Festival Preview: Long Division 2019 | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020  

Festival Preview: Long Division 2019

In Wakefield England This Weekend

May 30, 2019
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For eight years, a small Yorkshire city has quietly presided over an exceptional, annual explosion of art, talks, poetry, and music. With Long Division, Wakefield is home to one of the UK's most underrated events.

Outside the London-bubble and acting as much as a showcase event as a normal festival, Long Division brings in established acts propped up by a dazzling array of up-and-coming talent across multiple venues. The strong focus on regional artists gives it a welcome northern swagger.


This year it goes without saying the Joy Division and New Order legend Peter Hook and the Light will be worth your time, alongside the ever-brilliant Art Brut but there is so much more to discover.


Exposing the best of the new talent taking to the stage this year, the festival has released a vinyl compilation featuring 10 new acts, which can be bought separately or with a ticket.


Wakefield also has more pubs per square mile than anywhere else in the UK and good ones at that!


Running from May 29 until June 2, the festival brings five days of culture to immerse yourself, including a run of free fringe events.


Under the Radar will be in attendance on Saturday, June 1, for the main music line up. We've examined the line-up to uncover those acts worth watching if you join us in Yorkshire.


Asian Dub Foundation


When appraising the music of the '90s, Asian Dub Foundation is often, and criminally, overlooked. Their combination of electronica, punk bite, ragga swagger, progressive politics, and Asian music traditions still makes them stand out today.


Live they have always been an explosion of pure energy, and a musical embodiment of what our multi-cultural society should be. In this age of division, they are needed more than ever.


They've never been away, bubbling away in the underground, travelling the world working with political activists and releasing vital records, but now is the time to re-introduce yourself to ADF.




Ahhh, Bis! Not just underrated '90s DIY pop heroes, but a band whose "reformation" has churned out albums equal to, if not surpassing, the shambolic, indie-rock-disco-pop gems of the past. Latest record Slight Disconnects has all the disco beats, frenetic riffs, and off-kilter pop melodies you'd come to expect from the Scottish legends.


Yeah, legends. You heard that right! The band who were the first unsigned band on Top of the Pops, signed to Beastie Boys' own label, and made the end credits music to The Powerpuff Girls! That's before considering they have a song called "Sweetshop Avengerz."


When they play live their gloriously shambolic, garage pop bursts into an explosive party. Join the Bis party, you won't be disappointed.


Penguin Café


Okay, so this is not Penguin Café Orchestra. But it is a continuation of that lineage. Arthur Jeffes is stepping into the footsteps of his father Simon (who was in PCO) with an "all-star" line-up of musicians including Cass Brown of Gorillaz, Neil Codling of Suede, Oli Longford of Florence + The Machine, and Darren Berry of Razorlight.


With that talent on stage, this is bound to be special, as they take on sounds that bear all the hallmarks of classic PCO work, blurring the lines between classical and contemporary music.


Expect music from their forthcoming fifth album and sounds that will soothe your mind body and soul.


Imperial Wax


What do you do when you're The Fall and Mark E. Smith dies? Imperial Wax is what happens when the remaining members regroup to make music together with a new singer.


Veterans of the longest serving line-up of the indie legends, Keiron Melling, Dave Spurr, and Pete Greenway have joined forces with singer Sam Curran creating a different aural beast but one that Fall fans will connect with immediately.


Their debut record Gastwerk Saboteurs has just been released into the wild, a high-octane rush of garage-rock. Reports of their live shows so far make this one not to be missed.


The track "No Man's Land" appears on the Long Division New Additions Vol. 1 compilation.


Menace Beach 

Leed's Menace Beach is in the midst of metamorphosis, especially live. The incarnation I saw earlier this year is a thrilling composite of what the band is about, welding an armoury of synths and electronics to the classic indie sounds of their early records.

This beefs-up a sound that is discovering new depths as it develops. The synths create a swirling electronic underbelly to their indie meets Krautrock workouts. They deliver myriad styles in a condensed whole that is as mesmerising as it is catchy.


Liela Moss


The stripped-back, personal project of The Duke Spirit's singer, exploring the internal workings of her soul, Liela Moss is worth seeing to bask in her expansive melodies.


Last year's My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth is a wonderfully realized collection of dream-pop odes to mediation and selfhood, creativity and parenthood that takes her into deeply personal territory.


Needless to say, spending time with Moss for this show will be a revelatory experience that delves deep into the self.


International Teachers of Pop


An explosion of DIY indie-disco-pop, from The Moonlandingz's Adrian Flanagan, Dean Honer of All Seeing I/I Monster, and singer Leonore Wheatley from The Soundcarriers should interest you massively!


Add the fact their wonky pop experiments are made mainly on pre-1980s U.S. and Soviet analogue synths and old drum machines to make music inspired by Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, and Broadcast in an indie-pop style, and you have a prospect that you'd be mad to miss.


False Advertising


They only played their first gig in April but are already considered a band worth noting. Their grunge-inspired tunes drowned in melodic fuzz has put them on the map with blogs, magazines, and the underground scene in Manchester (and beyond).


They emerged as the fully formed package like they have been around for years. They rummage through indie rock's back pages luminaries like Pixies, Belly, The Breeders, Teenage Fanclub, and Hole to paint a solid picture of alt-rock's heyday with youthful power and exuberance.




Rising Yorkshire grime artist and winner of last year's MOBOUnsung award for unsigned artists, Leed's MC Graft effortlessly flows over grime beats infused with wide-ranging hip-hop, R&B, soca, and dancehall influences.


Long Division is giving time to a soon-to-be star in the biggest underground music scene in the UK right now. Grab some time with Graft now, before he blows up.


Hello Cosmos


Emerging last year with an array of mind-blowing, psychedelic videos and cryptic social media posts, they played carefully selected festival appearances and with The Charlatans and British Sea Power. Hello Cosmos created an almighty buzz leading to their debut album release.


They have matched it with a batch of indie-dance bangers that fulfil the promise.


Living Body


In the wake of the demise of the excellent Juffage, Jeff T. Smith combined with Katie Harkin (Sky Larkin, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes), Tom Evans (Vessels) then Alice Rowan (Mayshe-Mayshe) and Sarah Satham (Esper Scout) to create Living Body.


Creating what they call "post Brexitcore" they have evolved into a truly special live act since their 2016 inception. Taking a classic post-rock framework, with folk elements weaved in taking from each of the players past endeavours, they create an intoxicating swathe of sound.


The track "C.R.E.A.M" appears on the Long Division New Additions Vol. 1 compilation.




It's a simple fact. Few bands are as much fun live as Cowtown. Their shambolic punk-party-music is Devo does disco, B-52s playing garage punk, joyous post-punk bangers; you get the picture.


It's angular post-punk that you can dance to: call and response melodies, jagged rhythms and powerhouse, funky rhythms. Basically, don't be stupid, go and watch Cowtown.




Interesting pop needs to be commended, and Mayshe-Mayshe fits that bill perfectly. DIY electronic pop run through with melody and jittery percussion there is also a rich seam of storytelling stitching it all together.


A one-woman pop machine, these are pop hits in waiting forged from looped synths, choral vocals and the occasional hairdryer.


The track "The Colours of Anxiety" appears in the Long Division New Additions Vol. 1 compilation.


This of course only scratches the surface on Long Division's varied line-up. Tickets are still available.




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