Out of the Question: a British Ideas Corporation evening with Luke Haines

If you were one of the 60-odd people in attendance at British Ideas Corporation’s inaugural Out of the Question Q&A evening at the Half Moon in Putney, London on 30 April – featuring stalwart singer-songwriter/author Luke Haines in the hot seat (well, it was more of a traditional wooden pub chair) – hopefully you’ll have been so impressed that it became the main topic of conversation over your fully cooked English and Nurofen the following morning. We had a smashing evening and can’t wait for the next Out of the Question on 25 June with Barnsley-born actor David Bradley (Billy Casper from Kes).

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Inspiral Carpets’ “Saturn 5” for Christmas No.1

If you’re upwards of 40, the Madchester movement may well have defined the person you are today. For the baggy aficionado around 1989-’90, there were four bands that filled our musical Champions League places: New Order, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets, with, perhaps, 808 State, Paris Angels, The Farm, Intastella, Northside, World Of Twist, The Bridewell Taxis, Flowered Up and The High trailing behind. (And yes, we realise it was the European Cup back in 1989 and only the League champions were permitted to take part – as it should be today!)

Back then, Monday mornings would naturally be spent in local independent record shops searching for indie-dance-crossover nuggets, while the rest of the week, your purchases would supply the soundtrack for everything you did, even taking a bath or fixing a motorbike, repeatedly playing the vinyl until you’d absorbed every word, bassline and beat. Heck, those were exciting times.

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A load of Cock & Bull: the West’s truly alternative festival

So your mobile phone ran out of battery when you were trying to book tickets through the Glastonbury hotline and SXSW is a little too south by south-west for your building-society account to cope with. But ask yourself what you’re really missing. Are you desperate to listen to the foul-mouthed Adele jabbering to 100,000 revellers in an accent not heard in London since the doodlebugs were dropping? As for SXSW, it was in March – it’s gone, you’re too late.

There are still festival options if you’re willing to act quickly and not muck about. British Ideas Corporation heard great things about the 500-capacity Cock & Bull Festival in Bath last year, mostly from South-east-based DJs who had played sets on-site and convinced us that these more intimate gatherings were the future of UK summer fun, especially for people of more advancing years – whatever that meant. Some of this year’s acts are even appearing at major UK festivals, so here’s your chance to catch them close up. Like Glastonbury, the Cock & Bull is on a farm and also assisting a charitable cause – and we’re told the beer will be “normally priced”. We chat with Henry Trew, Cock & Bull’s event organiser, to find out more.

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Brighton rock: The Great Escape festival

By Lee Gale

Seagulls pinching chips from kids is one thing but swiping a cheese-and-onion sandwich from the hand of a ravenously hungry adult is a dangerous new development. A flash of feathers and a flap of webbed feet and it’s off. To add insult to injury, a punch aimed at the departing bird goes wildly astray and for a moment, I am an unwitting and unpaid comedy act at Brighton’s Great Escape festival. Naturally, titters follow from lunchtime drinkers. The seagull flaps its mighty wings just twice and lands on the roof of a nearby Pizza Express: job done. Continue reading “Brighton rock: The Great Escape festival”

It’s not a website, it’s a blog (at the moment)

A website is coming, but for now, while it’s being made, being designed, I thought I’d keep you up-to-date with what’s happening and what we’re doing (especially as the FB page told us we had three website clicks today). Continue reading “It’s not a website, it’s a blog (at the moment)”