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A huge thank you to everyone that turned out at our most recent gig at the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket. Once again, we are indebted to Sheila Ravenscroft, all of the venue’s volunteers, all of the bands who performed on the night, and our man Butch for recording all of the sets which you will be able to find online if you look up our podcast page. Headliners SuperGlu were, as expected, incredible. Whatever that special something is, they have it in abundance. We have everything crossed that the stages get bigger and more prestigious for them in the coming months and years. In addition to tracks from their sparklingly essential Horse EP, we are treated to some new material, including a 40 second political ditty. It is aimed at some bloke who won a Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for a cameo appearance as himself in a film called Ghosts Can’t Do It.
The Baskervilles are equally tight, and I stress the word tight. It is as if they have been playing their set for years (but this,of course, is impossible because they have only been together as a band for about 9 months). The set needs no fine tuning. All the hits are there, with Little White Dress a real standout. A special thanks must go to the band for sharing their kit on the night, while man of the night is surely drummer Blair. He bravely powers his way through the set despite only recently undergoing knee surgery. We wish him well in his recovery, and only good things for the Baskervilles as they put the finishing touches to their latest album.
James Spankie is a man we haven’t seen in a couple of years. It is good to catch up, and not long at all before we are back where we were. James arrives with a few instruments of which he is accomplished in playing. He moves from keyboard to violin to vocal throughout a set which builds and loops and is as enthralling to watch as it is awkward (awkward in that James is alone and playing some very new and delicate material before a crowd that might have been expecting something louder and in keeping with the rest of tonight’s line-up). The audience are supportive though, and rightly so.
Muckaniks and his crew of Rye Shabby and Indigo Frequency take to the stage a little after 9 o’clock. A little under half an hour later, they are bound for this year’s Latitude Festival. Muckaniks is the unknown quantity and the night’s gamble. When putting this bill together, we were well aware of the talent involved, but had very little idea as to what to expect with regards to setup or set list. Every other hip-hop production we receive at present seems to have Ryan Gallant’s stamp on it in some shape or form, so there must be close to one hundred tracks to choose from, or maybe more.
We tell Ryan the news about Latitude on the Tuesday which follows the John Peel Centre gig. He is tired at the beginning of the phone call (it is 7am and he is not long home from a 12 hour shift at work), but by the end of the conversation he is stood on his bed and very much alive. We have told singer songwriter Chris Athorne the news of his appearance at Latitude a day earlier. There is no one more deserving of a place on the Lake Stage. As mentioned in a previous column, This Boy Wonders are sadly no more, but Chris’s solo project Oktoba is his most accomplished and honest work to date. We expect the village of Boxford to be quiet when Henham Park springs into life in mid July.
Sisters Bess and Jayna Cavendish hear news of their appearance via social media. Bess is naturally full of the joys when we get through to her. If Love Nor Money are half as brilliant in Southwold as they were at The Anchor in Woodbridge for BBC Introducing last summer (and they will be), then this year’s Latitude will be quite the place to be.