We Out Here Festival celebrates the history of UK club culture


We Out Here Festival

Giles Peterson’s We Out Here Festival offers a breath of fresh air to the UK’s festival season; Getintothis’ Sinead Nunes has the details.

Launching another new festival in the UK is a gamble; there are more music galas popping up every day, and some cities (our own included) are suffering from an overload, maybe a touch of festival fatigue.

Not so in Cambridgeshire. Gilles Peterson’s newest venture We Out Here (15 – 18 August) promises something  a ‘worldwide family gathering’. “Joining the musical dots between soul, hip hop, house, afro, electronica, jazz and beyond” (the website enthuses), the festival’s line up is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the usual touring giants and tired-looking programmes.

Featuring some of the UK’s hottest acts, the main selling point of the festival is the refreshing mix of genres – and generations – of musicians and artists involved, probably to be expected from the 6Music DJ’s trademark taste for jazz, soul and house music.

Shabaka Hutchings, The Comet is Coming and Sons of Kemet top the bill, and the jazz theme continues with the likes of Nubya Garcia, Yasmin Lacey and Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids over the four day fiesta.

Lee Fields and The Expressions’ blend of Brooklyn Soul promises the blissed out summery vibes festival punters are chasing, whilst Skinny Pelembe’s Afro Psychedelic Soul and London’s Afrobeat 7 piece (and brilliantly gender balanced) KOKOROKO offer a youthful perspective on the soul-infused genre of the moment.

Also on the bill are A Man Called Adam, whose new album Farmarama is one of the year’s very finest.

Peterson heads a bill of strong DJ talent, curated by club partners including Liverpool’s No Fakin’ and Leeds’ Cosmic Slop promoters, likely why local group NuTribe are billed on the ‘introducing’ stage.

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Dance giants Mr Scruff and Objekt boast support from a who’s who of new and underground DJs including some of local tastemaker’s SisBis’ recent collaborations; Carista, Donna Leake and SNO have recently played to sold out shows at 24 Kitchen Street, whilst HAAi has been making waves across NTS radio and beyond.

Other electronic acts to watch out for include Tirzah and highlife / Afro-futurist trailblazer Auntie Flo, whose closing party set at Sefton Park Playhouse was a fitting end to last year’s LIMF.

We Out Here describe their event as ‘4 nights of DJ programming that celebrates the history of UK club culture‘.  Personally, we think it’s even more than that.

Here are our ones to watch:

Elsa Hewitt. Photo from Artist’s Facebook page.

Elsa Hewitt
Beautiful album artwork aside, Elsa is one of the festival’s ‘Future Bubblers’ (the equivalent to BBC’s Introducing Stage). Her ambient, spaced out and somehow very feminine-sounding avant garde electronica is catchy – but definitely not pop (as her Facebook page asserts).

Skinny Pelembe.  Photo from Artist’s Facebook page.

Skinny Pelembe
The Johannesburg-born and Doncaster-raised ‘quadruple threat’, whose debut album Dreaming is Dead Now is released on 24 May, is one of the most interesting artists on the rise. Think Afrofuturism meets laid back electronica, with the easy cool of Sudan Archives. Producer, singer, guitarist and MC, this artist has it all.

Dea Barandana.  Photo from Artist’s Facebook page.

Dea Baradana
Gilles Peterson has been bigging this guy up since he saw him on a beach in Bali in 2015, and his inarguably happy blend of island disco, upbeat electronics, house and percussive dance is something that would people dancing at any summer festival. Hailing from Indonesia, Dea describes his DJ style as “tropical and ecstatic“. Count us in.


Nubya Garcia.  Photo from Artist’s Facebook page.

Nubya Garcia
Although firmly on the radar for a lot of jazz fans, the London-based saxophonist and composer is yet to release her debut album.  2 EPs in, and she’s collaborated with the likes of DJ Yoda, Swindle (No More Normal) and rapper/producer/singer Louis VI, Garcia is one of the bright young faces of the UK music scene.

Performing Live
Gary Bartz feat. Dwight Tribe & Saul Williams • Matthew Herbert’s Big Band • Tirzah • The Comet Is Coming • Mala & The Outlook Orchestra • Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids • Zara McFarlane • Sons of Kemet • Lee Fields & The Expressions • Nubya Garcia • Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra • Kojey Radical • KOKOROKO • Steam Down • Hailu Mergia • A Certain Ratio • MXMJoY • Moses Boyd Exodus • Children of Zeus • Yazmin Lacey • Kaidi Tatham • Theon Cross Fyah • Joe Armon-Jones • Maisha • Auntie Flo • Skinny PelembeTawiah • Alabaster dePlume • Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet feat. Urszula Dudziak • Blue Lab Beats • Connie Constance • Rosie Lowe • Charlotte Adigery • Ishmael Ensemble • Leifur James • Hejira • Gerry Read • A Man Called Adam • Ben Hayes • Laura Misch • Emma Jean Thackry • Lunch Money • Ill Considered • Celeste • Amythyst Kiah • Arlo Parks • Tony Njoku • Lovescene • Taz Modi • Collocutor • Makadem • Tamar Collocutor & Wojtek Mazolewski • Silentjay • Kuzich • Alien • Dufresne • Horatio Luna • Ella Haber • Isaac Birituro & The Rail Abandon • Dele Sosimi x Medlar

DJ Sets From
Theo Parrish • Francois K • Gilles Peterson • Mr Scruff • Objekt • Call Super • Mike Dunn • HAAi • Nu Guinnea (DJ/Live Keys) • Josey Rebelle • Whities – Tasker b2b Minor Science • Benji B • Skee Mask • Colin Curtis • Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy • Patrick Forge • Kev Beadle • Alexander Nut • Tenderlonious • Bradley Zero • DJ JNETT • Mafalda • Awesome Tapes From Africa • Carista • Lefto • Donna Leake • Channel One • Dennis Bovell • Adrian Sherwood & Horace Andy • Marc Mac (4Hero) • IG Culture • Kaidi Tatham • Alex Phountzi • Shy One • Tash LC • DJ Die & Addison Groove • Planet V & Friends feat. Jumping Jack Frost • Bryan Gee • Randall • Krust & Dynamite MC • The Unabombers • Chris Duckenfield • DJ Paulette • Velvet Season & The Hearts of Gold • Chris Massey • Andrew Ashong • Errol & Alex Rota (Touching Bass) • Global Roots • SNO • Zakia • Ruby Kwasiba Savage • Rebecca Vasmant • Gilla • Lex Blondin • Trout • Dea Barandana • Erica – The Electric Cave • TSHA • Nonsense – Benny Blanco, Judah, Femi • Pete On the Corner • Hugo LX • Kassian • Nancy Noise • Danuka • Cedric Woo (Beauty & The Beat) • The Mighty Zaf • Aneesh (Brilliant Corners) • Eliphino • Robert Luis (Tru Thoughts) • Jeremy Spellacey • Crown Ruler Sound System • Lori • Jamie Bennett • Miche • Krysko • Dom Servini • Scrimshire • Joe Muggs • Matt Triggs • Il Bosco • Martin Brew • Darren Laws • Kwasi • Summer House feat. Dr. Bob Jones • Neil Pierce • Miloe • Pauly C • Blackwax • Adi Allen • Aaron L • Harri Pepper • Peachy • Rosie Ama • Tim Garcia

Live: Nashe xx • Mali Hayes • Nutribe • Elsa Hewitt • Shunaji • Broadstrokes • Kayla Painter • Ayy • DJ:Congi • Medikul & R.Lyle