2016 is a year which highlights live entertainment in a state of flux. The gunning for, sorry, closure of clubs such as Fabric, and local Council’s constant attention of London clubbing mainstay’s such as Brixton’s 414 club, and other prime real estate locations gives a message of we must not go out. We may now have a 24 hour tube (albeit on just two of the lines), but we’re rapidly running out of places to go to get any benefit from it.
Live music venues across the UK are also closing at a steady pace, plus large but underground festival’s such as the significant closure of the All Tomorrow’s Party’s events earlier this year. The future looks pretty grim, obviously it’s not all doom and gloom, collectives such as London Warehouse Events are arranging events which are becoming more and more vital, plus as well as venues closing, venues are opening also, the opening of a Back to Basics venture in Leeds is laying down the gauntlet big time by booking big hitters such as Jamie Jones and Damien Lazarus, there are green shots amongst the gloom.
Another shoot is the Rockaway Beach festival, now on its second edition and proving to be a worthy addition to the hectic UK festival circuit. They have already made waves with their progressive scheduling, it’s a bit APT, but with a nod to the odd pop great here and there. Relatively new acts such Errors, Astral Pattern and Nadine Shah were programmed alongside big hitters such as Johnny Marr, Echo & The Bunnymen, Ghost Poet and Young Fathers.
This mixture of esoteric with commercial is continued for this year’s event and they've balanced it just right. Indie legends such as Wire, The Wedding Present, Luna, The Membranes and Suede play alongside the gutsy angst of Eagulls, legendary bass hero Jah Wobble, the electro headfuck of Fuck Buttons side project Blanck Mass, and the spooked out krautpop of Jane Weaver. This alongside Saint Etienne’s last ever full live performance of Foxbase Alpha, the master Don Letts on Dj duties and a headline set from Killing Joke who are also unveiling their Death & Resurrection Show film at the event.
Plus this is Butlins, so expect the usual Butlins sights, arcade machines, bowling, people being sick, someone wearing those furry boot things that fell out of fashion about eight years ago, plus as their name alludes, it’s on a beach! If you need us, we’re the ones in the R$N budgie smugglers.