Secret Garden Party - 2009 Preview

Secret Garden Party Preview taking place in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire 23rd - 26th July 2009.

Secret Garden Party

Winner of best small festival (2008) the 'not for profit' Secret Garden Party has become renowned for its unique party atmosphere, with the festival goers - or 'Gardeners' - playing as big a part as any of the artists. Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Cambridge countryside and centred on a lake, the theme running through this year's festival is 'Eden and Babylon'. As well as music to suit every taste, there will be an array of weird and wonderful activities all with the aim of adding to the escapism of the party. Themed 'Action Camps', art installations, interactive sculptures, talks from music industry legends, art boats, fire breathers and Videopia - where you can star in your own movie - are just some of the activities planned. The good people at the SGP have even restored and decorated a traditional Cambridge punt to ferry people across the lake - it seems they've thought of everything. And of course there is the Magnificent Party Parade - this is the one festival where you're encouraged to wear your finest and funkiest clothes and fancy dress is all but obligatory!

Music-wise, the line up is as good as ever. Headlined by the Godfather of Indie, Jarvis Cocker the festival boasts names from almost every genre, including; Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Emiliana Torrini, The XX, Noah And The Whale, Dan Black, Mercury Music Prize nominee Speech Debelle, Peter Von Poehl and Cornelius.

As usual, there are too many to mention but here a bit of extra info on ten new bands that we here at think should not be missed:

Golden Silvers - Where The Wild Things Are, Saturday 10pm
Having played a number of festivals this summer and a support slot for Blur at their massive Hyde Park homecoming gig, the London three-piece have now been announced as headliners of the NME Radar tour this autumn. Their retro, theatrical piano and synth based sound, Gwilym Gold's silky vocals and their beautiful harmonies have won them an ever increasing fan-base. And if their debut album True Romance is anything to go by, these guys should definitely not be missed.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Where The Wild Things Are, Thursday 7pm
Ok, yes they are scarily young but they produce music of a quality that is far beyond their years. Since winning the 'Road To V' competition in 2006, these guys have caught the attention of fans and the industry alike and this month they're celebrating the release of their debut album - could things get any better? saw them nail their performance at Lovebox this weekend -with Jack Steadman's heart-felt vocals and their perfect guitar-based indie-pop, they deserve their success!

Detroit Social Club- Where The Wild Things Are, Saturday 9pm
This Newcastle six-piece have been dubbed 'the next Oasis' by some and with Dave Burn's Gallagher-esque vocals you can see why. But their bluesy riffs, heavy on distortion and their big bass beats produce a brilliantly dirty retro indie-rock sound. Having supported the likes of Primal Scream and Razorlight, they are bound to impress.

Kurran And The Wolfnotes - Where The Wild Things Are, Saturday, 3pm
A new band that lives up to the hype surrounding them! were impressed when we caught these guys at Camden's Lock Tavern recently. With the tidal wave of indie-folk saturating the market at the moment, Kurran And The Wolfnotes really stand out with their brilliant country-tinged alternative folk, distinctive hypnotic vocals and emotive lyrics.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Where The Wild Things Are, Sat/Sunday 1am
This Scandinavian 'collective' are fronted by Mette Lindberg and Lars Iversen. You may have heard their song Around The Bend on the Apple IPod touch advert. If so you'll know they produce up-beat, shimmering psychedelic-pop, and with Lindberg's unique kooky vocals and a big dose of funky soul, the result is brilliant.

The Do - The Great Stage, Saturday 2pm
This Finnish/French duo are a huge hit in France and their nu-European pop is bound to gain them some fans over here this summer. From lo-fi pretty melodies, to up-tempo pop with a bit of hip-hop thrown in, their sound is eclectic. And with witty, cutting lyrics and Olivia Merilahti's quirky vocals, they are bound to keep you hooked.

The Mummers - Where The Wild Things Are, Sunday, 9pm
This Brighton based 8-piece fronted by classically trained Raissa Khan-Panni are perfect for the Eden theme of the festival. Named after medieval performing troupes their complex classical arrangements of strings, synths and the odd brass addition combined with Khan-Panni's ethereal vocals produce brilliant orchestral pop.

Midimidis - The Remix Vs Ninja Tent, Friday 5.30pm
If it's inventive electro you're into, Reading boys the Midimidis will be right up your street. Marcus from the band describes himself as 'a boy who likes to make music of the future with bits of the past' and that's just about spot on. Their brilliant fusion of MIDI and 8 bit sounds, scuzzy guitars and witty lyrics led XFM's Eddie Temple-Morris to tip them as 'ones to watch' in 2009. Having experienced them live, thinks you should take his advice!

The Heavy - The Remix Vs Ninja Tent, Friday 7.45pm
This genre-busting indie-rock band, with their heavy R&B influence produce a dirty blend of guitar based hip-hop soul. Scratchy guitars, thumping drums and funky horns all topped off by Swaby's soulful broad ranging vocals; The Heavy will definitely make you sit up and listen.

The Qemists - The Remix Vs Ninja Tent, Sat/Sunday 1am
The Qemists manage to be a successful crossover band. They fuse indie-rock with drum and bass yet they don't overly dilute either. They've supported Enter Shikari and although they've been compared to Pendulum, they have their own identity; a bit more drum and bass and their energy and classic beats and breaks will hit you hard - not to be missed!

Tickets for The Secret Garden Party have now sold out but we'll be reporting back for those of you who can't make it, and for those of you who can - see you there!

Robyn Burrows

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