Category: Live

The Temperance Movement: New Tunes In A Small Room

  Malcolm Young died earlier this week. As I squeeze into a space at the front at Soho institution the Borderline, the PA soundtrack is non-stop AC/DC. It’s a good metaphor for tonight’s headline, The Temperance Movement. They’re both gravel-throat fronted blues-rock bands with emphasis on the rock. They’re both at home in front of a stadium crowd (‘The Temp’ – as TTM frontman Phil Campbell calls them, supported The Rolling Stones on their 2014 European and 2015 US tours). They’re both an absolute blast live. As Malcolm and Angus fill the pre-support void I’m left wondering whether there...

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Royal Blood Have It All Figured Out At Alexandra Palace

Following At The Drive-In takes balls, especially when the Texas quintet finish their 45-minute assault with a rendition of One Armed Scissor that’s the sonic equivalent of a napalm attack. But Brighton-based Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher certainly aren’t lacking in confidence. And rightly so. In the five years since forming Royal Blood the duo have taken their crunching blues riffs and titanic choruses from open-mic nights in Worthington to headlining London’s Alexandra Palace three nights in a row. It’s been a rapid rise, certainly, but gradual enough for the singer-bassist and drummer to scale up their production and...

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Michael Chapman & Julie Byrne Combine At The Union Chapel, London

Venues and artists don’t always make happy bedfellows, but the combination of Michael Chapman and Julie Byrne playing at London’s Union Chapel on Monday 13th November was a rare occasion of an acoustic match made in heaven. Billed as a ‘special guest’, legendary guitarist Chapman took to the stage under the church’s rose-tinted windows, appearing in his trademark baseball cap, illuminated by a spotlight, through occasional billows of dry smoke. Delivering a mesmerising performance to a hushed audience, his finger-picking playing style and stony voice cut through the room, while occasionally interspersing his set with tales of more than...

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Joanne Shaw Taylor Beats The Blues At Royal Festival Hall

Joanne Shaw Taylor is suffering from a cold. But, other than her drinking hot water and honey (not gin, she promises) between songs and an added hint of huskiness to her voice, you wouldn’t know. The singer and guitarist is all energy and smiles as she (sometimes quite literally) bounds through a set that stretches all the way from her 2009 debut White Sugar to last year’s Wild. Three songs from the current release (the swinging Dyin’ To Know, aptly titled all-out rocker Nothing To Lose, and the touching No Reason To Stay) kick off the show, before she...

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Dan Patlansky Offers Style And Substance At Royal Festival Hall

Gone are the leather jacket and checked lumberjack shirt. When Dan Patlansky steps out onto the Royal Festival Hall stage it’s in waistcoat and suit jacket. “As soon as I put on these clothes, I feel like I’m about to to go to work. It changes your headspace a little,” he tells me later. “And also with all these tattoos popping up everywhere,” he gestures towards the intricate inking on his neck, “I love the contrast of wearing something suave.” A less visual, but certainly more important, change is the interplay with his band. For his previous visit to...

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Rock Medicine With The Blues Pills @ Sheffield Academy

Earlier this week, my favourite band from Sweden stopped over in Sheffield, as they joined Black Star Riders for the UK leg of their European tour. And no, Agnetha and Björn hadn’t decided to stage their comeback in South Yorkshire. With big grins on their faces, the five Blues Pills took to the stage, clearly there to have a great time. With her boundless bouncy energy powerhouse frontwoman Elin Larsson did not hang around long to get the show started. Kicking off with the title track of their second studio album, Lady in Gold, Blues Pills launched right into...

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The War On Drugs Live: All Show, No Showing Off

Adam Granduciel is a musical genius. But The War On Drugs’ singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, and sonic mastermind is not a natural showman. There’s little time for pleasantries, just a few hurried “thank you’s” and one “I’m so psyched to be here”. There’s no waving of arms or pointing at the crowd, so even coming to the front of the stage during one of his fluid guitar solos is completely out of the question. Granduciel’s obviously aware of his self-restraint on stage, telling the Guardian just a few weeks ago he wishes he could “Bono it up a little...

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Maren Morris Lights Up The Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Country Music’s latest rising star Maren Morris brought her Nashville sound to London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire last night, the third date on a six-show UK and Ireland tour following on from her appearance at London’s O2 Arena in March as part of the 2017 edition of C2C, the UK’s Country to Country music festival which is growing year on year as demand for Country acts both from the U.S. and home-grown continues to rise. The night opened with Morris’ fiancé, Country songwriter-turned-singer Ryan Hurd, playing the Shepherd’s Bush Empire a few of his own tunes including the massive You...

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Alice Cooper Hot & Hip Live At Leeds

 I’ve seen a number of artists recently that are passed their normally ‘used by’ date, but tonight the usual careful hiding of wrinkles and disguising of chins isn’t needed, because it all adds to the image of the Godfather of Shock Horror Rock. Alice Cooper approaches his 70th Birthday (Feb 2018) with the same vim and vigour as he would have done at his 30th – 69th, bringing along a hot new band and some old friends for company. Looking around the Leeds Arena tonight we have a big collection of old relics, ok that’s a bit harsh, let’s...

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Magic Wands Were Out On Guy Fawkes Night

The Picture House Social in Sheffield has long been known for being one of the cities “in” places when it comes to amazing niche music, so it came as no surprise that Magic Wands chose it as the venue to stop off at on their Abrakadabra tour. Supporting Magic Wands were Sheffield’s own dream-pop five-piece Grigio, who have slowly been making a name for themselves in the local music scene. From the start Grigio’s sound reminded me of the old dusty Velvet Underground tapes that are still hiding in my basement somewhere, but updated to the 21st century. With...

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Michael Schenker Fest Celebrates Rock At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

The Michael Schenker Group are a band with such a complex history that their Wikipedia page has one of those colour-coded timelines to track the various line-ups through the decades. Formed by Scorpions and UFO alumnus Michael Schenker, since 1979 the group has had 14 lead singers, 11 drummers, 12 bass players, an extended hiatus, and even a name change (from Michael Schenker Group to McAuley Schenker Group from 1986 to 1993). Schenker, lead guitarist extraordinaire, has been the sole constant. By comparison, the idea behind Michael Schenker Fest is clear and simple. Reunite ‘80s era MSG band members:...

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Weezer Get Their Hooks Into Wembley Arena

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo isn’t your typical rock star. He keeps a Google Sheets database of lyrics, tagged by rhyme and meter. He sticks to a strict writing schedule: Monday’s for words, Tuesday is melodies, verses, and structure, and Wednesday’s all about new hooks. He’s clearly no slacker either, having released six albums since 2008. Oh, and he wears a sweater vest (without irony) for the band’s debut headline performance at Wembley Arena tonight. But looks (and work ethic) can be deceiving. Cuomo and his three bandmates may never rival KISS in the rock ‘n roll showmanship stakes, but even...

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Public Service Broadcasting: Every Valley Live

Public Service Broadcasting are a band that know how to polarise opinion. If people get it, they really get it. I’ve found if they don’t, they really don’t. If you’ve not yet attained ‘I really get/don’t get this’ status and are currently unaware of the PSB shtick, it runs as follows: they look like they’re on university lecturer day release; bow ties and corduroy jackets abound. The band don’t really go a bundle on singing either, so in the absence of that they trawl film and audio libraries looking for vocal samples which they then put to music. To...

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Flight Brigade, Sophie & The Giants & Keith Christmas @ #blogtober Festival

Keith Christmas, Sophie & The Giants and Flight Brigade were the acts chosen by Rockshot Mag for their night of music at #blogtober held at The Finsbury Pub in north London. This was the second #blogtober Festival, a different online blog or magazine curates a night of live music in association with Lost In The Manor and Dice FM. Thirty one different online tastemakers, including Clash, Louder Than War and Gig Slutz got to take over the venue in October to “show off” new, unsigned acts and some real discoveries. Keith Christmas falls into that last category. He played acoustic guitar...

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Placebo Bring 20 Years To Brixton

When Placebo appeared on the music scene some 21 years ago, their rise wasn’t overnight. But by the time they released the fifth single from their self-titled debut – Nancy Boy – they were peaking in the top five of the UK singles charts. Not bad for a group of unassuming lads led by the 5’6” tall androgynous frontman Brian Molko. They went on to have an instantly recognisable sound and were quickly noticed both by the general public and those in the industry, such David Bowie, who took them under his wing and even contributed vocals to 1999...

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St. Vincent Dazzles Her Masseduction At Brixton

The proceedings tonight at London’s famous Brixton Academy kick off with a screening of The Birthday Party, a directorial debut for Annie Clark, better known as musician extraordinaire St. Vincent. The film is part of female-driven horror anthology feature XX which was released earlier this year and adds co-writing to Clark’s résumé alongside Roxanne Benjamin. St. Vincent has been making waves the music world over, first hitting the scene as part of choral rocksters The Polyphonic Spree and going on to become a part of eclectic indie-folk man Sufjan Stevens’ band. But it was her solo debut Marry Me...

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The Evolution of the Neo-Numan:  Gary Numan @ Brixton O2 Academy

Opening with new song, the throbbing industrial Ghost Nation from hotly anticipated album Savage, Gary Numan is joined on stage by a standard rock band set up of lead, bass guitar and drummer as well as DJ decks and synths. His voice is clear and clean against the muted beats and dirty growls.  Topping and tailing every track is an explosion of rapturous applause from fans some of whom have shadowed him on his journey to bring an album from inspiration, to studio, to stage. Savage was produced using an advanced form of crowd funding: Numan reliably attended his studio every day to write and...

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Slowdive Go Deep At Roundhouse

On the excellent Song Exploder podcast, Slowdive singer and guitarist Neil Halstead spends a solid 10 minutes detailing the genesis of Sugar For The Pill. It’s a story of seagulls, effects pedals, layered drums, Wuthering Heights, multiple vocal takes, ProTools experiments, and bubble-wrap that gives a fascinating insight into the group’s meticulous creative process. That attention to detail is equally apparent during a transcendent Roundhouse performance that hinges on the quintet’s ability to create beautiful noise. There’s no long-winded between-song banter, no encouragement of audience participation, just an almost two-hour dreamscape carefully woven from gossamer vocals, ethereal harmonies, inexplicable...

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The Amazons: An Upward Trajectory

A year ago to the day, The Amazons struggled to sell 300 tickets to a show at OSLO in Hackney. Tonight, they’ve sold out The Forum. That’s 2300 people – and a year-on-year increase of 666%, if you’re counting. Chances are, nobody in this Kentish Town landmark is. After all, there are more pressing matters, like being blown away by four young musicians with a one-way ticket to The O2 Arena stage. A thrilling rock band with songs as hot as the van blazing on their debut album’s cover, the quartet’s success is definitely deserved, but certainly not overnight....

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Lady Antebellum, Superstar Trio Bring Country Heart Break To London

With the rising popularity of Country music in the UK, it’s no surprise that more and more acts are making the trip across the pond, from up and coming acts playing smaller venues to the heavy hitters playing the UK’s largest stages. And this week it was the turn of Country trio Lady Antebellum, comprised of Nashville native Hillary Scott alongside Augusta, Georgia boys Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. While they may not be known as an arena-topping act to most outside of the US, they have still managed to reach the top 10 of the UK album charts...

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The Soulful Charisma Of Zak Abel – Live At Koko

British singer-songwriter Zak Abel has the kind of voice that forces you to stop, listen, repeat and flood your music feed with his back catalogue. The 22-year old rising star and born and bred North Londoner first gained attention after lending his vocals to Gorgon City’s Top 20 Hit Unmissable in 2014. Since then he has carved out his status not only as one-to-watch but one-to-collaborate with. He played a sell-out gig at London’s KOKO this week, supported by winner of ‘Best Solo Male’ at the Unsigned Music Awards in October 2016, Mullally, who performed an edgy, neo soul...

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Kelsea Ballerini, Country’s Newest Starlet at The O2

They don’t come much more Country than rising Nashville born and raised star Kelsea Ballerini, even though the 24-year-old grew up on a diet of pop, only delving into Country later on. And that might explain her catchy, hook-laden pop-country tunes that had her named CMT’s Next Woman of Country back in 2014. Appearing on stage in a star-spangled blue cut-off dress, silver hot pants and sparkly heels, if we didn’t already know that Lady Antebellum where the main act tonight, Ballerini could easily have been mistaken for the headliner, breaking straight into her first single and biggest hit...

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Third Eye Blind Soak Up The Love At Roundhouse

The equation’s simple. Albums aren’t selling like they did a decade ago. But gig tickets are in higher demand than ever. Therefore, mark the anniversaries of those unit-shifting LPs by playing them live from start to finish. In the past year alone, U2, Manic Street Preachers, Interpol, and even The View have all done it. Now celebrating the 20th anniversary of their six-times platinum self-titled debut album, Third Eye Blind could rightfully add their name to the list. But they haven’t. The slick quintet are so keen to dispel notions of nostalgia that they open their Roundhouse performance with...

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Wilko Johnson’s 70th Birthday Bash: Live @ The Royal Albert Hall

Unless you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones, or else otherwise just ‘of a certain age’, it’s unlikely you’d have heard of Wilko Johnson until 2013 – when it was disclosed he was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. This news, or more specifically his reaction to it (embarking on a farewell tour and a Gold selling album collaboration with Roger Daltrey) put him in the public consciousness in a manner he’d not seen since the early 1970s. Back then, he was the wide-eyed, amphetamine fuelled guitarist of ‘Thames Delta’ R&B band Dr Feelgood and he could be seen skittering...

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Sigur Rós Mesmerise At Hammersmith Apollo

Young children can be mesmerised by almost anything: ants, mud, the rain, a man in a purple dinosaur costume singing songs. Adults, not so much. Between all the Snapchats, news alerts, and seeing what’s happening everywhere but here, there’s just no time to focus. Something’s always pulling us out of the present, to the extent that mindfulness, a potential antidote to all that distraction, is now a £4-billion industry. But there are still a few things other than meditation apps that can cut through the clatter of life. Like Sigur Rós. Not only can the Reykjavík trio entrance and...

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Dan Reed: Intimate Performance In St. Pancras Old Church

Dan Reed is one of those rare musicians who’s achieved success in a band (as the charismatic lead vocalist of Dan Reed Network, he’s sold millions of albums and toured with the Rolling Stones) and as a solo artist. The American rocker recently released his fourth solo album entitled Confessions and hit the road on his European Solo Tour, which kicked off last Thursday in one of the most beautiful and intimate places London has to offer, St Pancras Old Church. Those who’ve followed Dan Reed’s solo career know about his phenomenal songwriting and his ability to change a room...

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A Saturday At Bestival 2017, Made It Through The Rain

Bestival 2017 opened at its new home at Lulworth Estate with a promising packed lineup of musical treats and festivities, Nosa Malcolm explores. I arrived late Friday night, the clouds had consumed the sky and the forecast rain came down as I unloaded my car. Getting your tent set-up as it’s pouring-down can get you anxious for what is ahead, but the steady flow of enthusiastic festival goers through the campsite mixed with thumping bass and  echoing sounds of MC’s from the main arena kept a glow under a damp exterior. Waking up Saturday to sunshine and spirits were high...

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Four Decades of Adolescence: The Psychedelic Furs @ O2 Forum Kentish Town

Gathering together to play a sold-out London show are a band synonymous with American college rock of the 1980s, although they emerged from the UK punk scene in ’77 and grew a post punk fan base across Europe.  The Psychedelic Furs are often best remembered for emotional songs which became the figurative soundtrack of adolescence and the literal soundtrack of movies about adolescence.  With a front man now in his sixties how has the band evolved?  Before the audience get to find that out, what will they make of post punk grand dame Lene Lovich? Always an extrovert and...

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Music Makers Festival @ Omnibus Theatre, Clapham

RockShot Mag recently headed out to South London’s Clapham on a sunny weekend for a very special event. Past the famous Common and the drinkers unwinding in the mottled sunlight was The Omnibus Theatre, an elegant host for Music Makers Festival.  A two-day independent music event curated with love by London-based musician Albert Man and his manager and co-organiser Manoja Ullmann, Music Makers’ concept derives from their aspiration to give independent artists an opportunity to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Albert and Manoja know the importance of having a community to support the independent music scene and...

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Victorious Festival 2017, Three Days of Southsea Sunshine

I am local to Portsmouth, and I admit that I became slightly concerned before attending my third Victorious Festival. Victorious refuses to stop growing. It engulfs the entire city, with stages on the southernmost coast, and a new campsite on Portsmouth’s northernmost border. With victory after victory (just thought I would get the references to being ‘victorious’ out of the way), it felt as though it might disastrously shut down Portsmouth for the bank holiday. Perhaps that is destined to happen one year, but the strongest line-up yet spearheaded by Madness, Stereophonics and Elbow, along with abnormally gorgeous weather, made...

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X Ambassadors Throw A Political Party @ ULU

Want to front a chart-topping band? You’ll need more than a distinct voice. You’ll need to be a cheerleader, inciting the crowd to wave their arms or sing along in unison, like it was their idea in the first place. You’ll need so much energy that standing still is simply not an option. You’ll need the swagger to pull off iconic rock star poses (like holding your guitar aloft while in silhouette), without a hint of irony. And you’ll need the sincerity to deliver passionate monologues that celebrate both unity and self-acceptance.   In short, you’ll need to be...

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Curiosities In The Courtyard, Tori Amos Album Launch

Tori Amos is on the cusp of releasing her 15th album, Native Invader, and she’s chosen the intimate setting of The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, as her launch pad for the record. The venue, a former library and Grade ll listed building, is a hidden gem, tucked away in the Old Street area of London, and the perfect curious location for this beguiling artist. Native Invader is Tori’s first album for Decca Records. The clues trickling through in anticipation of the release indicate that the material has been inspired by a 2016 trip through her ancestral territory of North...

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Amy Macdonald Takes Over Omeara

When Amy Macdonald released debut album This Is the Life some ten years ago now at the tender age of just 19, it was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful in the UK and Europe, landing at number one and winding up three times Platinum in the UK and five times in Germany. With few independent female solo artists breaking through in the UK at the time, mixed among the ever-increasing output from TV talent shows, hers was a sound unlike others, her distinctive Celtic voice adding another dimension to clever yet hook-laden songs. Ten years on, Macdonald is...

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Maddie & Tae Bring Country to Koko in Camden

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Country Music is the new pop music. And over the past few years, people have been starting to look up and take notice not just in the genre’s heartland – the Southern United States – but both across the US and across the pond in the UK. And I firmly believe this is due to the quality of Country song-writing and it’s broader appeal, something duo Maddie & Tae addressed point blank with hit anti-Bro-Country debut single Girl In A Country Song, the sub-genre epitomising Country music stereotypes. Tonight, the...

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Tonbridge Calling Festival, A PhotoStory

Hundreds turned out in the glorious sunshine for the second year of Tonbridge Calling Festival on Saturday 12 August. The free, unticketed  event was set within an open park and seamlessly run by a team of 40 volunteers. It was set up last year with the vision of bringing a message of  unity to the town and strengthening community spirit. A diverse array of sounds, rythyms and culinary delights was provided for all. The energetic Penge community samba reggae band Pengenista Drummers woke up the town with their vibrant Brazilian Bahia rhythms as they marched along the river to the...

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Live: Star Shaped Festival @ The Forum, Kentish Town

Revival events are nothing new with many bands reforming to play to the nostalgia market years after their heyday. Some acts find a new lease of life after taking extended breathers and continue on while for others, they really are playing to the fans made during their prime. With events such as Rewind Festival tapping the huge 1980s music market, it was only a matter of time until the music of my early adulthood – Britpop – got the revival treatment. And who better to put on such events that 1990s-themed club promoter, Star Shaped. Kicking off life just...

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Live: Y Not Festival 2017

It looks like Y Not festival has finally found its answer and the operative word of the weekend was most definitely mud. Marred with problems from the start, the festival was cancelled on the morning of the final day, seeing only one out of the three main headliners perform, with other big names’ sets being cut short or reduced to DJ sets. The festival started with a bang with Feeder and The Skints headlining a Thursday set, drawing early crowds and getting what was a well-billed British summer festival on its way. In true British summer fashion, it didn’t...

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Live: Wildwood Kin @ The Islington

Wildwood Kin are on the verge of something very big. They’ve already had a single playlisted on BBC Radio 2, supported Ward Thomas on a national tour, played Glastonbury, headlined their first London shows, and signed to Sony. And that’s just in the past three months. Now, with their debut LP two weeks away and this momentum already behind them, tonight’s likely the last time they play a venue as intimate as The Islington. Which is as it should be: these songs, and the three young women performing them, deserve to be heard by as many people as possible....

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Live: Ramblin’ Man Fair Festival 2017

Ramblin’ Man Fair, the festival run by Spirit Of Rock that celebrates the best in classic rock, prog, blues and country is now in its third year. Whilst Download has strayed into pop punk territory and Bloodstock books bands with comical names (Infected Dead, anyone?) the Ramblin’ Man focus is on an altogether more relaxed and ‘grown up’ weekend. It’s the festival where you’re more likely to find a mosh pit in the queue for an ice cream than you are down the front. And this means that it’s a really inclusive, friendly and welcoming place to be. This...

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Kendal Calling 2017 | In Those Beautiful Fields

A music festival nestled in the Cumbrian hills, sounds idyllic and it certainly is, although you’d struggle to actually see the hills and mountains other than the moment you park your car at the edge of the site. Then there’s that nice trek up a hill armed with all your camping provisions for a 3 day (or 4 for some lucky folks) event of fun, food, drink and most importantly the music. Yes there was a little rain and plenty of mud this year, but that didn’t dampen the spirits or the impeccable organisation of this festival, the preparedness...

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