Join us at Fenton House & Garden for much music and merriment, says Victoria Hull
With less than three weeks to go until the Idler Festival in London on 8, 9 and 10 July, here’s what you can expect from the merry-making musicians and bands who’ll be performing.
On Friday 8 July, Louis Eliot will be playing an acoustic solo set. Louis is the singer, songwriter and guitarist of Kinky Machine and Rialto fame. He currently performs with his own band, The Embers, and with Grace Jones.
There’ll be ukulele lessons with the Idler Academy Head of Music, Danny Wootton. And the Idler’s Silent Disco as well.
On Saturday, merriment is guaranteed from our headliner Jarvis Cocker. The laconic pop star from Sheffield will be talking us through his new book, Good Pop, Bad Pop, an inspiring memoir in which he outlines his pop philosophy via exercise books, family photos and flyers.
The Idler’s brilliant harmonica and guitar guru Ed Hopwood will be playing a solo set on the Lawn Stage and giving harmonica lessons in the orchard.
Another daytime gig comes from rising star Tobias Coke, mild-mannered accountant and Dad turned psychedelic troubadour. He’s just released an album: What Light Is Locked Inside Us All. This is his first festival. Come and see him and urge him to give up the day job.
All day in the attic The Chill Out Tent will be creating that festival feeling with virtual sheep, ambient music and bean bags for lazy lounging.
On Saturday evening, at our afterparty at the pub, we can’t wait for Fräulein, a brilliant post-punk band from Bristol. Fräulein play 1990s flavoured alt-rock influenced by The Breeders, PJ Harvey and Big Thief.
In support we’ve got the totally rocking Thrill City, the new band from Cobalt Stargazer of Zodiac Mindwarp fame. It’s their debut gig and sure to be a legendary performance – these are rock gods of all time.
On Sunday, we’re thrilled to present Warszawa Wschodnia. They’re an East Warsaw based ensemble who perform Polish and Ukrainian folk music. Their distinctive melodies stand in defiance of attempts to wipe out these national cultures.
Cellist and singer Midori Jaeger, a Royal Academy of Music graduate, will also be performing. She creates an amazing soundworld with pizzicato cello riffs and serene vocals. Her debut EP Look at Us is out now. She’ll be playing a solo set in the orchard.
Music fans will love our panel on streaming, the future of the music industry and how musicians get paid, with Crispin Hunt and Will Hodgkinson. Crispin is a songwriter, campaigner and former Chair of The Ivors Academy. He’s also the former frontman of Britpop band Longpigs. He’ll be in conversation with chief music critic for The Times, Will Hodgkinson, about how to make streaming work for musicians.
Then there’s our unmissable singalong finale with the ebullient conductor Charles Hazlewood. His TV series Reinventing the Orchestra is currently showing on Sky Arts. Hazlewood is the founder and artistic director of Paraorchestra, the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians. He’s on a mission to bring the joy of orchestral music and all music to the 21st-century audience. We’re so lucky to have him leading our singalong – we guarantee you will be uplifted.
And all weekend, there’ll be hip-hop swing dancing classes from Oliver Broadbent on the lawn, harpsichords being played in the house for you to chill to, The Idler’s Silent Disco in the rose garden, and early music maestro William Summers will be The Wandering Minstrel, playing his groovy crumhorn in random spots.
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