About Standon Calling
Standon is a small village in the Hertfordshire countryside that has hosted a festival since 2006. Like most of the offering on the packed UK Summer festival agenda, it has grown from a garden party into a full-scale family-friendly festival – with hot tubs, massages, Horrible Histories, fancy dress prizes and even a dog show. They don’t even allow you to use cash at the many street food stalls!
But for me it’s all about the music.
Standon offers a wide church of different musical styles. I’m going to be there this Saturday and Sunday, so will miss the likes of Orbital, Slaves, Kate Tempest and Dutch Uncles on Friday.
Here’s some of what I’m hoping to catch through the lens:
Saw them last weekend on the main stage at Truck Festival. They had an early afternoon slot and the rain meant that they didn’t have much of a crowd. Will be good to see these enthusiastic experts of soaring indie songs back on stage again and I hope they get a better time this time out.
John Hassall and the April Rainers
Caught John and the April Rainers in a tiny Camden club recently, so will be interesting to see how they fill a big stage. Having said that, John was headlining the main stage at Truck with his ‘other’ band, The Libertines. The April Rainers play good time songs of bike rides in the country and should be perfect for Standon – if you’re expecting shambling indie, you won’t. So long as it doesn’t rain…..
I fell in love with Grace back in the early 80s when I first heard ‘Nightclubbing‘ and ‘La Vie en Rose‘. Since then she has dipped in and out of our collective consciousness, but has always been there. I suspect that she is one of those people that everyone should see perform live at least once. So I’m pleased to tick her off the list. Here’s a rock fact for you – in 1989, I gave my 12 inch single copy of ‘Slave to the Rhythm‘ to a certain Steve Querault, bass player of Ride. I wonder what he did with it?
The Indie Kings and a band who always put on a great show. I ‘discovered’ them on a listening post in a Fnac record shop in Paris, just before ‘The Back Room‘ came out over here. And I’m still proud of the sticker on the CD which says, ‘Un premier album de pop epique et hautement addictive’. Couldn’t put it better myself.
Still haven’t managed to catch Cabbage, who I know are a fave of my fellow Revue reporter Paul, who reported on them in London recently. Roustabouts, known for being a bit noisy and recently, a bit naughty, Cabbage are spoken-word artists, turned darlings of the Indie scene. They are sprouting up at pretty much every festival in the UK this Summer, so I suspect you will have seen them/will see them soon.
Gary Numan? Yes it is the same Gary Numan who whitened his face to hide his spots and gave us probably two of the best electronic indie dance tracks in history with Tubeway Army‘s ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’. Looking at his recent publicity pics, it looks like he’s gone all Star Wars and Game of Thrones on us.It will be interesting to see if he plays his old stuff exclusively, or tries to update his material. Think I know what I would do….Here in my car, da da, da da dar…
Something a bit different from the usual indie/garage bands I tend to cover. Laura’s voice is pure gold and I hope that she manages to capture some of the spirit of the excruciatingly beautiful songs that she has put out on CD, working with the likes of Nile Rodgers. If Grace Jones is the Queen of Standon, Laura is the Princess.
Chk Chk Chk
Anyone who knows me, will know that American Chk Chk Chk (!!!) are pretty much my favourite band of recent times and I feel like I’m starting to stalk them a bit. They play the best indie dance music out there. Nic Offer is a man of boundless energy and will no doubt appear in his carefully pressed shorts to dance on the edge of the stage. Last time I reported on !!! he very kindly played to my camera for most of the first three songs. So if you’re reading this Nic, can you do some of that crazy straight armed dancing in front of me again and if you jump off the stage (quite likely) just look for the grey-haired fat-man in the leather jacket to take a selfie with.
For more information about this weekend’s Standon Calling Festival.
Marcus Jamieson-Pond is one of The Revue’s contributors based in London – see www.jampondphotography.com/gigs for other images
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