Monday, 14 April 2014

Are You Listening Festival 2014 - Preview

Festivals. Breaking More Waves loves them. Big ones, small ones, in-between ones, we adore them all. 

However there’s one thing we don’t like about them, particularly in the UK and that’s rain. There will be those who say that 5 days at Glastonbury, wading around in your wellies up to your ankles in mud  is ‘character building’, an ‘experience’ and ‘brings people together.’ We just think it’s downright horrible, exhausting and a deeply unpleasant way to spend a weekend.

It’s why although you’re bound to find Breaking More Waves trooping round a few (hopefully dry) fields this summer, we’ll be hitting the single wristband, multi-venue, city festivals harder than ever this year. Even if the heavens open, we can be assured a club, pub or concert hall to dry off in for these events and there’s even the joy of a comfy bed, clean toilet and a shower afterwards.

It all starts for 2014 at the home of one of the most famous UK festivals; Reading. But the event isn’t the Reading Festival, this is Are You Listening? Festival, which returns for its second year in Reading city centre after an enormously successful debut in 2013. 

Are You Listening? is very much a local grassroots festival, having a stated policy of ensuring that at least 70% of the artists booked to play are from the Reading and Berkshire area. It’s also great value with advance tickets costing just £10 with a local charity benefiting from the ticket sales, as all proceeds after costs go to Reading Mencap. Last year the event raised a fantastic £8,250 for this good cause, way above the organiser’s target.

This year Are You Listening features over 60 artists and takes place across eight venues in Reading Centre, namely Pavlov’s Dog, RISC, Oakford Social Club, South Street Arts Centre, The Bowery District, The Face Bar, Purple Turtle and one that has to be worth a visit, the bar known as Milk, which serves cocktails served in milk bottles and jam jars as well as a multitude of rums. 

Fancy attending? here's the details: Are You Listening? takes place on Saturday 26th April 2014. Tickets are available in advance for £10 by clicking here (they will be more on the day) and the music gets underway from around 2pm, although some of the venues don’t open until later in the afternoon or evening.

Here are 5 acts that Breaking More Waves recommends seeing at the event, which subject to venue capacities and stages sticking to their timetables (which will be published soon) should all be possible to see without any clashes.

Vienna Ditto (Oakford Social Club)

Whilst the majority of the action doesn’t get underway until late afternoon / early evening, an early stop off at Oakford Social Club might pay dividends. Vienna Ditto mix twangy rock and blues guitars that sound like they’ve been stolen from a lost Tarantino soundtrack, add bursts of electronic edging and top it all off with femme fatale vocals. 

The Jettes (The Purple Turtle)

Pan’s People loving rock n roll meets sixties bubblegum pop with plenty of fuzz and full on riffs. A bit like The Primitives only brasher. What’s not to like about that?

Haze (Milk)

A regular on Breaking More Waves since we first discovered her at last years festival, local girl Haze has a voice that will melt hearts and songs that deliver power through their delicate beauty. 

The Night VI (21 South Street)

Another Breaking More Waves regular, The Night VI have picked up plenty of blog buzz with songs like Thinking About You and Sienna. Described here as making “heartache sound unbelievably lovely,” The Night VI have class embedded in their core.

Ezra Furman (21 South Street)

Previously with The Harpoons and now solo, Ezra’s new album Day of the Dog has received rapturous reviews (Michael Hann of The Guardian called it ‘the best record of 2013’.) Come and experience his brand of rock ‘n’ roll and see what all the fuss is about at his first show of an extensive UK tour.

Expect a review of Are You Listening? shortly after the event at Breaking More Waves.

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