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New website on its way

We've been putting the web updates on hold while we work hard on developing a brand new site that will be easier to navigate, read and and enjoy.  This current version of the site has served us well for...

Knock me out with a hockey glove - it's Playoff Weekend

It's back - and this time there's no Nottingham Panthers at the Elite League Ice Hockey Playoff Weekend 2014. Having lost out to Braehead Clan - the first Scottish side to qualify for the EIHL playoff...

Parklife Weekender 2013

Parklife Weekender Close to Sell Out If you haven’t already put the 8-9th June in your diary and bought your tickets then read on to find out what you’re almost missing out on. The Red Bull...

Echo Festival Croatia 2013 Line Up

Echo Festival announces final round of headline artists. DAVIDE SQUILLACE, KASSEM MOSSE, ANDRÉS, ION LUDWIG (LIVE) AND MADTEO JOIN THE FESTIVAL LINE- UP. 6-9th June 2013 Kanegra, Croatia    We've...

Anyone for pie?

The Nottingham Panthers kept marching along the trophy trail with their third successive playoff final victory and completion of the Grand Slam of league, challenge cup, and playoffs to end what has...

Nottingham Panthers Make Another Final

A higher state of social consciousness

Oi! It’s only the ice hockey playoffs again!

Art, Culture, All that stuff.

Liverpool Sound City

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WIN TICKETS TO VAMPIRE HUNTER

Dot 2 Dot Line Up News

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Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Thursday, 31 March 2011 10:42
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Two Door Cinema Club and Everything Everything confirmed
Sat 11th & Sun 12th June 2011 Platt Fields, Manchester

The Parklife Weekender 2011 adds yet more to a massive line up as Saturday’s headliner Two Door Cinema Club and Everything Everything join 90+ artists across two days.

Despite only being on sale for six weeks 65% of tickets have now been sold for the summer’s best value for money festival, at only £58.50 per weekend pass.

Live theatre, art installations, workshops and all manner of fringe attractions also on offer on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June in Platt Fields Park, Manchester.

Northern Irish indie trio Two Door Cinema Club will headline The Parklife Weekender’s main stage on day one of the festival, Saturday 11th June 2011. Having bagged the Choice Music Prize in Ireland for their debut release Tourist History and a nomination in the BBC Sounds of 2010 poll the band are on a meteoric rise to success.

Next to join the main stage are the Manchester based alt rock outfit Everything Everything, with outlandish lyrics and genre defying tracks their album Man Alive has wowed critics.

Both acts join a line up of over 90 bands, DJs and performers who between them represent the biggest and best in electronic, independent and cross over sounds.

There is little time to loose for festival goers wishing to bag tickets for Manchester’s only event worth attending this summer as 65% of tickets have now been sold. For only £58.50 fans receive true value for money with two days full of premier talent. For the second time in its two year history The Parklife Weekender is way on its way to another sell out.

Tickets, priced at only £58.50 for a full weekend, are available from Ticketline (0161 832 111, www.ticketline.co.uk) and Skiddle (0844 884 29 20, www.skiddle.com), for more information visit www.parklife.uk.com.

 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Thursday, 03 February 2011 09:22
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This tour is about taking music to the people of the UK.

From March 21st – 31st, Conor Owen will be embarking on a nationwide tour in his yellow van “Penelope” as they go on a one man/van mission to enlighten the ears of boys, girls, women and men around the country.

This is a unique experience. This is a chance for live music lovers be part of a form of touring and entertainment that has never been done before. The location of the show could be anywhere, cobbled side streets, car parks, a uni campus, city centres or abandoned warehouses.

Conor will play at 17:30 everyday at a secret location in the city. Only to be announced at 14:00 on the day of the show via facebook, myspace and twitter. As well as the afternoon performance,Conor will also play an unplugged private set at a fans house the same evening.

The Dates

21/03 – Brighton

22/03 – London

23/03 – Oxford

24/03 – Cambridge

25/03 – Norwich

26/03 – Peterborough

27/03 – Nottingham

28/03 – Sheffield

29/03 – Leeds

30/03 – Manchester

31/03 – Liverpool

www.myspace.com/conorowen

 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Friday, 28 January 2011 22:25
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Bringing you the best of back issues of Freeq magazine our Re:wind feature looks at the interview with Rich Hall. from the winter 2009 issue.

Comedian, actor, author, playwright and quite possibly the lovechild of Tommy Lee Jones and the Simpson’s Moe Szyslak, American funny man Rich Hall is an all round ‘stand up’ guy. Fresh from regular performances on our best telly shows in the UK, he’s embarked on a mammoth live tour and we caught up with him in Nottingham four dates in.

You had the responsibility for opening the new Glee club recently...
I didn’t really think about it that much. The expectations are that it’s going to be a good show regardless of whether it’s a new club or not. I’ve got to come out and be the best Rich Hall that I can. Everything seemed to go fine.

You interact a lot with the crowd – how much of the show is pre written and how much is off the cuff?
A lot of it is written, at some point it got written down and worked out. It’s kind of a safety net. It’s always there and eventually you get round to it but because I have that, I have a tremendous amount of confidence to go off and people are there thinking, ‘oh is he making this up?’ well then, some of it’s not made up, it’s kind of a mixture of both.
Even a song that apparently sounds improvised has some structure to it otherwise you wouldn’t know what to play. So, I know where I’m going. But I think it creates an element of originality, It’s more fun for me if I try and wing it a bit.

And of course, you have several hundred dates to do.
Yea, and they’re not all going to be as glamorous as Nottingham, there’s Yeovil, er, some real shit holes. Nottingham is one of the more classy gigs.

As a US comedian, you’ve done a lot of stuff in the UK, how do you find the difference over here to the US?
It’s not a lot different, I don’t really change, I haven’t developed some different persona for the British audience, this is what I do. I work in the UK and I work in the US as well and obviously there’s things I can talk about here that Brits can relate to and if I talked about in America they wouldn’t be interested and vice versa. But in America it’s still my sense of humour, I still do what I think is funny. Americans are actually used to people staying on the script. American comedians are a bit slicker and a bit more polished and a bit more ‘this is what I’ve written, this is what I’m going to do’ and so when you kinda come out of that and actually talk to them, they really sometimes go ‘ahh, woah!’ I think they’re probably more impressed than Brits about that. Brits want you to talk to them, they kind of want you to break the barrier and acknowledge where you are. I want to entertain myself as well and the only way to do that on stage is to keep it interactive.

In the show you talked about President Obama, do you think the time has come when it’s OK to ‘diss’ him? Do you really think he’s doing a bad job?
Er, I had higher expectations. He seems to be doing lots of things for his self accomplishment, like pushing through a health care programme, that’s great but it seems more like ‘look what I did and what the last president didn’t do.’ But that doesn’t really affect me and it’s a bureaucratic mess. I don’t know, I think by nature I’m going to be sceptical of anyone and I was very celebratory about when he got elected and I was very much for him, and I’m still for him, but it’s been two years now and there’s a lot of unrest in America and a lot of money just being wasted. Britain has a sort of slash and burn kind of approach to being in recession, Britain’s going to cut and cut and cut and you’re going to have to sit back and take it. And America’s trying to pretend that nothing’s wrong, and it’s not working, there’s a lot of f**king unemployment and a lot of stuff going under you know. I’m from a small town so I see it really manifest itself very specifically, there’s a bar that was open two weeks ago and now it’s closed. I don’t know, it’s two different approaches. Americans are blind or something, Obama’s such an eloquent speaker I think he’s convinced people to do stuff but I think he’s convinced them to do the wrong thing.

Maybe it’s a sign that the president doesn’t run the country but the people behind him do?
Well there’s a lot of bitterness between parties. I don’t give a f**k whether you’re Democrat or Republican, it drives me nuts. Americans are like ‘oh I’m a Democrat because my dad was a Democrat’ so you follow the party line when in fact you might have some really conservative ideas about certain things. I refuse to tow either party line. I think there should be some real conservative stuff done in America so people say ‘oh you sound like a Republican’ well, no I’m not but I think this needs to be done it’s pretty austere and maybe it’s right wing but it depends on the issue.
Electing Obama was such a big moment in America, it’s an achievement, it kind of overshadows so much other stuff you know. If Obama wasn’t a black president, he’d just be a kind of good president, like Clinton, to be honest I think at this point in his tenure, Clinton had accomplished a lot more.

So he’s in danger of being a token gesture?
No, it’s not token because it’s very significant gesture. But if the greatest achievement happened before he set foot in office, because he went in there a black president, then it would be sad. If I could predict it now, I’d say Hilary Clinton is gonna be the next president of the United States.

Setting new ground?
Yea, and Obama would have paved the way for it. Then he’d be like ‘oh great, I’m the black guy that made a woman president’ but I kinda think Hilary would be a better administrator, it’s hard to say.
I’m as impatient as anybody, I just want the economy to get better you know, turn Detroit around, get the f**k out of Afghanistan get out of Iraq, stop wasting money on something you can’t win and start making cars that run on grass, do something!

It’s clear that it can be turned around really quickly if you’re someone who’s not led by huge global corporations…
Or greed, greed is worse, you say corporations but I actually say greed and greed isn’t a corporate thing, there’s so much f**king greed. And there was so much money that was made and things had so much value, overvalued to a point where, lets say you have a house that’s worth a million dollars and now a real estate agent comes along and says it’s only worth 700,000 and you’re thinking ‘but it was worth a million so I’m not going to sell it for 700,000 because it was worth a million’, but it’s not now! People have a hard time letting go of that, and there’s a certain amount of greed in that. Think about cars and all that, you can go back to the 60s and 70s when they paid people to design f**king kick ass cars and that’s true all over the world. The minute someone designs a really good looking car no-one will give a f**k what it runs on. ‘Oh I gotta have that, what does it run on?’ Canolo oil? Ok, then put canolo oil in...as long as it looks cool.

 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Wednesday, 24 November 2010 23:52
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trontournamentleaflet1Get yourself down to Cineworld in the Cornerhouse on Saturday 4th December to take on allcomers at the original 80s Tron arcade games as part of Cineworld's promotion of the forthcoming Disney blockbuster Tron: Legacy which is released on December 17th. Those of you probably in your thirties will r…
 
Written by Sam Borrett (Editor) Friday, 05 November 2010 11:08
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In 2011 the Surface Festival will be organising over 500 shows across 14 cities in the UK and Europe.  Shows will take place in London, Portsmouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Barcelona and Budapest.

The climax of the Festival will culminate with 21 bands playing the IndigO2 at the O2 Complex - a venue which has seen acts such as Jools Holland, Timbaland, Joss Stone and Estelle to name a few. Dominic Nicholls, music photographer, explains “Surface gives bands the chance to play the type of venues that most bands only dream of when they've 'made it' - add to the expertise Surface offers in terms of lighting and sound management, PR and exposure and you're looking at an opportunity that's too good to miss”.

The main focus of a band should be live performance. The sweaty, loud and beer saturated venues across Britain are where bands are born and it’s this aspect that the Surface Festival is focused on keeping alive. Other venues Surface will be using include the O2 Academy Main stage in Birmingham and Bristol, the Dome in London, the Manchester Academy and Oxford Academy. Nights are set out by genre providing opportunities for bands and artists to gain exposure from new audiences, sell merchandise, promote networking opportunities and attract new fans. For a list of testimonials from bands that have played the Surface Festival check out: http://www.surfacefestival.com/testimonials.html

The Surface Festival works in association with 24 international sponsors that cover all bases for a band. “Marshall Amplification are extremely excited to be working with the Surface Festival for 2011. This event is truly inspiring for all involved” - Marshall Amplification. For a further list of sponsors see http://www.surfacefestival.com/sponsors.html

With a prize pot of £100,000 including a slot at Sziget Festival 2011, bands and artists get the opportunity to progress further in the music industry. “The prizes offered for the winning band and runners up are just fantastic and the experience all the bands gain from playing larger venues is priceless” - Alex Baker; Kerrang Radio Unsigned show.

The Surface Festival Committee consists of a panel of music industry representatives who will have the privilege of seeing the very best acts from around the UK and Europe that will appear at the National Showcase at the o2. Judge Alex Baker says that “the show this year was very hard to judge; amazing stage shows, amazing songs, amazing bands – congratulations to Great Imitation who blew everyone’s minds, a much deserved win!”

Surface Festival takes bands at grass roots level and brings them through a journey culminating in an industry showcase. The quality of the sponsors, judges and management lends colossal credibility to this event and should be a breath of fresh air to all bands and artists in the UK. In an uncertain time, where longevity and sustainability is rare in today’s music industry the Surface Festival can be exemplified as a solid force for good, offering some amazing opportunities to bands. Working together with key industry bodies and organizations is paramount to developing a model that is fair for everyone – the promoters, the venues, the fans and most importantly the bands taking part and the experience and value they get from playing the live shows.

 “The Surface Festival was a fantastic experience for us, an unforgettable journey through many rounds at different venues. The ultimate prize and ultimate goal was to perform at the  IndigO2. The chance to play at this incredible venue gave you a real sense of achievement and a wonderful feeling that will stay with us for a long time. The Surface crew were helpful, friendly and always very supportive which made the whole experience just that little bit better. Thank you guys for an amazing opportunity.” Loaded Dice.

For more info and to sign up see www.surfacefestival.com

 

 

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