KT Tunstall, Big Country, Billy Bragg and a host of other acts announced todaySolfest have announced the first wave of headline bookings for the 2012 festival. Solfest has endeavoured to compile a richly varied and superb line-up that includes both the contemporary and the classic of the music world and runs that gamut from rock to roots and folk to dance. Whatever your particular musical taste Solfest 2012 has something guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Leading the way is the truly legendary Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad And The Lovely Posse. Originally one of the cult icons of UK punk rock, Adam And The Ants built a fiercely loyal following in the late 70s before bursting into the mainstream with the tribal pop of ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ in the early 80s. In the following few years, with Number One hits coming thick and fast in the shape of ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Stand And Deliver’, ‘Ant Rap’, ‘Goody Two Shoes’, Adam Ant became a household name. A period as a solo artist, Video DJ on the fledgling MTV, working with acclaimed producer Tony Visconti, and acting dominated his career for the next few decades, while his 2006 autobiography Stand & Deliver revealed his battles with mental health issues.
Adam was presented with the Q magazine Icon award in 2008, previously bestowed by the respected British music magazine to Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney and Marianne Faithfull.Culminating in a series of low-key London gigs with new backing band The Good, The Mad And The Lovely Posse in 2010, these last few years have seen Adam busier than ever.
Last year’s national tour saw Adam & The Good, The Mad And The Lovely Posse delight and entertain at sell-out shows throughout the UK with Adam displaying all the craft, showmanship and charisma that had originally built his reputation.
KT Tunstall will be bringing her distinctive and unique approach to contemporary singer-songwriting delivered in a stripped backed solo version with effects pedals multi-tracking her vocal. The Scottish performer broke through into the mainstream after a magnificent performance of her own ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’ on Later…With Jools Holland in 2004. The former busker has since found herself charting throughout Europe, winning a BRIT Award, had a Grammy Award nomination and has also been the recipient of an Ivor Novello Award. All KT’s albums to date have gained her platinum or gold discs, and unusually for a UK singer, charted in the USA too.
Post-punk legends Big Country emerged from Scotland in the early 80s with one of the most distinctive rock sounds to have ever surfaced. The unmistakable Celtic rock sound of Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson's dual guitars and Tony Butler's and Mark Brzezicki's driving rhythm section evoked epic landscapes and, aided by a series of hugely memorable singles which took them to the top of the UK charts. Classic singles such as 'In A Big Country', 'Chance', 'Wonderland', 'Look Away' and 'King Of Emotion' and gold and platinum albums The Crossing, Steeltown, The Seer and Peace In Our Time helped Big Country establish themselves as one of the biggest- selling British acts of the 80s.
Approaching their 30th anniversary, the band have not only embraced their illustrious past when peforming at last year’s Isle of Wight festival, T In The Park and V Festivals but also honoured the life and times of original lead singer, guitarist and co-founder Stuart Adamson, who passed away so tragically in 2001. Taking on the role of lead singer is Mike Peters of fellow Celtic rockers The Alarm and Jamie Watson (son of Bruce) also on guitar, continuing the twin guitar feature the band were known for.
After twenty years, ten studio albums, five greatest hits compilations, thirty-four chart singles, fifteen million record sales worldwide and performing in front of millions of fans, when time was called on The Beautiful South in 2008, not everyone was ready to leave the party. Dave Hemingway and Ali Wheeler, lead singers with the band – along with departed songwriter Paul Heaton – were having too much fun to get out the pipe and slippers, and so The South was formed.
Joining the duo were fellow mainstays from the original band: keyboard wizard Damon Butcher and the potent horn section of Gaz Birtles and Tony Robinson that brought so much to the live shows. Armed with a sensational back catalogue of hits such as ‘Song For Whoever’, ‘Perfect Ten’, ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Don’t Marry Her’, ‘You Keep It All In’, ‘Old Red Eyes Is Back’ and many others, The South have continued to delight their original fan base and attract many others with their stunning live shows.
Known affectionately as The Bard of Barking, Billy Bragg has been a permanent fixture on the music scene since his debut release, Life's a Riot with Spy Vs. Spy was released in 1983. Bragg has produced memorable hit singles like ‘Between The Wars’ and ‘Sexuality’ and penned ‘A New England’- a hit for the late Kirsty MacColl. He has also worked with American act Wilco on a project covering American musical legend Woody Guthrie and explored musical avenues that have seen him perform ska, punk and English folk music. Billy Bragg has never been a performer afraid to take chances. He also remains one of the UK’s most outspoken political songwriters with racism, sexism, corruption and most recently, the banks, all falling victim to his spiky lyrical barbs.
Seth Lakeman is a contemporary folk tour de force. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer who as well as being nominated for a Mercury Prize for his second album Kitty Jay in 2004 has toured with The Levellers, Jethro Tull and Jools Holland. Lakeman has continued to enjoy chart success for each consecutive album including his most recent Tales From The Barrel House.
The Bootleg Beatles are widely regarded as the best and most authentic Beatles tribute act in the UK. Since their formation in 1980 they have performed an incredible 4000+ live shows, presenting the entire musical time span of the original Beatles’ career. Summer 2012 marks the fifty-fifth anniversary of the day when John Lennon met Paul McCartney and the world of music changed forever.
Also appearing on the main stage are UK world music and dance fusion pioneers Transglobal Underground, America folk and bluegrass act Larkin Poe, Duke Spirit – the incendiary UK rock act led by the distinctive voice of Liela Moss, and Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – the UK-based Australian singer-songwriter and her in-demand band.
Tickets go onsale 2nd April