London’s South Bank to be engulfed by the past | New music reviews, news & interviews
London’s South Bank to be engulfed by the past
Relive the popular culture of Britain’s past at The Festival Hall
The weekend of 29 to 31 July will see London's Festival Hall transformed into what the venue describes as a “multi–venue vintage playground”. Vintage, founded by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, comes to London for the first time to celebrate the popular culture of Britain’s past. The Festival Hall is a fitting host, as it was constructed for 1951’s Festival of Britain and is, itself, a piece of living history.
Vintage is a bulk-buy experience. The decades celebrated are the 1920s, Thirties, Forties, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. There will be eight nightclubs, each dedicated to one of the seven decades – the theme of the spare eighth nightclub hasn’t been announced. Over the weekend, 150 DJs will take part, including A Guy Called Gerald, Craig Charles, Norman Jay and Andrew Weatherall. The pick-and-mix live acts include Booker T, Thomas Dolby, Sandie Shaw, Percy Sledge and Depeche Mode's Alan Wilder. A high street is to be constructed, along with a “vintage market”. Catwalk shows and dance classes are planned, and you can get a makeover in your chosen era’s style.
For those not so dedicated to looking the part, the live shows might be less challenging. Sunday’s is the highlight. St Etienne’s Bob Stanley has corralled a group of legendary and not-so-familiar songwriters and cajoled them into playing songs they’ve penned. Nick Coler isn’t a household name. After playing in Seventies popsters The Rubettes and the BBC’s Top of the Pops Orchestra he went on to write for Girls Aloud. Before he was in 10CC, Graham Gouldman wrote classics such as “Bus Stop” for The Hollies and “For Your Love” for The Yardbirds. Barry Mason composed Tom Jones’s “Delilah”, Engelbert Humperdinck’s “The Last Waltz” and Edison Lighthouse's “Love Grows”. Rob Davis was in Mud. These days he’s known in the music biz for having written Kylie Minogue’s “Can't Get You Out of my Head”, Klaxons' “Not Over Yet” and Groovejet’s “Spiller”.
Vintage is an extraordinary tribute to the past, and no doubt it will be recreated with love and care. But the tribute to British pop’s backroom gives a group of songwriters the chance to reclaim parts of their own history.
Watch Wayne Hemingway describe Vintage
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Bad trips and altered time on compelling live psychedelic artefact from 1967
Fifth album finds Alabama sisters getting metaphysical
It's the most hyped gig of the year - but how good is it really?
Superficial tribute to one of pop’s great albums
New Orleans’ titan sits on his laurels in the company of Louis Armstrong
Electronic duo take us on a spaced out - but dynamic - analogue adventure
Engrossingly multi-faceted experimental pieces reveal an unexpected degree of lyrical charm
Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley opens a window on Belgium’s open-minded dance scene
Dinosaur Jr. man gets introspective on solo outing
EDM maestros make a welcome but underwhelming return with their latest album
Drum & bass don returns with an album whose quality improves as it progresses
Muscular blues-rock debut from Brighton duo