Tag Archive | "Bearded Theory"

Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

Tags: ,

Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

Posted on 07 March 2017 by John Haylock

Bearded Theory returns to the festival calendar this year with The Fall, Seasick Steve and Madness among the acts performing.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 17.35.15

Taking place in the grounds of Catton Hall, near Burton on Trent this four day festival is staged between May 25 and 28.

Now in its tenth year the main Pallet stage features Skunk Annansie alongside Seasick Steve and Madness as headliners.

Others performing include Welsh rockers The Alarm, New Model Army and Alabama 3.

Ska legends The Selector, as well as Glasvegas also appear on this main stage,

The Fall are among the pick of the other stages. Mark E Smith’s troops perform on Saturday on The Woodland Stage.

The Fall's Mark E Smith

The Fall’s Mark E Smith, pic by Joe Lepper

The Magical Sounds stage features Megadog Soundsystem on the Friday and on Saturday Transglobal Underground will headline.

In addition, there’s a large kids’ area and a cabaret stage.

For those arriving on the opening Thursday Dreadzone and Don Letts are among those playing.

For the fifth year running we will once again be visiting the event, which last year featured an excellent set from Public Image Limited.

The year before The Buzzcocks were among many highlights.

For more information, including ticket details, visit the Bearded Theory website here.

by John Haylock

Share

Comments (0)

Public Image Limited – Bearded Theory Festival (May 28, 2016)

Tags: ,

Public Image Limited – Bearded Theory Festival (May 28, 2016)

Posted on 01 June 2016 by John Haylock

Johnny Rotten nee Lydon, love him or loathe him, even after all these years you still can’t ignore him. From the fiery birth of UK punk in 1976 at the helm of the legendary Sex Pistols, to the leader of the many incarnations of Public Image Limited, he’s a force of nature in human form and a snarling, opinionated epitome of rebellion and dissatisfaction.

John Lydon

John Lydon

He’s also a controversial Country Life butter advocate with a number of daft adverts back in the day that prompted much criticism of him selling out.

Be honest, if someone offered you enough money to buy a five-bedroomed villa in Portugal for three minutes work, dressed as a twit, would you do it? He took lots of criticism for appearing in these adverts and many accused him of selling out, but it eventually proved to be a minor distraction. He continued to confound fans and critics alike as PIL forged ahead with their distinctively apocalyptic sound. Good Lord, they have even had hit singles.

I needed to write something about this gig, it was going to be a review of a wonderful festival, but I’ve got home and all I can think about is this performance. It was evil, deliriously dangerous, funny and uplifting. An emotional roller coaster in one hour fifteen minutes, complete with middle ear damage.

Ok, it’s Saturday night and PIL are headlining, they are now a traditional four piece with Bruce Smith (The Pop Group and The Slits) on drums, the hulking presence of Scott Firth on bass and on various guitars and sticks that would make Robert Fripp envious Lu Edmonds, once of The Damned. Edmonds looks like a friend of Worzel Gummidge and at one point John introduces him as Jesus Christ. That, my friends, is one tight band.

Opening with the steamrolling head crushing Double Trouble from their latest album What the World Needs Now, they relentlessly pummel the crowd who respond accordingly, by having a fight in the pit. A total surprise comes three numbers in as they do a really old number, one of their classics This is Not a Love Song, followed by thunderous versions of Warrior, I’m not Satisfied, Corporate and most of their new album.

On a lengthy workout of Religion, John recites the mantra ‘more bass, more bass’. The mixing desk respond by turning everything up to eleven, moles were seen emigrating the site and grown men covered their ears as the volume increased to an almost unbearable level, reminiscent of bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, The Fall and Faust. All at one time or another these acts would have also taken great delight in making things uncomfortable for the listener. It was astonishing and went on for quite a while, apparently the moles didn’t return until Sunday morning.

The nearest thing to a traditional rock tune is Rise; it even has a chorus, and one that we all sing-a-long to. The warm May evening sees a devastating run through of Shroom, which contains some excellent swearing and drives the baying crowd to apoplectic distraction.

Lydon is now 60, he still has things to say, has relevance and can still give you earache. He is an annoying enigma, wrapped in a cocoon of moralistic contradictions, but he still has it, by the bucket load as well. He means it maaaaan.

Words by John Haylock, picture by Arthur Hughes

Share

Comments (0)

Bearded Theory Festival, Catton Park, Derbyshire (May 21-24, 2015)

Tags: , , ,

Bearded Theory Festival, Catton Park, Derbyshire (May 21-24, 2015)

Posted on 29 May 2015 by John Haylock

For me the Bearded Theory marks the start of the UK music festival season. This Derbyshire based event never fails to provide anything less than fun, frolics and lashings of anarchic rock ‘n’ roll, with a large helping of pirate based costumery on the side this year.

Indeed at times the site resembled a Pirates of the Caribbean theme park, but with added jazz cigarettes and stuffed parrots.

The Beat's Rankin Roger

The Beat’s Rankin Roger

Here is a snapshot of the final day of the event to give you a flavour of what it offers, in which I saw Ranking Roger from The Beat on a battery powered monocycle, The Buzzcocks become the Steve Diggle guitar experience, and James’s Tim Booth prove he can still dance like a man possessed.

I also discovered a tremendous band called Skeewiff, who did a cover of ‘It’s Obvious’ by The Au pairs ( that doesn’t happen alot) and saw The Beat doing a fitting tribute to The Clash with a crowd pleasing Rock the Casbah.

James

James

I bought a shirt for a tenner and it still hasn’t fell apart and also met The Buzzcocks’s Pete Shelley, who told me he wrote his excellent solo single Homo Sapien in 1974, seven years  before it was released.

Also backstage we saw an ironing board, met Misty in Roots, who only have one original member left from back in the ‘Live at the Counter Eurovision’ era.

The Disco Shed disappointingly didn’t have any Quo but I did discover that Trans Global Underground are still going and that New Model Army are not really an army.

Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks

Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks

Neonfiller.com photographer Arthur left his car window open for the whole day and no one nicked anything.

Elsewhere, I lost my heart to ‘Angie’ from Devon, my fake beard kept falling off and I’m all fired up for the coming festivals, where Patti Smith, Public Service Broadcasting, Television, Grace Jones and The Specials will be amongst the acts I hope to see. Yep, 2015 is gonna be a good one, I can feel it in my (skull and cross) bones. Groan.

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes.

Share

Comments (0)

Bearded Theory Festival, Catton Hall, Derbyshire (May 22-25, 2014)

Tags: , ,

Bearded Theory Festival, Catton Hall, Derbyshire (May 22-25, 2014)

Posted on 27 May 2014 by John Haylock

What a way to start the festival season. Welcome to this year’s Bearded Theory festival, on a new site with new improved camping facilities, hot and cold running vegan mudslides, a disco shed and a fire-juggling field for the kids.

Dreadzone

Dreadzone

It’s a place where men are sometimes men dress up as Dame Hilda Brackett and women wear poorly glued on beards. Tattoos are popular, Spiderman costumes are this year’s fashion statement and Jaffa cakes are £2.20 a packet, but you can pick up a Betty Boo album for fifty pence. This year the beer flowed like mud and mud flowed like beer, with occasionally the two getting mixed up. This is where cider consumption is an Olympic sport and dreadlocks on white blokes are back in like it was 1995. Yes, it’s like Woodstock on cider, the freak flags are blowin’ in the wind, and the Rizla man is making enough money to buy his own yacht.

"Dad, are we there yet?"

“Dad, are we there yet?”

Above all though it was mud, mud, bastard mud that took centre stage at this year’s event. After days of rain the site became a small scale Somme battlefield, where feral children fell into deep holes, never to be seen again. Meanwhile middle aged men in threadbare Neds Atomic Dustbin T-shirts were seen scrabbling about looking for their wallets as stressed out not very yummy mummies toiled through thickly congealed goo, pulling fully laden trolleys containing large families of mud splattered kids and what seems their entire worldly goods from one side of the stage to the other for no discernible reason.

To add to the brown wet scene was a fairground big wheel creaking round on its merry way and a Slade  lookalike band resplendent in glitter and 14 foot high glam rock boots nonchalantly sauntering around.

Duke Special

Duke Special

There was music too. Duke Special did a version of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart as their piano fell to bits and the still mighty Dreadzone caused man-made climate change and actually managed to make the sun come out. The legendary Wilko Johnson was absent due to his ongoing medical treatment but was ably replaced by Reverend and the Makers.

A trip to the Tornado Town stage proved the best move especially as we discovered The Autonomads, who were on the bill. They’re young (ish), noisy, punky and fucking angry. There’s no sitting on the fence with these bods, they don’t like fascists (or anything really), imagine Steve Albini meets The Selector. We danced, we whooped, we stuck to the floor and had to be prized out of the mud with an industrial digger, all good fun though.

Autonomads

Autonomads

The Stranglers strangled it, Peter Hook shone the light, Fishbone got stuck in the throat (but in a good way), Mark Chadwick from The Levellers made an appearance, as did the sun for about 2.4 minutes on the Sunday.

Rare sightings of Carter the USM, Shane Macgowan and Pop Will Eat Itself, all made for a bit of a retro fest, but new blood ably resupplied from Ferocious Dog and Merry Hell made for a triumphant weekend, despite repeated attempts by the weather gods to rain on our parade.

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes

Share

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here

Charts