15 May 2008

Bearded Theory: the summer starts here

Well, I'm all packed and ready to go for my first music festival of the year, Bearded Theory, a small charity gathering in Derbyshire. It's going to be brilliant. Sally (my wife) has been heavily involved in organising it (with a little help from me) after the organiser asked for volunteers. She's actually on site now, sorting out last minute preparations and shivering in a tent.
All the profits are going to Oxfam. The ethos of the whole festival is one "for the people, by the people", with everyone mucking in. Even the bands are doing their bit, some have even bought their own tickets so the money goes to Oxfam. Keep an eye out for this one next year because there is a major buzz about this one.

So today's list has to be the line-up of Bearded Theory, check out their web sites (click their names, most have examples of their music), there are some great acts appearing and I can't wai

"We welcome back the wonderful Monkeys to HEADLINE Bearded Theory 2008. 3 Daft Monkeys are one of the biggest and best festival bands around. The 2007 festival scene has seen them make ground breaking appearances at festivals such as Beautiful Days, Glastonbury and Solfest. Whether it's Celtic, Balkan, Gypsy, Latino, Cornish or other World Music you are drawn to, you will hear it's influences in their self written music. Add to this the band's varied backgrounds from Dance, Dub, Punk, Reggae and Traditional Folk, and you have a stunning combination. The Exeter based Monkeys have released a new EP called "Go Tell The Bees" which is available in all good record shops; all is set for this threesome to hit the big time and deservedly so!!"

"Beetroot Kings are a Mansfield based five piece folk/rock/indie band who formed in May 2007. Gary Armstrong lead singer, guitarist and songwriter in The Beetroot Kings states "Luckily we live within a very musical environment and the rest of the line up are all local lads with a passion for the music we have produced”. The sound and style is unique yet palatable to just about any music enthusiast and thus the band has gained a strong following. So now it is for you to listen and hopefully love what The Beetroot Kings have done and will continue to do. THE CALLING E.P is the first studio release from THE BEETROOT KINGS "
"It’s all about dancing, always has been, from tribal drums, mediaeval pipes or a frenzy of voices. To sweaty pub back-rooms, banging nightclubs, free festivals & parties or anywhere there is a beat! Dance music embraces all of this history & Tarantism bring all of these influences into their songwriting & performance, weaving traditional instruments & styles with ska, punk, funk & dub. Along with contemporary lyrical content & imaginative arrangements this produces a unique mix of infectious dance rhythms & memorable tunes, real music that is fun & uplifting!"
"The True Deceivers were formed from the ashes of The Blazing Homesteads. Homesteaders Nick Bliss (guitar and vocals) and Mark Mitchell (fiddle, mandolin and vocals) teamed up with former Plenty frontman Graham Firth (lead vocals and guitar). They were joined on bass by Dee Coley (also a former Homesteader) and on drums by Jamie Legg (Eat The Sofa/ Jonson). The line up was completed by Nick Legg whose lighting and effects create the perfect ambiance for The True Deceivers unique brand of roots/ rock. Expect fiddle driven riffs, catchy tunes and great harmonies – a live experience not to be missed."
"Rev Hammer regards his music not so much as a passport to fame and fortune but as a ticket to ride. He learned to play guitar and sing at the same time and wisely thought busking was the best way to get to a standard where he could play publicly. Rev spent 18 months busking in the streets before he dared stand on a stage. By combining traditional and modern folk styles with jokes and idle banter he is able to create a warm and friendly atmosphere in even the coldest rooms. He is at his best however, when playing small intimate rooms where the audience can feel part of the show. Rev’s song writing has been featured on recordings by a variety of contemporary artists including The Levellers, whose version of “Maid Of The River” featured on their No1 album “Zeitgeist”. REV HAMMER’S FREEBORN JOHN is a musical biography of the radical Civil War unsung hero JOHN LILBURNE, who spoke out for the common man against oppression by the Royalists and then later against Cromwell himself. Rev is one of the country’s foremost modern folk singers. "
"Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs are one of the more unusual acts playing in the UK today. Basically a skiffle band who can skiffle almost anything (including The Pussycat Dolls!) but also a comedy band who will keep you laughing all night while enjoying their own brand of musical entertainment. They seem to make themselves at home anywhere they play; from the corner of a small pub to a large outdoor stage, it doesn't matter where this band play, they can adapt their act to fit any type of venue. The band have supported Dr. & The Medics, Chas & Dave & Bad Manners, won the Maidstone Busker's Festival, played many weekend festivals including Run To The Sun, VW Expo, The Bath & West Bike Show and Beautiful Days Festival. Dressed in tattered suits and top hats, they grab your attention wherever they go and their tongue in cheek comedy & rock n roll skiffle will have you tapping your feet, laughing and singing along in no time."
-unfortunately couldn't make it
"Playing mainly original songs written in a collective environment Flick, as the bands affectionately known, aims to bring you high energy emotive rock music with an emphasis on melody and structure. Now in their fourth year and with more than twenty years live experience between them, Flick are gradually forming a musical style all of their own, which leaves live audiences wanting more and not knowing why! When asked what who they sound like the band cannot say, but quote influences including AC/DC, The Wildhearts, Foo Fighters, Guns and Roses, Pearl Jam and Therapy. Flick pride themselves on being a professional live act and strive to both entertain and tell it like it is. "

"Freedom is the perfect accompaniment for any festival. Not having him playing would be like not bringing scrumpy cider to a festival! Freedom has years of experience in music game and is the grandfather of acoustic music. Freedom is at his best around a campfire singing festival and folk anthems to an appreciated crowd. He will cover almost anything you throw at him and he pulls it off every time. Don’t just expect singing expect story’s of his colourful life and jokes as bad as Jonny Rotton`s socks. His music and personality brings togetherness wherever ever he plays. We are over the moon he agreed to play at Bearded Theory 2008."
"Gail is Britain’s undiscovered queen of folk. Gail has strong vocals that match the legendary Joan Baez and passion for music that can rival Jonny Cash. Gail has been long overlooked for the quality musician which she is. Gail is not afraid to cover sing-a-long anthems which always go down a storm wherever she plays and will surprise you with her own songs such as the beautiful “This Land”. Gail has played at countless festivals over the years such as Wessex Gathering, Lammas Festival and has supported prestigious artists such as Mc Dermott’s 2 Hours and Last Nights Fun. Get your singing voices in order; Gail is back at Bearded Theory!!"

There is also a ball (with everyone dressing up on the Friday night), special surprise guests and the following DJ's doing sets in the dance arena:
Dreadzone Soundsystem
Avante Garde
Mr B
Tall Sarah.

There is a reason that it's called Bearded Theory, something about a drunken episode with the organisers in Amsterdam but the great thing is that everyone has been asked to wear a beard, with a prize for the best. I've attempted to cultivate a little one on my chin which someone at work described as a "brazilian". Hmmm.

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