As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


You may have already seen the adverts. In case you are out of the loop: The cast of Shane Meadows’ brilliant and moving drama This Is England return to our screens next month as a 4-part miniseries.

The original film, which saw of a group of teenagers coming-of-age against the politically extreme backdrop of the 1980s, left things at somewhat of a crossroads. This is England ’86 picks up their lives in the year in which Chris de Burgh is at number one, Top Gun is filling the cinemas, VHS is trumping Betamax, the World Cup is raging in Mexico and over 3.4 million Brits are unemployed.

Meadows choice to continue the story wasn’t coincidental: “not only did I want to take the story of the gang broader and deeper, I also saw in the experiences of the young in 1986 many resonances to [society] now: recession, lack of jobs, sense of the world at a turning point.”

For now things look very promising. As you can see by the preview above, the popular cast is reassembled, with a few newer editions. But going one better for anticipating fans, The first episode will premiere at the Showroom, Sheffield on Thursday 2 September, attended by cast including Thomas Turgoose, Vicky McClure, Andrew Shim and Joe Gilgun with a special introduction by director Shane Meadows.  For this rather special event, the Showroom will be turned into ‘Working Men’s Club,’ complete with a set from a local Ska band.

The Low Culture will be there in force and we will be offering all the highlights from the event next week For more information and exclusive previews visit

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


We have returned from our ramblings in Skipton. See our photographic evidence:

There were highs, lows and men in Y Fronts...

So yes, Moor Fest. As we have mentioned, it can be a little unpredictable. In fact it seems ever since TLC has been in attendance it has been grappling with an identity crisis. Is it a family festival or one for dance loving space-cakes? Does it concentrate solely on local bands or try to offer a wider selection from further afield?

Well, 2010 seems no closer to any sort of realisation. There are no official figures for this, the party line usually being: 'It completely sold out.' But it seemed even smaller than last year’s crowd, with the camp site occupying only a stamp-sized area. The relocation from the larger site in Ilkley may have had some influence on this.

Being packed with crusty folk the stalls were suitably hippy in flavour. There was some lovely grub to be had as well as some weird and unpronounceable herbal teas. But the downscaled site meant that all points of interest could be covered in roughly 30 seconds, and through the day at least, there was a lot of sitting around with not much to do. On one hand it's nice to be able to see all the bands you're there for, but the shortage of quality, exciting acts across the entire bill meant that it was a fitful and uneven couple of days.

Friday's weather was miserable but it certainly didn't dampen the spirits of the little flower children playing in the sand pit, or the people walking round in fancy dress. Tall Ships were the first offering that TLC saw on the Earl Hickey Tribute stage (we've no idea why it's called that) and they were amiably pretty, though not likely to set anyone's world on fire any time soon.

The evening's controversy (and entertainment) unsurprisingly came from champion idiots Kong, who shortly after their performance were banned from playing the festival ever again. What did they do? Well, in order: accidentally assaulted a pregnant woman, called the crowd 'a set of fucking boring hippies' and incited a stage invasion which saw the security shoved off the stage. Whilst they may not have endeared themselves to any promoters here, most of the crowd seemed to find it hilarious. All in a day's work for them, but the memorable highlight of the weekend.

Saturday's fun kicked off in the evening with brilliant Jon Jones and The Beatnik Movement, whose sleazy guitars and howling pigeon-chested frontman have been a fixture on the Leeds scene for many a year. For us, their garage rock n roll was a cold flannel on the headache we got from the offensively loud Dubstep tent. Dubstep fans: apologies, but a serious question to you: how do you appreciate it when you are drug-free?

With this in mind, there are rumours that next year, Moor Fest will shirk it's inclusion of bands in favour of a completely dance/live DJ line-up. It may lose a handful of people still in attendance for the live music, but a good indication of the crowd's preference showed in the half full band tents. Not least at Male Bonding on Saturday, whose fun set was witnessed by approximately 1 man and his dog. It's a shame that a decent band newly signed to Sub-Pop couldn't interest more revellers, but that fact is telling of the inconsistencies at play here. With a singular idea behind it and a discerning booker, Moor Fest could appeal well to one particular audience. But at the moment, it's stretched between too many concepts. Let's hope that next year, someone can come along and stop it from flailing in the mud.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Moor Music, No Problems

Moorfest 2008, @ Addingham Moorside, Ilkley

Yes, it's that time of year again! A brief countdown to that curious little hilltop gathering, Moor Music Festival, happening this very weekend @ Heslaker Farm, Skipton.

Moor Music Festival ( has provided a quirky alternative to the bigger summer gatherings for a good while now. Home to circus tents, cabaret performances and a legendary Silent Disco, it's the perfect low-key antidote for those with corporate sponsorship fatigue.

In keeping with the general DIY spirit, its previous line-ups have seen some wicked independent artists. 2010 follows suit nicely and things kick off on Friday with:

Copyright: Martin Cogley

The unholy! The stinking! KONG: who will tear you a new chest cavity . Manchester's weirdest have lately been enjoying praise for their album Snake Magnet, even standard schmindie-rag NME paid attention, giving it 8/10. The uninitiated should expect a proggy, dark live show with lots of surreal conversation.

Photo: Iain Thompson

Saturday brings some wonderful art-pop in the form of Errors. Going on tour with fellow Glaswegians The Twilight Sad in the Autumn, they are admirably lean live, and also benefit from some lovely Christmas jumpers. 

Photo: Steve Gullick

Our top pick of the weekend is this. If you haven't seen the mighty Male Bonding already, then we urge you to show up to this on Saturday. They've not been going for all too long but man, they are furiously fast and insanely catchy - you know, everything exciting about proper punk. Plus, they play live at an even higher breakneck speed. We at The Low Culture are getting very het up about this one, sexy time!

Well, we wish you all a great, safe festival! We will be there in force from Friday afternoon to document everything. Just heed this final warning: girls might want to rethink the (lame) 'festival chic' hotpants/sunglasses look. As returning folk will know, up on t'moortop you are very much at the mercy of the elements. Take your waterproofs and don't say we didn't tell you so. 

See you there!