From one farm to another

Earlier this month I headed over to a field in Bromley to have a short ‘relaxing’ mini break…

… well, not so much relaxing, but certainly a holiday of the festival variety! 

It was on this holiday (otherwise known as Leefest 2012), that I met the lovely lads of Devon’s Farmfest:

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On the last night of Leefest, we somehow ended up meeting the guys from Farmfest and managed to blag a lift in their van. At just £40 for the weekend ticket (for the festival, not the ride!) it’s quite the bargain – and it’s also the over the opening weekend of the Olympics so it’ll get you out of the capital if you’re a Londoner like me!

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Johnny Langer of Man Like Me hangs from the Leefest stage

The guys have gone for a line-up packed with brilliant live acts. You won’t get Rihanna – but if that’s what you’re after you probably went to Wireless festival. Particularly noteworthy on this roster of artists are Tall Ships and Man Like Me – the latter were a definite highlight at Leefest in both 2011 and 2012.

Unfortunately I can’t go to the festival because I’ll be in the Opening Ceremony (yes, the blasted Olympics again!), but I will be heading to the Farmfest 2012 Launch Party this Wednesday (18th July) at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. It’s going to be wicked, not just because I’ll get to at least experience a slice of the Farmfest action, but also because it’s one of the three dates being played by The Boy Least Likely To as they dip their toes back into the music scene post-extended break. They’ll be supported by Dan Leno and My Tiger My Timing, who I was a big fan of when I worked at Amazing Radio.

In other words, I’ll be there.

Also, how cool are these T-shirts?

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Leefest… FTFW!

This year’s Leefest lineup is looking INSANE!

Bromley’s finest non-profit festival is shaping up to be the best yet, with a number of immense acts set to grace its South London field on June 29 and 30. To celebrate the lineup, which includes indie heavy hitters Slow Club and Mystery Jets and two of my favourite acts Tom Williams & the Boat and Let’s Buy Happiness, I’ve compiled a ten track playlist featuring artists you shouldn’t miss at the event.

 

 

As always, profits from the weekend will go to Kids Company, an acclaimed charity local to London that helps vulnerable young people back on their feet so that they can thrive in their community.

 

The Leefest lineup (and there’s still more to come!)

 

Aside from the two stages they’ll be a dance tent to keep you going ’til the small hours, extra activities and (I imagine) the usual campsite bonfire so you can jam and mingle with the other festival goers as you please. The tent-based cinema, provided by Screen Social, will also make a welcome return for those reluctant to hit their tents to catch some zzzzz’s and most excitingly of all, BBC Kent’s Jacob will be turning up with some of his favourite BBC Introducing acts in tow…

All this, plus camping and transport from Bromley South chucked in for free? I’ve got my ticket ready to go!

Oh, and if you were wondering what ‘FTFW’ means, it roughly translates as ‘FOR THE FLIPPIN’ WIN!!!’

Get Frank Does Leefest

Although I gather the usual term would be ‘fresh from the field’, I actually am exhausted from the field, (having spent a consecutive weekend in one).

However, I’ve finally recovered enough to give a bit of time to putting this, the Get Frank Does Leefest podcast together.

I’m so incredibly grateful to Rich, Dave and all the guys at Leefest for making me feel so welcome. It’s the most fun I’ve had at a festival in a long time and, despite going on my own, I was kept company by some amazing people.

For this extended edition of the Get Frank podcast, I hit the press area of non-profit festival Leefest to chat to some of the emerging acts gracing the stage over the weekend.

PLAYLIST
Fraser – ‘Let It Rain’
Public Service Broadcasting – ‘Introduction (Let Yourself Go)’
The Stanley Blacks – ‘Caroline’
Jose Vanders (feat. Luke Leighfield) – ‘Blindsided’
Professor Penguin – ‘Pirate’
Loose Talk Costs Lives – ‘Hemlock’
Pengilly’s – ‘Writing Things Down and Thinking Things Over’

Highlights from the festival include; Professor Penguin’s performance of ‘Pirate’, Sneaking a peek at The Stanley Blacks as they recorded an exclusive performance of ‘Caroline’ for Leefest TV, Jose’s entire performance (particularly her introduction to her track ‘Man on Wire’ and her exquisite phrasing), Loose Talk Costs Lives’ shirts, Pengilly’s bottle of ‘adult lemonade’ and the night that followed, Public Service Broadcasting’s on-stage telly and the guys from Fraser, just well… being the guys from Fraser! Finally, thanks to Zanna for the lift to the station!

Listen to the podcast here

Second chances, Leefest and Pengilly’s on film

I’m currently sat in my room listening to loads of bands from tomorrow’s Leefest lineup getting far more excited than is good for my little, beating heart

I’m hoping to cover the festival for my next podcast, having invited lineup curator Rich Legate to join me on my last episode, which you can listen to and download right now by clicking on the handy soundcloud module below…

It’s been a difficult week for everyone, I’m well aware. Seeing people’s tweets, messages and general social networking statuses have been heartbreaking – but I’ve also found equal emotion in the incredible images of crowds holding their brooms aloft and grouping together to clean up and erase the damage. For some this will be impossible and all we can do is try to support them. I’m lucky to have amazing friends who have all been Tweeting and texting to see if I’m fine – thank you! I hope you are all safe too, and will remain so.

As we reach the weekend, London is starting to breathe again. My sigh of relief will come this weekend at Leefest, as I try to brave working the press area of a festival again (it’s been a while!) Again, I’m lucky to have been given my own ‘second chance’ by Dave, Rich and all the Leefest crew, who’ve been immensely supportive and accommodating of me and my very new, admittedly green podcast.

I received a brilliant email from Ric of Leeds/London band Pengilly’s today, to say that the long-awaited video for the band’s single Toby’s Hill is ready for your visual and aural consumption. And my word, was it worth the wait.

PENGILLY’S “TOBY’S HILL” MUSIC VIDEO from BROWN BREAD FILMS on Vimeo.

Live, the band are a sight and sound to behold so make it a staple of your future new music agenda to check them out live sometime soon. In fact, why not this Saturday at Leefest? You can still get tickets for the two day festival (which starts tomorrow). You can either get a weekend ticket, which includes two nights of camping, or a day ticket. It’s a non-profit festival and money will be partly reinvested in next year’s event and also donated to local charity, KidsCo. So many ‘small’ festivals have fallen by the wayside this year – through the dogged determination of its young team of organisers, Leefest has resisted throwing in the towel and is on the eve of greatness. I can’t bloody wait.

Hopefully I’ll see you at Leefest tomorrow, if not, I’ll be bringing an update soon!

Get Frank’s Leefest Special

For my fourth Get Frank podcast, I decided to do a special on non-profit festival Leefest.

The two day event, which takes place on the 12th and 13th August on a farm in Bromley, South London, raises money for charity KidsCo and is a brilliant way of making new music accessible to the masses – whilst attracting big name talent that usually would give Kent amiss. Plus, at just £55 for the full event (including camping), I think you’ll agree that it’s a bit of a bargain!

Get Frank's Leefest Special

Leefest - see you down the front?

For this podcast, rather than feature one interviewee, I took on a co host in the form of the lovely Rich Legate. He’s a former LSR FM station manager and is in charge of booking artists for the festival – no mean feat considering that much of the festival has been organised on next to no money (money that included savings of some of the young organisers).

A unique element of this festival is that it mixes new and emerging artists with big name headliners and attempts to treat all as one. At the festival you’ll be able to see up and coming acts gracing the main stage as well as the smaller tents usually reserved for the newbies. It’s brilliant experience for the musicians and great for us smug, ‘musically-interested’ types who want to see the ‘Next Big Thing’ play in a potentially muddy field in Kent five years before they play in an almost certainly muddy field in Somerset…

Rich was kind enough to put in the legwork for this podcast on my behalf and bring me five of the acts he’s most looking forward to seeing across the weekend (fingers crossed he gets time!) They are; Fraser, Pengilly’s, Loose Talk Costs Lives, Stanley Blacks and Professor Penguin, who Rich performs with as a guitarist.

If you’d like to check out the podcast and possibly even subscribe to future episodes, head here.