Slaves – Live Review

No one else wanted to join Issac and Laurie’s band when they formed Slaves. Those who declined their offer are probably dumbfounded by how this band has become one of the biggest bands in modern punk.

It comes as no surprise that Slaves have gone from pub favourites  to their own headline performance at London’s Alexandra Palace.  Laurie’s distorted guitar snarls at you like a angry dog while Issac pummels his drum kit.

Their set opened with noughties pop-dance hits before slamming into a cover of Skepta’s shutdown during which the crowd roars the line ‘prime time television’ in a blood curdling scream. An unusual but fitting way to start their set.

Slaves have a knack for weaving dark humour into their otherwise sinister performance. The track cut and run has it’s own dance routine. Everywhere in the crowd you could spot people wearing the sweatbands featured in the music video for this track. Likewise for the song feed the manta ray  a few ‘manta-rays’ were pulled out of the crowd and floated around the stage for a while. The humour was mixed in with other tracks like the relativity relaxed ‘photo opportunity’, a lighters in the air sing-a-long.

But for the most part the performance was a full-throttle punk mosh pit. tracks like bugs and fuck the hi-hat were made for live performance. When Issac was screaming screaming ‘bugs’ into his microphone you couldn’t help but jump around like crazy.

Slaves at Alexandra Palace was an unrelenting rage against modern life from a band who are more than comfortable playing to large crowds. Slaves now with four albums have a back-catalogue of punchy punk suitable for the bigger stadiums. They’ll be back to Alexandra Palace soon (not to mention other stadiums) with vengeance!

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Should Stormzy headline Glastonbury this year?

Stormzy is all but officially confirmed as the Friday Headliner for next years Glastonbury festival. The response has sent shockwaves through the online Glastonbury community with people on the festival forum eFestivals taking to texting their mum’s to see if they knew Stormzy. The consensus on eFestivals appears to be your mum knows who Stormzy is so he’s probably not cool enough to headline. Others have taken to the comments section and twitter to rant about the audacity of Emily Evais daring to make (probably) such a booking.

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What it boils down to is whether or not Stormzy should headline Glastonbury. To work this out we need to understand what makes a Glastonbury headliner. Is Glastonbury just a bunch of white guys playing guitar? The cynical answer would be yes. Since 2010 sixteen of the twenty-one headliners could be classed as a ‘white guy playing guitar’.

We’ve had angry white guys playing guitar, a ginger white guy playing guitar and one group of white guys playing guitar who won’t fuck off. Nevertheless throughout its existence Glastonbury festival has been host to the very best of modern music. Many of the artists that have played Glastonbury have released multiple records to critical acclaim, are considered innovators or icons and many of which have been British. Whilst Stormzy has only released one album (to critical acclaim) he is an innovator and he is British.

Gang Signs and Prayer won the Brit award for best album in 2018. A quick look at who else has won the best album award and you’ll notice many names which have headlined Glastonbury. Lets be realistic if you’re like me you probably don’t give a toss about Brit awards. But hear me out Stormzy has brought what was underground genre of music into the mainstream. He’s going to have a lasting affect on mainstream music and is carving out space for British grime artists in the mainstream. Like it or hate it, grime is about to blow up.

Stormzy headlining is a political move as well. Glastonbury has alwyas been considered left-field. What with Stormzy’s outspoken stance against Theresa May on issue relating to Grenfell Tower and his open support for Jeremy Corbyn. It makes sense for Glastonbury to favour a left-leaning artist.

Although i was dubious when I first heard the rumour. things are becoming more certain now. and although I’d probably rather watch a white guy play guitar i am in favour of him headlining. The stars are aligned on this one and change is a foot. For those of you miserable wankers whinging. Quit your moaning. You’re forgetting what it’s all about. A few days of peace, love and lots of alcohol.

Anyway if you do decide not to go then all the better for me. I still need to get a ticket and your withdrawal could mean one more in the pot for me in the resale.

A Festival Each Weekend 2019

I’m currently planning for the 2019 festival season and intend to go to a festival each weekend during the summer. By working or as a journalist this is easily achievable. Following two previous summers attempting to squeeze in as many festival I can manage, this year I’ve decided to go all in.

If you’re a student like me and have long summers then you’re probably swamped with free time. Festivals are a great way to spend some of this time. You’ll get to meet new people and experience the best of British performing arts culture. So whether you’re a seasoned festival freak and are looking for sonic rapture. Or new to festivals and looking to broaden your festival horizons then why not try something a bit leftfield such as a festival from the list below. Some of the best festival moments I’ve had were in places which I’d never heard of, with people I’d only just met.

Below is the shortlist. I hope to see you in one of these fields very soon.

Bearded Theory, 22nd to 26th July.

I first heard about Bearded theory in 2017. Each year Bearded Theory manages to secure some phenomenal acts including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin this year.

Camden Rocks, 29th May to 2nd June

Gottwood, 5th June to 9th June

Download, 12th June to 16th June

This will be my 3rd Download. I can’t say I’m a hardcore rock fan however the huge line-up and iconic location draws me in each year. I’m hoping the line up continues to be as good as it has been in the previous years. This year it does clash with Isle of Wight so perhaps I’ll be elsewhere this year.

Black Deer, 19th June to 23rd June

Glastonbury, 26th June to 30th June

Clearly a must. Glastonbury is one of the best U.K. festivals. The rumours are suggesting acts such as The Cure and Paul McCartney for 2019. I was unable to get tickets this year, so I’ll most likely be working at Worthy Farm this year.

Beat Herder, 10th to 14th July

Latitude, 17th to 21st July

Despite the derogatory nick names (Lattetiude, Middleclasstonbury etc.). Latitude is a great festival with a lot to offer. Including pink sheep! Music goes on until the early hours, excellent cabaret shows. A feast for the eyes and ears.

Y Not, 24th to 28th July

Wilderness, 31st July to 4th August

Boomtown, 7th to 11th August

Bonkers set design, crazy actors and the biggest names in dance music. This festival has drawn me in the past two years. I can’t wait to be back again. Make sure to check out my review for 2018.

Green Man, 14th to 18th August 

Reading Festival, 21st to 25th August

The biggest rock festival in the U.K. Though Reading seems to be going in new directions it maintains its iconic status and draws in some of the biggest names in rock music.

End of the Road, 28th August to 1st September

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Boomtown, The Machine cannot be stopped

Neither words, pictures, or sounds can do justice to the epic which is the annual Boomtown fair. If you haven’t been to Boomtown it will be a truly unforgettable experience. What really impresses me every year at Boomtown is how immersive the festival is. On walking through the gates you will begin your transformation into a  citizen of the fantasy world which is the annual Boomtown fair. Become something different, be who you want to be and do what you want to do. The choice is yours.

You might begin your journey in the Town Centre which appears to be a run-down town hall. this year headlined by Sleaford Mods, Enter Shikari and Limp Bizkit. You may notice a curiously positioned entrance way to the side of the stage, above the entrance a sign says the ‘job centre’. Curious citizens such as myself wander in an out of the building in a sense of dazed bewilderment. Why did I just fill out a job application? Did that fella in a suit and tie really just throw a clipboard at me? A few paces away from the Job Centre was the ‘inconvenience store’. So inconvenient that we had to bribe our way in. When we did get in a few drunk employees started force feeding us onions. I got told off for wearing a bucket hat and as punishment I had to wrestle another shopper.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, ever thought of joining a cult? I did just that this year and was lead through downtown in a conga line and bowed before a great tree made of twisted scraps of metal. For those of you in pursuit of something more luxurious, perhaps you can rise to the top of paradise heights, the hotel complex at Boomtown. If you fortunate enough a hotel resident might slide you a tip if you beg them too. Then spend those hard earned Boomtown dollars on a stay at the hotel, if you ever make enough of them.

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If you don’t get to freaked out by the police, or cowboys and manage to make it up to the revamped Lions Den stage. You’ll notice a giant pagoda, complete with waterfalls and flamethrowers. This year the stage was graced by perhaps the biggest act to ever play Boomtown, Gorillaz. The Lions Den hosts an eclectic mix of the weird and wonderful during the day it is  the biggest reggae dancehall, dub and roots stage in the U.K. But when the sun goes down something happens. This year die antwoord happened on the Sunday night! A fast, heart pounding set of hip-hop mixed with electronic dance music made them a perfect act for Boomtown.

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Head down from Lions Den and you’ll reach the menacing Sector 6 a huge power station blasting Drum and Bass through the night. Look closely and you’ll see on the right of the stage the phrase ‘Paradise belongs to us’. It certainly feels like that when you’re there. This year the Sunday night offered a special surprise, Drum and Bass legend Andy C.

It is Sector 6 and it’s big sister Bang-hai tower that you’ll get the most spectacular visual experience the festival offers. With bespoke animations and clips displayed on the screens to subvert your consciousness. Displaying advertising for various services at Boomtown to sinister slogans such as ‘MDMB, do more, risk it all’. It a shame the sound is not quite up to scratch on these two stages. But I digress.

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Heading away from the main stages you may find some of the more psychedelic happenings. From the visual feast which is the psyfroest who this year hosted the psychedelic world music collective, Shpongle. Carry on up the hill and you may find tucked away the Tribe of Frog. This area definitely isn’t for the faint heated with its never ending pounding rhythm of psychedelic trance.

It is the at the top of Boomtown where you can reminisce of the historic roots of festival culture. The windmill stage provides a more relaxed vibe to the rest of the festival with bands playing a mix of Jazz, global fusion and soul. There is also arts and crafts on offer where this year we made a shrunken head. Or perhaps you’re more interested in finding your spirit animal with some shamanic journeying. If you need a break then whistlers green is where you should be heading.

All in all Boomtown far surpasses what other U.K. Festivals have to offer. Year after year it delivers and it’s population begins to grow. Who knows what will happen next with the CEO of Bang-Hai industries revealed as the man behind the mask. Will the artificial machine intelligence, A.M.I. Become the new master of puppets at Boomtown fair. You’ll have to wait till next year to find out what will become of this now radical city.

What’s that? Do I know you friend?

See you in a field very soon.

 

 

Paradise belongs to us!

A wise hippie once said to me “paradise belongs to us”. Not really, I’m just making that up because it sounds kind of cool and free spirited and all that. In fact I recall reading these words on the front of what appeared to be a power station at Boomtown festival in August 2017. For some reason the words resonated within me. I looked around me, paradise certainly did belong to those people, in that field, at that moment.

But why? What made us so lucky to be the owners of paradise? Music was the thing that connected us, music had brought us together, music had given us paradise.  For me this was a revelation. I now endeavour to experience as many of these powerful shared moments as I can. However this isn’t simply a hedonistic pleasure seeking pursuit! I intend to share these experiences through the forum of words.

For the most part this website endeavours to be a music journalism website with a particular focus on British music festivals. From Glastonbury to Cream fields; Film festivals to drama festival. If it’s music or festival related we love it!

“Reach for the lasers, safe as fuck.” — Jeremy Factsman

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