• LodeStar 2014

    Set 2 2014, 21:08

    Fri 29 Aug – LodeStar Festival 2014

    Amazing as always! Would definitely reccomend LodeStar for discovering some brilliant new music! Great family friendly atmosphere too.
  • Kudos for LodeStar Festival

    Set 3 2013, 14:39

    Fri 30 Aug – LodeStar Festival 2013

    Review by Neal Robbins for Local Secrets

    Doug Durrant threw caution to the wind five years ago. With no more than a vision and determination, he set out to create a music festival on his family farm in Lode, 10 minutes outside of Cambridge. Now in 2013, at the successful conclusion of the fifth LodeStar Festival, the time has come to think about how people make dreams come true, and the parallels with another dreamer named Ken Wollard, who 50 years ago drove the creation of the Cambridge Folk Festival.

    Ken, a local firefighter, got the Cambridge Folk Festival going with the backing of the Cambridge City Council, working in his spare time, often making organisational calls from the phone box outside the fire station. The rest is history – and his legacy is one of the premier music events in Europe and one of its longest running. Ken’s more than a local hero. He was a shining star, who led and nurtured the festival for decades. The flourishing of the festival since his death in 1993 Lodestar Festival 2013gives full testimony.

    The Doug Durrant story goes back to 2005, when he invited the village to his farm for a day of music, and the event gave him confidence to aim higher. After years of planning, he threw open the gates in August 2009, and year by year the festival has grown, attracting bigger names – from Bob Geldorf in 2012 to Deaf Havana this year -- and ever wider ranging entertainment. But what sets LodeStar apart from the others is not name recognition; LodeStar is full of surprises, attracting from all over the world talent that never ceases to delight. The music, introducing performers that most of us have never heard of, refreshes the senses and the faith that so much energy and creativity thrives outside mass media bland.

    Even more to the point, listening to music at the LodeStar is not like taking in the big muddy mental and physical challenge that is Glastonbury. It contrasts with attending a concert at a theatre where you sit confined to a seat. LodeStar has its very own sense of freedom that is expressed by the families, youth and sundry curious who come by the thousands to camp for the weekend or visit for the day; they wander from stage to stage, off to the beer tent or to the carnival bumper cars or food stalls. Kids are left to run around happily on the spacious grassy Fenland fields and friends who come to camp in little tented circles seem to be having the time of their lives in the safe, well ordered and peaceful setting.

    The festival goers are, in a word, relaxed, feeling no compulsion to see this famous artist, meet that time schedule or do anything in particular. So the artists, who also include folk and comedians, really have to work for audiences’ attention. They quite often succeed, and attention given so freely is perhaps part of what makes the festival special. Add that to a sunny summer day, something about the lush farmland in the Durrant family for four generations and the love and attention he and his team gives the event. What results is unique to LodeStar. Doug talks about the ’ethos’ of the festival and perhaps he’s right.

    LodeStar has a long way to go, and is now but a tiny dot in the shadow of the Folk Festivals and Glastonburys of the world. It has much lesser ambitions, indeed, but we can only wish that Doug’s dream-come-true – all the hard work and passion behind it -- is rewarded with many more years of festivals, growing attendance and an even brighter array of up-and-coming talent. As they say, dreaming dreams is what makes the impossible possible.

    - See more at: http://www.localsecrets.com/ezine.cfm?ezineid=3781~kudos+for+lodestar+festival+viewpoints##
  • Lodestar Festival 2012 review from Local Secrets

    Set 4 2012, 10:54

    Fri 31 Aug – Lodestar Festival 2012

    Fun by the Lode - originally published by Local Secrets

    To those who didn’t attend this weekend’s Lodestar Festival, you missed a wonderful weekend. Only a few spots of rain fell on an outdoor field crammed full of distractions including music, circus, theatre, and comedy.

    By late afternoon on the Friday, I’d managed to meet with some acquaintances, and joined them in a small community of about a dozen tents. We’d managed to secure good real estate, conveniently close to the amenities and entertainment. The camping grounds were in good condition, and spacious enough for the children to frolic and gambol.

    Once we’d all assembled and settled in to our camp, we entered the large field where all the diversions were to be found. The crowd was of all ages, and the atmosphere was friendly and laid back. We spent the early part Friday evening lounging on the grass, talking and sampling the reasonably-priced wares of the beer tent, with the onstage music providing a pleasant soundtrack.

    Friday night headliners The Go! Team played an incredible high-energy set that caused wild dancing from fans and first-time listeners alike. Playing a fusion of rock, funk and hip-hop, The Go! Team must surely be the freshest act ever to perform in a field in Cambridgeshire. Their incredible lead vocalist Ninja deserves much credit; despite her rapping and singing duties, she was also the best dancer there by a country mile.

    Afterwards, a DJ set took place until 2am, but seemed to be aimed at a younger crowd than us. We left them to it, and returned to our camp, where we took a nightcap, and conserved energy for the following day.

    The children in our group dutifully awoke us with mock sword-fighting, ensuring we didn’t miss any of the joys of the coming day. In view of the early hour, they kindly allowed me time to drink some coffee, before recruiting me to play the villain in their game. I thank them for making me feel included. We had all risen and breakfasted long before Cambridge’s Arco Iris Community Samba Band marched and played Latin rhythms, as an announcement that the day’s entertainment was about to start.

    Despite its modest size, Lodestar offers so much that it’s impossible to see or do everything. For children, there was a small-scale funfair, featuring a huge inflatable slide and traditional sideshow games. A climbing wall and zorbing were popular with slightly older children, as was the power-kiting in a not-too-distant field. More than anything, they all seemed to enjoy having acres of space in which to play.

    Saturday afternoon included interesting theatre from Paul Richards with “There’s Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Oscar Pike,” and a fine set from Danish band INOUWEE. Saturday night was to prove extremely high-quality.
    First and foremost was an hour-long set by Norwegian band, Katzenjammer, a quartet of excessively talented multi-instrumentalists. They swapped instruments and roles throughout their set, too frequently to keep track of - apparently they had fifteen instruments with them. Notably, during one number, Anne Marit simultaneously played harmonica, accordion, and xylophone. All four ladies played with vigour and animation, but Marianne was amazingly passionate in her playing of keyboards, drums, and contrabass balalaika. Playing a blend of music hall, rock, swing, Bluegrass, Balkan music, folk, and anything else that takes their fancy, Katzenjammer are a unique band of irresistible spirit and character. I highly recommend buying their albums and seeing them when they play The Junction in October.

    In the interest of space, I must assume that readers know who headliner Bob Geldof is. As he is one of the most noted of the musical Knights of the British Empire, Bob Geldof’s appearance is a hugely positive endorsement for Lodestar. To cut a long story short, Bob Geldof and his band played both his solo and Boomtown Rats songs well, and the appreciative crowd sang along.

    There followed another DJ set until 2am, this one was more old school than the previous evening’s. The young and less-so-young danced the night away together.

    Sunday morning arrived all too quickly, and for many, the time had come for packing up and heading home. There was still a full all-female bill of music to be watched - it was all very soothing and relaxed.

    Lodestar had moments of high-energy dancing, long periods of lounging in the sun, and was a great way to spend a weekend. The organisers did a good job to provide a line-up that appealed to a wide range of ages and tastes. When asked how Lodestar compares to other festivals, Anne Marit and Marianne of Katzenjammer spoke of “the lovely, fantastic surroundings,” and told us: “it’s nice to see a festival where kids can have a good time. It’s decent and neat and not too muddy or dirty.”

    Long may Lodestar continue, and grow at a pace that doesn’t endanger its relaxed, spacious, family-friendly nature.

    The Lodestar Festival took place near Lode, Cambridgeshire, Friday 31st August – Sunday 2nd September, 2012.
  • Travelling Band moves static reviewer

    Ott 17 2011, 19:06

    Wed 12 Oct – The Travelling Band, bearmangun

    By Luke Hawkins
    Publication date: 14/10/2011

    Via Local Secrets (Cambridge)

    Travelling BandFor the third consecutive week, I found myself going to a gig at The Portland Arms. I've mentioned before the unusual nature of my relationship with this pub. Despite countless highly enjoyable nights spent at The Portland, there’s always the danger that our familiarity will breed contempt. Perhaps David Attenborough has a similar relationship with The Amazon Rainforest, but he soldiers on, and gets the job done without complaint. I prepared myself to watch bands, new to my eye but garnished with a sense of déjà-vu.

    The pub was packed. Unlike almost every other time I’ve seen musical acts at The Portland, there was a family-friendly atmosphere. I couldn’t spot any leather jackets, brightly dyed hair, or facial piercings. People of all ages were in attendance. One family had representatives of three generations present. Gigs at The Portland to which one can accompany one’s grandparents are rare.

    The evening’s support act was Bearmangun. They were probably pleased to be playing to such a large number. I’ve watched many acts play top-of-the-bill to far fewer listeners. Bearmangun’s sound is easy to appreciate, but harder to describe. They consist of a singer, accompanied by an acoustic guitarist who, at times, sang harmonies.

    Their sound could be called “folk.” Certainly, their songs were written about events and experiences from their own lives. The guitarist picked out intricate, pleasing melodies, and the singer’s vocals were emotionally charged. When the guitarist sang harmonies, their vocals were pleasantly reminiscent of The Everly Brothers. Their sound had a timeless quality—Bearmangun would have been appreciated in Folk clubs sixty years ago, and I hope their type of music will endure in future ages.

    At the conclusion of each of their songs, there was a wonderful second of delay from the audience. It felt as though the listeners had heard something so beautiful that they were reluctant to tarnish it with their raucous applause. Bearmangun are a great act with a questionable name, but a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    The Travelling Band certainly lives up to its name. Since they last played in the Cambridge area, at The Lodestar Festival in early September, they had completed a two-week tour of Europe. This evening at the Portland was the first date of their UK tour, which will see them travelling until December, across England, Scotland, Wales and both parts of Ireland.

    I haven’t seen the music room of The Portland so crowded for a long time. The Travelling Band have received no small degree of critical acclaim: their debut album of 2008, “Under The Pavement”, was BBC Radio 6’s Album of the Day, and their song “Angel of the Morning” features on the sound-track to the Ian Dury biopic, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

    The BBC’s Marc Riley used the term “Mancunian Americana” to describe their sound. At first, I found this term to be somewhat confusing. We all know that Manchester and America are thousands of miles apart, culturally and geographically. However, from the outset, listening to The Travelling Band was like being transported directly to the world of American folk. I heard wonderfully skilled guitar-picking which would shame Pete Seeger, Dylan-esque harmonica, and plaintive vocals which rival those of Woody Guthrie for emotive quality, backed by the folk-rock influence of Crosby, Stills and Nash.

    Every number performed by The Travelling Band was highly appreciated by the audience. Those barely old enough to be in a pub appeared to enjoy the performance as much as those of my generation, and even those of my parents’ age. Any musical act whose appeal spans generations must possess true quality. I’m merely adding my voice to the many already praising The Travelling Band, but they played a great live set, and their studio work is a joy to hear. I imagine that early American folk act The Carter Family would highly approve of The Travelling Band’s music.

    I’m extremely envious of The Travelling Band. They’re lucky enough to do considerable travelling, and travel broadens the mind, or so it’s said. But I take comfort from the words of Thomas Fuller, the seventeenth century author of Worthies of England, who wrote: “If an ass goes travelling, he’ll not come back a horse.” Furthermore, I’ve discovered that if you stand still, just occasionally, something of beauty and value may travel to you. On this particular evening, there was nowhere I’d have rather been than at the good old Portland.

    The Travelling Band, plus Bearmangun, played The Portland Arms, 12th October 2011.
  • Yurts, Teepees and Bell Tents!

    Mag 19 2011, 17:17

    LodeStar has linked up with the great people at LPM Bohemia to offer non-campers that hold a pioneering spirit to stay over in affordable luxury!
    With in minutes you can be nodding off after the last entertainment for the night rather than leaving to return a few hours later.

    Prices from £49 per person for a Bell Tent and £92 per person for a Yurt. Number of people sharing and choice of interior will alter pricing but fantastic if you wish to leave everything at home including your daily cares!

    The pictures speak for themselves and compliment the Shangri-La beauty you’ll find with the fields of LodeStar. Below on this page is a link direct to LPM Bohemia, please leave your details. John and his team will contact you offering options and making sure you are fully informed on their attractive range of accomodation!

    LPM Bohemia have the most comprehensive range of beautiful marquees and tents for hire and for sale, and provide every other aspect of party design, lighting, themeing and decor; in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

    Minimum interiors come with-
    Yurts -5metres round: Sleep up to 6 with -Large coloured floor cushions, Low solid Indian teak wood table, Coir flooring, (Content of the interior furnishings may vary)
    Bell Tents: Sleep up to 4 with -Large coloured floor cushions, Coir flooring, Content of the interior furnishings may vary)

    Established to provide structures that are as practical as they are pleasing to the eye, LPM Bohemia has developed a diverse range of designs and sizes. These range from Vintage and Traditional Canvas Pole Tents, Indian Marquees, to more contemporary Party Marquees. They specialise in beautiful wooden structures such as Mongolian Yurts of many sizes, Tipis, and the magnificent Grand Pavilion.

    Click here to book your LodeStar Camping Dream from LPM Bohemia
  • Lodestar Festival 2010 review

    Set 8 2010, 20:04

    Fri 3 Sep – Lodestar Festival 2010

    What a fantastic Festival! Great location and atmosphere with some amazing bands!

    Managed to get a few vids..

    Lover, Killer - The Foxes

    Trauma town - The Foxes

    Secrets - Amoriste

    Echoes - Team Ghost

    Artificial Clouds - Tigers That Talked (not great audio..you have been warned!)
  • A-Z list of Story One & 5 Cent Theatre songs

    Ott 6 2009, 23:02

    Known Story One / 5 Cent Theatre songs in Alphabetical order (and where they appear)

    Air Raid (Disposable)
    AM 180 (The Shadow Line)
    Anne -Marie (Live)

    Beggars Belief (Disposable)

    Clementine (Disposable)
    Coming Up (Disposable)
    Count To 3 (Disposable)
    Curtain Call (5 Cent Theatre Myspace)

    Delhi Funeral (Disposable)
    Disposable (Disposable)
    Done And Dusted (The Shadow Line)
    Dont Give Up The Ghost (Story One Myspace)


    Fatherland (Disposable)
    Follow Up For Strangers (Disposable)


    Harvest Sun (Story One Myspace)

    Intro memento (on Les Inrockuptibles compilation CQFD 2004)



    Lanes (Disposable)

    Out Of Season (Disposable)

    Parting Shot (The Shadow Line)
    Playback (B-Side)
    Prism (The Shadow Line)


    Russian Dolls (The Shadow Line)
    Rescue Us (The Shadow Line)

    Saving Grace (Disposable)
    Shifting Sands (5 Cent Theatre Myspace)
    Sleep It Off (The Shadow Line)
    Sunday Best (B-Side)

    The Chain (The Shadow Line)
    The Sun (Live)
    This Town (Disposable)
    Trebuchet (The Shadow Line)

    Uncharted (The Shadow Line)


    Walking in The Air (The Snowman Cover - Myspace)




    See the Story One / 5 Cent Theatre fan group: Rescue us
  • Bands/Artists playing The Strawberry Fair, Cambridge 2009

    Apr 6 2009, 17:09

    Bands/Artists playing The Strawberry Fair, 2009
    July 6th, Midsummer Common, Cambridge

    Strawberry Fair is one of Europe's largest free festivals and is held annually on Midsummer Common, Cambridge, on the first Saturday in June. The fair is run by a voluntary committee of local people and accepts no commercial sponsorship.

    This list of bands and artists is based on information on Myspace gig calendars and is in no way comprehensive. Please buy a programme on the day!

    The Mono Effect - www.myspace.com/themonoeffect
    The Winter Kings - www.myspace.com/thewinterkings
    Opaque - www.myspace.com/bandopaque
    Keltrix - www.myspace.com/keltrix
    Brooke Sharkey - www.myspace.com/brookesharkiii
    Ed Hope & Friends - www.myspace.com/lastoftheromantics
    Alan Bonner - www.myspace.com/alanbonnermusic
    Thirteen - www.myspace.com/thirteenchoons
    Beverly Kills - www.myspace.com/beverleykills
    Aliceband - www.myspace.com/alicemwalker
    The Hope - www.myspace.com/thehope
    KTP - www.myspace.com/ktpelements

    Future Stage:
    SleeperCell - www.myspace.com/sleepercell346
    The Escape - www.myspace.com/theescape07
    Anna Sinfield - www.myspace.com/annasinfield
    The Jacqui McQueens - www.myspace.com/thejacquimcqueens

    more to be added soon!


    Strawberry Fair Official Site
    Strawberry Fair on Myspace
    Strawberry Fair on efestivals
    Strawberry Fair on Wiki
  • Last FM mashups, widgets and applications etc

    Apr 5 2009, 15:21

    Thought I'd compile a list of the various Last FM Mashups, widgets and applications that can be found on the net. Some of these are useful, some useless, and others just fun!

    The official Last FM site can be found here...


    All others here...

  • Personal Last FM Statistics

    Mar 8 2009, 20:26

    Personal Stats

    This Journal Lists the personal listening statistics for me (thefentiger) on Last FM.

    Statistics calculated using http://lastfm.heathaze.org/.

    Updated: 8th March 2009

    Monthly Top Artists

    Thirteen Senses (45 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (44 plays)
    James Blunt (12 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (24 plays)
    James Blunt (30 plays)
    Story One (41 plays)
    KT Tunstall (5 plays)
    Tom Baxter (55 plays)
    Editors (50 plays)
    Band of Horses (16 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (61 plays)
    Story One (41 plays)
    Story One (33 plays)
    Story One (24 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (33 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (49 plays)
    Kris Drever, John McCusker & Roddy Woomble (31 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (13 plays)
    Broken Records (14 plays)
    Coldplay (26 plays)
    Thirteen Senses (47 plays)
    Nick Drake (48 plays)

    Monthly Top Tracks

    Thirteen Senses : A Lot Of Silence Here (7 plays)
    Thirteen Senses : Time (7 plays)
    The Servant : Orchestra (6 plays)
    Thirteen Senses : Time (7 plays)
    James Blunt : Shine On (14 plays)
    Story One : Prism (7 plays)
    Thirteen Senses : Time (3 plays)
    Kate Rusby : Planets (15 plays)
    Editors : All Sparks (12 plays)
    Yael Naim : Lonely (7 plays)
    The Bravery : Believe (10 plays)
    Editors : Distance (15 plays)
    Coldplay : Violet Hill (8 plays)
    Dirty Kanvus : The only one (11 plays)
    Elbow : One Day Like This (8 plays)
    Grammatics : Broken Wing (17 plays)
    Glass Pear : Wild Place (12 plays)
    David Gilmour : Wish You Were Here (3 plays)
    Broken Records : Lies (5 plays)
    Coldplay : Violet Hill (5 plays)
    Dear Reader : Never Goes (7 plays)
    Dear Reader : Great White Bear (5 plays)

    Find other Last FM extras and applications at http://build.last.fm/.