Crumble is working real hard at present to bring you a new club night and we are very excited. More news soon.
In the mean time, we are going to start covering what we consider to be the best festivals this summer, as well as the usual coverage of gigs and events that are noteworthy. Tonight we go to see The Soft Moon play their first ever gig in the UK. Check them out here.
Everyone knows Glastonbury. 1 out of 4 crumbles are going to be there this year. It’s Britain’s biggest festival in the UK and totally oversubscribed. Getting a ticket is as hard as tearing out your own fingernails and it’s pretty difficult to get in unauthorised now too. Security here is like a US military base with photo ID + wristband + documents being checked even for the artists and comedians that are playing the festival! Good luck if you want to go now, as it’s sold out. However, there are some great bands lower down the bill (headliners this year are shit) and we will try to bring you some coverage of them.
Since you probably aren’t going to Glastonbury, there are the best alternatives:
Probably the coolest festival in the UK. This is proper boutique man. And don’t forget it when you end up in an enchanted forest, a tea party, an exploding zepplin or a mud fight. Expect the unexpected at this festival. Having not been I have only heard stories of dancing on a flotilla with Michael Jackson. Watching the centre-piece of the year go up in flames and fireworks and all sorts of hippy-fancy dress madness. They have a late licence so you can party all night. It’s worth going for the festival alone, and since the bands are awful this year that’s a good thing. Line up highlights include Chew Lips, Guillemots, Matt & Kim, Mylo, Punks Jump Up and YACHT. So, you can see it’s really not worth it if you are interested in the bands. However, it might be one of the best experiences of your life.
Secret Garden Party happens on 21st-24th July at A Beautiful Secret Garden near Huntington in Cambridgeshire. Tickets are available at £160 for adults.
Now Standon Calling is one of the smaller festivals of the summer, and not exactly the most famous. However, this little festival has absolutely loads to offer and it’s my personal pick of the festival that I most want to go to. As the website explains, this festival hasn’t been running long (11 years), and started off as a BBQ with a some friends. Now, surrounding a 16th century mansion, the festival holds a mere 5000 revellers but offers an array of great music, bars, eating options, a pool, an all night licence, nightclub in a cowshed, gourmet dining, boutique camping, and lots of other indiosyncratic goings on. The festival is another big fancy-dress festival; this year the theme is Gods & Monsters, which is different from the usual Scooby Doo outfit that you can expect to see at nearly any festival. In terms of line-up, last year was probably better; however, they have incredible diversity in there. Battles have a new album coming out, the legendary Spiritualized will headline, Errors (brilliant), Saul Williams, Born Ruffians (a huge favourite of mine), Egyptian Hip Hop and Malachai fulfill the indie quota and then you have really interesting choices like Raghu Dixit and Penguin Cafe Orchestra. One of my best festival experiences was seeing Toumani Diabate (an African Kora player) at Field Day and the best thing you can do is go and see something different at a festival. There is comedy with Howard Marks and literature events etc. for those of you less interested in music. A festival shouldn’t be about ticking bands off a list; it should be about doing things differently, and this festival is one of those.
Another huge draw is the £120 weekend ticket. The festival runs at probably the best time of the year for weather: 12-14th August. And it’s located just 40minutes from London.
Green Man festival can hardly be described as one of Britain’s most popular festivals but it won Best Medium Sized festival 2010 in the UK Festival Awards, so that says something. It’s called Green Man because it has a very environmental policy, which is nice if you’ve ever seen the state of Reading Festival after a weekend. That means no glass bottles, but it also means clean. And you wouldn’t want to spoil the beautiful countryside of the Brecon Beacons, would you? With a great line up of folky, electronic and bands to discover you won’t be disappointed. Fleet Foxes, Explosions in the Sky, Laura Marling, Destroyer, Villagers, James Blake, The Antlers, Holy Fuck, Gruff Rhys, and the list goes on. There isn’t much more information on the website but luckily I have a nice friendy friend who goes to this festival regularly and I will get her to give a personal account soon.
At only £135 for three days this festival is definitely value for money. Students can get tickets for £115, and that’s a bargain! If you love the countryside you can get in early for an extra £40 and that’s a week’s holiday in the Brecon Beacons. Dates: 19th-21st August, so you can expect it to be warm. There are loads of pictures on the website and information about camping options and how to get to the site near Crickhowell in Wales.
Another small one. 5000 people in a wooded area of Dorset makes for a quirky and unique experience by the looks of it. Again, I will be getting some personal accounts of this festival and it’s one that really appeals to me. There is lots going on including an Enchanted Forest, a piano, library in the woods and lots of things tucked away in corners but perhaps the biggest draw is the incredible line up. Beirut, tUnE-yArDs, Tinariwen (an amazing North African desert blues band), Best Coast, HEALTH, Emmy the Great and Twin Shadow are my personal favourites here but there are tons more smaller band that are making a lot of noise or promising to be big. See them in this intimate setting before you have to push your way to the front of a sticky Reading crowd. Another draw is the relatively late date of this festival. Being in September it’s at the end of the summer and you can probably buy tickets on your August pay check unless it sells out, as it may, before then. It’s also a time when I for one won’t be so busy at work. I might well pay to go to this festival as it’s got some of the bands that Crumble has focused on over the past year and some really cool features.
2nd-4th September. Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset. £145 for adults. Looks good. More info to come.
The other, smaller, one-day festivals we can recommend are:
This happens this Thursday 19th May. The line up isn’t exactly all-star but Toro y Moi are a highlight and it’s fun. I’ve been every year and Shoreditch just becomes a hive of scum and villainy. Free roaming around the area seeing unknown bands and getting off your face for less than £15.
Possibly the strongest line-up I’ve seen at any festival belongs to the Eat Your Own Ears organised Field Day. I have been every year since it’s inception and although it had some trouble in the first year with toilets and bars this seems to be sorted now. The carnival atmosphere and country fete stylings make for a lovely atmosphere with all the hipsters from East London in attendance. It closes at 11pm and the music is quiet but Phoenix were still good last year (when the wind wasn’t blowing the music away) and Toumani Diabate was sensational the year before that. This year I will be struggling to choose between Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Twin Shadow, Zola Jesus, Mount Kimbie, The Horrors, Kieren Hebden(Four Tet)/James Holden, Jamie XX, Matthew Dear, Erol Alkan, Glasser and Born Ruffians and I don’t think it’s possible to fit them all in. Usually end up lost or staggering around off my face not really seeing anyone, but it’s always great fun! £40 for the day but worth it for the wealth of good bands that you might not see anywhere else.
Enjoy the summer!