Farmfest 2017 is delighted to welcome George Evelyn, or Nightmares on Wax, as he’s far better known, back to the festival for a second headline stint behind the decks. His previous set in 2015 was a highlight of the weekend, and his soulful grooves,
His previous set in 2015 was a highlight of the weekend, and his soulful grooves, dubbed-out beats, and electronic infusions are guaranteed to bring a winning formula back to Bruton once again. Having first released debut album A Word of Science: The First and Final Chapter through WARP records in 1991, Nightmares on Wax is still going strong in the studio and rumors abound of yet more new material, following closely behind 2016’s Ground Floor. His collection of rich and rare records, alongside the ability to judge his set and crowd as well as any DJ, are sure to have just as positive an impact on the farm’s crowd this time out.
Away from the decks, but in no way less intriguing, is the prospect of London Astrobeat Orchestra Performing: Talking Heads. This unique collaboration of West African musicians, led by British bass player Edd Bateman, has been commissioned by The Jazz Café, London, and will see the band perform classic tracks from Talking Heads’ albums Remain in the Light and Speaking in Tongues – two timeless works with clear Afrobeat influence. These new renditions will offer a mix of translated African verses with the household choruses being sung (with the crowd, no doubt!) in English. The band’s dates at The Jazz Café sold out immediately and with no other dates planned, the promise of such seminal records being given a completely new and re-energized approach is of obvious appeal.
Also hitting the main stage, together with the full 6-member band, is Bristol’s much-loved and adopted son, Oliver Wilde. Described as "a Nick Drake for the 21st century", Wilde gained huge critical acclaim for 2013’s debut A Brief Introduction To Unnatural Lightyears, which was quickly followed up with 2014’s Red Tide Opal In The Loose End Womb, which again received high critical praise and reached an ever widening audience. With a distinctive lo-fi sound that melds folk, electronica, pop and indie, Wilde’s compositions, lyrics and hushed vocals have been crafted to an even finer degree on 2017’s beautiful Post-Frenz Container Buzz, an album that’s at times haunting, but which is always within touching distance of a lighter pop sweetness. This is sure to be a very special show.
Describing their music as Electro Arabic Dabke – or Shamstep – 47SOUL emerged from Amman, Jordan in 2013, and the four piece have been blasting their sounds and relentless dance throughout the Arabic and European underground ever since. Now based in Bilad-a-Sham, their sound, underpinned by classic, driving Arabic rhythm and beats, layers analog synthesizers, hypnotic guitar lines and powerful, soul-fuelled vocals from all four members, with lyrics that mix Arabic and English and call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality that’s evident throughout the world.
Also performing at Farmfest 2017 is British folk legend, Beans on Toast. Jay McAllister first emerged in 2005 from Braintree, Essex, and has since released 8 studio albums that offer a candid and personal view on all range of topics, including love, politics, and general disillusionment – but with a witty, fun and lightness of touch that make the stories he shares truly distinct. This promises to be an intimate and at times rousing affair.
Back on the decks at Farmfest 2017, founder of Tectonic records and all round Bristol Dubstep legend, Pinch, will be spinning his inimitable cuts of Reggae, world music and dub-tinged deep beats and experimentation in The Den, and Bristol based Shapes have announced Rhythm Sister as part of their takeover, a group of female only DJs that will present their playful mix of party sounds across a four hour session.
Over the coming months, further acts will continue to be announced for Farmfest, in addition to a full line-up of the comedy, theatrics and other creative crafts, plus all manner of other playful activities for folk young and old.