Thursday, 12 July 2012

Beacons Festival 2012 - Preview

Beacons festival bounces back after last year’s flooding nightmare. With ticket prices at less than £100, a beautiful Yorkshire setting and a fun, family orientated atmosphere, it looks like this festival is definitely going to be a gem amongst the ‘dark satanic mills’ of the North*. And that’s without mentioning the line up! The headliners, Roots Manuva, Wild Beasts and Toots & The Maytals are three fabulous acts which are more than worth the ticket prices anyway, let alone a line up which includes new, up and coming bands from all over the country, but especially from the North. It is a credit to the festival that 5 out of the 7 acts chosen for this preview are from the North of England; Beacons seems to really support artists from the North.

*(Note: there are not actually THAT many dark satanic mills up here)

The festival also boasts a long list of non-musical awesomeness, with workshops including a collaborative festival zine and spoon making (I know!!) as well as Fancy Dress Friday with a theme of ‘All The Fun Of The Fair’.

But back to the music; who should you go and see if you take the very wise decision of buying a Beacons Festival ticket? 

          Headliners of the Saturday night, Wild Beasts. It will be your only chance to see the band in the North of England this summer! Think of it as a Northern exclusive. The band’s stunning mix of voices is no secret in the indie world, but then neither are their lyrics, often dripping with sexual innuendo. The highlight of their live set often includes a mass sing-along to ‘The Funpowder Plot’: ‘This is a booty-call, my boot, my boot, my boot, my boot up your asshole!’ it’s always a treat to hear a crowd swear together. Just one of the many reasons not to miss them.

     The fantastic, eccentric, Patrick Wolf will play an acoustic set, which one might feel might change the usual upbeat, party-style atmosphere of his live show with the new album, Lupercalia. However, fear not, as his older albums prove, his music is folky and stripped back at heart. This acoustic set will surely bring out his true troubadour style.

Pins are a Manchester band with an American sound, drawing comparisons to Warpaint. Four badass women making fuzzy, echoey pop music, Pins are a kick-ass girl group and one to watch out for. 

Mazes are another Manchester band, who play very short and very catchy fuzzy, summery songs. This translates into an energetic,  infectious live show which I can personally recommend!

Frankie & The Heartstrings play on the Sunday. This Sunderland band are fantastic live. A definite must-see for the festival, with singer Frankie Francis’ fantastic stage presence and the band’s catchy, infectious indie pop. One to dance to!

Eagulls from Leeds are really fucking great. Excuse the profanity, I think it’s really needed. Their songs are scuzzy and loud, fuzzy and frantic, but there’s enough pop fun in there for them to be accessible for a lot of people. With a new EP out really soon, it’s safe to say that this band is pretty exciting right now.

Sunday headliners Toots & The Maytals are yet another fantastic booking.(on a side-note, my dad would probably hate me if I didn’t include them, too.) They probably don’t need any introduction to you; they are one of the biggest and best legends in reggae. Expect the set to include classics such as Monkey Man and hopefully some brilliant new songs, too!

Holly Read Challen

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