Ed’s… Highlights, July ‘12

The next few months are festival fever, i.e. spending HUGE sums of cash.

So to save money, words and comedic tautology (there’s only so many jokes you can make about Group 4 and mud), I’ll be giving you a shortened gigs highlight, followed by some cherry picked festies.

On stage; July pickings in the city are pretty slim. Although, with a summer of field based fun to tempt them across the Atlantic, there’s few imports worth checking out.

Canadian electropoper Lights brings her emo cut, gritted teeth singing to the O2 Academy (July 2nd), whilst America extradites Sharon Van Etten to The Glee Club (July 11th), Lera Lynn to the HMV Institute (July 24th) and Jenny O to the Hare & Hounds (July 31st); for crimes against six string mediocrity, a federal problem in the U.S.

Elsewhere, check out; Gabrielle Aplin (HMV Institute, July 4th), Futures (HMV Institute, July 6th), Junior Marvin (H&H, July 13th), Goodnight Lenin (H&H, July 14th), Lady Antebellum (O2 Academy, July 17th), Boss Caine (Yardbird, July 18th), Carlou D (H&H, July 19th), Nanci Griffith (Town Hall, July 24th), Frankie Rose (O2 Academy, July 25th) and Deborah Bond (H&H, July 28th).


As for festivals this month, have a look at the following:

Larmer Tree Festival (July 11th to 15th) – 22 years old, the Larmer Tree Festival has outlived many contemporary rivals.  Inspired by the Bracknell Jazz Festival, back in the 1970’s, the event has grown to 6 stages of music and comedy – attracting some very respectable artists to its five day programme.

Keeping a ‘intimate’ feel (the technical term for a 4,000 capacity), the Larmer Tree Festival has won awards celebrating their family friendly appeal, plus their ‘Best Toilets’ – an important consideration for any seasoned festival goer. Plus there’s a strong environmental message, with the website warning ‘to conserve water we can’t allow paddling pools’.

Music acts for 2012 include: Joss Stone, Rachael Sermanni, Paloma Faith, Amadou & Mariam, Levellers, Roots Manuva, Ragu Dixit, Akala, DJ Derek, Shlomo. For full details visit http://www.larmertreefestival.co.uk/


Kendal Calling (July 27th to 29th) – Set in the self professed ‘beautiful lake district’, this 8,000 capacity event won ‘Best Small Festival’ at the UK Festival awards in 2011. Seven years old, 2012 is Kendal Calling’s forth year at the Lowther Deer Park near Penrith – seeing it grow from just a 900 capacity event in 2006. 

Known for its idyllic setting, Kendal Calling is a revered young buck in the festival circuit, pulling in significant headliners and a healthy undercurrent of support.

This year’s main attractions include; Dizzee Rascal, James, Maximo Park and Feeder, alongside DJs Benga, Andy C and Shy FX. For full details visit http://www.kendalcalling.co.uk


Global Gathering (July 27th to 28th) – One of the last two surviving Superclub festivals, and arguably the most successful, Global Gathering started out as a 15,000 capacity ‘rave in a field’.

Original organiser’s humble, and no doubt cost effective, pure DJ/dance music mandate has been replaced with a bevy of Dance and Urban A-listers.

2012 will see acts including; Tinie Temper, Armin Van Buuren, Skrillex, Magnetic Man, Chase & Status, Jamie Jones, Funkagenda, Paul Thomas, Benga, High Contrast and Nero; playing across seven stages on the Long Marston Airfield site in Stratford. For further details visit http://www.globalgathering.com


Or if you’re determined to stay in Birmingham to hemorrhage money this month, why not see Madonna at the NIA (July 19th).

Tickets are on sale for; £55, £95, £125 & £175. And whilst I may have run out of jokes about festivals…

You can follow Ed King at www.twitter.com/edking2210