Tag Archives: Festival

Festival Season 2016: Who’s playing where this summer?

With the UK music festival season rapidly approaching, there are now more choices than ever before for the weekend raver. Dom Kureen takes a look at some of the most notable events and how they’re shaping up so far.

June

The London African Gospel Choir will be headlining at MondoMix Photo by Adam Gasson / Commonwealth Secretariat
The London African Gospel Choir will be headlining at MondoMix
Photo by Adam Gasson / Commonwealth Secretariat

Mondomix

Venue: Calbourne Water Mill, Isle of Wight
Dates: 3-5 June
Weekend camping price: £55

Headline acts
London African Gospel Choir, 7suns, Arhai, Soothsayers

Mondomix website

Isle of Wight Festival

Venue: Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
Dates: 9-12 June
Weekend camping price: £208.20

Headline acts
The Who, Queen + Adam Lambert, Stereophonics, Faithless

Isle of Wight Festival website
Kureen 2014 Isle of Wight Festival review 

Download Festival

Venue: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Dates: 10-12 June
Weekend camping price: £195

Headline acts
Rammstein, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Korn, Nightwish

Download website

Glastonbury Festival

Venue: Worthy Farm, Pilton.
Dates: 22-26 June
Weekend camping price: £228

Headline acts
Adele, Coldplay, Muse, LCD Soundsystem

Glastonbury website
Kureen 2014 Glastonbury review

Blissfields

Venue: Woodmancott, Hampshire
Dates: 30 June – 2 July
Weekend camping price: £95+

Headline acts
Dizzee Rascal, Everything, Everything, Roni Size

Blissfields website

July

Fatboy Slim spearheads a sparkling Camp Bestival lineup in August
Fatboy Slim spearheads a sparkling Camp Bestival lineup in August

Love Supreme jazz festival

Venue: Glynde, East Sussex.
Dates: 1-3 July
Weekend camping price: £145

Headline acts
Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach, Lianne le havas

Love Supreme website

British Summer Time

Venue: Hyde Park, London
Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th July
Weekend camping price: £184

Headline acts
Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons, Take That

BST Website

Cornbury

Venue: Great Tew, Oxfordshire
Dates: 8-10 July
Weekend camping price: £200

Headline acts
Jamie Cullum, Bryan Ferry, James Morrison

Cornbury website

T in the Park

Venue: Auchterader, Perthshire, Scotland
Dates: 8-10 July
Weekend camping price: £205

Headline acts
Stone Roses, Disclosure, The 1975

T in the Park website

Latitude 

Venue: Beccles, Suffolk
Dates: 14-17 July
Weekend camping price: £192.50

Headline acts
The Maccabees, New Order, the National

Latitude website

Secret Garden Party

Venue: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Dates: 21-24 July
Weekend camping price: £180

Headline acts
Primal Scream, Caribou, Lissie

SGP website 

Leefest

Venue: Secret location near Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Dates: 28-30 July
Weekend camping price: £89+

Headline acts
Lianna la Havas, Roots Manuva, Little Simz

Leefest website

Camp Bestival

Venue: Lulworth, Dorset
Dates: 28-31 July
Weekend camping price: £197.50

Headline acts
Fatboy Slim, Tears for Fears, Jess Glynne

Camp Bestival website

WOMAD

Venue: Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Dates: 28-31 July
Weekend camping price: £175+

Headline acts
Sidestepper, This is the Kit, Tettish

WOMAD website

August

The Flaming Lips will grace Wilderness festival in August
The Flaming Lips will grace Wilderness festival in August

Wilderness

Venue: Great Tew, Oxfordshire
Dates: 4-7 August
Weekend camping price: £164

Headline acts
Robert Plant, the Flaming Lips, Crystal Fighters

Wilderness website

BoomTown Fair

Venue: Ovington, Hampshire
Dates: 11-14 August
Weekend camping price: £170

Headline acts
Madness, Damian Marley, Leftfield

BoomTown Fair website

Green Man

Venue: Crickhowell, Powys, Wales
Dates: 18-21 August
Weekend camping price: £175

Headline acts
James Blake, Belle & Sebastian, Wild Beasts

Green Man website

V Festival

Venue: Weston-under-Lizard, Staffordshire + Chelmsford, Essex
Dates: 20-21 August
Weekend camping price: £189

Headline acts
Rihanna, Sia, Justin Bieber

V Website

Creamfields

Venue: Daresbury, Cheshire
Dates: 25-28 August
Weekend camping price: £200

Headline acts
Fatboy Slim, Tiesto, Above & Beyond

Creamfields website

Shambala 

Venue: Secret location nr Market Harbourough, Northamptonshire
Dates: 25-28 August
Weekend camping price: £109+

Headline acts
Sister Sledge, TBC

Shambala website 

Reading/Leeds 

Venues: Reading, Berkshire + Wothersome, West Yorkshire
Dates: 26-28 August
Weekend camping price: £205

Headline acts
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foals, Disclosure

Reading/Leeds website

Victorious

Venue: Southsea, Hampshire
Dates: 27-28 August
Weekend price: £50+

Headline acts
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Manic Street Preachers, Will Young

Victorious website

September

Robert Smith of The Cure: Great hair, better eye-liner
Robert Smith of The Cure: Great hair, better eye-liner

No.6

Venue: Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales
Dates: 1-4 September
Weekend camping price: £195

Headline acts
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Hot Chip, Bastille

No.6 website

Bestival

Venue: Robin Hill park, Downhill, Isle of Wight
Dates: 8-11 September
Weekend camping price: £218

Headline acts
The Cure, Major Lazer, Hot Chip

Bestival website

Let us know if you’re going to any festivals this summer, and who you’re looking forward to seeing in the comment section below!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Interviews with Creative Minds. No.11: Amber Katie Peck

Rarely can a cover band have been responsible for so swiftly stirring up the Isle of Wight’s serene landscape as Amber Management.

Dom Kureen was privileged to be find a gap in the schedule of their front woman, Amber Katie Peck, and rapidly thrust his Dictaphone into her face – this is the result.

The links

Like the Amber Management Friendly-face page!

Follow Amber on Twatter!

Send a slice of affable pie to Dreamer Joe! (interval track)

Show some love to the Fugees! (closing track)

Like the Kureen Faceblock page to validate our neediness!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Festival season 2015: Who’s playing where this summer?

With the UK music festival season rapidly approaching, there are now more choices than ever before for the weekend raver. Dom Kureen takes a look at some of the most notable events and how they’re shaping up so far.

June

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac will kick off festival season on the Isle of Wight.

 

Isle of Wight Festival

Venue: Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight
Dates: 11-14 June
Weekend camping price: £208

Headline acts
Fleetwood Mac, Blur, The Black Keys, The Prodigy, Max.Lyrical.

Isle of Wight Festival website
Kureen 2014 Isle of Wight Festival review 

Download Festival

Venue: Donington Park, Leicestershire
Dates: 12-14 June
Weekend camping price: £215

Headline acts
Muse, Slipknot, Kiss, Faith No More, Motley Crue

Download website

Glastonbury Festival

Venue: Worthy Farm, Pilton.
Dates: 24-28 June
Weekend camping price: £225

Headline acts
Kanye West, Lionel Richie, Foo Fighters

Glastonbury website
Kureen 2014 Glastonbury review

Wireless 10

Venue: Finsbury Park, London
Date: 28 June
Day ticket price: £76.45

Headline acts
Drake, Rita Ora, Chance the Rapper, Katy B, Public Enemy

Wireless 10 website

July

Drake
Drake goes Wireless in July

Wireless Festival

Venue: Finsbury Park, London.
Dates: 3-5 July
Weekend camping price: £209.50

Headline acts
Drake, Jesse J, Avicii, Mary J Blige, David Guetta

Wireless Festival website

T2015

Venue: Strathallan castle, Perthshire, Scotland
Dates: 10-12 July
Weekend camping price: £194

Headline acts
Kasabian, Sam Smith, The Libertines, Kasabian, The Prodigy

T2015 website

Latitude Festival

Venue: Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
Dates: 16-19 July
Weekend camping price: £200.50

Headline acts
Portishead, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Alt-J, Alan Davies, Jon Richardson 

Latitude website

Love Box

Venue: Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London.
Dates: 17-18 July
Weekend camping price: £93.50

Headline acts
Snoop Dogg, Rudimental, Bonobo, Jessie Ware, Cypress Hill

Love Box website

Secret Garden Party

Venue: Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton
Dates: 23-26 July
Weekend camping price: £190.50

Headline acts
Jungle, Public Service Broadcasting, Palma Violets, Menace Beach

Secret Garden Party website

August

Sam Smith
Sam Smith: Far too clean looking for the festival crowd

 

Boomtown Fair

Venue: Matterley Estate, Winchester, Hampshire
Dates: August 13-16
Weekend camping price: £155

Headline acts
Stephen Marley, Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly

Boomtown Fair website

V Festival

Venues: Weston Park, Staffordshire / Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Dates: August 22-23
Weekend camping price: £189

Headline acts
Calvin Harris, Stereophonics, Sam Smith, Tom Jones

V Festival website

Reading and Leeds Festival

Venues: Richfield Avenue, Reading / Braham Park, Leeds
Dates: August 28-30
Weekend camping price: £205

Headline acts
Mumford and Sons, The Libertines, Limp Bizkit, Metallica

Reading Festival website
Leeds Festival website

Creamfields

Venue: Alex James’s Farm, Kingham, The Cotswolds
Dates: August 28-30
Weekend camping price: £154.50

Headline acts
Paloma Faith, Grandmaster Flash, Groove Armada

Creamfields website

September

Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers sent in the clowns last summer

 

Festival No.6

Venue: Portmeirion, Wales
Dates: September 3-6
Weekend camping price: £170

Headline acts
Grace Jones, Belle & Sebastian, Ghost Poet

Festival No.6 website

Bestival

Venue: Robin Hill, Isle of Wight
Dates: September 10-13
Weekend camping price: £195

Headline acts
Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Duran Duran

Bestival website
Kureen 2014: 10 local acts you won’t want to miss

OnBlackheath

Venue: Blackheath, London
Dates: September 12-13
Weekend price: £89

Headline acts
Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, Madness

OnBlackheath website

Let us know which festival catches your eye, in the meantime here’s ‘Never going back again’ from the legendary Fleetwood Mac.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

In Defence of Kanye

So it came to pass approximately 72 hours ago; another headliner announced, another bout of apparent outrage from picket wielding, apoplectic masses.

Kanye West

Glastonbury Festival purists have long vocalised their displeasure at bill-toppers they don’t deem fit for the privilege. In 2008 it was Jay Z who was pelted with bottles and ushered towards a prematurely aborted set, in 2011 Z’s better half Beyonce Knowles overcame initial scepticism with an action packed set, and as recently as 2014 no less than Metallica found themselves on the receiving end of the flak from disgruntled ticket holders.

To understand what this is all about, we need to delve into the Glastonbury archives, with the likes of The Kinks, Joan Baez and David Bowie headlining the inaugural events in the early 1970’s –all legends in the making who remained on the ascent, all far removed from predictable pop or mainstream hip-hop.

The trend of selecting upcoming, talented acts that hadn’t started to dim continued well into the 1990’s, with such luminaries as relatively niche duo Happy Mondays and World Party topping the bill.

It was this series of unpredictable, unaffected acts that apparently allured Glastonbury’s legions of loyalists, but inevitably as the scale of the festival grew so did the desire to appeal from a commercial standpoint, hand in hand with those notorious performers themselves craving the UK’s premier musical limelight en mass.

While it’s not entirely surprising that Mr West has had been the subject of petitions to have his name removed from the line-up, it seems that this 60,000 strong (so far) rejection is based almost entirely on the fact that the man himself is a bit of a tool, and shockingly not related to the ridiculous auto-tune voice machine he carries around in his bejazzled man bag.

True, his recent output hasn’t come close to emulating the creative grandeur of College Dropout and 808’s and Heartbreaks respectively, but he remains an instantly recognisable franchise player within an increasingly facile industry, seemingly populated by skinny jean wearing children moulded at the knee of wealthy men with faces full of botox.

“My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live,”

Kanye pompously stated ad nauseam in the early parts of this decade with his tail feathers gleaming, and although he has refrained from repeating that particular quote recently, his general mind-set remains as haughtily one dimensional as ever.

Kanye West

West is a musician who would deep throat himself on an hourly basis if he was limber enough, and never seems far away from a meltdown, with his perma-glazed disposition, as if he’s gradually transformed from the ventriloquist into the dummy.

2013 album Yeezus was an overly manicured, unashamedly commercial release that dimmed the star of a man who had a few years previously sparred on the same level as hip-hop heavyweights such as Jay-Z, Talib Kweli and Eminem.

Now he finds himself under fire from UK fans, although he’s likely to revel in the vitriol and put on a show that gives a proverbial (and possibly literal) middle finger to the Pyramid Stage’s mosh masses. Every urine sample tossed in his direction destined to be swatted from sight with disregard rather than disgust.

There’s no doubt that based on his musical back catalogue, profile and brand strength, Kanye West is good value for a lead role at Worthy Farm, and, much like Metallica last time out, the dissenting voices and Facebook chain letters will mean little now that every ticket has been sold.

Always controversial, the man who opted to name his child North West may segregate audience opinion, but love or loathe him there’s no denying his value as the kind of legit superstar that these stages fit like a bespoke designer suit, an apt metaphor for a society obsessed with fame and aesthetics.

Over to you Kanye.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Live Review: Katie Price

Katie Price cut the unlikely figure of leading lady at the 2014 Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Friday afternoon. Dom Kureen was there to witness the glamour model-cum-author’s one hour question and answer session, aimed to publicise the latest tome affiliated with brand Price, Make My Wish Come True.

Katie Price

Retrospectively the scheduling implied a tinge of anxiety from the event’s co-ordination collective – an oft salacious former Page Three model waxing lyrical about her latest contribution to the literary landscape, during a mid-afternoon sermon within the walls of St Mary’s church.

The unlikely setting, on the grounds of the awe-inspiring Northwood House in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, played host to a premeditated examination more pillow fight than hard hitting inquisition, with the artist formerly known as Jordan ‘premièring’ jet black locks to accompany a faux fur Gilet and knee-high boots. Not a follicle flicked out of place, an aesthetic triumph of unapologetically brimming lips and tangerine luminosity.

National paparazzi were in attendance and lapped it up, with their gaudy cameras and loose, overlapping physiques a rare treat for those south of the solent.

The Isle’s local media didn’t seem quite so enamoured with the arrival of a bona fide national celebrity; one journalist affiliated with a regional publication  stating to me their disillusionment at the decision to book this particular speaker, deciding instead to attend one of the many simultaneous events taking place.

Surprisingly diminutive in the flesh as she belatedly took her seat on the stage, Price looked every inch the star with her veneered teeth now gleaming under church light and her skin colour verging on radioactive as she sat cross legged across from her publicist for a cosy chin wag.

A section of the conversation poked at the contribution that warrants the tag ‘Katie Price’ adorning front covers, a process that sees her variously verbalising basic concepts into a Dictaphone and sharing vague outlines with professional writers, who then proceed to form a story (“I’m not very good at the writing part.”)

Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price's current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.
Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price’s current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.

Regular reference was made to Price’s slew of cosmetic surgeries, most notable among these mentions were a desire to continue augmenting her breasts into old age, and remarks centred around marriages and children – white noise to all but die hard fans. Happily, a brief narrative regarding her visually impaired son Harvey was refreshingly unrehearsed.

Jordan came across as affable and brutally honest about her claims to fame, suggesting that her emergence had been the result of a lot of luck accompanied by tireless endeavour and refusal to allow derisive journalists to derail her impressively lengthy tenure as a national A-lister.

The demi-stocked peanut gallery then received their opportunity to contribute to proceedings, with their inquiries possessing the collective venom of a meditating monk, although Ms Price did take an evasive tone when asked if she was a feminist and stated regret for getting those pesky veneers.

Katie Price 3

From there a book signing was abridged due to ferry scheduling, while shutterbugs were denied their money shot as Jordan refused to step out of her car to be snapped.

 Relatively likeable and aesthetically pristine, Katie Price doesn’t claim to be an author. There was nothing ground breaking here, a harmless and anticlimactic booking.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Rhythmtree Festival 2014

Another weekend means another festival for Dom Kureen – here’s what the man with mud and music in his veins made of Rhythmtree.

Butterfly Rhythmtree

 It was immediately clear from the familiar ruts underfoot and comforting pong of mellow herb that another music festival had arrived during a season now positively crammed with them.

Right from the start there was no doubting that Rhythmtree had little intention of following the worn out blueprint utilised by a myriad of its flat pack, paint by numbers contemporaries, with an unshackled aura taking the place of tawdry amusements and £6 pints of under-strength ale.

That said, this is a festival that knows the limitations it faces, with few tickets selling for the diminutive, unassuming Calbourne farm venue, the two main stages only a couple of hundred metres apart and a demographic mainly consisting of families and hardcore hippies.

Glastonbury this ain’t.

Rhythmtree hippies

Not that any of the above is necessarily negative, for what sets Rhythmtree apart from the tens of local summer music festivals and hundreds of national ones is a celebration of natural phenomenon.

The scene is eerily reminiscent of the inaugural Bestival, where local attendees were bound to cross the path of at least a dozen familiar faces during a soiree from one end of the site to the other.

The friendly, unassuming atmosphere organically promotes a desire to approach new people without fear of offending them, and the usual drama seeking rabble associated with such occasions are notable only by their absence.

The music over the weekend complimented the surrounding energy, with reggae, funk and psychedelic rock the genres most often audible, although far more besides were touched upon.

Stand-out performances came from a multitude of acts:

Willie and The Bandits arguably provided the highlight of the weekend. The Cornish rockers followed up their stellar Glastonbury set with another sensational performance, sending a crammed Didge Cafe Stage into raptures.

Particularly eye-catching was the 6-string bass guitar wielding Matthew Brooks, whose original take on the instrument perfectly complimented the band’s unpredictable compositions.

Prince Fatty was another groovy addition to the line-up, bouncing between memorable instrumental backdrops with breakneck lyrics and effortless crowd interaction.

Fellowship of Groove played a tricky midday slot on Sunday, filling the silence with sounds that surely forced even the crankiest attendee to crack a wee smile and suspend any lurking alcohol fuelled friction.

Tankus The Henge‘s hour long set on Saturday night was intoxicating. The London based 5-piece rattled along, with their steam powered piano and thunderous tempos ensuring that even the regular rabble of Sudoku filling chillers synonymous with the Didge Cafe were soon jumping around like Kriss Kross in their 1992 pomp.

Rhythmtree red hat
Rabbit Foot’s Jamie Morgan

Other bands of note were bongo/guitar duo Rabbit Foot, who engaged a small crowd despite some initial audio issues and local indie-rockers Duveaux,  a group that seem to play at every festival I attend, but I’m still not sick of the sight of them, so that’s got to mean something, right? (They debuted a new single at Rhythmtree and put on a good show as always.)

Of the headliners, The Bees made a rare appearance on the Isle of Wight as a collective – trumpets and guitars blaring and funk driven reminiscence of seminal album ‘Free The Bees’, which shot the guys into the nation’s consciousness during 2004-05.

Despite their star dimming over the course of the past decade, the joyful, infeasibly catchy ‘A Minha Menina’ (below, as featured on the soundtrack for ‘Kick Ass 2’) provided one of the lasting memories of the three days.

Aswad, on the other hand, blended into the scenery with a set that varied between autopilot and apathy. Pulling out their big guns ‘Don’t turn around’ and ‘Shine’ during the encore didn’t compensate for a below-par set that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the mid-card.

Of course, the music is only one aspect of the festival and for the most part it was exceptionally booked, delivered and received.

That could be any music event on the loaded calendar though, what made Rhythmtree stand out was the dearth of commercialism, the celebration of nature and an as yet unspoiled gathering of people all looking to have a good time with no concern for the superficial.

The woodland area could do with being utilised a little more fluidly during the daytime, so beautiful a canvas it provides, but everything else ostensibly ran like clockwork.

If you’re looking for a festival in 2015 that is a throwback to less corporate times then I can’t recommend Rhythmtree highly enough, it might be one of the few remaining whose predominant focus is music and celebration rather than lining pockets of already wealthy promoters and, refreshingly, there were no tacky sponsor signs blasting visitors in the face upon arrival.

Rhythmtree band
Tankus The Henge: rocked out with ticker-tape and smoke machines.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Popping The Glastonbury Cherry

Sceptics claim that it’s become too commercial, with bands such as Metallica undermining its heritage, while devotees insist that it remains the world’s premier music festival – but what did Dom Kureen make of his first Glastonbury Festival recently?

Glastonbury 23
By the time of my 13th and final day at Worthy Farm, Pilton, the blisters on my feet were long replaced by oozing sores and the 2-3 hours of sleep between bouts of heavy manual labour and heavier partying had finally rendered me a zombified meat puppet with the motor skills of the elephant man’s physically inferior cousin…

It was so worth it!

For more than a decade I’d longed to visit this place, to be woven into its quivering fabric and fight my way through steamy, intoxicated bodies towards the barrier closest to the domineering Pyramid Stage (the latter of which I achieved on a surprisingly regular basis.)

The music and main stages provide the platform for the bulk of mainstream media coverage of the event, but in truth are a mere speck on an expansive landscape. A quiet village transformed for five enchantingly bizarre, unapologetically ‘balls out’ days that somehow manage to encompass virtually every genre of entertainment.

Human beatboxing in tents, tightrope walkers, the rasping of kazoos from octogenarian lips – These are just the tip of the iceberg.

People start young, the stories shared by 30-somethings who began their Glastonbury life when a few months old, with parents refusing to miss the show regardless of a freshly baked sprog attempting to crash the party.

To witness the intricacy of the stages around Block 9, Shangri-La and Arcadia is an experience that can leave a first time spectator in a perpetual state of awe, the level of which possibly correlates directly with the amount of brain altering supplements that have been ingested.

Then there’s the Stone Circle: a blatant homage to Stonehenge that is equal measures spiritual haven and Silk Road in living colour. It pays to be vigilant – one festival goer this year having deceased at the tender age of 26 after an adverse reaction to some Ketamine laced with other substances which he allegedly purchased on site.

 

With all emotion to one side, this isn’t uncommon or unexpected at a five day free-for-all with an attendance of close to 200,000, regardless of some tabloids’ attempts at hyperbolic pro-drug war propaganda.

 

Make no mistake, Glastonbury Festival is special. Forget the rain, the state of the toilets and all of that bloody mud! There is something in the Pilton air that puts everything into perspective – be it money, life choices or simply the kind of people you choose to surround yourself with.

For yours truly Glastonbury granted a truly life changing couple of weeks that ultimately cleared a formerly clouded psyche, I advise everyone to at least visit once.

 

 

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Isle of Wight Festival 2014. Part Three: Photo Gallery.

The final part of the Isle of Wight Festival series is a wee photo gallery for y’all to enjoy.

Both myself and Sophie Robinson had an amazing time at the event on behalf of Kureen.co.uk and I wish to place on record my gratitude to the organisers for allowing a newly formed media outlet to enter the premises – you made our weekend!

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Isle of Wight Festival 2014. Part Two: Main Stagers

The 2014 Isle of Wight Festival’s improved ticket sales were largely contingent on the announcement of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who headlined Saturday night on the main stage.

Sara_Lincoln_Photography-KOL[1]

It was unfortunate therefore, that the Los Angeles based funk-rockers hit the stage more than 20 minutes belatedly and produced a so-so set with little crowd interaction.

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis sporadically took his customary leave of absence from the stage, compelling his supporting cast to produce a scattered selection of instrumental solos that were hit and miss over the course of the one and a half hour set.

In spite of those frustrating elements, there was undeniably a main event feel about the band’s presence, an A-List aura that comes with decades of successful output.

ThePrettyRecklessMainstage-Callum-2[1]

The Kings of Leon managed to get everyone bobbing and weaving on Sunday night when they played “Sex on Fire” as part of their encore.

The three Followill brothers (and one Followill cousin) had their moments, although ultimately their gritty guitar shredding gradually wore down spectators and felt as if they were just going through the motions, like a karaoke album of Kings of Leon cover versions!

This is the second time in recent years that the quartet have been booked at the head of the Isle of Wight bill and the second time that they’ve been ok, never exhibiting the showmanship to pull up too many trees in their drawn out bouts of southern-rock stodge that rely too heavily on a few prominent single releases.

One band that did exceed most expectations were the spectacular Pretty Reckless, whose lead lady Taylor Momsen lived up to her post-grunge rocker billing with a series of f-bomb garnished observations between tracks, a welcome variation from the usual benign chit-chat bands feel obliged to spout and in stark contrast to the hesitance of the top-line acts here.

One of the most memorable main stage performances came courtesy of Matt Healy fronted quartet The 1975, who played everything from their self titled debut album, as well as a few less heralded compositions.

BOY_GEORGE.Sara_Lincoln_Photography-18[1]

Pumping out a divine concoction of passion and melancholy, the Cheshire based indie pop-rockers weren’t lacking in confidence or charisma.

A slimline Boy George fused reggae with old school pop to delight early revellers in the Big Top on Thursday evening, casting aside any doubts that the one time Culture Club icon still has the desire and calibre to dazzle when called upon.

Biffy Clyro were understandably the least heralded of the three main stage headliners and the least memorable to boot. Despite that fact, high-octane adaptations of “Black Chandelier” and “The Golden Rule” punctuated a breathless, well received set.

IOW Festival 2014 Dappy

Concluding the weekend’s top-line activity, Travis had the Big Top crammed for a superlative, affable gig that closed with the irksomely catchy “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”

The folky Glaswegians have a reputation for bordering on vanilla, but gave a hell of a send-off to fans who poured out of the fields following a second enormous ovation at the denouement of their most distinctive release.

On a humorous note, the egotistical Dappy, formerly of N-Dubs, had his set curtailed in its relative infancy, officially for his increasingly colourful language, although in truth probably just because he’s Dappy and nobody wants to be subjected to more than a few minutes of his wannabe gangster antics… And ting.

Looking solely at the three acts with their names in the largest font on the poster, it would be easy to assume that this year’s Isle of Wight Festival was a flop.

It’s only when one scratches beneath the superficial that they realise the immense stature of that which lurked a little deeper.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Isle of Wight Festival 2014 Highlights. Part One: Local Bands.

The Isle of Wight Festival kicked off the 2014 summer season of live music with a posturing, strutting cocktail which catered for everyone who entered Seaclose Park during the course of the four days. Dom Kureen and photographer Sophie Robinson were present to check it out.

Ellie Price of Signals

Following last year’s disappointing ticket sales and mixed feedback, Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings knew that he had to flip a Royal Flush this time around in order to mend the reputation of a previously highly regarded event.

In 2014 Giddings and his fellow organisers got it right, providing a fully warranted spotlight for a burgeoning crop of local talent that is the most exciting in decades, whilst cramming the main stage headline slots and under card with an eclectic menu that surely had something to satiate even the airiest hipster.

Local Highlights

The “Platform One” and “Kashmir Cafe” stages in particular promoted the cream of Isle of Wight talent, allowing groups from the area pleasingly extensive exposure.

Fresh from their Bestival competition success, Ba.Dow hit the P1 stage three times over the course of the weekend, their catchy guitar riffs accompanied by Beth Ditto-esque vocal interpretations that resonated courtesy of lead singer/drummer Jodie Amos and ensured that they once again confirmed their status as one of the five most promising bands on the island.

Signals excelled in their final set of the weekend inside the Kashmir Cafe, despite front-woman Ellie Price suffering from a bout of laryngitis.

The four-piece, who have only recently returned from a successful UK tour, had the packed venue leaping around incessantly with a memorable rendition of the uber uplifting “Square Wheels” with bass guitarist Alex Vanblaere in his element within the crammed venue, upping his usual ferocity to compensate for Price’s enforced throaty reticence.

Ska practitioners The Ohmz engaged spectators with their customary high-tempo unpredictability and their place upon the “Life’s a Beach” stage was undoubtedly one of the booking masterstrokes of the entire festival.

Dan Duveaux
Dan Duveaux

Pleasurade disappointingly opted to call it a day, announcing they were set to go their separate ways following a conclusive gig at the festival.  It brought the curtain down on a four year stint that had gradually gained the talented quintet a decent following in local circles.

Their adieu wasn’t all sunshine and lounge chairs, with Adam Gaterell’s guitar refusing to play ball for the band’s send-off, fortunately he had a replacement in tow!

Others who stood out from the local acts were Duveaux who were booked to play a mammoth six times, yet still managed to attract hefty crowds until the end and Floella Grace, whose emotional recital left a lasting impression upon everyone who was there to enjoy it – she’s one to watch in the next couple of years.

On a broader level, Platform One and those who come from its conveyor belt have evolved massively during the past few years.

Where in the College’s infancy the output was diluted by a host of wannabe Nirvana tributes, there’s no doubt that the contemporary artists all have the potential and originality to thrive on grander stages.

This was the first Isle of Wight Festival that truly showcased the magnitude of local talent on offer, for that John Giddings and his motley crew should be commended.

Check back for part two, where Dom will be looking at the ‘big names’ who performed at the 2014 Isle of Wight Festival!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.