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UK Festival & Gig Round-Up #2 Featuring ArcTanGent, Bloodstock, Gary Numan & Less Than Jake

Here’s the latest round-up of all the festival and gig news from across the UK as live events look to return in the near future.

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Here in the UK, restrictions and plans are changing on a seemingly daily basis, so we thought it would be useful to round-up all the latest tour news and festival updates in one handy place. Keep checking back as we’ll be updating this on a regular basis until shows start returning in the, hopefully, not to distant future.

What: ArcTanGent Festival
Where: Fernhill Farm, Somerset
When: August 17-20, 2022

Latest Update: Set for August 19-21, at Fernhill Park in Somerset, organisers issued a statement announcing that their 2021 weekend, set to feature the likes of Opeth, Cult of Luna, Tesseract, Oathbreaker, and Rolo Tomassi, was being pushed back to August 17-20, 2022. In a stinging attack felt by the entire festival industry, organisers said “Although they’ve provided a similar scheme for film & TV, the Government have completely let the live music industry down by refusing to back a simple insurance policy.”

Bands already confirmed for the 2022 festival include Opeth, The Locust, Cult Of Luna, A.A. Williams, Svalbard, MONO and more with all tickets purchased for the 2021 festival remaining valid for 2022.

Information: ArcTanGent

Prog Metal heavyweights Opeth are returning to headline ArcTanGent 2022

Who: Less Than Jake
Where: UK Tour
When: March / April 2022

Latest Update: Ska-punk legends Less Than Jake will be returning to the UK for an extensive UK tour in March and April 2022. Joining the band on tour will be Skinny Lister, The Toasters, and Millie Manders and The Shut Up. The tour kicks off on March 29, 2022 at the Dublin Voodoo Lounge before winding up on April 9, 2022 at London Kentish Town Forum.

Information: Buy Tickets Here.

Ska-Punk Favourites Less Than Jake have announced a headline UK tour

Who: Gary Numan
Where: European / UK Tour
When: April & May 2022

Latest Update: In support of his new album Intruder, electronic-rock legend Gary Numan has announced a full UK and European tour for April and May 2022. The tour is set to kick off in Cardiff on April 28th. Of the tour, Gary Numan said: “To say I’ve missed touring would be a colossal understatement. It’s the life I chose when I was a teenager so not being able to tour the world has been very difficult. But now things are changing once again and the next UK tour has been announced and I am as excited as I was when all this started for me a lifetime ago. More so in fact. I can’t wait to walk out onto a stage again, to hear the roar of the crowd, the ear-shattering volume of the music, to be bathed in light and soak up that emotion. It’s what I’m here for.”

News of the tour follows the recent announcement of the global streaming live event Intruder: The Worldwide Concert Premiere, which will be hosted by the leading on-demand live performance platform Stabal on June 17th. The show will see Gary Numan and his band perform several songs from Intruder for the first time as well as a selection of songs from his impressive career. Get tickets from here.

Information: Official Gary Numan Website

Electronic Rock icon Gary Numan announces 2022 European Headline Tour

What: Bloodstock Open Air
Where: Catton Hall, Derbyshire
When: August 11-15, 2021

Latest Update: Following the news that Norwegian symphonic black metal heavyweights Dimmu Borgir had pulled out of their Special Guest slot at this year’s event, the Bloodstock team confirmed that the UK’s very own Cradle of Filth would be taking their place. Also added to the line-up for this year’s event, set to take place in August, included Onslaught, Beholder, Ward XVI, Raised By Owls, and Anakim.

Information: Official Bloodstock Website

Cradle of Filth will be returning to Bloodstock Open Air in August.

What: Tramlines Festival
Where: Hillsborough Park, Sheffield
When: July 23-25, 2021

Latest Update: Having announced The Streets, Royal Blood, and Richard Ashcroft will headline this year’s weekend along with a tonne of other great acts including Dizzee Rascal, Tom Walker, Blossoms, and Pale Waves, Tramlines organisers have announced their ‘Apply to Play’ scheme which offers a limited number of performance slots across various stages to emerging and undiscovered bands and artists from across the UK. Similar schemes run at previous events have been won by the likes of Blossoms, Fauves, and PJ Francis. If you’re interested, download the application form from here with the deadline for applications being May 27, 2021.

Information: Official Tramlines Website

Stereophonics headlining Tramlines Festival in 2018


What: Bloodstock Open Air
Where: Catton Hall, Derbyshire
When: August 11-15, 2021

Latest Update: Continuing ahead with their 2021 reboot, Bloodstock organisers have confirmed that Brit metallers Evil Scarecrow will close out the festival as Sophie Lancaster Stage headliners on the Sunday. The band head up 19 new acts confirmed for this year’s metal weekender, a list which includes Broken Jaw, Colpoclesis, Devilfire, Grey Stag, Hanowar, The Injester, Words That Burn, Ghosts of Atlantis, and Deitus. The nineteen new acts follow on from recent announcements which saw organisers confirm Bleed From Within, Party Cannon, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Raging Speedhorn, Hactivist, and more confirmed for the August metal blowout.

Information: Official Bloodstock Website

Judas Priest performing at Bloodstock Open Air

What: Slam Dunk 2021
Where: Temple Newsham, Leeds and Hatfield Park, Hatfield
When: September 4, 2021 (Leeds), September 5, 2021 (Hatfield)

Latest Update: Set to be headlined by Sum 41 and Don Broco, Slam Dunk organisers have now confirmed that fast-rising pop-rock trio Waterparks will be joining the bill for the alternative weekender in September. Having rescheduled from it’s originally planned weekend in May, organisers have announced a vast chunk of their line-up which will see NOFX, While She Sleeps, Mayday Parade, We Are The In Crowd, Four Year Strong, A, Static Dress, and Wargasm amongst over 50 acts already confirmed to appear when the festival returns in September.

Information: Official Slam Dunk Website

All Time Low headlining Slam Dunk Festival in 2019

What: Reading / Leeds Festival
Where: Richfield Avenue (Reading) / Bramham Park (Leeds)
When: August 27-29, 2021

Latest Update: Returning for an August blow-out to sign off the Summer, Reading and Leeds organisers have dropped a list of 90 new names to their bill being headlined by Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Post Malone. Joining the three huge headliners across multiple stages will be Machine Gun Kelly, Wolf Alice, Slowthai, Wargasm, Gallows, Fever333, Spiritbox, Creeper, and many more.

Information: Official Leeds Festival Website / Official Reading Festival Website

Liam Gallagher performing at Leeds Festival

What: Download Festival
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire
When: June 10-12, 2022

Latest Update: Having been forced to postpone their 2021 weekend and announced Iron Maiden, Kiss, and Biffy Clyro as headliners for the 2022 bash, the team at Download have confirmed 70+ new acts for the 2022 line-up. Joining the headliners will be Deftones, Korn, Megadeth, Electric Wizard, Sepultura, Funeral For A Friend, Airbourne, Bush, Lacuna Coil and over fifty more rock and metal acts.

Information: Official Download Festival Website

Rock legends Kiss are set to headline Download Festival in 2022

What: Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer
Where: UK / European Tour
When: June 2022

Latest Update: Despite Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong hoping that dates would go ahead in June 2021 as planned, the European leg of the tour has sadly been pushed back to June 2022. There is still no news on whether the planned US stadium dates set for July 2021 will still go ahead.

Information: Official Hella Mega Tour Website

Green Day’s HellaMega Tour is set to return in 2022

Alternative/Rock

Glixen – “foreversoon” [Song Review]

On “foreversoon,” Glixen created a song where youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear,

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Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork
Glixen “foreversoon” single artwork

It’s been less than a year since Glixen released their debut EP, She Only Said, on Julia’s War Records. Still, the Phoenix shoegazers have already dug their heels into the DIY music scene and are heading out on an extensive US tour this year alongside the likes of Interpol, Softcult, Glitterer, and fish narc. Appearances at SXSW and Treefort will only further cement their reputation as a new band worthy of note.

To herald the busy year ahead, the band has released a new single, “foreversoon,” via the AWAL label, and it’s well worth a listen.

Says lead vocalist Aislinn Ritchie:

“‘foreversoon’ represents blissful moments of new love and intimacy. The song harnesses melancholy chords, layered with fuzzy red melodies and gliding guitars that pull you in deeper. I wanted my lyrics to feel like a conversation that expresses my infatuation and sensuality. Time is relentless and memories are fleeting, this song encapsulates those emotions forever.”

It’s a fair summation. Its youthful exuberance clashes heavenly with the established shoegaze sounds of yesteryear, think Ride, Curve and Slowdive, but with the fuzz cranked up possibly higher. Ritchie’s vocals certainly share that dreamlike quality of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, and with many of those bands back on the road this year, perhaps the time is ripe to inject fresh blood into the genre.

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Glixen, photo by Jesse Beecher

Run Time: 3:43
Release Date: February 9, 2024
Record Label: AWAL Recordings

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Album News

Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’

Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.

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Slightest Clue
Slightest Clue

Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.

Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.

Commenting on the album, the band states:

“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”

Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

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Alternative/Rock

Track-by-Track: The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord Cuts Through ‘It Leads To This’

The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord breaks down each track on the progressive rock band’s new record ‘It Leads To This.’

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The Pineapple Thief in 2023, photo by Tina Korhonen
The Pineapple Thief in 2023, photo by Tina Korhonen

It’s been a bit of a renaissance period for The Pineapple Thief over the last few years. This revitalization has resulted in the brand-new album It Leads To This. Released on February 9th via Kscope Records, the eight new songs comprise more of frontman Bruce Soord’s observations and deductions about life and the world around him. The initial concept for the record came together rather quickly, but the actual lyrical and musical components took time. Finalizing these songs required much work and collaboration between Soord and his three bandmates. Each member had a conception of what was satisfactory regarding the songs. Coming to that common ground took time, but in the end, each member was extremely pleased with the final product.

The release of It Leads To This coincides with the 25th anniversary since The Pineapple Thief formed. In that time, they have released over 20 full-length albums and EPs. It Leads To This proved to be one of the most intense writing periods ever for the band. They worked on these new tracks for almost three years. Each band member pushed each other to go above and beyond what they felt capable of. It was extremely fruitful from an artistic perspective, but personally, it did pose challenges for the band members.

Joining us today for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of It Leads To This is Bruce Soord himself. He takes us through each song on the record, their inspirations, motivations, and how they came together.

1. “Put It Right”

Bruce Soord: “This was the first song we wrote for the album, right in the depths of the pandemic. I remember standing outside my studio, which is in the garden of my home, when we were in full lockdown. I looked at the blue sky, not a vapour trail to be seen. Even the hum of my small town was gone. As a songwriter, you’re obviously going to take that in and use it. I started to ponder the fragile state of the world. I mean, how can the world be brought to its knees overnight? Which then led to thoughts about the past, essentially a re-evaluation. Are we all to blame? Was I to blame?”

2. “Rubicon”

“As soon as the lockdown was lifted, I remember talking to (drummer) Gavin (Harrison), and he had the idea to write some songs in the same room. I know, radical, right? So I got in the car and drove to his house. Honestly, in the history of The Pineapple Thief, I had never written in this way. Songs were built up in our various studios over weeks and months.. But we were up for trying something new. It could have been a very long disaster – a 6 day jam in E. But to my surprise, we wrote four songs in this way. The first one being Rubicon.

“The verses are in a ‘5/4 shuffle’ which is quite unique (see Gavin’s drum playthrough on the Vic Firth YouTube channel). The song is actually about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, destroying the Roman republic for his own selfish ambitions. History repeating itself indeed…”

3. “It Leads To This”

“Following on from the theme of ‘Put It Right,’ this is essentially a positive song about focusing on the right things in life. What are going to be your biggest regrets on your deathbed? It’s obvious but also easy to miss. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. It’s a love song really. ‘For all this time, I didn’t notice you…’”

4. “The Frost”

“I came up with the riff on my 6-string baritone guitar, so it has a low, edgy feel which I really love. This was a song that came together really quickly between the four of us (plus some great contributions from our touring guitarist Beren Matthews on guitars and backing vocals who played throughout the record). It’s about spending your life with a soulmate, through thick and thin, no matter how bad things get.”

5. “All That’s Left”

“Thematically, this continues the theme from ‘It Leads to This’ and, for me, is dominated by the riff and the middle section, which I love playing live. Again, it’s low in register, written using my baritone, massive drums.”

The Pineapple Thief ‘It Leads To This’ album artwork

The Pineapple Thief ‘It Leads To This’ album artwork

6. “Now It’s Yours”

“Written during the sessions with Gavin, this song goes on a bit of a journey. Soft, atmospheric, big riffs, a guitar solo… Lyrically, looking at the world as an older guy with a family about to be let loose into the world. What the hell are they going to inherit? Well, now it’s yours…”

7. “Every Trace Of Us”

“Again written during the Gavin sessions, I remember Gavin had the intro riff written on his Wurli keyboard he has in his studio. I took it, added some more chords in the progression and the song snowballed from there. Lyrically this is about the pressure of modern life, expectation, pressure, and the mental repercussions of it all. Modern life can tear every trace of us apart.”

8. “To Forget”

“I had this finger-picked acoustic guitar part, which the band liked, so I developed the first part of the song and came up with the words pretty quickly. Us humans, especially as we grow older, have to come to terms with loss and, in a lot of cases, tragedy. Touching on the debate as to whether life is a gift or a curse (I am firmly in the ‘gift’ camp). However, living with tragedy isn’t easy. Remembering isn’t easy, to forget is impossible.”

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