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BEAUTIFUL DAYS WARM UP

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August 13, 2013 by Robb Powell

bdaysI’m being naughty again. Very naughty. It is now 22:30 and I’ve been working on a press release for my October Oxjam gig most of the evening. I should now either retire for the night so my mind isn’t racing and I end up awake until pushing 01:30 or else crack on with the mountain of other stuff on my ‘to do’ list. What am I doing instead? Knocking together a pre-Beautiful Days post collecting together must sees on the line-up. Tut tut but there you go. What can I say? I am really excited. I would blame not being able to go last year but that’s not even it. It just happens to be one of those kinds of community events that feels like I’m returning home rather than going to camp in a field for three or four days. I have been fortunate enough to get to a few small independent festivals over the last couple of years but if I had to choose one from the whole host of them all (and I mean all of the ones available not just the ones I’ve been to) then it would without much doubt be Beautiful Days Festival.

Anyway, time is precious and severely limited and I’m wandering off on my usual ramble. *slap* Yes I slapped myself to stop me rambling. No, I am not a masochist. I’ve also found loads more music in the meantime of course. But, stop! There will be hardly any waffle for the duration of this post so enjoy the music!

ARCANE ROOTS

BELIEF – SINGLE REVIEW

Ah yes. Just a quick share of the video for this fantastic band’s next single and some words on it from yours truly. This should be up on Vulture Hound imminently but I love the band so much I cannot keep the words in. They need to be shared. You need to be buying Blood & Chemistry now please!!

Immense is just one word that springs to mind when thinking about alternative rock band Arcane Roots. Seeing them live at a festival earlier in the summer has been one of the top highlights and one it will take a heck of a lot to beat. For a self-produced, self-directed video, Belief makes use of some striking landscape shots providing a picturesque backdrop to a story unfolding through the song. It is layered with so much scope and intensity the end result is rather quite stunning. This is the latest single to be released from the band’s smashing debut album Blood & Chemistry and serves to further cement just how huge these guys can and undoubtedly will be. With the kind of versatile vocals that succeed in tying your ears around in complex knots while distracting your mind with their sheer beauty, Belief showcases the more tender side to Andrew Groves. The impact is no less forceful however as he gets to summersault and back flip aplenty with them as they surround you in their full high definition splendour. His vocal ability is astounding as he holds piercing notes for what seems like a lifetime before making it feel like he’s allowing you to take a breath.

Everything on the song works so closely in synch I would go so far as to say it is a masterpiece of superbly engineered hard rock. Even its subtle and contemplative beginning with smooth heady mix of guitars and bass has ‘anthem’ stamped all over it. It doesn’t take long before things build to an explosion of cataclysmic drums in danger of knocking you out. The breakdown three minutes in is perfectly timed and sounds exquisite. The vocals here are so evocative and overflowing with emotion you may require a tissue before they end up carrying you off in a whirlwind of wide-reaching riffs and even more tantalizing thunderous drums. The climax comes via some fast and furious gritty guitar lashing at you repeatedly; there may be a need to head bang on this more tender number after all. 

With Belief, Arcane Roots fully deliver on the epic reputation left behind in the wake of previous singles Resolve and Slow. I’m pretty sure hearing even one of those would entice you to purchase the full album but if not this one will certainly give you a nudge. While many bands on the alternative rock scene seem to be struggling to leave their mark on an audience, there is no shadow of doubt this trio manage to do that and more. They simply smash right through and flatten everything in the path of what might be deemed as even coming close to compete with them. I’ve seen them likened to Biffy Clyro recently but trust me; Arcane Roots are in a whole other league. And a better one at that! http://www.arcaneroots.co.uk/

FRIDAY

LEVELLERS ACOUSTIC

As usual, it is only fitting that those Levellers boys open up their own festival. The first year I went I made the mistake of assuming their acoustic set would be on at some point in the early evening. Having seen them do such a set at their 20th Anniversary show at The Royal Albert Hall I was gutted I’d missed out here. For so early in the event, the Big Top is completely packed out for this each and every year. 


Needless to say I’m making sure we leave uber early to ensure I get a good spot for it this year! http://www.levellers.co.uk/

DAVE MCPHERSON

I will have some words up as soon as I can on Dave’s solo album, Dreamoirs. Those wonderful people at Prescription PR sent me this superb album a good few months ago now but it is sadly one of many that I’ve fallen behind with. Another reason I need to stop rambling and just share. Lucky for me, I will be seeing Dave on Friday at Beautiful Days. http://dave-mcpherson.co.uk/

SAM LEE & FRIENDS

SHARON SHANNON

I’ll most certainly be getting jiggy to this.

SINEAD O’CONNOR

While I admit I don’t know much of her stuff aside from the timeless Nothing Compares, I’m really looking forward to her set.

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE

I’m ready to catch that train via the riverboat and find myself stumbling into my late teenage years with these guys.

SATURDAY

DAN DONNELLY

Ever since being greeted by Dan when he stood in for Simon Friend with the Levellers at Middlewich Boat & Folk festival in 2006, I’ve been a fan. I last caught him live when he supported Leveller Mark Chadwick on his solo tour back in October 2010. He’s playing The Bimble Inn at Beautiful Days this year.

LUKE JACKSON

I really was only wondering when I’d be getting to see Luke play again the day before I saw an update for him being at Beautiful Days this year. Perfect. There was me beginning to think it probably wouldn’t be until Rugby Roots in October again but now I’m seeing him in a few days time and with any luck then again at Folkstock next month too. Luke will also be playing The Bimble Inn and this will be the first year I’ll be spending some time down there so I’m looking forward to enjoying this corner of the festival.

THEA GILMORE

I’ve followed so many of Thea’s updates over the last five years or so I’m surprised I’ve never got to see her before now. This video is just sublime!

THE STAVES 

I’m pretty sure I shared a video or song from these girls on the blog before I switched to the new website. Sensational stuff! I sure hope the clashes are kind to me.

HUDSON TAYLOR

Sensational stuff galore from these chaps. Like I say, I will deluge the Devon moors with my floods of tears if the timing clashes seek to destroy me.

BROTHERS AND BONES

Fresh from seeing this band at Truck Festival and them providing one of the top highlights I am stoked I get to see them play again so soon after.

THE LIVING END

I admit this Australian band is new to me but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far. It looks like they are rather superb live. Bring it on!

PRIMAL SCREAM

I don’t quite recall where I must have been considering I don’t remember much stuff from Primal Scream. I’ve known of them of course but I guess I was off in a tangent universe or saving civilizations from Dalek armies somewhere in Sector 7. They should be good as Saturday headliners anyway.

SUNDAY

DODGY

I thought they would have had a later set but I’m still looking forward to catching them, clashes permitting.

WINTER MOUNTAIN

I shall be at The Band Stand to catch these guys as they gear up to release their full debut album. They were an absolute treat to watch when they supported Seth Lakeman on his spring tour in 2012. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to see them again.

ROY HARPER

I’m hoping this doesn’t clash with the Levs closing the main stage. I don’t think it will although usually there is a slight overlap. Still, I can enjoy the majority of his legendary set, at least.

MOULETTES

Cannot wait. I so should have seen these by now!!

IMELDA MAY

Those are some tasty blues!!

LEVELLERS

They bring their festival to its close just as they start it. I’m ready for a good hard workout as I mosh to compete with all those around me.

There’s more and I dare say I’ll not get to see all of the above because, well, such is the way festivals go when you’re actually in the thick of it.

I’ll also try hard to stop by the Theatre Tent this year to see what’s going down there. The only thing that will stop me doing so is all the fabulous music I’m worried about missing if I do so. Likewise, as well as not missing Winter Mountain at The Band Stand, there’s often some really impressive and thoroughly enjoyable stuff going on there too. If it’s in the same place as it was in 2011, this is a small stage you cannot miss as you make your way down to the main festival arenas. Perched between the main campsite and the entrance.

I best get off to bed and catch up on my Zzzz’s.

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