Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Festival Round-Up

I must send off an application form to Oxfam HQ today. I’m keen to help man the Oxfam stall at the Wychwood Festival that takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse during half term week. Volunteering results in free entry, a meal and plenty of spare time to check out some music. I must confess that a prejudiced part of me – the Gloucestrian chip-on-shoulder part in particular - does not equate the conservative (small ‘c’) spa town of Cheltenham with a decent, non-mainstream music scene but there are some excellent acts performing at Wychwood. Billy Bragg, a hardy annual, headlines on the Friday, The Guillemots, a band I am beginning to admire, play on the Saturday while Field Music, The Broken Family Band and the astounding Amadou et Miriam all catch the eye on Sunday’s bill.

S and I are discussing the possibility of attending the All Tomorrows Parties festival in December. Thus far the annual Nightmare Before Christmas boasts only Sonic Youth and Iggy and the Stooges in its roster but, heck, that’s a decent start. And instead of trekking to Camber Sands as we did for ATP in the spring of 2004, we only need to trot down the M5 to the baroque surroundings of Minehead’s Butlins to enjoy the best in challenging sounds.

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