Amelia’s Magazine | Album Review: The Magic Numbers

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, store with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, more about ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, adiposity with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, viagra 60mg ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!


Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, order with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, discount ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, more about previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.


Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.


Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!


Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, remedy with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, purchase ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, website like this previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.


Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.


Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!


Illustration by Natasha Thompson

ROKIT – the originators of vintage fashion boutiques (and my favourite vintage store) have done it again. Not so long ago they had me reminiscing of my time mincing around Hollywood, healing with their Bailey Hats of Hollywood collaboration that bought silver screen glamour to any look.

This time around, information pills ROKIT have excelled themselves with ROKIT Recycled.

ROKIT Recycled, nurse previously known as ROKIT Originals, is the brand’s mission to upturn fast and throwaway fashion. Let’s face it – the statistics are shocking and in a world of #2 t-shirts and £4 dresses, things aren’t changing very rapidly.

It is estimated by National Recycle Week that if every fashionista purchased one item of recycled clothing each year (each YEAR for God’s sake) it would save 371 millions gallons of waterand 4571 million days of electricity. That’s pretty incredible.


Illustration by Dan Heffer

With this in mind, ROKIT are taking ethical to the next level – ROKIT Recycled is an initiative to use every single piece of material available, with zero waste (the ethos they’ve stuck by since their humble beginnings in 1986).

With a new design team on board to conjure up new and exciting pieces, this new range is a real winner. From bags to belts and purses to hot-pants, unwanted materials are salvaged and turned into key pieces for any wardrobe this Summer and through to the Autumn. Each creation is individually handmade and therefore unique, all depending on what materials are available at the time. You might bag yourself a patchwork purse featuring vintage calfskin and suede, or a pair of denim dungarees made entirely of jean refuse.


Illustration by Emma Block

These products give new form to old structure, re-envisaging covetable pieces from vintage goods. We’ve got a few images of a teeny tiny selection of what’s on offer, but the beauty of the initiative is that you just don’t know what you might pick up. So pop down to your local ROKIT as soon as is physically possible and check out what they’ve got in store!

The Magic Numbers – The Runaway released July 26th on Heavenly Records

So it’s welcome back to our favourite hirsute sibling popstrels The Magic Numbers. One of those bands who split opinions, hospital some find the Stoddart/Gannon clan over saccharine and cutesy, there others declare them to be masters of dreamy, viagra buy intelligent retro pop. Third album ‘The Runaway’ sees to put an end to the cynicism of the former and delivers a more adult, spacious and classy experience that will appeal to anyone harbouring a fondness for starry-eyed wonder and wistful harmonies.
Having released their first two albums in quick succession, their second album ‘Those The Brokes’ failed to achieve the commercial success of their first, giving the impression of a rushed release. Whether this was due to pressure from their label, Heavenly, or a personal choice it seems that they then decided to take something of a sabbatical, spending the interim 4 years gathering their thoughts, going through their old record collections and reshaping their sound before embarking on The Runaway. Luckily for both them and the record buying public the break certainly paid off.
Album opener ‘The Pulse’ is a perfect, if somewhat unconventional choice for kicking off the record with Romeo’s fragile vocals, gorgeous epic strings and heart-rending melodies creating an uplifting, beautiful yet melancholic track. And the sentiment continues throughout the album.
With touches of Fleetwood Mac and The Beach Boys sprinkled throughout the record, The Magic Numbers have clearly invested their time and money on a larger studio, higher production values and a shed load more instruments.

‘Why Did You Call’ has Stevie Nicks written all over it, with the driving rhythm of the verses, the stirring epic chorus and the echoing oohs and ahhs of the backing vocals, together with the angry heart break of the subject matter. It’s compelling stuff.
‘Throwing My Heart Away’ sees Angela Gannon take lead vocals, creating a different dynamic to the usual ‘Numbers’ style. Sounding not dissimilar to something The Cardigans might have released ten years ago (and I don’t mean that in a negative way – quite the opposite, in fact) it is a stirring, charismatic and downright brilliant exercise in thoughtful and intelligent pop music.
‘The Song That No One Knows’ has something of a Style Council laid back jazz-lite feel to it, which may sound terrible on paper, but the airy strings floating over the top of the stolling melody pull it out of any smug acid jazz pit it may have been relegated to otherwise.
Their sound on this album is more epic, more interesting and a lot more accomplished than on their previous releases, but without losing the innocence and reflective charm of their earlier albums. They have grown up and grown into their sound, at the same time drawing on the influence of their predecessors in charismatic epic pop, and through doing so have produced a truly gorgeous album.
There are moments on this record where I wanted to kick off my shoes, get out my chiffon scarves and run through a field singing at the top of my voice. Other times I wanted to stare wistfully out of the window. Make of that what you will, but what is for certain is that this is a record that tugs at the heart strings and deserves to be taken seriously by all the hardhearted cynics out there. Disliking The Magic Numbers is a bit like hating on a box of puppies. There is something undeniably infectious and magnetic about their music and I can admit to being completely sold.

Categories ,album, ,album review, ,Dream-pop, ,fleetwood mac, ,Heavenly Records, ,Stevie Nicks, ,Style Council, ,The Magic Numbers

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review: Truck Festival 2011


Truck Monster Illustration by Barb Royal

Dancing like a loon to jungle music at 3am. Sitting next to a cornfield in the evening sunshine with a succulent burger in one hand and a cider in the other. No, for sale wait, getting some love from the Truck Monster…. no; feeling the love as the most perfect album in the entire history of recorded music was recreated live on stage…. I’m trying to sift through my favourite moments at Truck festival 2011, and I could sit here ad infinitum without coming any closer.

The weekend of July 22-24th is one of Summer’s prime time slots in the festival calender – if this was the telly, it would be the 7.30pm Eastenders or Corrie dilemma, so Truck has always run the risk of being overlooked by the bigger beasts of the festival scene, yet it has diligently carved itself a niche amongst good people who love great music. If I were to try to give Truck a unique selling point, I would say that it’s like attending the worlds hippest village fete (but with no pretentious ‘tude). Example? Next to the stage that Transgressive, Heavenly Records and Bella Union were curating the line-up, the local Rotary Club were serving up cups of tea and scones. At this rate, I wouldn’t have been surprised had I been served tea by a ray-bans wearing vicar.

This year, I brought a good friend who had previously only been to one festival (Glasto), so I was excited to see what she made of something a lot more intimate. Joining us for an all-too brief time was Amelia and her lovely boyfriend Tim, who I last saw at Wood Festival. Sharing the same ethos as Wood (which isn’t hard; they are run by the same family), Truck is a resolutely inclusive, family-friendly festival. Babies and tiny tots are held in high regard here, and are given plenty of fun activities and places to play, which must be a godsend for parents.

Illustration by Benbo


Amelia captures her crew in the early evening sunshine.


Photographs by Amelia Gregory

I noticed that Truck had expanded a fair bit, there were additions of a theatre space, a comedy and cabaret tent, (which I regretfully say that I didn’t give enough attention to – next year I promise!), as well as Wood Field, which was a little slice of Wood festival, curated by the Oxford Folk Festival and providing lots of environmentally friendly activities and workshops (and music of course)

Most of my time was spent by the Clash Stage. This was the place where Transgressive, Heavenly and Bella Union took turns in curating the days set list. I considered myself in safe hands with these three labels; the triumvirate of the independent music scene. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people behind this. Not least because they nail it again and again and again. Transgressive had kicked proceedings off on Friday with acts like Gaggle, Peggy Sue, Johnny Flynn and Graham Coxon. Gaggle are a force to be reckoned with; I first saw the 20+ piece all-female performance art choir about a year ago at The Lexington and was completely transfixed. They exemplify everything great about being a woman; strong, loud, dynamic and passionate (with killer headgear), I found this photograph of Gaggle posing in the field above Truck to give you a sense of their presence.


photo by Andrew Kendall

Saturday was Heavenly Records turn to take care of us. When I was first really getting into proper music – after my Five Star faze – Heavenly were one of the first cases where I was intrigued by the label as much as the artists. Right from the get go, Heavenly had its finger on the pulse of the dreamy halcyon days of early 90′s indie-pop, underground and all matter of slightly letfield music. And they provided one of the biggest and unexpected highlights for me on Saturday night – Edwyn Collins. First of all, I had no idea how many songs of his I knew without actually realising who had sung them; of course his biggest hit was “A Girl Like You“, and his days with Orange Juice produced the glorious “Rip It Up And Start Again“, but apparently I’ve been singing along to many more of his hits over the last few years. Live, his set was faultless; it was energetic and fun and the audience were loving every minute. It was about halfway in that I suddenly remembered reading that Edwyn had suffered two strokes a few years ago and could not marry up the idea of suffering something so debilitating with the man on stage who was giving us such a wonderful show. After the weekend I learnt that after a stroke, a persons ability to sing can sometimes remain unabated. I left the set in absolute awe of this mans ability and talent.


photo by Andrew Kendall

Tearing ourself away from the Clash Stage for a hot second, we headed over to the Main Stage to catch Gruff Rhys who delivered a brilliant performance. I had never managed to see the Super Furry Animals live, so I was really happy to watch Gruff entertain us. Sensations in the Dark is one of those perfect songs where every second packs a punch – and it’s great to dance to. (Which we did of course).


Gruff Rhys Illustration by Barb Royal


Late Saturday night and the bars kicked into full swing, such as Kidstock (pictured above), home to several sambuca shots which fortified Anshu and myself for our next pit-stop – the Boxford dance tent. My lovely and kind friend Toby Kidd was DJing old skool jungle in a two hour set that led me to discovering that I can actually dance to jungle. (I’m well aware that photos exist that will disprove this belief, I’m just not going to show them to you).


Photo by Ian Taylor
Sunday was a blazing hot day and I spent the first part of the early afternoon watching bands from a horizontal position, whilst letting the good people at the Rotary Club feed me a late breakfast. (Not literally at the same time, that would be too sybaritic – even for me). Bella Union’s set was possibly my favourite over all, I loved Cashier No.9, who opened proceedings and have been playing a lot on 6Music recently. I hadn’t heard of Lantern’s On The Lake, but I really enjoyed their set – it was a mix of loud, jangly guitar and etherial shoe-gaze. In fact Lanterns took shoe-gaze to its most literal level – I didn’t get to see the lead singers eyes – she and her guitar were pointed resolutely at the floor, lost in the wall of sound that she was creating.

Alessi’s Ark is a favourite of Amelia’s Magazine and its contributors so I was eager to see her set as well. She has a sweet delicate sound that reminds me a little of Liz Fraser from Cocteau Twins, which is ironic seeing that the guitarists in the band founded Bella Union, the label that Alessi is signed to.


Alessi’s Ark Illustration by Barb Royal

While my friend went to chill out in the afternoon sunshine with a reflexology session, I made my way over to the Wood stage, where Rachael Dadd was performing songs from her new album Bite The Mountain. I’m feeling like a little bit of a Rachael groupie of late, having gone to both nights of her album launches, as well as watching the beautiful evening that she helped put on a few months ago to raise money for the Japanese tsunami appeal. So although I know most of her songs off by heart now, they still feel fresh with every listen.


Rachael Dadd Illustration by Tom Watson

The most epic part of the weekend took place on Sunday night. Over at the Main Stage, The Dreaming Spires were holding court. The band consists of Robin and Joe Bennett, the brothers behind Truck. Knowing these guys, I knew what they had up their sleeve after their blinding set, which made me very excited. So at 11pm, everyone rushed back to the Clash Tent, where alongside The Magic Numbers, Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, and Sarah Cracknell of St Etienne, the band performed the entire album of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. From start to finish, every second was magical. The audience sang along for most of the songs, or danced furiously. Watching the album being performed live, it made me realise how sonically perfect Rumours is; the composition of each song is faultless. The songs were sometimes sung en masse, or the various bands would take it in turn to sing. Of course, it wouldn’t be Truck if the Truck Monster didn’t come on stage and dance behind the band, which added a suitably surreal touch to proceedings. It was one of those moments that can never be captured again, and I’m so glad that I got to experience such musical craftsmanship.
All of a sudden, the festival was over for me, as I had to rush home. My spies tell me that me that those who stayed danced late into the night (or early into the morning), drawing to a close a beloved festival that gets everything right.

Photograph by Ian Taylor


Some girls get all the luck. Photograph by Carolina Faruolo

Categories ,Alessi’s Ark, ,Bella Union, ,Cashier No.9, ,Clash, ,Cocteau Twins, ,Edwyn Collins, ,festivals, ,fleetwood mac, ,gaggle, ,Graham Coxon, ,Gruff Rhys, ,Heavenly Recordings, ,Johnny Flynn, ,Lanterns On The Lake, ,live, ,Orange Juice, ,Oxford, ,Oxford Folk Festival, ,Peggy Sue, ,Rachael Dadd, ,Rumours, ,Sarah Cracknell, ,St. Etienne, ,summer, ,Super Furry Animals, ,The Dreaming Spires, ,The Magic Numbers, ,Transgressive Records, ,Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, ,Truck Festival, ,Truck Monster, ,Wood Festival

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Amelia’s Magazine | Festival Preview: Standon Calling


Illustration by Donna McKenzie

Regular readers of Amelia’s Magazine will know that we covered the Maison Martin Margiela 20 exhibition last March, visit when it showed in fashion capital Antwerp.

But, price since it’s moved to our very own fashion capital, we thought we’d have another look, and get some of our wonderful illustrators involved!

Somerset House is quickly becoming a fashion hot spot, with the rehoming of London Fashion Week and the recent SHOWstudio sessions. It’s clear why, too – it’s bloody beautiful.

This is the third outing for the Maison Martin Margiela exhibition, after seasons in Antwerp and Munich, so actually it’s the label’s 22nd anniversary this year, but who cares? I’ll use any excuse to have a poke around a fashion archive.


Illustration by Louise McLennan

The exhibition, set in Somerset House’s lower galleries and you’d be forgiven for believing, if this building wasn’t centuries old, that the space had been purpose-built for this nostalgic trip down Margiela memory lane.

All but a couple of the rooms are white-washed in typical Margiela fashion, and while the exhibition allows us to explore the history of this conceptual and inspirational label, it still give nothing away about the elusive man himself.


Illustration by Amy Martino

Instead of being a chronological or nostalgic display, the aim of this exhbition is to explore the key themes of Maison Martin Margiela, including the inspiration behind each collection and the techniques used.

So it is the quirks that have made this brand truly unique that are given most attention. We begin with a look at the anniversary catwalk show, amongst a lot of polystyrene models, whilst mooching along a row of rather battered Tabi shoes.


Illustration by Donna McKenzie

The bulk of the exhibition explores varying collections and what made them stand out alongside so many other fashion designers of the time. Flat-pack clothing, XXXL oversized pieces, painted garments, narrow tailoring, the trench coat, and the re-visioning of old garments. We also see the evolution of Margiela’s elusivity – first it was a slash of paint across a model’s face, then a blindfold, and then the infamous sunglasses (which I was so tempted to lift I had to walk around with my hands in my pockets. Damn I wish I’d bought them – what a collector’s item).


Illustration by Farzeen Jabbar

One room is devoted to archive footage, film and photographs from across the collections – the room is dark and has white lounge chairs for you to kick back and revel in some of the most iconic fashion images of the last two decades.


Illustration by Zarina Liew

Whether you like fashion or not, I’m entirely convinced that you will love this exhibition – it breaks the boundaries of typical gallery design and it is incredibly inspirational – Go See It!

You can read a full review of the Antwerp exhibition (which was exactly the same exhibition, I promise) here.

For the all important details, visit our listings section.

Most bands have a limited shelf life, medicine especially the ones who are hyped. Although a review like: “The first band in a decade to lay serious claim to The Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian) can put you in good stead while you’re starting out, it can also set you en route Destination Doomsville, burdening you with a reputation you simply can’t live up to.

British indie rock band Delays have so far managed to defy the odds. They have gone from strength to strength, following the release of their debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ in 2004. Six years on, the four-piece are set to release their forth record, ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel’ produced by Duncan Lewis.

In a tiny room in the basement of music venue Water Rats in King’s Cross – decorated with blue and white fairy lights, a few old shelves and an enormous brightly coloured abstract painting – I join spiritual front man Greg Gilbert (GG) and down-to-earth drummer Rowly (R) before they take to the stage at their sold out London gig, to talk about their latest album, town criers and livin’ it up at Glastonbury over lime-flavoured Doritos

How would you describe your new album in three words?
GG: Rustic, organic and psychedelic
R: I don’t like organic, it sounds a bit vegetably
GG: OK then; rustic, psychedelic and melancholic
R: Yeah, that sounds better – I second that emotion
GG: Or we could say “Our. Best. Album” – three words – succinct and to the point

What has inspired your latest album?
GG: Our last album had a lot of orchestral arrangements and there was a real urge between the four of us to strip the sound back and become a four-piece band again. With that in mind we started to go for long drives at night along the New Forest, making music to soundtrack the journey. We built the record from the ground up and it was just a case of being inspired by the environment opposed to any concerns about writing a single. We banned the words ‘single’ and ‘commercial’ from the studio.
R: We used to do it all the time; we would say: “I think this one’s a single”, which makes you approach making music differently. We spent a lot of time in Southampton, reacquainting ourselves with the city and each other again, which does come through on the record. The result is a much more personal and honest sound.

How have you found the audience’s response to your new material so far?
GG: We’ve found that people who wouldn’t have liked our previous stuff have been positive about the new album. They’re responding to the fact that it’s a more personal record – they’re getting from it more from us as individuals then a commodity. So far, the people who have heard our record think it’s the best one.
R: The new tracks are going down just as well as our old stuff. It’s a great feeling when the roar for a new song is as enthusiastic as for an old song, like ‘Long Time Coming’.

How do you think your sound has evolved over the years?

GG: The first album sounds like a beach, the second album sounds like a club, the third album sounds like a festival and this album sounds like the forest, with the roots growing underneath the city at night making the buildings shake whilst you’re asleep. The first album is quite delicate because we recorded that before we toured so there was a certain amount of discovery. For the second album we worked with Graham Sutton who is genius producer; he brought a real club edge to the record which had a raw but beautiful precision about it.
R: We wrote the third album with the approach that it would be amazing at a festival; it’s big and bombastic and sounds like you’re playing it to 100,000 people rather then making a record for headphones.
GG: This album’s much more abstract; you can hear this on a beach in Scandinavia at two in the morning with mist flowing in the morning. We were trying to create a record which maintained a mood and an atmosphere which carries you into different surroundings. I think the best records take you to different worlds and that’s what we tried to emulate.
R: It’s not necessarily one genre of music. There’s a certain atmosphere which you can’t quite put your finger on, but it works for late night drives with aerial views over the city.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
GG: To me it’s the fact that we’re about to release our fourth album and our songs are still playing on the radio. Very few bands get to make four albums so that makes me feel very proud. We’ve been around since 2004 and we’ve managed to sustain and grow our fan base in a way that has been pure because there is no hype now around what we do.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
R: I’ve been going to Glastonbury for years so to play there was amazing. I was really ill on the day and I came so close to calling the others to say I couldn’t do it, but by the time it came to going on stage I’d never felt so healthy in all my life – Glastonbury has that effect, it wakes you up. There was another time when we played in Mexico City; we were headlining on one of the nights at a festival called ‘Manifest’ and we had no idea how big it was going to be. There were 6,000 people crammed into a wrestling/bullfighting arena all chanting ‘Delays, Delays!”. We were slightly in shock for the first couple of numbers.

Did you have any ridiculous demands on your rider in the early days that you don’t feel embarrassed about fessing up to now?
R: I don’t think our rider has changed much since the start; just the same stuff: vodka, beer, water bottles. In the beginning we did have one thing that we thought would be great to collect, which was to have a picture of the local mayor from every town where we played. The only one we got in the end was from Gloucester where they gave us a picture of the town crier which they also got signed – that was ace!

Now that you have played with your long-term idols the Manic Street Preachers, who would you most like to support?
GG: I always come back to Prince. I’m also pretty obsessed with Scott Walker at the moment – he’s the musician I most admire. I’m not sure how we’d go down with his audience but he’s awesome.
R: It’s still The (Rolling) Stones for me. Apparently we did get an offer to support them in Vienna about three years ago but we were already booked in for a festival in Wales on the same day.
GG: Keith Richards is pretty much top of the tree when it comes to rock and roll. Hopefully the opportunity will come up again…

Delays release their fourth album ‘Star Tiger, Star Ariel on 21st June 2010 on Lookout Mountain Records, preceded by the debut track ‘Unsung’ on 14th June.


Now this one has us rubbing our hands together in excitement. It’s not just the music that is getting us hot under the collar – although the line up is pretty electrifying. Standon Calling has a well earned reputation for having its finger on the new music pulse, prostate and this years festival is no exception. It’s also because of the care and attention to detail that Standon has put into their event, pharm once again highlighting the difference between the sprawling, stuff amorphous and messy mega-festivals and their small -but perfectly formed boutique counterparts.


Danish collective Efterklang will be playing at Standon Calling


As will Telepathe, who we discovered last year. Read our coverage of them here.

Known for being keen champions of upcoming talent, Standon has put artists on the stage at times in their career when they still needed people to take a chance on them; case in point, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires and Mumford & Sons have all played at Standon a good year before they orbited into the festival stratosphere. So stay close to the stages this year, to see the cutting edge and critically acclaimed artists that everyone will be talking about in the next few months. Joining Metronomy, British Sea Power, Steve Mason, Jeffrey Lewis, Alice Russell and The Magic Numbers will be Danish collective Efterklang (who we will be interviewing shortly), Southend art-rockers These New Puritans, upbeat electro-popsters Casiokids, a DJ set by Tom Ravenscroft, one of Brooklyn’s finest exports, Telepathe, and a band who we will support until the end of time, Lulu And The Lampshades, (the lead singer is an ex-Amelia’s Magazine staffer). Of course, this list is but a drop in the ocean of the final line-up, check Standon’s website for all the details.


Look out for Casiokids, playing at Standon 2010

As we mentioned earlier, a lot of love, time and energy has gone into planning Standon and making sure that it not only meets, but improves upon the check list that a seasoned festival goer might have. Living up to their boutique credentials, the thoughtful folk understand that you can love music and still want to maintain basic hygienic standards, so they have laid on extra (and ‘top class’, no less) showers and toilets for the campers, and for those who are bringing water-wings – always be safe, kids – Standon are in the unique position of having a swimming pool at their disposal to offer up. But here’s what I like best about the Standon experience, and I could probably write a festival preview on this basis alone; the Standon ‘fairies’ leave a revitalising drink outside each guests tent in the morning. Seeing that my drink of choice at a festival is Vodka and Berocca, I can’t think of anything more thoughtful, necessary or appropriate for a three day festival. Note to other festivals, take your cue from Standon!


Pack your cossie for a dip in Standon’s pool

Standon Calling is held from 6th – 8th August, in Standon, Hertfordshire, around 40 miles outside of London. There are several options for tickets; a full adult weekend ticket costs £95 (a Sunday day pass is also available). Check the website for details on tickets and various options for camping, including tipis and yurts.

Standon Calling is also running a competition that will appeal to a huge section of our readers.They are inviting designers, artists and illustrators to design a t-shirt, with the winning entry being turned into festival merchandise. The competition will be judged by a panel of creatives and illustrators. Here’s a bit more information from the people behind Standon:

This year’s theme is ‘Murder on the Standon Express’ so think murder, mystery, mayhem and madness. A panel of established arts professionals will judge the designs, with the winner receiving two VIP festival packages including boutique camping, as well as seeing their T-shirt printed. The winning artist will also be featured on the festival website. This isn’t a money-making exercise, so any proceeds will be donated to charity.

How to enter
-Please email your design to design@standoncalling.com before the 21st June 2010 as a moderately high j-peg (at least 1500-pixels wide). Although please note that the final artwork will need to be supplied as either a colour separated PSD file or a vector/bitmap based Illustrator file.
-Your design should contain a maximum of three colours.
-Your design should not contain any copyrighted material.
-Please don’t include any fancy pants printing techniques, such as glow in dark, fuzzy felt or marmite.

Categories ,British Sea Power, ,casiokids, ,festival preview, ,Florence and The Machine, ,Friendly Fires, ,Illustrator Brief, ,Indie, ,Jeffrey Lewis, ,Mumford and Sons, ,Standon Calling, ,telepathe, ,The Magic Numbers, ,Tom Ravenscroft

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Big Chill 2010: Review

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, more about California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, pilule now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, seek California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, viagra 100mg California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, visit this there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking’s wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, order California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, information pills there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by the painfully dull Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, prescription California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

It has been five long years since the release of The Like’s debut album Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? and it has not been an easy time for the girl group from Los Angeles, ed California.

The release of their impressive debut was tainted by an unforgiving press that refused to overlook the fact that lead singer Elizabeth Berg’s father is a former Geffen Records producer and bassist Charlotte Froom’s father was the drummer for Elvis Costello. Despite generally positive reviews, sick there was a feeling that many believed The Like only got a record deal because of their parent’s influential connections. Various line up changes and a painfully public break up involving Berg and a member of Razorlight have meant that creating a sophomore album has been more difficult for this group than most.

The new and improved quartet, now featuring Annie Munroe and Laena Geronimo, have undergone a major transformation both musically and aesthetically. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? wonderfully moody indie gems June Gloom and You Bring Me Down have been replaced by a collection of 60s girl group anthems, created with the help of the painfully hip soul revivalists Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. The ladies also look the part with an elegant vintage wardrobe and matching hairstyles. Their new album, Release Me, shows that The Like has not only progressed since their 2005 debut, they have essentially recreated themselves.

The album opens with Wishing He Was Dead, a seductive femme fatale narrated tale of a woman scorned. Berg warns her straying lover “I just can’t forgive and forget” and you get the sense that whoever she is talking about better watch out. The mood is set with the aid of classic funk organ touches and British invasion era guitars that will have you tapping along whether you want to or not.

Walk of Shame’s wonderfully explicit narrative depicts the regret of going to a party only to wake up the next morning in someone else’s bed with fragmented memories of the night before. The beauty of this song is that it will strike a chord with anyone who has made the same mistake but manages to skilfully avoid the pitfall of being sexually gratuitous. Lady Gaga, take note.

There are only a couple of blemishes on what is essentially a well executed retro girl group record. The first appears on When Love is Gone as the guitar riffs fall foul of vintage pop, sounding like some misguided attempt at high paced bluegrass with accompanying lyrics that are so obvious they appear to be written by a naive teenager. How this made the final song selection is a complete mystery as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the style of the album at all.

In the End is an equally painful listen due to a laughable chorus that states: “The world is upside down and we’re walking on our hands.” It may be an infectiously simple sing along anthem but the shallow theme and unimaginative lyrics show a rare moment of weakness in Berg’s song writing ability.

Fortunately these flaws are remedied on Narcissus in a Red Dress, as Berg tells the tale of a friend that steals her lover. The delightfully wicked pop song ends with Berg advising, “High school skinny fades away.” Only Lily Allen can execute this kind of bittersweet storytelling with the same level of wit.

Unsurprisingly, the album was produced by Mark Ronson, an obvious choice considering he has become the ‘go to guy’ for artists wanting to make a commercially successful retro record. Regardless, Berg’s incredibly candid storytelling means that you are unlikely to hear a more fun pop rock album all year.

Watch Release Me here:
YouTube Preview Image

Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, viagra sale where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, cure if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

It’s ironic then, that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. Curated by textile artist Annie Sherburne, it was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility
Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, information pills where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, information pills if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It’s ironic then, sale that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. Curated by textile artist Annie Sherburne, it was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet. Photograph by Tim Adey.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility

All Photography by Daniel Sims, approved do not use without permission.

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Big Chill Festival is located at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire, surrounded by beautiful peaks and greenery. Being near the Welsh border means the weather can be a tad erratic. However, aside from the odd brief (but powerful) downpour the weather was pleasant and sunny by Sunday (which I’m sure came as a relief to the nude participants of Spencer Tunick’s art piece on Sunday morning.)

A first glance at the festival map gave the impression that The Big Chill would be anything but! I realised that unless I made a mental list of what I’d like to see, I’d end up in the Cinema tent all weekend (City of God, Ponyo, Moon, Eagle vs Shark, the list was huge and impressive!)

Out of fear I chose a location at random and began my Big Chill experience at 10.00am with the press event for Bompas and Parr’s Ziggurat of Flavour. My press pack told me that Bompas and Parr are ‘Food Architects’, and the Ziggurat turned out to be what was essentially a large pyramid with an inside maze and an exit via a rather steep slide. Entrants who went through the maze would inhale atomised Fairtrade fruit juice, freshly squeezed on site (I saw one man unsuccessfully trying to pay the juicers for a cup of orange juice). Inhalation, apparently, would give you at least one of your five a day. Now whether this is scientifically proven or not I don’t know, but a slide is a slide and it is always going to be a crowd pleaser. If, by some miracle, you manage to ingest an orange via your lungs then that’s an added bonus. The Ziggurat proved immensely popular for the entire weekend and it was good to see Fairtrade’s presence on site.

My first musical highlight was seeing Mike Patton of Faith No More fame singing Italian Pop Songs from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s with his new and unusual vehicle: Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane & The Heritage Orchestra. Going through all my bootleg copies of live Mr Bungle performances I notice there is one track that doesn’t feature on the studio albums but becomes increasingly popular as part of the live setlist. It is a very lively cover of Adriano Celentano’s ’24,000 Baci’ sung in Italian by singer Mike Patton. This cover may be evidence that Patton had this project in mind from as early as the mid 90′s. Having missed Mike Patton with Faith No More last year I was eager to see this unusual performance. I’ve been a fan of a lot of Patton’s recent outfits, however, the more avant-garde his music has become, the less coherent his singing has become. This is a shame considering the vocal range at his disposal, so to hear him within the constraints of Italian classics, backed by a 40 piece orchestra, choir and electronic sounds, was a real high-point.


Chrome Hoof by Sophie Parker

But sometimes its the acts you don’t know that blow you away and on Saturday that’s just what happened. When Chrome Hoof arrived on The Deer Park Stage at 2:45pm, I was immediately swept away by the singers consistently electrifying performance. Actually, scratch that, the entire bands consistently electrifying performance. They sounded like a bizarre breed of electro-funk and dressed with a retro sci-fi Parliament aesthetic. As the first act on The Deer Park Stage on Saturday I couldn’t understand why they weren’t higher up the billing. It certainly gave all the proceeding acts a lot to live up to (and made Lily Allen’s Sunday night performance all the more lackluster by contrast).


Abigail Brown birds by Sophie Parker

The workshops were something I had been really looking forward to, particularly Selvedge Magazine’s collaboration with Abigail Brown to produce the Make a Bird workshop. This was Selvedge’s first foray into festivals and I was interested to see if the magazine could extend its visual approach into the workshop format. Their endeavor certainly paid off and the tent was packed from open till close each day. The material for the birds was a colourful mish-mash of fabric and snippets supplied by well known fabric designers such as Cath Kidston and Sanderson. As an added bonus, the staff of Selvedge and the lovely Abigail Brown were lending a hand for the duration. The result was a beautiful flock of hand-made birds strung from ribbons on a nearby tree which flitted and spun in the breeze (how tempted I was to take one!). Selvedge proved they are a dab hand at creating events that are festival compatible and I look forward to seeing more of their engaging ideas soon.


Patrick Wolf by Sophie Parker

Another great visual performance came from Patrick Wolf. The first time I saw him was at Latitude ’07 from the very back of The Word arena. I knew I wanted to hear more and several albums later I saw him again in Shepherds Bush giving a farewell concert (do musicians in their 20′s really need to say farewell?) before locking himself up in Hackney to compose new material. A couple of years later and he’s back and high up the billing. His performance was just how I remembered it and both new and old material sounded tight. Something I have always enjoyed about Wolf’s performance is his energy and theatrical body language on stage and he didn’t disappoint. First song in and he was already sitting on the edge of the stage driving the nearby crowd wild. All that seemed missing was a good light show to enhance the mood, however as is the way with the open air stages, the light shows are pretty much reserved to the headliners.



I had made a conscious decision to avoid the film tents because I knew that if I sat to watch one then I’d sit and watch them all. However, when a matador approached me and gave me a flyer for Bunny and the Bull at the Dereliction Drive-In (21:30, open-air, sitting either on the floor or on old car seats) I felt I might as well check it out. I had already recently seen it once and it hadn’t really grabbed me. Not that it was a bad film, the sets were inventive, the actors were spot on, but it just didn’t work for me. However, when I heard that the band who recorded the soundtrack would be performing the entire score live, I felt it would be at least worth watching the first 10 minutes. On arrival it turned out to be a lot more than a live soundtrack, the entire film was interspersed with fun games based on sections of the film, including a crab (stick) eating contest with one of the lead actors: Simon Farnaby (that conker-headed bloke from the Charlie episode of The Mighty Boosh). I ended up staying for the majority, it was an amazing reworking of the film that, combined with cider, made all the film’s jokes ten times as funny.


Sunday was an early start for me. The arena was closed to all but press and off I headed at 8.30am for the set up of Spencer Tunick’s new photograph comprised entirely of nude festival goers painted luminous shades of yellow, blue, black, and red. The press were kept at a respectful distance (not that it made any difference thanks to telephoto lenses) and Tunick was positioned on a cherry-picker above his nude minions giving orders via a megaphone. The general feeling was weirdly positive, aided by Tunick’s friendly directions that kept his models in good spirits (considering he hadn’t had to pay anyone a modelling fee he was probably ecstatic!) Once the shots had been taken and the models disbanded it was surprising just how many did not put their clothes back on immediately, even coming up close to us in the press pit for a quick snap. Funnier still was the amount of people who didn’t wash off their body paint for the remainder of the festival, leading to some groups looking like background characters from The Simpsons. The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxed with good performances from both Magic Numbers and Newton Faulkner, who filled the stage with his charming personality and humour.

There are countless other little distractions that made up my festival experience and that’s the great thing about The Big Chill- each area is its own little world with its own brand of unique magic. Needless to say I had an amazing time and, providing the maximum occupancy doesn’t swell to epic proportions, I’d be happy to go again and again.

Categories ,2010, ,Abigail Brown, ,art, ,Bunny and the Bull, ,Cath Kidston, ,Eastnor Castle Deer Park, ,festival, ,Festival Republic, ,film, ,gig, ,Hereford, ,Latitude Festival, ,live, ,Mike Patton, ,music, ,Newton Faulkner, ,Patrick Wolf, ,review, ,Sanderson, ,Selvedge Magazine, ,Simon Farnaby, ,Spencer Tunick, ,The Big Chill, ,The Magic Numbers, ,The Mighty Boosh

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