Festival Too is celebrating its 31st year of free music and entertainment in Lynn.
And as well as the headline acts such as Odyssey and The Vamps (on Friday and Saturday respectively), the organising committee have organised another special “Lazy Sunday” into this year’s programme with, for the first time, BBC Introducing.
Radio One’s Sophie Little will be hosting the show on Sunday afternoon and this event is supported by Twisted Melon and is in association with Armed Forces Day.
The action will take place on the Tuesday Market Place starting at noon and will offer a laid-back family atmosphere with a variety of easy listening music, including Rebelation, Kingdom Keys, Jake Morrell, Lynn Concert Band and a host of supporting acts.
People will be able to relax in deck chairs and it will be simply perfect for a Sunday afternoon chill out.
Added attractions on “Lazy Sunday” will be the Air Raid shelters underneath the Tuesday Market Place which will be open for you to view. Bridge for Heroes will be dressed as air raid wardens to show people round this historic attraction during the afternoon.
The awesome 1,000mph Bloodhound world land speed record car will be on show, thanks to Swains PLC Voice and Data Solutions.
Street entertainers will also be out and about in the town centre and a variety of stalls will be open in the square.
In this article, JON SEYMOUR gives a preview of the stage entertainment:
Festival Too has been going for over 30 years, and has seen a lot of acts through that time. Having only been a resident in King’s Lynn for under half that time, I haven’t seen as many as most. One of the things I like most though, is that as well as the big acts, it’s a showcase for local musicians.
Last year saw the inaugural “Lazy Sunday” which despite the bad weather, was well turned out. This year’s is bigger and better though, with a whole host of local bands playing on a “BBC Introducing” stage. The event is running in association with Armed Forces Day, with Twisted Melon Promotions arranging the music side of things. As well as the music, there are of course a number of other things going on.
Headlining the show are nine-piece reggae/ska band Rebelation, and I recently spoke with guitarist and vocalist Tony Devenish, who incidentally had just finished doing some gardening when he picked up the phone. How’s that for rock and roll?
The first thing to ask of course, was his thoughts on getting to play at Festival Too. He said: “We’re really looking forward to it as we haven’t played anywhere in King’s Lynn for quite some time, so this is like a homecoming show of sorts. We originated in Lynn and although there have been many line-up changes over the years, we still class ourselves as a local band.”
They are a large group though, and only a few of the members are living in Norfolk these days, but their roots are firmly planted here. I asked him for a little history of the band too. “We formed in 1994 so we’ve been going some 22 years now. We’ve put out several albums, and we’ve grown musically. The last album ‘Arise,’ which came out in 2014 was probably the first album we’ve put out that I’m still happy with. On our earlier releases I’d go back and listen to it, wishing we’d done a few things differently here and there. With ‘Arise’ I don’t feel that way at all.”
Rebelation have toured extensively throughout their career, and Tony explains: “We’ve toured everywhere we could. There was a time when we were playing more shows outside of the UK than we were in. We’re quite lucky that the reggae/ska scene has never really gone out of fashion. Saying that though, it’s never really been in fashion either. There are a lot of die-hard fans though, and it’s got almost a cult status and as long as people want to come and see us we’ll keep playing shows.”
The music industry has changed a lot in the past years though, and while some bands adapt to the changes, many others just fall by the wayside. How have Rebelation evolved? “The days of big investments by labels have gone, and with the advances in technology it’s made music more accessible. Digital seems to be the way to go, although there’s a big resurgence in vinyl these days too. The big corporations have less control over the music scene in general, and there are a lot of independent labels around too. There are also tools and software available that means band members no longer have to be in the same room to write together. It’s made things a lot easier for smaller bands to get their music out there.”
Tony and the rest of the band will be on stage late Sunday afternoon, but be sure to catch the other acts too. King’s Lynn Concert Band will be kicking things off at mid-day, followed by highest place acoustic act from this year’s Battle of the Bands, Simon Benefer. Following on from that will be Jamie Moon who said: “I left Norfolk for Nottingham around 8 years ago, and I remember watching the Bootleg Beatles at Festival Too with my family. This will be my first time playing in King’s Lynn, and I can’t wait to play Festival Too with my own band.”
Killamonjambo will also be hitting the stage with their mix of funk, rock, ska and skank. They’re a high energy band, and a lot of fun to watch. Returning to Festival Too is Jake Morrell who played back in 2014. Always a fan favourite, and never a disappointment he’s been enjoying a lot of airtime on BBC Radio of late. Also returning are Kingdom Keys, who played last year to critical acclaim. I managed to grab a few minutes with a some of them too.
Sam Cook has been working on producing the band’s EP which was recently reviewed in the Lynn News and he was very short and to the point. “I’ve never worked harder on anything” he says.
Danny De Ara is excited about the EP too “Performing these songs live for our first year as a band gave us the chance to look at the dynamics and refine them in the studio to achieve a product we’re all really proud to share with everyone.”
Jay Harrison is probably one of the most gifted talkers I’ve ever met, and he’s usually got a lot to say: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be asked back to play on the Festival Too stage this year, especially as part of a Sunday line up boasting the very best in local talent. We knew we had to up our game after last year’s performance to a packed Tuesday Market place and to release ‘Beyond What You See’ here will really up the ante for us. It marks a long and hard year for Kingdom Keys, this EP being the most ambitious project we have all entered into, but the rewards are of an equally high calibre.
I don’t think we could be more proud of how this has turned out and honestly can’t wait for it to be in the public domain. Festival Too offers a unique opportunity to extend your fan base and with the songs on this release, as well as some new material to debut on the day, this promises to be another incredible milestone for Kingdom Keys. Check out the review from Jon Seymour now and grab your copy on the day [Sunday 3rd July] for only £5. See you soon Festival Too.”
Finally, it was down to Triston Finnis from Twisted Melon to add a few words about the Sunday event, and he said: “We’ve worked really hard this year to bring the people of West Norfolk a slightly different take on Festival Too. The acts may not be household names but are every bit as talented at the act appearing on TV. These are the best young and established artists from our area. They are far from amateur acts having toured all over Europe and performed at the likes of Glastonbury Festival. I’m very thankful to Festival Too for giving Twisted Melon the opportunity to put together this line up and am honoured that BBC Introducing are working with us to host the stage.”
So there we are, a great many reasons to come down and see some of the best acts the area has to offer. See you there!