Mugstar, Gnod and Trembling Bells announced for Preston’s Vernal Equinox Festival

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Mugstar at The Albert Hall, Manchester

Mugstar set to headline Preston’s Vernal Equinox headline

As a new folk and psych festival launches in Preston, Getintothis’ Paul Higham has news of a stellar debut line-up.

Vernal Equinox, a date steeped in Pagan mysticism and long associated with the folk tradition, is a new folk and psych festival coming to Preston’s Continental next month featuring, among others, Mugstar, Gnod and Trembling Bells on its bill.

The festival takes place on the weekend of March 3-5 and features on the Friday night headline performances from Mugstar, Liverpool’s pre-eminent psychedelic heavyweights, and Salford’s Gnod.

With their fiercely independent and monumentally imposing kraut-based rhythms, Gnod challenge conceptions through their music as much as they set their sights on the new world order. Their forthcoming Just Say No To The Psycho Right Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine looks unlikely to, by title alone, pull any punches. This weekend they will be playing an exclusive synth drone set on a stage hosted by Preston experimental electronica cassette label, Concrète Tapes.

On Friday the festival will kick-off with an ensemble of students from University of Central Lancaster, joined by members of Ex-Easter Island Head, performing Terry Riley‘s minimalist classic In C. In an exclusive UK performance Dutch rockers King Champion Sounds, featuring G.W. Sok of original-era post-punkists The Ex on vocals, will soundtrack the 1920s classic film, A Man With A Movie Camera.

Also playing on Friday are Clones, an alternative incarnation of Preston’s Evil Blizzard who will make their debut performance and Common Cold, a motorik-influenced psych-rock band formed by members of cult 90s Preston band Dandelion Adventure and Dave Chambers, once of Cornershop.

Vernal Equinox Preston

Sunday sees the festival shift in a more folk-oriented direction. Alongside their own pastoral prog-folk, Trembling Bells will additionally back Mike Heron in a celebration of the 60s acid-folk pioneers The Incredible String Band.

Acclaimed Scottish folk singer and one-time Will Oldham collaborator, Alasdair Roberts will introduce songs from his soon to be Drag City released LP. Joining Roberts on Sunday’s bill will be Americana duo Tricca McNiff and acid-folkers Dodson and Fogg.

In C Mali – Terry Riley and the theory of minimalism

Saturday sees a lower key line-up bolstered by a rare northern performance by Medway-based folk act Galley Beggar as well as folk-metal act Crumbling Ghost. Additionally Mark Whiteside of Evil Blizzard will perform a Saturday solo set under the name of One Sided Horse.

  • Vernal Equinox takes place at the Continental, Preston from Friday March 3 to Sunday March 5.

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