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Astral Coast Full Line-up Announced
Wirral's brand new music festival ASTRAL COAST has announced the full programme of artists for its inaugural event, which will take place at The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton on Saturday 21st July. As a coming together and celebration of the region's best emerging musical talent, Astral Coast will feature a raft of up and coming bands and artists, as well as some exclusive special guest performances.
Sound Of Guns’ ANDREW METCALFE will be one of these special guest performers, playing an exclusive acoustic set. The Wallasey born artist acts as a fantastic role model to the young musicians of the Wirral, showing just what is possible when a prodigious talent is mixed with a healthy dose of hard work and belief. Andrew has enjoyed a fantastic few years with Sound Of Guns, which has seen them release their second LP Angels And Enemies this year as a follow up to 2010's popular debut What Came From Fire. Critical acclaim from Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens has helped propel them on their trajectory, and their live shows are something to behold.
Andrew Metcalfe (Sound Of Guns); The Thespians
Other special guests at this year's Astral Coast are OXYGEN THIEVES, BEACH SKULLS and THE THESPIANS. Wirralians Oxygen Thieves have recently been signed up for management by Deltasonic Records (The Coral, The Zutons, Dead 60s), and an eagerly anticipated single from the proto garage rockers is expected later this summer. Winning the Merseyrail Unsigned competition in May signalled a remarkable rise for surf rock duo Beach Skulls, whose lo-fi and raw sound has won over lots of hearts locally, showing just what young bands can achieve with a strong vision and aesthetic. Chester-based The Thespians, fresh from headlining this year’s X&Y Festival in Liverpool, are a punk-pop quartet with an ear for a catchy melody: all four special guests will be seen as a great inspiration to young artists who are looking to follow in their footsteps.
As a musical hotbed, Wirral has produced some great musicians over the years: The Coral, OMD and Half Man Half Biscuit are some of the peninsula's most celebrated exports, and the area has also provided a fertile breeding group for other influential music types such as John Peel, beat poet Adrian Henri, and Elvis Costello, who lived in Birkenhead for many years. Aiming to follow in the footsteps of these musical maestros are the up and coming wave of young musicians playing Astral Coast this year. Ellesmere Port group TIRO LARK join the festival bill following a successful showing at this year’s Liverpool Sound City Youth Live (who have indeed nominated the band to take part), as have the wonderful alt-rock three piece THE VIGILANTES.
The wealth of emerging Wirral bands on show is maintained with NOTION, who play Astral Coast fresh from supporting The Lightning Seeds. Notion appear along with ZINC and ADVENUS, courtesy of promotions collective I Love Live Events. GUARDIANS join the bill having recently headlined the Liverpool O2 Academy with the launch event for their single New World Order, as do fellow Wallasey outfits THE HEIST, FOOLS ON PARADE and THE CHEVRONS.
Ska-indie renegades DEAD DUKES join the bill courtesy of Astral Coast’s Graphics Partners Milk: Presents, while seventeen year old grime, dubstep and hip-hop MC ROSH brings a different flavour to proceedings. Genre straddling synth pop nut cases TOURIST INFORMATION will complete the line-up, along with the winners of Wirral Council’s Youth Fest 2012 who will also feature at Astral Coast 2012. Local troubadour JOE TARPEY completes the line-up thus far, though festival organisers are keen to stress that they will look to announce further artists as the festival draws closer. With hundreds of music lovers expected at the inaugural festival this July, plus a host of additional opportunities promised for the chosen acts, Astral Coast represents an amazing prospect for the area’s up and coming young artists.
This stunning live music programme will be complemented by a host of other activities and music at the event, including some guest DJ sets. The FESTIVAL VILLAGE will contain a variety of interesting activities, including a Pillbox Vintage Clothes Fair, fairground rides and stalls. Within the WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT? ZONE (the coming together of Wallasey based mental health support service The Open Door Centre and CALM) there will also be a series of DJ workshops hosted by Wirral music studio Fallen Industries. If it's more physical activity that you're after, The Climbing Hangar will be bringing their mobile climbing boulder along for the day, plus there will be live graffiti and much more to get involved with. No festival is complete without a good set of refreshments, which is why the Astral Coastail Bar will be serving mocktails and plenty of hearty festival fayre at the BBQ.
Astral Coast takes place at The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton on 21st July 2012. Doors 1pm - 11pm. Advance tickets for the event are priced at £4, and can be bought online HERE. Full ticket details can be found within that link.
Astral Coast represents the coming together of Wallasey-based mental health charity The Open Door Centre, The Floral Pavilion Theatre, and Bido Lito!. Lee Pennington, Managing Director of The Open Door Centre, said of the centre’s involvement in the festival: “The Open Door Centre is involved with Astral Coast in a move to get mental health issues into the consciousness of young people in the area. A core aim of the centre is to get young people talking about depression and anxiety and interact with young people on their level and in a way which they can relate to. Music is universal and being involved with the festival will allow us a platform to engage with young people and take mental health out of the backwaters and GP waiting rooms, whilst breaking some stigmas and preconceptions along the way. Wirral has not seen an event like Astral Coast in many years, outside of council led and 'parent run' initiatives. This project is being led by people from the local area with purely positive aims and a vested interest in the good of New Brighton and Wirral at large.”
Kate Carpenter, The Floral Pavilion’s Commercial Director said of the festival: “The Floral Pavilion are excited to host this vibrant and colourful new festival. We have the perfect building in a great beach location and we want as many people through the doors as will fit on the 21st July! The Floral isn’t visited by enough young people. This we want to change and believe Astral Coast could prove a catalyst. We also believe that it is important to support up and coming artists and provide them with a professional performance platform engendering respect for their music and the opportunity to share this with a wider audience. We will be working closely with The Open Door Centre and Bido Lito! to ensure this event becomes an annual highlight!”
Our own Editor - and New Brighton resident - Craig G Pennington said “Astral Coast is set to be the highlight of the Wirral’s summer. We’re thrilled to be involved with the festival and are looking forward to helping discover the area’s next great musical visionaries. The Wirral has a long history of producing era-defining new music, and that music only ever comes from our youth. The festival will champion and support our emerging bands, while providing an amazing party for everyone in the process.”