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The Mid-Week Beat: This Summer’s UK Music Festivals

NorthwalesWith the weather finally picking up in the UK and with positive energy of Murray Mania rippling across the country, we can now think positively about what else the summer has to bring! One of the regular fixtures of summer is the music festival, so this week the Mid-Week Beat is offering a peek at three of the festivals coming up.

With one in Scotland, one in England and one in Wales hopefully you’ll find one close by. Each festival brings different sounds to their appreciative audiences. These are well organised festivals that are sure to be around for some time to come. In fact, one has already clocked up an impressive 40 years!

Check out the listings and dates, book a B&B or buy a tent and get ready for a UK summer of fine music.

Friday, 12 July to Sunday, July 14th I LeeFest – Highams Hill Farm – Surre, England  At Brown Paper Tickets we love to work with community projects that have a DIY mentality. This is why it is such a pleasure to be selling tickets for LeeFest this year. This is a festival that started from humble beginnings with the right mindset, principles and ethics. It has now become a major player in the annual festival calendar winning “Best Independent Festival” in 2012 at the Association of Independent Music awards. LeeFest has certainly come a long way from starting in founder Lee Denny’s back garden with 150 people, whilst his parents were on holiday. This small community has grown over the years and now the festival will run over 3 days in 2013 with the community swelling beyond 3,000 attendees.

Despite the rise in numbers the organizers are keen to keep the same atmosphere. As the numbers have grown so have the demographic. The younger crowd has grown to be a real cross section of the population, throwing their youthful energy into the mix and making this such a unique event. Not wanting to sell out to big sponsors and investors Leefest raised over £50,000 crowd funding through Kickstarter this year so that they can continue to grow and remain sponsor free. Some of the acts appearing this year include Noisettes  Delphic, King Charles and The Other Tribe to name but a few. The full line up can be found here. You can also follow all their news on Twitter at @LeeFest

Here are Noisettes with “Don’t Upset the Rhythm”:

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The Mid-Week Beat: Doune The Rabbit Hole 2013

DounerabbitThis week, the Mid-Week Beat catches up with Jamie Murray who is Director of the independent music and arts festival Doune the Rabbit Hole. This festival brings unusual and exciting musical acts and artists together in the beautiful Stirlingshire countryside for one weekend each summer.

“How did you start producing a festival” is the most obvious, but also one of the most interesting questions. After all wouldn’t everyone want to have their own festival! So, how did Jamie start? He was bitten by the bug whilst living in Glasgow and helping friends with their small gigs. Indeed he was so bitten that him and a few friends thought it would be a good idea to host a festival!

Jamie says: “It was more of a dream than a reality but then we just thought “Why not? It’s doable, so let’s do it!”

This energy and enthusiasm is definitely needed to put on a festival and the “build it and they shall come” approach has worked well for Jamie and his crew as they move into their 4th year in 2013.

As with all music festivals there is much to plan for and much work to be done. I asked Jamie what the most challenging thing was about doing an event of this scale? “In all honesty” Jamie says, ” it’s definitely the worrying. In reality everything will be fine – you know everything will be fine but you still worry. You worry about whether you’ve made the right choices of acts, worry about if you’ve got the right food, worry about what the program looks like, worry about whether anyone will come, worry about the weather and a million more worries.”
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The Mid-Week Beat: The Glad Cafe

GladcafeThis week the Mid-Week Beat takes a look at the rather fine venue that is The Glad Cafe.

Located in the south side of Glasgow, in the heart of Scotland’s most ethnically diverse community, The Glad Cafe provides a warm hub serving quality food throughout the day. Freshly prepared seasonal foods can be found during the day and a variety of sharing plates are available in the evening, and of course delicious home baking can be consumed at all times!

Once watered and fed there is much to keep you at The Glad Cafe; they also have a well equipped venue which has become home to all sorts of  music, be it indie, electronic, traditional, world etc. Their aim is simple, to provide a showcase space for up-and-coming musicians as well as being available for more established acts.

This is not just a stage for music however, The Glad Cafe has played host to exhibitions, films, poetry readings as well as comedy and storytelling. The venue has been set up with the correct considerations in mind and it is clear that the performers, sound engineers and of course, the viewer have been well catered for. So if you are looking for a venue with a capacity of 100 to hold intimate, fantastic looking and sounding shows, you should certainly consider contacting them here.

At Brown Paper Tickets we really value the sense of community that events bring and this is something that The Glad Cafe clearly recognises as well. As a social enterprise with the legal structure of a Community Interest Company they have a social purpose and goal to eventually plough profits into affordable music lessons for local people. Bravo to that!

Some of the events coming up at The Glad Cafe include:
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The Mid-Week Beat: LeeFest

leefestAt Brown Paper Tickets we love to work with community projects and those who have a DIY approach and mentality. This is why it is such a pleasure to be selling tickets for LeeFest this year.

This is a festival that started from humble beginnings with the right mindset, principles and ethics and has now become a major player in the annual festival calendar winning “Best Independent Festival” in 2012 at the Association of Independent Music awards.

It certainly has come a long way from starting in founder Lee Denny’s back garden with 150 people, whilst his parents were on holiday. This small community has grown over the years and now the festival will run over 3 days in 2013 with the community swelling beyond 3000. Despite the rise in number the organizers are keen to keep the same atmosphere. As the numbers have grown so have the demographic and the younger crowd has grown out to a real cross section of the population throwing their energy into the mix and making this such a unique event.

The growth of LeeFest over the years is a truly staggering achievement, a fact that is aptly demonstrated by this cheeky graphic aid which shows that logistically it has become a different animal over the years.

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The Mid-Week Beat: Electric Company, The Twilight Sad and Cuushe

This week on the Mid-Week Beat we look at the launch of a new record label: Electric Company Records, we have a peek at The Twilight Sad and suggest you check out the new EP from Cuushe. We also have a stonking “and finally” video for you.

Electric Company Records

As most of you know, we are all about DIY here at Brown Paper Tickets. This is why we are hoping to see Electric Company Records achieve great things. They are a truly independent label releasing music from their favorite artists on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital download. They’re doing it their way; with artists that they love and enjoy working with.

Electric Company was first mooted in 2012 when they opened Dixon Street Studios in Glasgow. For them, a record label seemed a natural progression as they continued to forge good relationships with the bands that played & frequented their gigs and recorded and rehearsed in their studios. With their love of doing things themselves and with the luxury of having their own studio to record in, they were in a great position to put out records. The New Fabian Society became their first signing and with the launch of they hope to not only be recording and releasing local artists, but distributing works from bands and artists the world over.

Their maiden release will be available on 7″ vinyl & digital download exclusively from them on Friday, 12th April 2013 and they’re having a release party that night at Nice N Sleazy where The New Fabiian Society are supported by KVB and The Cherry Gaze. Grab your tickets here.

Here are The New Fabian Society with their song “Cyclothymia”:

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The Mid-Week Beat: Loscil, Origamibiro and Hidden Orchestra

HiddenorchestraThis week on the Mid-Week Beat we have the pleasure to look at three instrumental groups who each produce their own unbelievably unique, hypnotic sound.

It was probably not until a friend lent me “Mr Beast” by Mogwai that I realised how powerful an instrumental song could be. It really felt like you could immerse yourself in the music and that a vocal would have just been a distraction. When done well, as these three bands are a testament to, instrumental songs pull you right in as they are filled with genuine energy, emotion and atmosphere.


Loscil produce ambient and electroacoustic music. It is Scott Morgan from Vancouver who is behind Loscil, which takes it’s name from the “looping oscillator” function of the Csound computer music language. Loscil’s self-released album, “A New Demonstration of Thermodynamic Tendencies,” resulted in Chicago independent label Kranky taking an interest in his music. They signed him and released “Triple Point” in October of 2001 which has since been followed by five additional full-length albums including the latest “New Brighton Field Study” released in August of 2012. You can catch Loscil in Glasgow at the The Glad Cafe on Thursday, the 21st March. Hurry tickets are selling fast!

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Mid-Week Beat: Introducing Song, By Toad Records

SongsbytoadThis week on the Mid-Week Beat we look at the art of DIY, something that is very close to our hearts here at Brown Paper Tickets. Of course, we do not mean that new bathroom you put in or those shelves you put on the wall (well done, all the same). We’re talking about the DIY approach to making music, booking gigs and releasing albums; an approach that allows artists to take full control of their artistic output.

In the digital age, it has never been easier to get your music online and heard by the entire planet with just a few clicks. But, what about those who want to have something tangible in our hands? People are not buying anywhere near the amount of physical Top 40 CD’s that they used to. The recent demise of HMV in the UK has made this very apparent.

However, the fact remains that music fans are still buying music. Bands and labels are still creating music and getting it out to their fans, through the internet, through social media and good old fashion word-of-mouth. In fact, you could say there has never been a better time to go DIY. This week we focus on a label based in Edinburgh, Scotland that truly takes the DIY ethic to heart.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Song, By Toad Records!

In Edinburgh one of the key players in the DIY scene has to be Song, by Toad Records. They have a clear idea of who they are and what they want to do. Unlike large record labels who are chasing down the next big thing and are all too keen to ditch a band after disappointing sales, Songs, by Toad are there to support the less commercial acts. It would be fair to say they are about the music not the unit sales.

Song, By Toad create short runs of 300-500 handmade albums, all made in house. Each release is designed to break even so that smaller acts are able to release their music without losing money. Doing everything means that Songs, by Toad are not just a record label but also a blog with album reviews, gig listings, podcasts and video sessions. There is a clear sense of community here and the blog covers news, reviews and supports other local labels and bands who also appear at the live shows they promote.

Using their contacts and experience Song By, Toad have been able to help other people put out releases. Such is the beauty of the internet! They are able to support DIY labels regardless of their geographic proximity and have worked with labels from Portland, Oregon as well as nearby Fife. Their “Rough Guide to Self Releasing and Album” is very useful and shows, again, that the music is the focal point, whether it is theirs or another label’s.

They have built up an impressive list of recording of acts including Jesus H Foxx, Jonnie Common, Sparrow and the Workshop and Meursault and continue to go from strength to strength.

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The Mid-Week Beat: Rockage 2.0

Rockage2.0As someone who grew up in the 90’s (which wasn’t that long ago right?) music and video games were very much the soundtrack to my youth. One would be on your screen and the other would be on your hi-fi. For me it was indie rock that was making the walls shake and Nintendo that was making my thumbs sore, with the TV being muted to hear a killer riff or the tunes being turned down to hear a satisfying “You Win….Perfect” on “Street Fighter II.”

Well for all my fellow music-loving, video game fanatics, the upcoming Rockage 2.0 festival in San Jose, California promises to bring back this magic mix of entertainment in a three-day indie music & retro gaming celebration taking place this weekend. The whole she-bang starts on Friday, February 8 and runs until Sunday, February 10.

As well as hosting over twenty different bands and DJ’s and fifty different classic arcade/pinball games there will be food trucks, panels, guest prizes, and classic gaming tournaments! You can check out a host of bands and DJ’s as well as attempt to recreate your gaming achievements of the past!

Check out their promo, which is loaded with tons of retro video game references:

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The Mid-Week Beat: Kurt Vile, Neil Pennycook and Amy Ray

20055613-40654Welcome to Brown Paper Tickets’ newest weekly, music-centric blog feature The Mid-Week Beat.

Every Wednesday, Brown Paper Tickets will be introducing you to bands and musical events from around the globe. In the future we’ll feature interviews with some of our favorite bands, record reviews of upcoming releases, music-related stories, previews of specific genres, suggestions of upcoming music festivals and much more. We hope this will become a weekly stop for all the music lovers in the Brown Paper Tickets universe so be sure to check back each week and discover your new favorite band, song, festival, venue or genre.


This week we are looking at three singer-songwriters who have shows coming up in Northampton, Massachusetts, Edinburgh, Scotland and Asheville, North Carolina in the next couple of weeks.

Kurt Vile was a founding member of indie rock outfit The War on Drugs but is now better known for his solo work. As a musician and producer he draws on indie folk, indie rock, psychedelia and lo-fi to produce songs which are introspective and full of wistfulness and beauty.

Kurt has released three solo ablums to date with “Constant Hitmaker” (2008), “Childish Prodigy” (2009), and “Smoke Ring for My Halo” (2011), his first album for famed independent record label Matador Records.

Our featured track this week is “Baby’s Arms” from Kurt’s 2011 release “Smoke Ring for My Halo”:


Kurt will be appearing at The Elevens in Northampton, Massachusetts on Friday, January 25th. You can pick up tickets right over here.

UPDATE! Advanced tickets for this show have SOLD OUT! Note from the producer: “There’s a slim chance that people can get a ticket at the door. Potential ticket-seekers should get here early (doors will be at 8/8:30).”
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Hot Tickets: United Kingdom

MissTempest Rose







Every Wednesday at noon, GMT, Brown Paper Tickets will post upcoming events happening in the UK. Here are hot tickets for events coming up. Check back for stellar events that fit the interests of locals and tourists alike.

Sunday, December 30 All Against Nothing Christmas Party! Club 85, Hitchin   All Against Nothing are back at Club 85! Bringing you a special Christmas and New Years party combined! They are also bringing out a brand new single to round off the year!

Monday, December 31 Aurora Winterborn’s Candid Cabaret – Hogmanay Hootenanny The Sapphire Rooms, Edinburgh   After a wave of success from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe performances and 5-star reviews, Candid Cabaret returns for a Hogmanay Hoopla of burlesque, comedy, magic and much much more!

Monday, December 31 Tempest Rose’s New Years Eve Masquerade Ball Madame Jojos, London   Madame Jojo’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular combines TWO of the West End’s most popular and critically acclaimed events. The evening kicks off with the award-winning House of Burlesque’s exotic and erotic cabaret extravaganza, Starring International ‘Burlesque Queen’ Miss Tempest Rose. Followed by Madame Jojo’s legendary club night, Lost & Found, with iconic DJs Dave Crozier & Andy Smith. This double club combination adds up to show stopping cabaret and pure musical class!!
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