A Festival Mixtape: Friends of Mine Festival
Omnipresent Manchester promoters Friends of Mine are now seven years young, and this weekend sees them take the plunge into grown-up festival territory for the first time. The bill is like a journey through the finest bits of Greater Manchester's artistic past and present (well, the bits worth remembering anyway), with a few like-minded acts from across the country thrown in for good measure. The action takes place in the Grade II* listed surrounds of Cheshire's Capesthorne Hall, a location which has previously been more synonymous with heritage pop acts, vintage car shows and open-air opera performances. It's been a while since I was taken to the gardens as a child, but they're absolutely gorgeous. Here's the pick of what's in store:
1. Buzzcocks – What Do I Get?
Much like the Royal Exchange Theatre, or Heaton Park, Buzzcocks are a Manchester institution. ‘What Do I Get’ is often overlooked in favour of its better known musical relative ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’, but its scatterfire vocals, breakneck guitar riff and some damn fine key changes put it right up there with its successor.
Buzzcocks - What Do I Get by MuteUSA
Satellite Stage, Saturday May 21, 21.00
2. Young Knives – Human Again
This is one of the standout tracks from Young Knives’ third album Ornaments from the Silver Arcade – and it shows just how much they owe to bands like Buzzcocks and the post-punk movement which followed (in terms of melody at least). The East Midlands three-piece never fail to deliver live, and as such you would be a fool to miss them.
Lake Stage, Sunday May 22, 21.15
3. Two Wounded Birds – Do The Jay Jay
Two Wounded Birds hail from Margate - which, with the greatest of respect, is quite a small dot on the musical map of the UK. Anyway, their talent must be something to do with all that fresh sea air because they blend the breezy guitar melodies of the fifties with the post-punk aggression of the very late seventies on Do The Jay Jay, a thoroughly pleasant instrumental jam.
DO THE JAY JAY by Two Wounded Birds
Lake Stage, Sunday May 22, 15.45
4. The Cribs – Men’s Needs
It’s taken your correspondent six years to come round to The Cribs, and it literally took a friend playing this song on repeat throughout a house party to get her to concur. And so did everyone else who was dancing along (approximately 90% of the whole room). Blessed with one of the most memorable guitar hooks of the last decade, it's a simple yet effective send up of the great gender divide.
Cribs The - Mens Needs by kernnacht
Satellite Stage, Saturday May 21, 22.45
5. The Whip – Divebomb
Since releasing their promising 2008 debut X Marks Destination (and the hectic touring schedule that always accompanies a band’s first album), The Whip have kept their heads down and have been beavering away on a follow-up which is due to see the light of day later this year. ‘Divebomb’ is the high watermark of their aforementioned debut – quite different from anything else on the record. It’s more daring and less predictable than a number of the other singles released from X Marks Destination, and hopefully a sign of what we can expect come the autumn.
The Whip - Divebomb by kristofer_
The Big Top Stage, Sunday May 22, 22.15
6. Toro Y Moi – Still Sound
Sadly, I can't offer an assessment on how good (or not good) Toro Y Moi is live following a no-show at Bestival last year, but 'Still Sound', from this year's Underneath The Pine, is pretty damn funky. More accessible than much of the (still very good) Causers Of This, its hazy melodies are the perfect fit for a late-night digital version of Pages From Ceefax, if part of the BBC licence fee were to be hypothetically devoted to such an endeavour.
Satellite Stage, Sunday May 22, 14.45
7. Liam Frost – Skylark Avenue
Gifted with a timeless voice and a knack for writing heartfelt songs that still manage to fill your heart full of joy, a good percentage of Motel contributors are long-term devotees of Liam Frost. This is the high point of Liam's second album We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain – a beautiful minor key lament to days gone by.
Liam Frost - Skylark Avenue by Music Week
Capesthorne Arms, Friday May 20, 23.00
8. Christopher Eatough – Rose
The talented Mr Eatough is well versed in the art of breaking hearts in an acoustic stylie, and his quintessentially English voice harks back to the great acoustic tradition of the sixties and early seventies. The simplicity of 'Rose' is its strength - just one man and a miminal amount of guitar, singing a beautiful melody.
Christopher Eatough - Rose by pullyourselftogether
Capesthorne Arms, Friday May 20, 20.00
mixtape by Kate Goodacre
Friends of Mine festival takes place at Capesthorne Hall between Friday May 20 and Sunday May 22. Day tickets range from £36 (Friday) to £56 (Sat/Sun), with three-day tickets priced at £89.50, inclusive of camping. All tickets are 'print at home' e-tickets which will be exchanged for a wristband at the gate. Shuttle buses will be in operation from Macclesfield railway station with advance-only return tickets priced at £9.50.