Sunday, July 13, 2008


Well summer is here in the UK at least for one sunny day. But I find myself without any tickets in hand for gigs in July or August (or September for that matter).

And despite the exceptionally good time had here last year, unlikely I'll be getting to any festivals this summer either. So a pretty bleak prospect. And not due to plenty of good things on.
So to make up for this, I'll construct my ideal summer festival circuit. If I had the cash and the time and no other commitments. All on the boutique side and all programmed by people who love music.

TRUCK FESTIVAL 19 & 20 July Steventon, South Oxfordshire
The grandaddy of the festivals here at 10 years old but still doing well what it always has: putting on great music on a small-scale (5,000 capacity) supported by local suppliers and with profits going to local charities. The site is a working farm with bands performing on the back of trucks and in cow sheds.
As usual, we will not be making a full line-up announcement: TRUCK is about discovering your new favourite band, and rediscovering those resident eccentrics on the fringes, whilst chewing a burger from the Rotary Club or an ice cream from the Vicar, before buying a few pints from those cross-dressing bar staff!
We can announce that The Lemonheads will be headlining! their set will include a start-to-finish rendition of the classic LP 'It's A Shame About Ray'
The Lemonheads
It's A Shame About Ray [BUY]

The Television Personalities
My Dark Places [BUY]

Camera Obscura
Underachievers Please Try Harder [BUY]

INDIETRACKS 26 & 27 July Midland Railway, Butterly, Derbyshire
Well this is an indiepop festival. With indiepop. Lots of indiepop. Played on a train and in a station. If indiepop or trains are not your thing, avoid. However if they are ... plus there is lovely double CD available here from Make Do Or Mend Records: 45 songs for only £6 including postage. Bargain.
A Classic Education, Airport Girl, Allo, Darlin, Amida, Ballboy, The Bobby McGees, Brontosaurus Chorus, Cocoanut Groove, Colin Clary, The Colliding Lemons, Comet Gain, Darren Hayman, The Deirdres, Dirty Fingernails, Esiotrot, The Foster Kids, The Good Natured, Gregory Webster, Harvey Williams, Je Suis Animal, The Just Joans, The Kabeedies, KateGoes, The Kick Inside, Lardpony, Liechtenstein, Little Things, The Lodger, Los Campesinos!, The Mai 68s, The Manhattan Love Suicides, Marjit Vinjerui, Mexican Kids At Home, The Middle Ones, Milky Wimpshake, Mono Taxi, The Occasional Flickers, The Parallelograms, Pocketbooks, Punk TV, Red Pony Clock, The Retro Spankees, Roadside Poppies, Rory Hill, The Rosie Taylor Project, Shrag, Silence At Sea, Silverdrop, Slow Down Tallahassee, The Smittens, Socks & Shoes, Still Corners, The Starlets, St Christopher, Strawberry Story, Tortoise Shout!, TottieTown Bike, Voluntary Butler Scheme, Winston Echo, The Wave Pictures, The Wedding Present, The Zebras, Zoey Van Goey.

Los Campesinos!
Hold On Now ... Youngster [BUY]

Arts and Crafts EP [BUY]

The Just Joans
Hey Boy You're Oh So Sensitive EP [BUY]

OFF FESTIVAL 8 - 10 August Myslowice, Poland
A festival put together by musician Artur Rojek near his home town in Poland which blends local bands (Dick 4 Dick?! Kammerflimmer Kollektief?!) with some great alt-rock names. And very cheap tickets!
Mogwai, British Sea Power, Clinic, Of Montreal, Iron & Wine, Caribou, Hey, Izrael' 83, Leszek Możdżer z projektem Lutosphere, Waglewski Fisz Emade, Menomena, James Chance, Dat Politics, So So Modern, Singapore Sling, Kling Klang, Modified Toy Orchestra, Felix Kubin, Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Homo Twist, Budyń i Sprawcy Rzepaku, Dick 4 Dick, Lao Che, L.u.c & Rahim, Czesław Śpiewa, Kawałek Kulki, Transkapela, Afro Kolektyw, Baaba, Muchy, Reuber, Klangwart, Shofar, Karpaty Magiczne i The Band Of Endless Noise, The Poise Rite, Bajzel, Renton, Karol Schwarz All Stars, Plazmatikon, Polpo Motel, Jacaszek.

Visitations [BUY]

Iron & Wine

Our Endless Numbered Days [BUY]

Kling Klang
The Esthetik of Destruction [BUY]

END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL 12 - 14 September, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset
Well you get the well-known headliners (Mercury Rev, Low, Conor Oberst, Tindersticks) plus some of my personal favourites (BSP, The Wave Pictures, Darren Hayman, The Mountain Goats. And I could go on) but what made EOTR last year for me was discovering new and unfamiliar bands. In a great setting. With peacocks. And The Somerset Cider Bus. In addition to the published line-up below there's a couple of additions worth seeing in The Local: The Pictish Trail and The Singing Adams.
A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Absentee, The Accidental, The Acorn, Akron/Family, American Music Club, Angelo Spencer, Baby Dee, Billy Childish, Bob Log III, Bon Iver, Bowerbirds, Brakes, British Sea Power, Calexico, Cate Le Bon, Cats in Paris, Christopher Rees, Congregation, Clare and the Reasons, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Darren and Jack play Hefner songs, David Thomas Broughton, Dead Meadow, Devon Sproule, Dirty Three, El Guincho, FM Belfast, Friska Viljor, The Gentle Good, Gossamer Albatross, Hey Negrita, House of Brothers, Hush The Many, Jason Molina, Jeffrey Lewis, Kelley Stoltz, Kimya Dawson, Kurt Wagner (Lambchop), Laura Marling, Lets Wrestle, Liz Green, Lonely Ghosts, Low, Mercury Rev, Micah P Hinson, The Mountain Goats, Mumford And Sons, Noah And The Whale, Over the Wall, Pete And The Pirates, Peter And The Wolf, Pyramids, Revenge of Shinobi, Richard Hawley, Robyn Hitchcock, Screaming Tea Party, Seabear, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Sons of Noel and Adrian. Sun Kil Moon/Mark Kozelek, The Sylvias, Thinguma*JigSaw, Threatmantics, Tindersticks, Two Gallants, The Wave Pictures, Woodpigeon, Zombie Zombie

The Mountain Goats
Tallahassee [BUY]

The Ghost That Carried Us [BUY]

Kelley Stoltz
Circular Sounds [BUY]

And it's not quite a festival but special mention must be given to A Day At The Races on Saturday 2 August here in Manchester. Line up here and tickets here.

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