Returning after a fallow year, Wakefield’s Long Division Festival returns with a lineup that’s nothing short of absolutely killer. Remarkably, 90% of the shows on offer at the multi-venue cosmopolitan event can be accessed by a free ticket. The range of venues has expanded significantly, and now includes Wakefield Cathedral, which will be hosting a headline slot from Billy Bragg, along with King Creosote, Charlotte Hatherley, and Marnie of Ladytron renown– as well as one of our top recommendations, Thomas Ragsdale of worriedaboutsatan.
There’s an exciting blend of established and up-and-coming acts – The Membranes stand out as one of the must-see acts from the old guard, and if Jon Robb’s outfit are even half as good as they were when they played the festival in 2016.
The Hop – newly refurbished – makes a welcome to the venue listings, and is hosting a really strong lineup, including WH faves Bearfoot Beware, along with shoegaze merchants Colour of Spring – who we’d also recommend – as well as Shatner’s Bassoon, for the name alone.
Plotting a day’s itinerary is likely to be a challenge with so much on offer on just one day. The website’s schedule and clashfinder will help to an extent, but to witness the best of the best will probably involve a lot of legwork between venues, and, ideally, instant cloning. The rest of our recommendations are as follows:
Cud – because… Cud!
Evil Blizzard – masked perpetrators of mass-bass racket play ahead of the launch of their album ‘The Worst Show on Earth’ and threaten appropriate mayhem.
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Fizzy Blood – The Leeds-based grunge-orientated foursome have evolved to be a total riff-based powerhouse of a live act, and having absolutely killed it at Live at Leeds, their return to Long Division is a welcome one.
Napoleon IIIrd – Still innovative, still weird, still unique.
PeanessPatriarchy-smashing indie-pop punk rock pundemoneum! Or something. With lovely harmonies.
Team Picture – Retro-futurist post-punk with dual vocals and motorik rhythms. What more do you need?
The expansion of the festival to feature poetry and spoken word is refreshing, and there are some quality performers on the bill (a number of whom I’m pleased to have virtual connections with and /or seen / performed alongside). Among them, top tips are Genevieve Walsh / Simon Widdop / Toria Garbutt / Gemma Baker who will be performing at Neon Workshops throughout the day.
There are family-friendly storytelling sessions, too, and in its new incarnation, Long Division looks like being one of the most diverse, inclusive, and accessible events on the calendar so far for 2018.
For info, tickets, and more go to Long Division Festival