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Beach Break Live 2012: Day 3 Roundup

By on Friday, 29th June 2012 at 2:00 pm

Sunday at Beach Break Live 2012 provided solace from the rain at last, the sun reared its beautiful/overdue shining face midway through the morning and immediately it was time to hit the beach, for the first time.

The stage situated on the beach was a simple one, playing host to a variety of acoustic acts who all believed that they we going to all do an Ed Sheeran and become immensely popular. Sadly, the talent on show meant that if they were to do a Sheeran, it would take 100x as much luck as the ginger-haired ‘Lego House’ maker had.

The first highlight on the main stage were another TGTF favourite, Dry the River. While the audience may have just been using them as a bridging act before 90% of the crowds crush for Ben Howard, the Dry the River boys still knocked out a fantastic set, with astounding depth, especially from a band only 1 album old. ‘New Ceremony’ is an anthem soaring wildly above Pembrey, and on that track alone, it is easy to see why there is such a buzz about them in 2012. ‘No Rest’ was a joy to behold, and the boys left the stage with their heads held high. They’d won this fight. Onto bigger things, methinks!

One of the acts which everyone had been waiting in earnest for was up next. That “beautiful blonde man”, Ben Howard. Now, while I was told before how he had bullied a member of the crowd back at school for not paying attention, I watched on in amazement as from the first strum of his acoustic guitar he held crowds gaze with seemingly no effort.

Now while his set may have been cut short, meaning that the audience were starved of hit ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and popular fan favourite cover track ‘Call Me Maybe’, in the short set he was allowed, he pulled out all the stops to an audience who obviously held him in an extremely high regard. Track ‘The Wolves’ closed the set and with a casual howl, he left. I can’t say he won over anybody that day though, mainly because everyone around me knew every word and seemingly worshipped him. Screaming girls and all. Hardly Beatlemania, but Benmania seems like it’s taking off.

To help close the weekend, the English indie heavyweights the Maccabees strutted onstage. Now while their songs are brilliant, after the excitement and sense of unpredictability that Ben Howard created in his earlier set, the larger and more established Maccabees struggled to mirror it. Sure, the diehards at the front clung to every word, but by and large the audience were largely unreceptive to the band.

Friendly Fires were the final act of the weekend and with weights of expectations high, they delivered, with a cracking set covering both ‘Pala’ and their self-titled debut. ‘Hawaiian Air’ soared through the muggy Welsh breeze and their stylish, indie beats were the perfect end to a weekend of beer, dancing and fantastic music.


Beach Break Live 2012: Day 2 Roundup

By on Wednesday, 27th June 2012 at 2:00 pm

The rain continued into Day 2 of Beach Break Live, but the spirits were still high. Powering through torrid conditions is what us Brits do best. We used to venture into Wales all the time through awful conditions, steal a few of their women, then come straight back and we’d have the best of times. Ok ,maybe the 10th century is a little different, but still, there are similarities.

To start the day of pillaging-free fun off were TGTF favourites Brother and Bones who played the main stage for the 3rd year running, saying that “Beach Break had kind of become a bit of a home away from home”. Opening the set with the somewhat ironically titled ‘Here Comes the Storm’, they were met with a mass of shivering students, none too familiar with their music. Their set mixed in some oldies and some tracks which are being recorded for their new EP. (More on that later on our exclusive interview with the boys.) They closed their short set with heavy as hell ‘Don’t Forget to Pray’, which certainly had the rain-soaked audience headbanging along with the boys from Cornwall. While the reaction may not have been great, they were by far the highlight of the main stage acts early that day.

It was a while until the next notable act hit the stage. But when he did, my wordm it was worth it. Reeling from the success he has seen this year, Labrinth stormed the stage with a huge presence. The audience responded to his brilliant stage show and his array of hits. However, there was only one song which everyone was waiting for, and that was ‘Earthquake.’ Would it be too cheesy to say he caused an ‘Earthquake’? Verdict: he did.

To follow up was another artist who saw his stock rise over 2011, Wretch 32, whose set seemed a little more laboured than Labrinth’s. While it was a good mix of covers and established hits, it lacked something that the earlier act had. Still, in ‘Traktor’ he has a solid festival favourite, which had everybody in the agricultural spirit.

DJ Fresh was up next, with a set which carried on the mediocrity. When you’d watched Nero and Chase and Status the night before, it’s difficult to think how an artist with a repertoire pretty much as long as ‘Hot Right Now’ can stand up to them.

Finally on the Main Stage was the heavyweight of the festival, Dizzee Rascal. Bouncing on stage with masses of energy, he banged out the hits. From his old school ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ to his newest single ‘The Power’, during which he was joined on stage by DJ Fresh. By then, the atmosphere was jumping and people were going mad for Dizzee, hanging on every word and clawing their way to the front. That’s what Dizzee inspired. Closing the set with ‘Holiday’ and ‘Bonkers’, he left Pembrey as king of the site.


Beach Break Live 2012: Day 1 Roundup

By on Friday, 22nd June 2012 at 3:00 pm

Beach Break Live is in Wales, so I’m a fool to expect sun. But blissful optimism sometimes prevails in situations like this. However, THIS is not one of them. Day 1 at Beach Break Live 2012 started as it meant to go on. With some serious rain. Macs were donned and waterproof trousers put on in their thousands, before we ventured to the arena to see what the many stages and tents Pembrey had to offer.

First act of the day is an act that I became familiar with way back in 2006 at Guernsey’s very own Vale Earth Festival. Joe Driscoll is his name and catchy mix of beat driven, guitar rap is his game. However, since 2006, he has diversified and now tours with a man named Sekou Kouyate who has been quoted as saying of their collaboration: “He doesn’t speak any French, and I speak no English… but through music, we understand.” Their set is the perfect way to start of the day, with their signature track ‘New York’; stream it below. the crowd is eating out of the palm of their hands. Drinks are already flowing and what’s that? Young boys (possibly under the influence of LSD) are skanking at the front of the crowd. We have a winner here and it’s only 12:00 midday.

Clement Marfo and the Frontline are on the main stage next, so it’s a mad rush over to catch them and if any words to describe them were more apt, it’s ‘Mad Rush’. They storm the stage with a short set that has the crowd moving; with the rain falling and it being so early, such a great performance was a surprise to see.

Later on the main stage we have Delilah, who tried to warm the crowd up with some of her slow-burners. The crowd, though, were having none of it! They wanted something to move to, to jump around too. Sadly this wasn’t to come until the end of set with ‘Go’. But her set wasn’t exactly one of the biggest to look forward to, as there were some serious heavyweights on afterwards.

These first came in the shape of the fantastic Maverick Sabre, whose truly unique voice had the crowd being really receptive. The draw of the England vs. Sweden match wasn’t enough for some people as he amassed a serious crowd at the Dell main Stage. Hit ‘Let Me Go’ was saved until last and was performed with the energy you come to expect from a young performer in the prime of his career.

To finish up on the Main Stage were drum ‘n’ bass heavyweights Chase and Status (pictured at top). Or as I see them that band who started off a bit like Pendulum then became better and wrote better songs. What the crowd wanted wasn’t a set promoting a new album or a new direction. No they wanted a set jam packed with the big hitters and that is exactly what they got. From ‘Let Me Go’, to ‘Pieces’ every single charted track Chase and Status had was played.

It wasn’t your signature drum and bass set though, with a DJ and a hype man. Chase regularly donned a guitar and played like the rock stars they are starting to become. Special appearances from Delilah only added a bit of sheen to the already impressive set. By then, the crowd had already swelled to the largest of the day. And for good reason: Chase and Status well and truly smashed it.

But at Beach Break, the fun doesn’t start when the Main Stage closes. Nero were in the Merlin’s Forest tent, with a stage show to rival contemporaries like Daft Punk. The set did feel very like it could have been the French duo’s, with two DJs acting almost like robots. But they pumped the hits out with some ferocity and worked the crowd up to a serious frenzy.

As an end to the day though, there was nothing better.


Update: Beach Break Live 2012

By on Wednesday, 18th April 2012 at 6:30 pm

It’s looking like South Wales is heating up for this summer. No, you haven’t heard wrong, I’m talking about Beach Break Live and their newest announcement of bands.

The line-up for the seaside smash-up already looked pretty tasty and now look what they have done. They’ve only just gone and made all the more amazing and added the freakin’ Maccabees (pictured above), Dry the River (Bands to Watch here) and Eats Everything. These bands are joining the already formidable talents of Friendly Fires, Dizzee Rascal, Chase and Status and TGTF favourites Brother and Bones and Ben Howard (Bands to Watch here).

One thing is for sure, if you are looking for a good time after your exams, or looking for a blowout at the beginning of summer, then Beach Break Live is the place to go. Tickets are still left at full price and in my humblest of humble opinions should be snapped up. With an eclectic mix of dance/dubstep and old school rock ‘n’ roll, Beach Break is going to be the perfect way to kick off another bumper festival season.

You must be at least 18 years of age to take part. Early bird tickets are sold out, but regular student tickets (if you are either a current student or just graduated student) are £109 plus a booking fee. Non-student tickets are £129 plus a booking fee and are for “anybody who has not studied within an institute of “higher” or “further” education or has graduated more than 3 years prior to the 2012 event”. It’s a little confusing even to us, so we encourage you to read more information, including whether you are buying your tickets through a “rep” or not, on the official Beach Break Live Web site.



Preview: Beach Break Live 2012

By on Thursday, 23rd February 2012 at 9:00 am

Beach Break Live, now in its sixth year, has announced their line-up for their summer 2012 soiree. Billed as “the much loved UK student festival” (really, what better environment can you have to celebrate the end of the school year, the summer and great music than an actual beach?) and boasting sales of over 20,000 tickets in past years, this year’s event will take place the 14th to the 18th of June in Pembrey Country Park. The headliners will be Chase and Status (live) (Friday the 15th), Dizzee Rascal (Saturday the 16th) and one of our personal favourites here at TGTF, Friendly Fires (pictured above, to perform on Sunday the 17th). We would also recommend Nero (Friday), Brother and Bones and the Whip (Saturday) and Dry the River (Sunday) as those not to miss.

You must be at least 18 years of age to take part. Early bird tickets are sold out, but regular student tickets (if you are either a current student or just graduated student) are £109 plus a booking fee. Non-student tickets are £129 plus a booking fee and are for “anybody who has not studied within an institute of “higher” or “further” education or has graduated more than 3 years prior to the 2012 event”. It’s a little confusing even to me, so I encourage you to read more information, including whether you are buying your tickets through a “rep” or not, on the official Beach Break Live Web site.


After the cut: the weekend line-up as of 21 February 2012.
Continue reading Preview: Beach Break Live 2012


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