Shaun Ryder to Phil, Bez to Hannah and a Happy Monday to you too! The legendary event that is Twinfest will be taking place this weekend on its England leg and I'm getting as excited as ever. Every year since the dawn of time, Northampton, Marburg and Poitiers will select the acts they think the other towns will have most difficulty in pronouncing and then jet them off to perform as part of one huge weekend of music. Marburg's MANOPO as ever took place in March with Poitiers rounding things off later in October however it's now our turn to play host with seven separate events all over the county, and in a moment of stupidity I decided I'd review them all...
Friday 8th June, 8pm-midnight, The Wig & Pen
So either I know more French than I thought or the band speak English. Probably the second. Made up of guitarist Anthony Baril and drummer Lucie Mousset (Stripes vibes anyone?) and influenced by the American grunge rock bands of the late 80s/early 90s, [yet] provide a raw mix of infectious energy and darkened melodies above expectations of a band who've only been together a year. I do hope they'll get some live sheep up on stage when they perform Tonnes.
Finally, a name on this year's Twinfest that actually sounds foreign (and thus, to most UK listeners, like a complete and utter weirdo!) But skip past the language barrier and Baptiste Pizon is an undiscovered gem, drawing on influences from France's traditional folk music, classic rock 'n' roll, unadulterated funk and classical grandeur to create an awesome, extravagant and, dare I say, rather sexy sound.
JJ Stone & The Campfire
Releasing their five-track EP of lusciousness the weekend afterwards, JJ Stone, JP Brook, Joel Harries's little sister Nina and one-third of the Furious 55s Luke Palmer (although technically two-thirds because JP Brook is also a member and ... oh all this communal cross-band stuff does my head in). Stripped back, harmonious folk finesse with feel-good melodies; I think I might just have to propose to Serious Types right now.
The Midnight To Six Men
Disappointingly only on from ten-fifteen to eleven (yes I was expecting a six hour set) the retro beat trio might have formed fifty years too late but that doesn't mean they're not still an incredible and ever improving garage band, furiously covering nothing but pure classic rock 'n' roll baby! Again, Marburg never fail to deliver - although you should note that all our bands write for themselves (low blow, sorry guys).
Daniel Vagant Trio
Made up of guitarist Daniel Vagant with members of the amazingly named Paddy Goes To Holyhead Uwe and Dirk, the band became one of the hottest things in Marburg with the release of their Sunspringlove LP last year. With the outstanding roots melodies achieved only by at least twenty hard years in music, Vagant provides a pure alternative rock energy for both the original country rock era and the post-Fleetwood Mac generations.