGE 2
13:00-13:30 Graham Okey
13:45-14:15 The Bracknall
14:30-15:00 Electric Child House
15:15-15:45 Killatrix
16:00-16:30 Black Thorn
16:45-17:15 Paolo Morena
17:30-18:00 The Velettes
18:15-18:45 Bif Bam Pow

SUNDAY 19 JULY:

STAGE 1
13.00-13:40 Grounds for Divorce
14.00-15.00 One Way Or Another
15.20-16:05 The Kubricks
16:35-17:50 Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
18:20-19:20 Pixie Lott
19:50-20:50 Jocelyn Brown
21:30-22:45 The Human League

STAGE 2
12:00-12:30 Klair Quest
12:45-13:15 Roisin O’Hagan
13:30-14:00 Red Crow
14:15-14:45 Voss Malone
15:00-15:30 The Flying Vees
15:45-16:15 Scarlet Echo
16:30-17:00 Glenn Hodge Banned
17:15-17:45 Funky Voices

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Southend Village Green 2015

Southend’s well-loved arts and music festival, Village Green, returned to Chalkwell Park on 11 July for its 7th consecutive year.

Over 27,000 people attended this year’s event, which saw over 2,000 performers take part on various stages organised by arts group Metal, who had over 150 volunteers working hard to make this year’s event another success.

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Phoenix FM’s team of Paul Golder, Chris Siviter, Nick Field and Matt Hines recorded more than two hours of interviews with organisers and artists. You can hear all the interviews again by clicking the links below:

Syd Moore, Media Liaison Manager with Metal Southend
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-syd-moore/

Colette Bailey, Metal’s Artistic Director
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-colette-bailey/

Nitin Sawheny
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-nitin-sawhney/

Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliott
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-dean-chalkley-and-harris-elliott/

Asylums
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-asylums/

High/Low
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-highlow/

The Ends
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-the-ends/

Lauren and Scarlett
http://www.phoenixfm.com/2015/07/12/southend-village-green-2015-interview-with-laurel-scarlett/

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Laurel & Scarlett

Currently in the studio recording new material, 17 year old duo Laurel & Scarlett took time out to play this year’s Village Green, and to chat to us too!

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Hailing from Purfleet, Essex, the twins started off their careers playing acoustically, but have recently added synth, ukulele and glockenspiel to their growing list of instruments! They play original songs and clever interpretations of classic 80s bands such as The Cure, The Smiths and The Undertones. They also came down to us in March to appear live on the Sunday Vibes show.

Matt Hines had a chat with the duo about their music and performance. You can hear it again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with The Ends

Canvey Island’s alternative rockers The Ends were at Village Green to play a blisteringly noisy set on the Idea13 stage.

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The band chatted to Nick Field about their set and what they’re currently up to. You can hear the interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with High/Low

Phoenix FM are no strangers to Southend grunge/90s rock trio High/Low. The band have been in for an acoustic session and a full-blown Creative Session too and we’ve been giving plenty of airplay to their debut album, Stuck In A Void.

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Nick Field chatted to the band about their Village Green appearance and what they’re currently up to. You can hear the interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Asylums

A busy weekend for Southend quartet Asylums – as well as playing the Village Green stage, the band have been looking after the Idea13 stage in the guise of their alter-ego record label Cool Thing. (Which also meant that a lot of bands played with COOL THING in big letters behind them, which must have made for a lot of good band photos).

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We’ve been playing their singles lots on Phoenix FM over the last year, and other people are starting to take notice too – recent single Joy In A Small Wage hit the BBC Radio 1 playlist in June.

Chris Siviter spoke to the band about the band and the label and got their views on a lot of the other great bands currently making much in Essex. You can hear the interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliott

Dean is a Southend-born photographer and filmmaker who explores genres in fashion, culture and musical through his work.

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With Harris Elliott he created Return of the Rudeboy, a giant exhibition that occupied six rooms at Somerset House and consequently at La Foret in Tokyo. Return of the Rudeboy reflects the swagger and significance of the 21st Century Rudeboy.

Dean and Harris spoke to Chris Siviter about the work and the meaning behind it. You can hear their interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Nitin Sawhney

Nitin Sawhney is a Mercury Music Prize-nominated musician, producer and composer, whose work combines Asian and other worldwide influences with elements of jazz and electronica and often explores themes such as multiculturalism, politics and spirituality. He’s also active in the promotion of arts and cultural matters, and is a patron of numerous film festivals, venues, and educational institutions.

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Chris Siviter spoke to Nitin about his work and his headlining appearance at this year’s Village Green. You can hear the interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Colette Bailey

Colette Bailey is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Metal, the group that makes Village Green happen every year.

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A former managing director of the Royal Society of British Sculptors who is also a freelance writer and commentator on the arts who has published articles in a number of journals and publications, Colette spoke to Paul Golder about the team behind the event and her own role in making it a success every year. You can hear the interview again here:

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Southend Village Green 2015 – interview with Syd Moore

Syd Moore is one of the many people who make Village Green happen this year – she’s a Media Liaison Manager with Village Green organisers Metal and is also a freelance writer, with several books published by Harper Collins.

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Syd spoke to Paul Golder about the efforts that go in to organising Village Green and some of the special events on offer. You can hear the interview again here:

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The Brentwood Festival is coming …

Click below to listen to the interview again:

There’s now less than two months until the annual extravaganza at the Brentwood Centre, and Festival organiser Laurie Edmonds came in to talk about the music you can expect to hear, the sideshows you can expect to see along with news on how the Festival hopes to help local groups and charities with some of the proceeds.

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Tickets are still available from brentwoodfestival.co.uk and you can also keep up with the latest news there and on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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More headliners announced for Brentwood Festival 2015

International pop star, Pixie Lott, returns to Brentwood for her first concert since 2010 when she takes the stage on Sunday, 19 July as part of the town’s annual summer music festival.

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Pixie, a former Brentwood County High School pupil, catapulted to worldwide fame in 2009 with her debut album ‘Turn It Up’ which featured five consecutive Top 20 singles, including the #1 hits ‘Mama Do’ and ‘Boys and Girls’. Pixie has gone on to sell over 4 million singles and 1.6 million albums worldwide. She is also a four time BRIT Award nominee and winner of two MTV European Music Awards.

Pixie Lott says: “I’m really excited to return to Brentwood and perform in front of a great festival crowd this summer.”

Also added to the 2015 Brentwood Festival line up are international headliners, Billy Ocean and Sister Sledge.

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Billy Ocean first shot to fame in 1976 and has sold over 30 million records to date. His No. 1 singles include ‘Caribbean Queen’, ‘When the Tough Gets Going’, and ‘Get Outta My Car, Get Into My Life’. 2015 sees Billy Ocean celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of the ‘Suddenly’ album which included the smash hits ‘Caribbean Queen’ and the title track.

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Being flown in especially for an exclusive set at the Brentwood Festival, 70s and 80s legends Sister Sledge are best remembered for their blockbuster song, ‘We Are Family’. They also topped the US R&B charts with singles such as ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, and ‘Lost in Music’ and had a UK No.1 record with ‘Frankie’.

Jason Jopson, Brentwood Festival Director, says: “This year’s line up is phenomenal, with something for everyone. We’re flying in Sister Sledge to kick off our festival with a great party vibe, which will continue into Saturday with Billy Ocean’s Caribbean-influenced set. To have hometown pop royalty, Pixie Lott, performing on the Sunday with her fresh, fun sound just rounds everything off perfectly.”

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Other featured headliners include The Human League, Alexander O’Neal, Jocelyn Brown, Rebecca Ferguson, Jack Pack and Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. Over 20 supporting acts will take the stage over the 3 day festival, with music ranging from acoustic to Americana to alternative.

Festival Co-ordinator, Laurie Edmonds, says: “The reaction to the full line up for the Brentwood Festival has been amazing. We try to improve the event year on year, whilst keeping ticket prices affordable to so that everyone can come along with the family. This promises to be the best festival yet, with music that appeals to all ages.”

Adult tickets from £25, youth tickets £10, children under 10 attend for FREE. VIP passes and overnight camping are also available.

For tickets and more information, visit www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

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Brentwood Festival 2015 – more acts announced

The line up for this year’s Brentwood Festival is taking shape with more acts announced.

Phoenix FM exclusively revealed the headliners for this year’s event, which takes place from 17-19 July at the Brentwood Centre.

FRIDAY night welcomes back soul legend ALEXANDER O’NEAL for the second year running.

Also appearing on Friday:

Main Stage: Sour Mash DJs, D’Lys, an International Headliner TBA
Second Stage: Josh Gleaves, Edd Coates, Paul Woodley

SATURDAY night sees the appearance of X Factor runner up REBECCA FERGUSON and stars of Britain’s Got Talent, THE JACK PACK.

Also appearing on Saturday:

Main Stage: The Victories, The Earnshaws, The Doors Project, Sour Mash DJs, The Show, an International Headliner TBA
Second Stage: Black Thorn, Paolo Morena, The Velettes, The Bracknall, Electric Child House, Killatrix, Biff Bam Pow, Looking for Liam

SUNDAY night will be fronted by 80s synthpop pioneers THE HUMAN LEAGUE and another chart-topping band, STEVE HARLEY AND COCKNEY REBEL. Legendary soul singer JOCELYN BROWN will also be appearing.

Also appearing on Sunday:

Main Stage: Red Crow Band, Grounds For Divorce, One Way Or Another, The Kubricks, an International Pop Star TBA
Second Stage: Klair Quest, Roisin O’Hagan, Voss Malone, Scarlet Echo, Springheeled Jack, Flying Vees, The Glen Hodge Band, Funky Voices

The festival organisers are giving away a FREE T-SHIRT with the first 500 weekend ticket orders!

Tickets are now on sale at the Brentwood Festival’s website – www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk.

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Brentwood Festival 2014

Click below to listen to the show again:

This year’s festival was the biggest and best ever.

Phoenix FM are always delighted to be involved with the Brentwood Festival. We’ve watched it evolve over the years from the garden of the White Horse in Coxtie Green Road to a massive weekend event at the Brentwood Centre showgrounds.

The overall formula remainder the same – the Main Stage was still there as was the marquee stage, which also featured the beer festival part of the weekend, with over 100 real ales (and a couple of lagers and various other drinks!) on tap, arranged by the Brentwood Brewing Company. There were a few changes this year, with a VIP area and also a vast improvement in the eating provisions, with a way-above-average selection for this kind of event – including excellent vegetarian choices. There was also a third stage for acoustic acts tucked behind the fairground for those who liked their music a little laid back.

Business on the Main Stage was brisk, with about 2,000 people braving thunder and lighting to watch Alexander O’Neal headline the Friday evening, and a couple of thousand more watching the Dualers, Missing Andy and Simon and Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene on the Saturday. But the star attraction for many came on Sunday evening, when reggae legends UB40 headlined to a record crowd – helping the festival notch up record numbers of visitors with over 12,000 people attending the weekend.

Phoenix FM DJ Tony Smith took over compering duties once again to announce the acts on the Main Stage while the team of Laurie Edmonds, Chris Andrews (who had lost his voice!), Chris Chitticks and Graham Okey worked hard behind the scenes once again to make it all run smoothly.

Of course it’s all for good causes too; Festival Director, Jason Jopson, has donated over £120,000 to various national and local charities. This year’s event support two Brentwood-based charities, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and Hopefield Animal Sanctuary.

You can hear the interview with UB40 again here and also read our interviews with Skillshare and Paul Cook.

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Skillshare International at the Brentwood Festival

Brad Acton spoke to Jibin and Charlotte from Skillshare International, who were at the Brentwood Festival promoting the work their charity takes part in.

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Brad: Can you give me an overview of what it is that you do?

Jibin: Skillshare International is an international development charity, part of the Department for International Development. Skillshare specifically works in southern Africa – Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa – working on sports and educational programmes in deprived communities.

Brad: Have you been out to these countries yourself?

Jibin: Yes, as volunteers it’s about giving back to society. We try to get 18-25 year olds to come over to these countries to take part in our volunteer programmes. We’re at the Brentwood Festival to see if we can get as many people as possible.

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Brad: Can you tell us about any of the projects you’ve been involved in?

Charlotte: I’ve just come back from Cape Town in the town of Alantis working on a disability awareness project – playing football, running art projects and undertaking a local survey in the township to find out about disability awareness.

I was there for 10 weeks. It was the most amazing experience ever.

Brad: Is there more work you need to do in the UK to support this?

Charlotte: There are various stages – fundraising, then the actual going there, and when you return you come back you take part in Action At Home which encourages more people to take part.

Brad: Where can you find out more about what you do?

Jibin: Skillshare have a Facebook and an official website as well.

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Paul Cook at the Brentwood Festival

Brad Acton spoke to Paul Cook just after he came off stage at the Brentwood Festival having performed with Jim Green on the acoustic stage.

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Brad: How did it go today?

Paul: It was great. I enjoyed the set and the crowd were very receptive. It’s always good here, I think it’s the fourth time I’ve played this festival. I’ve played all three stages now too.

The crowd are always up for it and despite the weather, we were lucky that a few of them stuck around for us.

Brad: Was today’s gig part of a tour?

Paul: We’ve been all over the place, we’ve been on the Kent circuit, the Cambridge festival, we’ve done stuff on the BBC. We gig constantly, three or four gigs a week. I’m very friendly with (organisers) Chris Andrews and Graham Okey so we keep coming back.

Brad: What have you got planned for the future?

Paul: In the next few hours I’m playing in Greenwich tonight! Then I’ve got the Cambridge Rock festival, we’re focusing on that at the moment.

Brad: Where can we hear more of your stuff?

You can find us on Facebook and also on Soundcloud as well.

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The Flag Factory

If you missed this new Brentwood event – bad luck, you missed a great day out.

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There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether the event was actually going ahead but we’re glad to see it all went pretty much without a hitch and was well attended too despite the rain that drizzled down for most of the day.

We managed to have a chat with a few bands including Flares, Ten A Penny, The Shermans, Longy, The Bracknall and Eden Royals.

You can see a ton of photos from the day on our Facebook gallery page.

Well done to Olly, Joe and all the organisers for putting on a fantastic day – we can’t wait for the next one.

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The Flag Factory Festival: Eden Royals

Nick spoke to Essex band Eden Royals after their set.

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You can hear the interview again here:

Phoenix FM interview with Eden Royals (Nick, 14-09-2013)

We did have a video of them on line, but band member Lloyd Buck wrote to us to say they didn’t play very well and asked us to take it down! Let’s hope they play a bit better next time we catch them!

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The Flag Factory Festival: The Bracknall

Another band who are no strangers to Phoenix FM, the Bracknall have had a busy year releasing singles and performing again on the main stage of the Brentwood Festival.

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Chris had a chat with them to talk about all that. You can hear the interview again below.

Phoenix FM interview with the Bracknall (Chris, 14-09-2013)

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The Flag Factory Festival: The Shermans

The Shermans are no strangers to Phoenix FM – this Brentwood band have received regular airplay over the last 12 months since they first visited Nick Field on Curveballs and also performed a set for us when we hosted Lighting Up Shenfield last year.

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Matt Hines had a chat with the band to see what they’d been up to recently and you can hear the interview again below:

Phoenix FM interview with the Shermans (Matt H, 14-09-2013)

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The Flag Factory Festival – back on!

A victory for music and common sense! Brentwood’s newest festival, The Flag Factory Festival, will now be going ahead as planned on Saturday 14 September.

The festival faced being postponed after it a noise abatement notice had been served due to licensing regulations. However after a meeting with council members this morning, the festival has now been given the green light.

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Organiser Olly Hookings – who is also lead singer with local band States of Emotion – came in to talk to Rob Jelly about what to expect at the weekend and you can listen again to the interview below:

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If you’re coming along – you’re in for a feast of bands. The venue is the PLOUGH in Rayleigh Road, Hutton and doors open at 11am, with the timetable currently looking like this:

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11:30-12:00 Flares
12:15-12:45 Plastic Rebellion
13:00-13:30 Charlie Wallis
13:45-14:15 The Shermans
14:30-15:00 Ten A Penny
15:15-15:45 Eden Royals
16:00-16:30 The Bracknall
16:45-17:15 High/Low
17:30-18:00 Longy
18:15-18:45 The Broken Chords
19:15-19:45 Victories
20:00-20:30 Youth Club
20:45-21:15 The Tomorrow Men
21:45-22:30 Electric Child House

Acoustic Tent
14:00-14:15 Joe (The Broken Chords)
15:00-15:15 Callum (The Shermans)
16:30-16:45 Chris Marsh (The Victories)
17:15-17:30 Matt Hookings (Electric Child House)
18:00-18:15 Jack Dacey (The Bracknall)
18:45-19:15 Johnny Hick (The Tomorrow Men)
19:45-20:00 Longy

It’s for a great cause too – money will be raised for the Meningitis Trust and the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for £10 available from this link or on the day for £15.

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Latitude 2013

The Phoenix FM team of Steve Robertson, Nick Field, Eddie Curry and Chris Siviter were back at Latitude for another year of interviewing and great-band-watching.

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Click the links below to see/hear again:

Chris Siviter’s review of Latitude
Photo album (Facebook)
Interview with Dan Kitchener
Interview with Drenge
Interview with Dr Who and the Latitudes
Interview with Intensi-T
Interview with the Kenyan Orphan Project
Interview with the Maglia Rose Group
Interview with Matty from The 1975
Interview with (the other) Nick Field
Interview with the Noise Next Door
Interview with Oxfam
Interview with the Samaritans
Interview with Stealing Sheep

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Latitude 2013: Matty from The 1975

We caught the 1975 earlier this year when they played Chinnery’s in Southend – and gigs supporting Muse at the Emirates and the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park since then gives you an idea about which direction they’ve been heading on the rollercoaster of rock.

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Today they headlined the Lake Stage and I got another chance to talk to Matty about how things have been going. Click below to listen again to the interview:

Phoenix FM interview with the 1975 (Paul, 21-07-2013)

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Latitude 2013: Drenge

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Tipped as one of Britain’s great guitar hopes for 2013, Drenge are Sheffield brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless. After posing three tracks online the brothers quickly found their garage punk the centre of much media attention and they were soon signed to Infectious Records. They have since released their debut single “Bloodsports” and are currently making an almighty racket on the live circuit, where they have drawn comparisons to the Arctic Monkeys and the White Stripes.

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I caught a blistering set to a packed arena in the woods before having a chat with Eoin and Rory which you can hear below:

Phoenix FM interview with Drenge (Paul, 20-07-2013)

You can keep up to speed with the latest developments on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

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Latitude 2013: Maglia Rose Group

Hailing from Norfolk, the Maglia Rose Group are a brother and sister duo joined by two friends who “periodically get together and wrestle with the pop form”. This year alone, they have recorded a live session for BBC Introducing, been shortlisted for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Contest and picked up rave reviews in the blogosphere following the release of their debut EP ‘Nighthawks’.

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And now they’ve been interviewed by us too! Chris had a chat with singer Daisy after their Saturday set in the Alcove and you can hear it again below:

Phoenix FM interview with Maglia Rose (Chris, 21-07-2013)

For more info about the group you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp.

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Latitude 2013: Dr Who and the Latitudes

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Steve Robertson managed to have a quick chat with Dr Who and the Latitudes fresh from their performance in the woods on Sunday morning. You can hear the interview again below:

Phoenix FM interview with Dr Who and the Latitudes (Steve R, 21-07-2013)

We would put a link up more of their stuff, but unfortunately Time Lords don’t use the internet, so you’ll just have to come along to the woods and catch them next year.

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Latitude 2013: The Samaritans

For one reason or another, not everyone could be having a good time at a festival – which is why the Samaritans are on hand every year to give advice and comfort to those who need it.

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Steve Robertson spoke to Jane and Kate about the work they do and you can hear the interview again below.

Phoenix FM interview with the Samaritans (Steve R, 19-07-2013)

You can find out more about the Samaritans’ work at www.samaritans.org – and they can also be contacted on 08457 90 90 90.

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Latitude 2013: Dan Kitchener

One of the great things about the Latitude Festival are all the artists you find in the woods – not just theatre or music but “real” artists too, painting pictures!

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Steve Robertson bumped into Essex artist Dan Kitchener and you can hear his interview below:

Phoenix FM interview with Dan Kitchener (Steve R, 20-07-2013)

You can see more of his work at www.dankitchener.co.uk.

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Latitude 2013: Kenyan Orphan Project

KOP – the Kenyan Orphan Project – is a UK registered charity committed to supporting the health and education of orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa. Our projects and partners are currently focussed in western Kenya. Linked to the project work in Africa is an active UK student programme in which KOP university groups provide direct support for projects. Through participation in projects and the KOP student programme students gain education and experience of global child health.

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Steve spoke to Ben and Marti from KOP and you can hear the interview again below:

Phoenix FM interview with Kenyan Orphan Project (Steve R, 20-07-2013)

You can find out more about KOP at www.kopafrica.org.

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Latitude 2013: (Another) Nick Field

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Poet Nick Field was at Latitude with his latest production, Adventure/Misadventure; a new show that offers an audience a trip of a lifetime in under an hour.

Adventure/Misadventure, Nick’s second full length solo show, explores why personal freedom and fulfilment seem – quite literally – to be over the next horizon. With true stories of intrepid travel versus tragi-comic attempts at nesting, Nick captures the struggle to negotiate expectations of life and asks what we’re running towards or from when we travel. Accompanied by a live musical score of puckish pop ballads performed largely with a harp, Adventure/Misadventure speaks to a generation that is always searching for a sense of freedom it can never quite grasp.

So who better to talk to him about all of this than our own Nick Field? Click below to listen again …

Phoenix FM interview with Nick Field (poet) (Nick, 19-07-2013)

You can find out more about the other Nick by going to his website at www.nickfieldpoetic.co.uk.

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Latitude 2013: Stealing Sheep

Hotly tipped psych-folk darlings from Liverpool, Stealing Sheep are Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer. Within days of forming, they had posted a handful of songs online and booked themselves on a UK tour. With each member contributing separate songs to the group, they released their debut single in early 2011 and attracted plaudits from the likes of Lauren Laverne, Gilles Peterson and Rob da Bank. Their debut album ‘Into The Diamond Sun’ followed last summer, proving they are one of Britain’s most beguiling new bands. You’ll be charmed by their hazy psychedelic folkatronica and mystical harmonies.

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Nick was charmed too when he met up with them despite not having much time to do the interview – something to do with Nick needing to be punted across the lake in a boat to get to their dressing room! You can hear the interview again below.

Phoenix FM interview with Stealing Sheep (Nick, 21-07-2013)

You can find out more about Stealing Sheep by visiting their Facebook page or their official website.

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Latitude 2013: Intensi-T

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The phenomenon that is Intensi-T; very much understated but extraordinarily vocal with heavy, hard hitting beats fused with epic harmonies and thumping bass-lines bellowing from his vocal cords. With just a microphone and a loop pedal, entire songs created with just the mouth, it has to be seen to be believed.

Born in Wales, brought up in Norwich, Intensi-T has performed live in front of millions on Channel 4’s T4 On The Beach with Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts, performed on stage with Ed Sheeran, opened shows for Chase and Status and Boyz II Men at the O2, and collaborated beatbox with hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks. Still in education, his college friends find it very surreal when he goes back home!

Nick Field met up with him and you can hear the interview again below.

Phoenix FM interview with Intensi-T (Nick, 21-07-2013)

You can find out more about Intensi-T at www.intensi-t.net.

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Latitude 2013: The Noise Next Door

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The Noise Next Door are the UK’s premier comedy improv troupe. They frequently headline at all the major clubs up and down the country and have sold out at the Edinburgh Festival for the last three consecutive years, leaving audiences in awe of their lightning-quick wit and breath-taking comedic talents. They have been performing their own distinctive brand of off-the-cuff comedy since they met at university. With absolutely no script, they have an uncanny knack of transforming audience suggestions into fantastically funny scenes and songs in the blink of an eye with a perfect blend of ludicrous characters, witty one-liners, epic stories, and explosive physicality. Unstoppably funny and uniquely talented, The Noise Next Door are well on their way to becoming comedy’s next big thing with their infectious and feel good brand of humour.

We sent Nick Field out to find out more. Click here to listen again to the interview.

Phoenix FM interview with The Noise Next Door (Nick 20-07-2013)

You can visit their website at www.thenoisenextdoor.co.uk.

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Latitude 2013: review

Latitude Festival’s website states that the event is “more than just a music festival”. And although with the sheer amount of things going on across the site all weekend this is very true, for me personally it really is all about the music.

From the initial line-up announcement some months ago I kept a close eye on what bands / artists would be playing and making a personal timetable of where I wanted to be at a certain time on a particular day to catch as much music as I possibly could. And I was not disappointed (well slightly in one case but I’ll get to that later!) Every band / artist seen was thoroughly enjoyed, I danced (badly), sang (badly), nearly cried (again will get to that in a bit) and fell in love with live music all over again (for approximately the 7,654th time).

Here’s a brief look at what I saw.

Willy Mason – There’s not many better ways to start off a weekend of live music in the sun than with the soothing and gentle voice of New York singer-songwriter Willy Mason. The anthemic Oxygen still sounds as moving and vital as it did in 2004 and also gave way to the first singalong of the weekend.

John Grant – Bass that literally shook your body, synths that gently built up to a crescendo and heartbreakingly confessional lyrics all made John Grant’s set one of the highlights of the weekend. Once it was over I needed a sit down for half an hour to take in what I’d just seen. Spellbinding in ever sense of the word.

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Beth Orton – Sadly the only low point of the weekend. Beth Orton’s fragility and hushed vocals were completely lost in the massive 6 Music tent which made for a frustratingly disappointing experience.

Villagers – Irish band Villagers second album {Awayland} is one of the albums of 2013 so far but in a live setting the songs are taken to a superbly high level. Standout song The Waves keeps building and building until you feel as if you are being lifted up by the music. A must-see and a band that will continue to grow in popularity, much like Django Django did last summer.

Ed Harcourt – After watching the always entertaining Mr Harcourt at Southend’s Village Green festival the previous week (he was excellent) his Latitude set was more of the same. Playing to a packed out Film & Music Tent accompanied occasionally by a trumpet and a brief apperance from Catherine A.D. it was a performance full of charm and songs from throughout his long career which won over even the most casual of observers and a left a warm feeling similar to spending time with an old friend.

Japandroids – One of the bands I was looking forward to seeing the most finished off the first day in style with 45 minutes of riffs, noisy guitars, thundering drums and a crowd who just couldn’t get enough of the Canadian duo’s garage rock. At the end everyone (and I mean everyone!) were wearing a massive grin on their sweaty faces. Job exceedingly well done.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires – Saturday began with the soulful sounds of Charles Bradley on the main Obelisk stage. The former James Brown impersonator brought out the moves and the funk to a receptive crowd and got the day off to a great start.

Maglia Rosa Group – One of the many local acts to play this year’s festival. With a rhythm section with the groove of Hot Chip / Bloc Party mixed with vocalist Daisy’s Kate Bush style performance art made for an interesting listen. Obviously thrilled to be playing and featuring tracks from their recently released debut EP Nighthawks they won themselves over quite a few new fans judging by the reaction at the close of their set.

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Bo Ningen – I’m still not entirely sure what I experienced during Japanese four-piece Bo Ningen’s 30 minute set. I think they played 3 songs, the final song lasting 15 minutes or more. All I do know is that it was noisy, frenetic, insane, intense and utterly brilliant. Now I know why their live shows are legendary. A must see band.

2013-07-20 208 Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – After managing to secure a spot 4 rows from the front out came the YYY’s. Karen O leaping around and looking like Su Pollard’s demented younger sister while guitarist Nick Zinner watches on playing it cool as the crowd adoringly watches and sings along to every word. Then there was Maps, a hauntingly beautiful song that catches me off guard and puts the biggest lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Closing things off with Date With The Night and leaving the stage with the crowd in the palm of their hand triumphantly.

2013-07-20 251 Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk – I have waited around 20 years to see Kraftwerk (I’m still more than a little bit bitter after the ticket fiasco of their early 2013 shows). They are a band that mean a great deal to me. After getting a great spot I wait for twenty minutes with butterflies like I’m waiting for a first date with the woman of my dreams. Five minutes to go and the 3D glasses go on (it’s not just your usual live show but a 3D performance!). Then..it begins, opening with The Robots for the next 90 minutes we are treated to what really is a completely immersive experience. Visually stunning and a set that covers their entire discography I am left amazed and my hero worship completely intact. That is how you put on a show!

Now that’s it all over for another year I’m left with some amazing memories and an eagerness that can’t wait for Latitude 2014. I’ll see you at the front!

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Latitude Festival 2013 is go

The sun is shining, the sheep have been painted, tents have been erected and we are now looking forward to a great weekend at this year’s Latitude Festival.

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The 8th running of the Suffolk festival has something for everyone including, music, cabaret, poetry, film, art and a whole lot more.

Foals, Bloc Party and Kraftwerk are just some of the bands to grace the many music stages over the course of the weekend.

Phoenix FM will be bringing you as close to the festival as possible as the weekend unfolds. Stay tuned to 98FM and keep an eye on the website along with twitter and facebook for all the latest news.

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Thousands Rocked, Thousands Raised!

This weekend’s Brentwood Festival was hailed as the best ever after an estimated 10,000 people enjoyed the beautiful weather at the Brentwood Centre.

The weekend buried the memory of last year’s downpours with record numbers enjoying the headliners including Chas n Dave, Bruce Foxton from the Jam and the Loveable Rogues.

And the sucess of the event enabled organiser Jason Jopson to deliver a cheque for £10,000 to Help For Heroes, bringing the total of his fundraising to date up to £120,000.

Bruce Foxton

Bruce Foxton

Phoenix FM were at the festival all weekend talking to bands and festival-goers and soaking up the sun.

Video playlist! See TWENTY videos of performances from the Festival including Navacross, Chas n Dave, Any Colour You Like, From The Jam, Mannequins, States of Emotion, The Late Twos, Undercover, Dookie, The Ends, Rajiv, Guns vs Roses and The Bracknall! Click the NEXT button on the video (next to the volume button) to scroll through them all.

FRIDAY

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FUNKY VOICES got the proceedings off to a great start. If the Essex-based community choir can fit on the stage, then anyone can! Over 50 people were present and correct to sing hits such as Like A Prayer. We know how good they sound as they recently visited us and all managed to fit inside our studio!

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First band up on the Main Stage for the weekend were LOBSTER, who were another band to recently visit Phoenix, this time on with Bryan Powis. The band knocked out a blistering rock set giving us an indication of some of the music to come.

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It’s been a few months since we last saw NAVACROSS but it’s a live experience not to be missed. This unique Essex band play an eclectic mix of rock, country, folk, blues and Americana with have a great high-energy stage presence with songs including Ship Goes Down and Planes Left Trails.

2013-07-06 039 Chas and Dave

Of course the crowd were just getting warmed up for the big names of the day – CHAS AND DAVE. It was a first opportunity for Brentwood to be treated to a whole library of songs such as Gertcha, Rabbit, Ain’t No Pleasing You and a curious song called Down To Southend which sounded suspiciously like Margate!

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Final band of the evening were another Brentwood band who’ve recently been in for a session with us – THE TOMORROW MEN. They finished the evening off in loud raucous style with a set of original songs including Magician’s Grip and Solitaire.

SATURDAY

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It was great to see Canvey’s THE ENDS make it through to the Festival after being one of the two winners in Phoenix FM’s Battle Stage competition. An energy-fuelled indie punk set to start the day, and some great song titles including You Were Nice Once (But Only Once) and We Could Call This Song “Untitled” (But That Would Be Lazy Songwriting).

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Next up, were Essex rock band THE BRACKNELL. No strangers to Phoenix FM, the band’s set include their excellent recent single It Always Ends The Same.

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We were then treated to a magnificent performance on the Main Stage from the first “tribute” band of the day, GUNS VS ROSES. Some bands look like their heroes, some bands sound like them, but this lot had bundles of both, and a great set list including classics such as You Could Be Mine and Paradise City.

2013-07-07 074 The Late Twos

Northern Ireland alternative rock band THE LATE TWOS were also recent visitors to Phoenix, having come down for an interview that very morning. They played a great set including a cover of the Stiff Little Fingers song Alternative Ulster. More from one of that band’s former bass players later …

2013-07-07 086 Any Colour You Like

London Pink Floyd tribute band ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE were up next with a note-perfect set which was mainly culled from the two most classic of their classic albums, Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall – although we were treated to a rare gem in Fearless live in the Phoenix FM studio last week. The band were introduced by Phoenix FM’s very own Pink Floyd nut, Mike Jones. He told the crowd he’s seen all the tribute acts, but none of them topped this lot. And since they’re playing live and the real Pink Floyd aren’t any more, perhaps that makes them better than them too?

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DOOKIE are another band who’ve been in for the acoustic session treatment with us. Another great set of Green Day covers including Holiday and American Idiot.

The first big draw of the day were Essex Britrockers MISSING ANDY. The guys popped in for a chat with Nikki Mills live on air just before their show on the Main Stage – you can hear their interview again here – and the many fans the band brought along swelled the numbers in the field to many thousands. Another blistering set including “old” favourites Kings For The Weekend and Dave along with songs from their new album Guerilla Invasion.

Local covers band THE EARNSHAWS are fast getting a reputation as one of the best in the area and they didn’t disappoint with a great set including Pumped Up Kicks, All My Life and Get Lucky.

2013-07-07 102 States Of Emotion

When hard=working frontman Olly Hookings isn’t singing for Brentwood band STATES OF EMOTION he’s managing others such as The Tomorrow Men. Another great set from the band who attracted a crowd of over five thousand by this point in the day.

2013-07-07 113 Mannequins

From this point on the evening belonged to the Mods. Headlining the second stage today were long-time Phoenix FM friends MANNEQUINS, who were the only band to have a marriage proposal in the crowd in between songs of their set (she said yes!) which didn’t stop a high-octane set of their original songs including Head Screwed On, Shiver and Remember The Time.

2013-07-07 124 From The Jam

Time for the headliners and if you were there all day FROM THE JAM were well worth waiting for. If you loved The Jam – a band who had four no 1 singles (can you imagine that happening today) – this is as close to the real deal as you’re going to get. Lead singer Russell Hastings sounds just like Paul Weller, and if you didn’t know what Paul Weller looked like these days you could imagine he might have turned out like that too! Bass player Bruce Foxton is looking incredible for his age and has lost none of his enthusiasm for the live stage. And once you hear those very-familiar basslines of Start or Down At The Tube Station At Midnight, it’s 1982 all over again.

SUNDAY

Last year we had the Hurricane – this year it was the Murricane. Despite Andy Murray doing his best to put everyone in Britain in front of a TV to witness his maiden Wimbledon victory, the good people of Brentwood still came out in commendable numbers to watch some great bands and enjoy a third day of unusually warm sunshine.

The day started with a set from local scene stalwart ADRIAN NATION who’s been playing more local festivals than I can remember – this guy just keeps on going!

Former Inspiral Carpets lead singer TOM HINGLEY played a great acoustic set of his own bluesy compositions and old Inspiral numbers, and then proceeded to charm absolutely everyone he came into contact with. He was also the only person all weekend to wear a jacket all weekend and he didn’t look like he was going to break into a sweat either … highly admirable!

RHONDA MERRICK was another recent visitor to Phoenix, having recently played an acoustic session with us with guitarist Richie. Her sweet soulful performance with the Loose Change Band was exactly what Sunday afternoon needed.

Reviews coming for:
RAJIV
UNDERCOVER
NO MORE HEROES
THE DUALERS
PORTER
THE LOVEABLE ROGUES
THE PAUL COOK BAND
WHO’S WHO

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The Ends at Brentwood Festival

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Click below to hear the band chatting to Nick Field after their set about their favourite new song to cover during their set as well as their plans for the coming months.

 

Phoenix FM interview with The Ends (Nick, 06-07-2013)

 

You can hear more music by The Ends at theends.bandcamp.com. They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Click below to see two tracks from their set, including the final track where singer Mike handed out badges to the crowd (tracks contain some strong language):

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Interview with Rajiv at Brentwood Festival

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Singer-songwriter Rajiv was one of the winners of Phoenix FM’s Battle Stage event in June, and played on the main stage at Brentwood Festival on Sunday to a sun-drenched crowd. Nick Field caught up with him after his set to find out how it went and his plans for what promises to be a busy summer for him.

Click below to listen to the interview:

Phoenix FM interview with Rajiv (Nick, 07-07-2013)

 

For more on Rajiv and where you can next see him live, visit www.rajivmusic.com and find him on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Click below to see two tracks performed live at the festival:

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Latitude Launch – Bloc Party, Kraftwerk, Foals headlining

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Melvin-Benn-Paul-19-03-2013.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Melvin Benn (Paul, 19-03-2013)]

Once again Phoenix FM were in attendance at the launch of this year’s Latitude Festival, which took place at the BBC’s iconic Maida Vale studios in London.

I got a chance to talk to the festival organiser, Melvin Benn, about what people could look forward to.

The official Latitude website is here and you can not only see the full line up, but buy tickets from there too!

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Interview with Tim Ten Yen at Latitude Festival

Nearly five years after he played a Phoenix FM gig at the Bitter End in Romford, singer-songwriter Tim Ten Yen chatted to Nick Field at Latitude Festival about what he’s been up to since then.

You can find out more about Tim at www.timtenyen.com.

Click below to listen to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Tim-Ten-Yen-13-07-2012.mp3]
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Latitude Festival: Interview with Mark Olver

Nick Field caught up with stand-up comedian Mark Olver on Sunday morning at Latitude Festival. Mark, who was compering the Comedy Tent, is a regular on the UK comedy circuit and can also be spotted as an audience warm-up artist for several shows including Deal Or No Deal and Pointless. Here he chats about the many sides of stand-up and meeting DOND’s Banker…

 

Click below to listen to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Mark-Olver-150712.mp3]

 

Mark Olver can be found online at www.markolver.com and www.twitter.com/markolver.

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Brentwood Beer and Music Festival 2012

The second Brentwood Beer and Music Festival is over – and we had a great time watching the bands, chatting to organisers and performers, and drinking the beer.

Click the following links to hear our interviews again:

Photos:

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Interview with Chris Andrews

Nick Field had a few words with Chris Andrews, one of the organisers of this year’s Brentwood Beer and Music Festival.

You can hear the interview again by clicking below:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Chris-Andrews-Nick-07-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Chris Andrews (Nick, 07-07-2012)]

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Interview with Nicole Peach and Geoff Conway

Nick Field and Scott Ross spoke to jazz singer Nicole Peach and musician Geoff Conway, who played the main stage at the Brentwood Beer and Music Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Click here to listen to the interview again:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Nicole-Peach-and-Geoff-Conway-Nick-and-Scott-07-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Nicole Peach and Geoff Conway (Nick and Scott, 07-07-2012)]

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Interview with Adrian from Dawgfish

Nick Field spoke to Adrian from Dawgfish, who played the main stage at the Brentwood Beer and Music Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Click here to listen to the interview again:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Adrian-from-Dawgfish-Nick-07-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Adrian from Dawgfish (Nick, 07-07-2012)]

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Interview with Undercover

Nick Field spoke to covers band Undercover, who played the main stage at the Brentwood Beer and Music Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Click here to listen to the interview again:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Undercover-Nick-07-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Undercover (Nick, 07-07-2012)]

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So You Think You’re Funny, Do You …

Nick Field bravely takes on four comedians – Rob Kemp, Dave Pitt, David Reece Jones and Liam Dillon Cambridge. And had them all in stitches right at the end …

Click below to listen to the interview again:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Rob-Kemp-Dave-Pitt-David-Reece-Jones-and-Liam-Dillon-Cambridge-Nick-08-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Rob Kemp Dave Pitt David Reece Jones and Liam Dillon Cambridge (Nick, 08-07-2012)]

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Interview with Mark Morriss

Nick Field spoke to the Bluetones legend backstage at the Brentwood Festival just before his solo Sunday evening set.

Click below to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Mark-Morriss-Nick-08-07-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Mark Morriss (Nick, 08-07-2012)]

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BAS II

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

More than just a music festival, Bas II – organised by Deb Danahay, Martin Mann and Gary Clark – is a major celebration of Basildon’s role in the electronic music scene which made stars out of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and many other bands.

Shiny Darkness live on stage

The event kicked off with a bus tour around sites special to Basildon’s late 70s/early 80s musical heritage and also included a memorabilia exhibition at James Hornsby school, the site of Depeche Mode’s first ever live performance in 1980. And of course there was lots of live music – performances from Blancmange, Tenek, Marlow, Modovar, Naked Lunch (who reformed for this event and played their first live show in 30 years!), Protege Reign, Strangers, Spacebuoy, Shiny Darkness, Electro Kill Machine, Ba5ic and Speak and Spell, as well as DJing from Sarah Blackwood (Dubstar/Client), Dave Charles, Chi and Steve, Dr Atmo and Dan Martin.

Sadly we didn’t manage to talk to everyone but we did manage to talk to Ba5ic, Protege Reign, Shiny Darkness, Sinestar, Spacebuoy and Speak and Spell, and we caught a number of the bands live as well.

Unlike some other events, everyone was SO friendly – people had come from all over the world and everyone we spoke to just seemed so happy to be there! If there’s a Bas III you’ll hear all about it on Phoenix FM ….

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Bas II: Spacebuoy

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Spacebuoy-Rob-05-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Spacebuoy (Rob, 05-05-2012)]

Staffordshire’s Spacebuoy played a great set on Saturday evening and Rob Harvey grabbed a few minutes with them to chat about their Bas II experience.

You can find the band on their official website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Bas II: Protege Reign

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click here to listen to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Protege-Reign-Paul-05-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Protege Reign (Paul, 05-05-2012)]

Protege Reign are an Essex three-piece; no strangers to Phoenix FM, as Nigel, Simon and Nick came down last year to record the first of our 24hr sessions for us at the Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre in Havering-atte-Bower.

The band were down as one of two acts to play live at the James Hornsby School in Basildon – scene of Depeche Mode’s first ever live performance in 1980 – as part of the Bas II memorabilia exhibition.

You can find the band on Facebook or Myspace.

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Bas II: Speak and Spell

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Speak-and-Spell-Paul-05-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Speak and Spell (Paul, 05-05-2012)]

Headlining the Saturday night were Speak and Spell, who have been described as the UK’s premier Depeche Mode tribute act, and having seen their fantastic closing set we’re not in a position to argue with that.

We talked about the difficulties in reproducing the exact sound and the probability of merging with the real Depeche Mode, perhaps not as unlikely as it sounds!

You can find out more about them at their official website or Facebook.

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Bas II: Sinestar

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Sinestar-Paul-05-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Sinestar (Paul, 05-05-2012)]

Sinestar are a five-piece from Bristol/Manchester, who came down to the memorabilia exhibition and play an afternoon set at the James Hornsby School in Basildon.

You can find the band on Facebook or Myspace.

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Bas II: Shiny Darkness

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Shiny-Darkness-Paul-04-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Shiny Darkness (Paul, 04-05-2012)]

Shiny Darkness are a four-piece from Reims in France – the original line up of vocalist Sebastien Deruwez and keyboardists Olivier Rennesson and Olivier Jacques now augmented by vocalist Katerina Pantazis.

Having played the first BAS last year, they were back for another stint and it couldn’t be more appropriate – the band managed to take the time to visit the “Hollywood” sign for a photo/video shoot to accompany the “Sounds of Basildon”, the results of which will be up on their website soon.

Shiny Darkness will be in the UK on 23 June to play at the Bridge House with Electro Kill Machine but you can hear them here on Phoenix FM before then, as they will be coming down to Rob Harvey’s show to play a session sometime between 7am and 10am!

You can find the band on Facebook or Twitter or visit their official website.

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Bas II: Ba5ic

Phoenix FM’s BAS II coverage:
Front page | Ba5ic | Protege Reign | Shiny Darkness | Sinestar | Spacebuoy | Speak and Spell

Click below to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Ba5ic-Rob-05-05-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Ba5ic (Rob, 05-05-2012)]

Ba5ic first met up with Phoenix FM back in April 2010 when they were merely known as Basic. Now a little older and wiser but still incredibly young!, Rob caught up with them on Saturday, when they opened the proceedings at the Bowers Social Club.

You can find the band on Myspace.

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Latitude Launch

Click below to listen again to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Melvin-Benn-Paul-05-03-2012.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Melvin Benn (Paul, 05-03-2012)]

The Latitude Festival has announced its headliners for this year’s event – Bon Iver, Elbow and Paul Weller.

Trooper that he is, Paul Golder once again volunteereed to attended the festival launch party again on behalf of the station, and spoke to Melvin Benn, the organiser and creator of the festival. Apart from the usual festival goings on, Melvin talks about two new features this year – the monthly Longitude club nights and the Tour de Latitude, charity bike rides in aid of two very worthy charities, Kenyan Orphan Project and Julie’s Bicycle.

As usual there will be hundreds of bands, comedy, film/TV, poetry and literary performers taking part over the four days. Other musical acts will be Bat For Lashes, Metronomy, Laura Marling, Richard Hawley and Janelle Morae.

Classical pianist Lang Lang will be making his first outdoor festival appearance, on the waterfront at 12pm on Sunday, while Professor Brian Cox presents his The Infinite Monkey Cage programme live.

Comedy acts include Robert Ince, Al Murray Jack Dee, Tim Minchin and Reginald D Hunter. As well as new bands there are a number of 80s acts making an appearance including Simple Minds, Thomas Dolby and Dexy’s.

Appearing in the literary tent are Scottish author Iain Banks, graphic novel writer Alan Moore and punk-poet John Cooper Clarke.

The festival takes place from 12 to 15 July at Henham Park, near Southwold. Tickets are available from the official festival site at www.latitudefestival.co.uk.

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Reading Festival 2011: Viva Brother

Click play to listen to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Viva-Brother-Reading-Paul-28-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Viva Brother – Reading 2011]

Slough’s Viva Brother have been rising fast since their debut single Darling Buds Of May hit our station’s playlists last year. Now signed to Geffen and winning over more and more fans, they made their festival debut this year – and it probably won’t be the last time either.

Lee, Josh, Sam and Frank were incredibly relaxed and in good spirits before their late night slot in the Festival Republic tent.

We didn’t dwell too much on the Britpop revivalist thing that the band are so often tagged with – but we did get a lot of insight about how QPR are going to perform this season …

You can follow the band’s fortunes by visiting their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: The Salvation Army

Click play to listen to the interview:

[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-the-Salvation-Army-Reading-Steve-R-27-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with the Salvation Army – Reading 2011]

The Salvation Army have played a major part at every single Reading Festival – and Community Manager Stuart Scott has been at every single one!

Stuart talked about the amazing work that the Salvation Army does in providing food, shelter and a helping hand both for festivalgoers and also people in the wider community.

If you want to get involved you can visit their website using one of these links:

Main UK site
The Salvation Army in Reading central

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Reading Festival 2011: The Joy Formidable

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Joy-Formidable-Reading-Paul-27-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Joy Formidable – Reading 2011]

It’s always an immense pleasure to meet up with the Joy Formidable. The Wimbledon of festival bands, who have been promoted every year for the last three years from the BBC Introducing stage up to the Premier League of the Main Stage, they nevertheless played an excellent but too-short acoustic set on the BBC Introducing stage. And still had time to chat to us.

You can find out more about what the band are up to on their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Grouplove

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Grouplove-Reading-Paul-27-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Grouplove – Reading 2011]

Grouplove are a five-piece Anglo-American indie outfit now residing in Los Angeles, having got together after a chance meeting in Crete.

It was great chatting to Hannah, Christian, Sean, Ryan and Andrew – definitely one of the happiest and most relaxed bands we met all weekend, which certainly took our minds off the weather! My only regret was not talking to Ryan about his famous dad, who was not only in a mighty fine band himself but also responsible for one of rock’s music’s greatest riffs.

You can find out more about Grouplove on their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Cloud Control

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Cloud-Control-Reading-Paul-27-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Cloud Control – Reading 2011]

Acclaimed Australian alternative rockers Cloud Control, winners of the 2010 Australian Music Prize, played a great set over on the Festival Republic stage on day two.

Afterwards we caught up with Al and Ulrich to chat about their gigs-and-plaudits-packed year, and find out their plans for the future.

You can find out more about what the band are up to on their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Sharks

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Sharks-Reading-Steve-R-27-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Sharks – Reading 2011]

Leamington Spa punk rockers Sharks were the first band on the Lockup stage on day two of this year’s Reading. Having been compared to classic bands such as the Clash, the Buzzcocks and Black Flag, they’re definitely ones to watch for the future. We caught up with them after their set.

You can find out more about what the band are up to on their Facebook page.

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Reading Festival 2011: Metronomy

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Metronomy-Reading-Paul-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Metronomy – Reading 2011]

Having caught their excellent set in a packed NME tent earlier in the day, we caught up with Joe and Anna from Metronomy in the quiet confines of the media tent.

We heard about the reception to The English Riviera and more news on fellow bandmember Oscar’s recent conscription as a trapeze artist.

It was good to hear the future mapped out too. It contains quite a lot of Vic and Bob, which should be a staple part of everyone’s future.

You can find out latest Metronomy goings-on at their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Royal Bangs

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Royal-Bangs-Reading-Steve-R-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Royal Bangs – Reading 2011]

Having caught them on the Festival Republic stage earlier in the day, we then managed to find Royal Bangs in the plush surroundings of the Festival Republic bar.

After chatting about the usual festival things the interview concluded with a quick game of Connect Four, in which the Tennessee rockers came out on top. It hardly seemed fair though, as they had three times as many goes as we did …

You can find more on their official website here.

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Reading Festival 2011: Antlers

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Antlers-Reading-Paul-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Antlers – Reading 2011]

We spoke to Brooklyn trio Darby, Peter and Michael, collectively known as Antlers. They were very relaxed having just played a great set on the Festival Republic stage showcasing their new album, Burst Apart, released on Transgressive. We felt it wouldn’t be long before Planet Of The Apes came into the conversation, and we were right.

You can read more by visiting their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Digitalism

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Digitalism-Reading-Steve-R-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Digitalism – Reading 2011]

We braved the mud and headed backstage at the Festival Republic stage to meet up with German electronic duo Digitalism.

Having already established them as St Pauli fans – which came as no real surprise – Isi and Jens then spoke about the unusual way they make their music and their plans for the future.

You can visit their official website here.

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Reading Festival 2011: Dry The River

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Dry-The-River-Reading-Steve-R-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Dry The River – Reading 2011]

A band tipped as one to watch at this year’s festival, Stratford’s Dry The River played the Festival Republic stage where we caught their fantastic set. After building momentum in 2010, 2011 has seen the band play rapturously received shows at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas and they’re also recording their debut album, due for release later this year.

We caught up with Scott and Pete before their set and talked about the busy year and the weight of expectations upon them! You can find out more about them by visiting their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: White Denim

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-White-Denim-Reading-Steve-R-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with White Denim – Reading 2011]

Genre hopping four piece White Denim played the Festival Republic Stage off the back of their critically acclaimed new album, ‘D’. A bit of a wordplay first for Phoenix FM as the band are from Austin, Texas – and we spoke to Austin! We also managed to catch part of their great set from the plus non-mud surroundings of the Festival Republic bar (more about that later). You can find out more about the band by visiting their official website.

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Reading Festival 2011: Don Broco

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[audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Phoenix-FM-interview-with-Don-Broco-Reading-Paul-26-08-2011.mp3|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Don Broco – Reading 2011]

We caught up with Luke Rayner from Bedford four-piece alternative rockers Don Broco. The band have had a busy year gigging and Luke talks about plans for recording and releasing their debut album. You can find out more by visiting their official website.

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