tue 07/02/2023

festivals

Northern Winter Beat 2023 review - Panda Bear, Sonic Boom and Širom amongst the highlights in Denmark’s north

It’s the sound of the sun. Panda Bear – born Noah Lennox – is singing in a voice with the purity and warmth of Brian Wilson. Beside him, Sonic Boom – Pete Kember – has more of a growl, a timbre which might make announcements in a railway station....

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Trans Musicales Festival 2022 review - vibrant eclecticism rules in Rennes

It’s Friday night and I’ve finally arrived at 43-year-old French music festival institution Trans Musicales. Due to some dreadful nonsense, it’s taken a 12-hour train journey, two baguettes, one short Stephen King novel, six large beers, a tumbler...

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Other Voices Cardigan review - a celebration of music on the cusp

Other Voices is, according to its founder Philip King, a festival which celebrates what’s about to happen. Indeed, artists like Hozier, Fontaines DC and Amy Winehouse cut their teeth at this unique musical event which, although it has its home in...

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theartsdesk at Wexford Festival Opera - the bad, the good and the glorious

Festival punters who eagerly return to this pleasant haven in south-east Ireland are happy to take a risk on the three rare operas served up each year. As a Wexford virgin, I knew I wanted to come here this autumn for Dvořák’s last opera Armida,...

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Denk, RSNO, Macdonald, Lammermuir Festival review - dark Sibelius and mighty Brahms

Once the shock of Queen Elizabeth’s death has faded, attention will surely turn to the many organisations and institutions of which she was patron. This concert not only marked the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s debut at the Lammermuir Festival...

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Camp Bestival Shropshire, Weston Park review - a musical mixed bag for the pre-teens and their parents

When I first started going to music festivals in the late 80s and early 90s, they were all wild celebrations of bacchanalian excess. Children were nowhere to be seen and there was always a crustie on hand, openly plying a wide array of brain...

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theartsdesk at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2022 - a safe space to reflect on horrors

Essay-writing can be a great art, at least when executed by Hubert Butler of Kilkenny, on a par - whether you know his writing or not, and you should – with Bacon, Swift and Orwell. The same goes for speechifying. That level I witnessed, at the...

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Cambridge Folk Festival 2022 review - a welcome Cherry Hinton reunion

On the last weekend of July, as they have every year since 1965, when an enlightened city council decided that Cambridge – like Newport, Rhode Island – would have a folk festival, thousands of people trekked to Cherry Hinton to enjoy what is now...

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theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2022 - body and soul in perfect balance

For once, a festival theme has meaning. “Tra la carne e il cielo”, “Between flesh and heaven”, is how Pier Paolo Pasolini, the centenary of whose birth we mark this year, defined his early experience of hearing the Siciliana movement of Bach’s First...

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Supersonic Festival 2022, Birmingham review - a hot and heavy weekend in Digbeth

Last weekend saw the long-awaited, post-Covid return of Birmingham’s urban festival of sonic strangeness, and yet again it was a time to wallow in the sounds of previously unknown or vaguely heard about artists, while trying not to melt as...

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Love Supreme Festival, Sunday review - eclectic jazz on the Sussex Downs

By day three of any festival things are usually winding down. But there was a sense that Love Supreme have saved the best for last this year with a strong offering of funk and soul, R&B and experimental jazz.Crowds of Londoners hitching a...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2022 - on Cloud Nine for five days of the greatest music-making

Last year’s relatively slimline East Neuk Festival felt like a feast in time of plague. This July everything was back to full strength in numerous venues, with the most remarkable line-up, and the greatest single day of concerts, I feel certain, ENF...

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