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Boomtown Fair 2015

6 August 15 words: Bridie Squires
We've got the rundown of what merry festival goers can expect from this year's fantastical romp in the depths of Matterley Bowl

Boomtown Fair is potentially the most magical place I’ve ever been in my life. Without a drop of psychedelic substance, you can trip balls for four days straight. It is an epic novel. It is the hazy line between fiction and reality. It is eyeball-explosion-inducing. No ordinary festival, Boomtown is split into several town districts and when I arrived a couple of years ago, there was no way I could have been ready for the crazy shit that ensued.

For example, on a fine day in Mayfair, we were toddling along, minding our own business, when we wandered into a mysterious building. As we entered, we were given plastic bowler hats, naturally. There were rows and rows of seats packed with people donning the hats, and in the middle stood a huge paddling pool, filled with jelly, where contestants duelled to steal their opponent’s underwear.

Reluctantly moving on, we caught a glimpse of Royal Gala in China Town and, suddenly, a group of ninjas came flying past doing backflips and generally causing mayhem. Later on in the evening, Downtown, after watching some motorbikes rim the Wall of Death, we were refused entry to Charlie Brown’s Casino. After iterating that “Hey man, c’mon, we know Charlie” we wangled access for a game of roulette, but were almost kicked out “for dancing far too funky”.

It just doesn’t end. A place where you can discover a whole new level to tomfoolery, with some of the best music in reggae, ska, gypsy, funk, and pretty much anything else that falls under that “bass music” arm. Here is a selection of a few badass people who are playing, in no particular order, from Nottingham and beyond…

Seas of Mirth
Nottingham Waterfront Festival regulars, anti-shanty bosses, fucking nutcases. If you want to get your swashbuckle on, be sure to catch these guys in Oldtown. Sharing a district line-up with the likes of purple-wearing Gogol Bordello, Invisible Circus Pirate Show, The Woohoo Revue, The Rubber Duck Orchestra and Gypsy Unit, it’s going to get ever-so-slightly crackers around these parts. Mixing their hilarious hollering with stomping beats, Seas of Mirth are bound to get you moonwalking the plank.

Tumble Audio
Over a year ago, Tumble began taking over The Bodega with full force, rattling the windows, the walls and the eyeball sockets of anyone who dared enter. After bringing grime, bassline, garage and UK funky back from the dead, they’ve extended their arm to Bristol, Sheffield, London and more. When I say these lot know how to chuck a party, I do not mess. Find them at the Job Centre, Leisure Centre and Mr Hung’s Laundry.

Adam Prescott
Signed to Reggae Roast, Nottingham lad and digital roots don, Adam Prescott has worked with everyone from Iration Steppas to Tippa Irie, reeling in the knowledge needed to keep decks singing real sweet reggae music. With a heavy amount of plays on Radio One, Rinse FM and backing from the don that is David Rodigan (also present), Prescott is a safe bet if you’re after some straight up roots reggae and dub woven into a spot of dubstep.

Sound system scallywags and some of Nottingham’s finest vibration providers. They’ve been treating our tabs to the best DJs in jungle, garage, bassline, house, dubstep and beyond since 2007 and they’re continuing their quest down in the land of Hampshire’s most crackers town. They’ve been all over the shop, booking the likes of Congo Natty, Bar 9, The Elementz and, recently, Kahn and Neek. Find the crewdem at the Tangled Roots stage and Mr Hung's Laundry, say ayup, and have a silly skank.

Moose Funk Squad
Okay, got no idea from what ends of the earth this crew hail from, but I do know that they rap about their extensive and well though-out diet which, let’s face it, is nothing short of YES. Funny bastards, clever wordsmiths, and funky hip hop dudes, Moose Funk Squad have got ties with Suspect Packages as well as Audio Danger and each individual crew member (there are six of them) has got an impressive musical story to tell. They’ll be knocking around down Barrio Loco.

Gentleman’s Dub Club
Festival favourites, kind sirs and fine fellows. Every time I’ve seen these geezers they’ve absolutely torn the sky off – the energy they bring is absolutely phenomenal. Whether you’re familiar with their fiddly, jazzy brass setup and anthemic chants of “If the truth be told, I’m a sucker for the high grade” or you’ve yet to be blessed, these dudes are a no brainer.

Kate Tempest
I caught Kate Tempest’s music gig at Rescue Rooms earlier on in the year and it was nothing short of mesmerising. Spoken word poet, rapper, playwright, the lady’s got her finger in many a pie. You can look forward to her inner city allegories over looming electronic beats and maybe even a cheeky a cappella section to boot. She’s got a voice that’ll hug your worries and spit “I feel it too.”

A proper reggae legend. Best known for his number one hit Notorious, you can catch the true Rastafarian in the 2007 documentary Rise Up talking about life and the underground music scene in Jamaica. If anyone knows his shit, it’s this guy. You’ll be able to catch him in Trenchtown, down at The Lion’s Den – a huge stage with fire sprouting from the top as well as the speakers.

Kurupt FM
If you’ve not yet seen People Just Do Nothing, switch on BBC3 and get involved. The Kurupt FM krew run a proper banging pirate radio station that kicks out the best in Brentford garage and drum ‘n’ bass. Prepare to piss your pants laughing at the same time as busting some of the most dirty screwfaces this life has seen. Make sure you get your trackies tucked into your socks and wear your best sovereign. Okay, hold tight, let’s go.

Funke and the Two Tone Baby
You might have caught him at the Malt Cross earlier this year. Apart from having an awesome artist name, this Kent lad smashes out multi-layered, bluesy Americana tunes that come fully equipped with looping harmonicas, stomping, beatboxing and a seriously shiny smile. Keeping the one-man band alive, it’s hard to believe that Mr Turnbull’s tunes are simply the sum of his parts. Maybe he’s got the rest of his tiny band stashed in his pocket.

Catch you down Charlie Brown's Casino, oh finest of chaps.


Boomtown Fair 2015 takes places in Hampshire from Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 August. Adult tickets from £155.

Boomtown Fair website

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