Festival Preview: Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering 2019 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, October 18th, 2019  

Festival Preview: Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering 2019

Doves, Suede, Editors, and More at Catton Hall, Derbyshire, England, May 23-26

May 13, 2019
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The month of May is a busy time for UK music lovers, with so many festivals taking place over the course of its four-and-a-half weeks. However, one of the most exciting events on the festival calendar is happening in the grounds of Catton Hall, an 18th Century listed building in the Derbyshire countryside. Situated close to the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire, it's played host to Bearded Theory since 2014.

However, the festival itself dates back to 2008, having relocated twice from its initial site at Bradley Nook Farm then Kedleston Hall before finally arriving at its current location. While the festival market has become an increasingly saturated and homogeneous market place, Bearded Theory can boast being one of the few truly independent events of its kind having not succumbed to the enticing lure of sponsorship or branding since its conception.

A true family affair in many ways, not only does it host one of the largest children's play areas at any UK event, it also has its own school which is quite handy when taking the kids out of class for a couple of days so they can attend. The line up itself is spread across six different stages: the Pallet (main stage), The Woodland, Magical Sounds, Maui Waui, Convoy Cabaret, and One Big Showcase. The festival's Earth Area has also proved popular throughout the festival's existence, where its craft workshops and healing tents provide a tranquil aside to the live music going on elsewhere.

Taking place over the second May bank holiday weekend from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26, tickets are still available to purchase here, but we advise you to get yours soon as this will probably sell out in advance.

They've also garnered a reputation for booking an eclectic range of new and established acts of which this year is no exception. Indeed, it wouldn't be out of context to say the 2019 edition is arguably their most mouth-watering line up to date, so without further ado, here's 10 we're most excited about seeing. 

Doves

(Sunday May 26, The Pallet, 19:45-20:45)  

Doves are one of the biggest bookings in the history of Bearded Theory, particularly bearing in mind the band have been in hiatus since 2010 so not played a UK festival since that very summer. Although no new material has been hinted at so far, the trio have an armoury of anthems in their locker for what is sure to be one of the most anticipated returns this year.

Editors

(Friday May 24, The Pallet, 19:45-20:45) 

Another major booking for the festival, Editors have established themselves as one of the UK's most forward thinking acts since releasing their debut LP The Back Room 14 years ago. Now with six albums under their belt, the most recent being last year's Violence (not counting the recent reworked version of the album, The Blanck Mass Sessions). They've become something of a national treasure still capable of attracting stadium-sized audiences in various parts of the world.

Heavy Lungs 

(Saturday May 25, The Pallet, 15:10-15:55)

Heavy Lungs are part of the new sound of Bristol to emerge off the back of IDLES' rise in becoming figureheads of the UK punk scene. This four-piece only formed in 2017 but already they've earned a reputation as one of the most visceral bands on the circuit. Most recent EP Straight to CD captures the intensity of their live show and we're sure their set will be one of the weekend's most memorable. 

Idlewild

(Saturday May 25, The Woodland, 22:45-00:00)

Stalwarts of the UK music scene having put out their first single back in 1997, Idlewild have one of the most coveted back catalogues in recent history, which only tells half the story. Unlike many of their peers and contemporaries, they've never stood still or relied on nostalgia, and last month put out their eighth long player Interview Music, which ranks among the band's finest releases to date.  

Oh Sees 

(Friday May 24, The Pallet, 18:00-19:00)

Oh Sees are another band with a long history behind them, having formed back in 1997. Essentially the brainchild of John Dwyer who remains the only founding member of the band. Always one step ahead of the game, their opulent fusion of punk, psychedelia, blues, and noise rock predates several of the aforementioned genres' post-millennial resurgences by several years. Expect nothing less than a full throttle, frenzied assault on the senses here.

Suede

(Friday May 24, The Pallet, 21:30-23:05) 

Some bands mature with age and Suede are a perfect example. Having initially emerged in the early '90s with three critically acclaimed albums before eventually taking a well earned break in 2003 after their fifth LP, Suede's return in 2010 has coincided with arguably the most productive period of the band's career. Three more highly revered long players culminating in last year's The Blue Hour has cemented their status as one of the UK's most treasured musical outfits. Expect the hits and much more besides here! 

Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam

(Friday May 24, The Woodland, 15:45-16:30) 

One of the hardest working bands on the circuit right now, this Birmingham based five-piece have now put out five albums in as many years and are said to be on the verge of completing their sixth as we speak. Initially formed out the ashes of celebrated noise rockers Distophia and Shocked Elevator Family, comparisons with Urusei Yatsura and Future of the Left aren't wide of the mark, which is why we implore to get there early on Friday for what promises to be an incendiary set.

The Blinders 

(Sunday May 26, The Pallet, 15:15-16:00)

Formed in Doncaster but now based in Manchester, The Blinders are another of the new breed whose work ethic when it comes to playing live has seen their fanbase grow incessantly over the past couple of years. 2018's debut Columbia combined blues tinged garage punk with some exquisite and occasionally politicized songwriting while the band's energetic live shows have become legendary in their own right.

The Cult 

(Saturday May 25, The Pallet, 21:30-23:00)

One of the mainstays of rock and roll for four decades now, The Cult are another band whose back catalogue contains some of the most influential pieces of music in recent history. Centred around founder members Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, The Cult are another band who've never stopped writing and recording so it shouldn't come as any surprise that their most recent long player Hidden City contains some of the band's finest compositions to date.

The Wildhearts 

(Friday May 24, The Pallet, 16:15-17:15) 

You could probably write a book about The Wildhearts and I'm sure someone will in the future. Wild at heart and wild by name, while the band's off stage antics have often superseded coverage of their recorded output. They remain one of the UK's most influential rock bands in recent years. What's more, they also have an incredible catalogue dating back to 1993, and with the classic line-up of Ginger Wildheart, CJ, Danny McCormack, and Ritch Battersby currently on board, this promises to be one of the weekend's must-see moments.

www.beardedtheory.co.uk

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