The Great Festival Window

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Zane Lowe screaming his lungs out on Glasto announcements, Jo Whiley tearfully creaming herself over the Chris Martin Band headlining Bestival. The Music Biz is missing a trick with the festival rumour mill, so says Getintothis’ Jonathan Birchall.


As January looms to its inevitably dreary close, as does the most ridiculous period in the football calendar, the transfer window.
However, fans of rumours, baseless reporting and speculative giddiness need not be disappointed, as music’s very own equivalent begins…it’s festival line-up season and the forums are buzzing with wish-lists so ridiculous that you can’t help get drawn in to the fun and games.
The parallels between the release of the line-up of your favoured festival and the transfer news of your favourite club are clear; there’s the veteran that you don’t really want (U2), the fan favourite returning to his adoring fans (The Strokes) and the up and coming hot prospect that everybody has their eye on, only to arrive with a fan fare and collapse under the intense weight of expectation bestowed upon them (The Vaccines…probably).

The Vaccines: Post Break-Up Sex
The summers of thousands of music-lovers hang loosely in the balance at this time of year; will you spend your time binge drinking in a field in Somerset or Yorkshire or regressing into your six-year-old self at Butlins? This is, quite clearly, massive and I think that the music industry aren’t milking it nearly enough.
I am all for the sensationalism to be ramped up a little, just look at the viewing figures that the transfer window gets Sky Sports.
I’m picturing Zane Lowe, shivering in a car park in an ill-fitting suit, fervently panting that his sources are telling him that Efterklang are almost certainties to secure a move to Spain in the summer, with Benicassim offering an early evening slot on a stage that nobody’s interested in.
Festival Republic cheerleader Melvin Benn has typically sent the music nerds like myself into overdrive this week, revealing that Reading and Leeds are hosting three ‘staggeringly good’ headliners, who won’t be playing anywhere else this year.
So, using my musical nous and a shred of common sense, I can exclusively reveal that this year’s big three are almost certainly going to be Pulp, The Strokes and Robbie Keane on loan.
Be gone, gig knuckleheads!
While we’re in the mood for some stretched football metaphors, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the game’s biggest story of the week: two reprehensible knuckleheads getting sacked for taking reprehensible knuckleheadery to a new level.
Yes, Sky’s little darlings Richard Keys and Andy Gray have been removed from their posts for spouting misinformed, ignorant nonsense, despite seemingly having done so since taking charge of the firework-laden, ‘LOOK HOW RICH OUR TYCOON OWNER IS’ festival of football two decades ago.
Why is this relevant to a music blog? Well, it reminded me of possibly the largest gripe I have when at a gig, that being the insistence of one sad soul to call for any female that’s on a stage to, for want of a better phrase, get their kit off.
Now, music is one area of society that is seemingly all encompassing. Forgive me if it is naïve to say so but all forms of diversity, from sexual preference to ethnic background, seem to have been encouraged through the music industry more than any other.
Female politicians, sportswomen and even film stars are constricted or sidelined due to, ridiculously enough, not being a man, with good female roles in Hollywood still ten-a-penny to take one of an endless list of examples.
Overt sexism in music is thankfully rare, hence my bafflement at the far too occasional mindless calling from the back of a gig to any female performer to de-clothe themselves at the behest of some vacuous moron.
Music, like the majority of sport, is special because it is isn’t exclusive to an intellectual or financial elite. It is their to be enjoyed by all.
So to the vacant-minded, bleary-eyed Neanderthal that we all know and hate, why don’t you not bother getting a ticket next time, spend your extra pennies on an array of lads mags and do us all a favour, love.
Meanwhile, get into these:
Unlike Keys and Gray, here’s a pair of luscious lovelies that don’t make you want to cry and lose faith in the sanctity of mankind.

Los Campesionos: In Medias Res (All’s Well That Ends)
Gareth Campesinos is the best lyricist working in Britain today. If you disagree then you obviously don’t understand the offside rule.

Motorama: Alps
Motorama are the latest gloomy voiced/catchy riff merchants to dominate my YouTube account. From Russia, this tune is definitely one to Putin your February playlist. Sorry.

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