WITH only two weeks to go to Burton’s biggest ever musical happening, excitement is building.
Burtfest entered our lives last summer, but returns for 2012 in a vastly expanded format and at a new outdoor venue at Washlands Sports Club, off Meadow Road, with performers taking to the Main Stage, Arch Stage, Wetmore Stage and Acoustic and Comedy Bar.
The festival, which runs over the weekend of June 15 to 17, will see around 100 bands descend on Burton, ranging from the cream of local talent to internationally renowned acts including ska legends The Selecter and ‘scrumpy and western’ veterans The Wurzels.
The Mail, which is sponsoring Burtfest, will be building up to the big weekend over the next fortnight and producing a special pull-put supplement to be published on Friday, June 15, the first day of the festival.
To whet our appetites, Burtfest production manager GAZ PEACHAM offers his top tips of bands to check out at this year’s festival.
ROYAL GALA (Main Stage, Friday night)
Nottingham’s top party band play a mix of live funk, ska, dub, breaks, dance, soul and much more. The crazy ninepiece have become known around the UK for their high energy shows, big brass hooks, solid dance rhythms and crazy on-stage outfits and over the last five years have sold out shows in Nottingham, London, Birmingham and Bristol.
THE SKINTS (Main Stage, Friday night)
Having toured the ‘toilet circuit’ solidly for years, building up a strong fanbase around the UK and Europe, the London four-piece last year started going huge.
Big venue tours sold out including supports with the likes of You, Me At Six, while their last single shot up the worldwide download charts. The band mix roots reggae with a British punk attitude, soulful vocals and a huge array of musical talent. They are one of the shining stars in the underground and up and coming UK scene and are now selling out almost ever show they play.
SEAS OF MIRTH (Wetmore Stage, Friday evening)
A merry band of sea-shy pirates who have come to land to tell you tales of their seafaring adventures. Nottingham and Derby-based, you won’t see anything quite like this. Between six and 10 pirates take to the stage playing a diverse jumble of instruments and playing singalong shanties.
FOLLOW YOU HOME (Main Stage, Saturday evening)
This five-piece from Derby have started to take the UK underground by the scruff of the neck and throw it around the room. Recent videos of their catchy pop punk-rock sound have appeared on Kerrang! and Scuzz TV as they build an ever-growing fanbase around the country.
With bags of attitude and a never-say-die spirit, they have organised countless tours of the UK, playing at both small and large venues as they spread the word with their high energy live performances.
TILTED SMILE (Main Stage, Saturday afternoon)
Having taken a long break, Burton’s own Tilted Smile return after a showstopping performance at last year’s festival. The band play catchy folkinspired rock music that is packed with energy, and their live shows have built them a reputation that has in the past seen them play around Europe and win the Jack Daniel’s best new band award in 2006, meaning they recorded and toured in Nashville, USA.
They have been working on new material of late and with rave reviews coming from the likes of NME, Kerrang!, the BBC, The Fly and many more, we eagerly await their return.
GREAT SCOTT (Arch Stage, Saturday night)
This Burton-based trio, consisting of DJ Kid Keith and MCs Young Chris and Jaws, have been blowing the UK hiphop scene wide open recently with their unique brand of funk-infused British hip-hop. With airplay on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, and BBC Radio Derby, recent unplugged sessions and music videos going viral on YouTube, big things are expected from them in the coming year.
THEE DEADTIME PHILHARMONIC (Arch Stage, Saturday afternoon)
South Derbyshire’s best-kept secret! DIY pioneers, the anarchistic punk-inspired rockers have built an army of fans across the UK with their unique brand of indie rock, dub, reggae and punk.
A number one spot on the download charts at Strummerville (the foundation set up in memory of Clash legend Joe Strummer to support up-and-coming musicians), and appearances on Channel 4’s Strummerville sessions, combined with their ultra-cool stage presence and antics have earned them fans such as The Clash’s Mick Jones, renowned filmmaker, producer, DJ and musician Don Letts and This Is England actor Michael Socha.
DICK VENOM AND THE TERRORTONES (Wetmore Stage, Saturday afternoon)
Inspired by slicked-back hair 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, 70s punk rock, rockabilly and classic B-movies, Dick Venom is a noholds- barred, rock ‘n’ roll genius. With his band, The Terrortones, they create a high energy, visual and audio assault to make your senses orgasm!
The Midlands-based four-piece have been strutting their stuff around the UK scene supporting top bands and playing small venues and large festivals for several years, and come to Burtfest to cause a riot on your Saturday afternoon.
WHITEMOOR (Main Stage, Saturday afternoon)
Hailed as somewhat of a rogue presence on the mainstream indie scene, Derby-based WhiteMoor manage to capture the electric essence of The Killers whilst still holding down the dark atmospheric sounds of visionaries such as New Order and The Doors.
Following the success of their debut single Three Words, which reached number 88 in the download charts, the band released their debut album in Janurary 2011 to great critical acclaim. The blistering, self-titled record found the band exploding onto the scene, boasting a stunningly unique, yet classic indie live sound.
JUNCTION (Wetmore Stage, Saturday night)
Playing covers of classic rock songs has earned Junction a great reputation around the Midlands over the last few years. Song choice is key and mixing big rock hits from the 60s through to the modern day, performed by a tight band who always put on a great show, they return to Burtfest to rock the Wetmore Stage with added lights and stage show.
KITTEN PYRAMID (Arch Stage, Sunday afternoon)
This project is an ever-growing, expanding machine that makes poprock music inspired by artists from all generations. The Burton-based outfit is the brainchild of Scott Marson of Arch Creations and their recent debut album Crazy Diamonds has been said to stand somewhere between Syd Barrett, Blur and The Beatles.
The band hope to expand to a huge spectacular in time for this performance and will bring together faces from around the Burton and South Derbyshire music scene as both regular and guest players for a stunning show on the Arch stage on Sunday afternoon.
CHRIS MCDONALD (Acoustic Stage, Sunday Afternoon)
Nottingham-born and London based, Chris is a modern folk bard. Comparisons with Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes and Fink are not far off the mark, and having worked closely with Liam Bailey (who sang on Chase and Status’s number one hit Blind Faith), he is carving a reputation for himself around the UK and further afield.
At Christmas his song It’s Not the Same, written with Bailey, reached number one on the playlist chart for Los Angeles radio station KCRW, while DJs such as BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe and BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson have become fans in recent months, tagging him under the genre ‘modern soul’.
BY THE RIVERS (Main Stage, Sunday afternoon)
The six-piece reggae and ska band from Leicester bring an authentic roots sound to their work and through hard work have confirmed their reputation as one of the stand-out bands on the UK scene. Having supported the likes of Fun Lovin Criminals, Maxi Priest and The Buzzcocks, the band were main tour support to ska legends The Specials in their 2011 UK tour. This young group are making waves around the UK so we can’t wait to see them at this year’s Burtfest.
CAPTAIN DANGEROUS (Main Stage, Sunday evening)
This Nottingham-based indie outfit have performed their unique quirky pop anthems around the country, while their skilled writing has seen their songs featured on television shows such as Hollyoaks, Grey’s Anatomy and Fresh Meat.
The band ranges in size and often swells to as many as 12 members, including full brass and string sections. They have received rave reviews of their previous singles and recently released their new album, The Empire Never Ended, to critical acclaim.
THE PETEBOX (Main Stage, Sunday night)
Pete is unique. Starting as a beatboxer in Nottingham, he learned his trade playing drums and learning to use his mouth to re-create these sounds. By his early 20s he was one of the most respected beatboxers on the UK circuit and, adopting the name The Petebox, he started making waves around the beatboxing world.
After discovering digital loop pedals, Petebox went into hiding to perfect his art, returning with a new sound and leading the way in a new beatbox revolution. He began to loop his voice, making the sounds of not only the drumkit but the full band with his mouth and looping it so he literally became the modern one-man band.
Having earned the title of BBC Radio 1’s beatbox champion, Petebox went global, touring around the world in Africa, Europe and the USA, appearing on E4 and MTV and wowing fans at festivals including Glastonbury, Creamfields, V Festival, Bestival and the Isle of Wight Festival.
After recording and filming his debut album live and releasing it one track at a time on YouTube, the video went viral, with millions of people watching worldwide as he single-handedly performed both original songs and cover versions of classics using nothing but his voice!
We are really excited to welcome Petebox to Burtfest 2012 to close the festival on the main stage on Sunday night.
TICKETS for Burtfest 2012 are priced £20 for a day ticket or £45 for a weekend ticket, with under-18s, who must be accompanied by an adult, entering for just £1. Tickets are available from the Wetmore Whistle, in Wetmore Road, or via the Burtfest website at www.burtfest.com