27 August 2007
Attitude is Everything at Liberty 2007
Grae Wall tells Joe about what is in store at Attitude is Everything's music zone at this year's Liberty Festival (1st September 2007).
Founded 7 years ago by disability arts visionary Suzanne Bull of Artsline, Attitude is Everything has been working with leading music venues, clubs and festivals trying to improve access. Attitude is in charge of the music at this year's Liberty Festival (September 1st in Trafalgar Square), so I asked AIE's Grae Wall a few questions about the project and about the forthcoming festival.
What's happening at Attitude these days?
It's still very much there, but we're not working with a regular venue at the moment - the idea was to move around a bit for a while and try some new venues and collaborations, so this year we've done one at Cargo, and 2 specials, one as part of VisAbility Festival in Camden and another as part of the Great Escape Festival in Brighton. We've also done a few of our Attitude on the Decks nights at The Big Chill Bar, but the venue moved the DJ booth earlier in the year making it far less accessible, so we're waiting for them to re-adjust there before we return (which is hopefully happening very soon). The other guys (Suz and Graham) are always away a lot working with the major festivals over the summer, so the club always takes a bit of a break 'til the autumn. We're hoping to get one in at The Spitz before it goes (which is a huge shame). We ran our first regular Club Attitude at The Spitz and have very fond memories of some pretty wild night there! There's a few other potential collaborations and venues that we want to try out, so really it's a case of watch this space - or indeed these spaces…
Attitude's role at Liberty Festival?
Well as you may have heard, this year's Liberty is a new format, with different themed zones covering comedy cabaret, carnival, film etc and each zone is being curated by a different individual or organisation. Attitude have been asked to curate the Music and Dance zone, which obviously makes some sense as we have a pretty good overview of what's going on in that field. It's an exciting opportunity and something we've wanted to get more involved in for a while, as it's such a good showcasing opportunity and always a fun, positive and uplifting day. Most years I bring my 7 year old daughter along who loves it, but this year she'll have to come along with her mum as I'll be a bit busier!
Can you tell us something about the musicians and djs?
Well I've given you a bit about each below, and I would say that in their own rights each is both accomplished and great live! As a package we were asked to come up with something that was positive and uplifting, and I think given that brief it would have been feasible to come up with something a bit twee, which we've avoided quite passionately!
“Rolling bass lines, razor sharp breaks and sinister vocal samples are all trademarks of Drum & Bass and there's plenty of that here. DJ Void really has a grasp of the scene he's trying to break into. His mixing is impeccable and his choice of tracks really works well” (Music Industry Connections). Back in 1996, DJ Void first experienced Drum & Bass through the New Horizons events whilst at University in Hull. Getting decks in 1998, he hasn't looked back since. DJ Void regularly produces his own radio shows and has featured at high profile festivals and club nights as well as being featured on Radio 1.
Xtreme Link: Rappers from Islington's Wildbunch posse
The Wildbunch is a north London club night run by people with learning difficulties supported by The Elfrida Society. Xtreme Link meld Hip-Hop, R 'n' B and Reggae styles into their captivating, uplifting and soulful performances.
It was whilst putting the finishing touches to Songs for the Dying that Haydon was introduced to Matt Brombley, Ben Lewis and Aaron Lewis and during the rehearsals and gigs that followed it became clear that the songs recorded in the studio were starting to come alive in a totally new way. The sound was rockier and punchier than ever, and there was a new energy and raw passion in the bands live sound. It is now, as 4 piece band, that FreeSlave are playing to an increasingly-large audience - playing gigs and festivals all across the UK and Ireland. With radio and TV appearances already under their belt, and increasingly high profile gigs lined up, the future looks bright for FreeSlave...
UK punk band with members with and without learning disabilities. Heavyload are Brighton's answer to The Ramones, a punk outfit subject to the combustible flux of ego, ambition, fantasy, expectation and desire that fuels any emerging band. But they're also uniquely, made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities. Over the last 10 years they have managed to survive through their combination of raucous energy, attitude and sheer volume but now they are about to hit the big time with a feature length documentary being made about their journey from social care to stardom, and back again, and their mission to demonstrate that disability rocks. There are few genres left in music that have yet to be defined. Heavyload have unwittingly created a brand new one.
In between acts, DJs Richard West and Blind Bling will take to the decks to soundtrack the ensuing festival with a mix of funk, soul, pop and R 'n' B. Both DJs are Attitude on the Decks regulars but are renowned far and wide for lifting the party and raising the temperature!
Is Liberty significantly different this year?
I guess I've covered this earlier - the zoning is the new feature. I think it's quite a brave move as could have thrown up some real logistical problems and obviously involves a lot more cross-communication. but I'm hopeful that it should work really well - there'll be less temptation to sit and just watch the central stage and more encouragement to explore a bit.
Attitude: Coming soon ...
What's coming up with Attitude in the coming 12 months or so?
As I mentioned we have a few ideas for different venues and collaborations. Attitude is Everything is going through a fairly major transitional stage at the moment, but we don't want to let that get in the way of being out there doing stuff and hopefully making something of a difference. As promoter of Club Attitude, what's always exciting for me is hearing new stuff and thinking “that's great, we've gotta book them!” I've just recently had a CD through from Sound Minds with some excellent stuff on and that sets you thinking about where might be a good place to put some of these acts on, and other bands that might work well with them. It's been great to see a band like The Myster Jets - who we programmed pretty early on in their ascendancy - just go from strength to strength, and obviously we hope to see more of the acts we promote succeed on their own terms. Also it's about getting out there beyond London and we'll be looking at further collaborations around the country for sure.
Attitude is Everything Music Zone at Liberty 2007
1.00 pm, Chilled Drum 'n' Bass from DJ Void
1.30 pm, Soul funk and disco beats from Blind Bling
2.00 pm, Passionate alt-rock from hotly tipped Freeslave
2.30 pm, Pop and R 'n' B from Richard West
3.15 pm, Islington's finest Hip-Hop crew Xtreme Link
4.00 pm, Blind Bling
4.30 pm, Positive punk energy from Brighton's Heavy Load
5.00 pm, Richard West
Attitude is Everything Project Manager (except Thursdays)
Tel: 020 7388 2227
Fax: 020 7383 2653
Attitude is Everything Business Manager Graham Griffiths
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - (Mon - Thurs)
Attitude is Everything Regional Development Officer: Alice Friedl-Harris
Email: email@example.com - (Weds - Fri)
Attitude is Everything Summer Festival Co-ordinator: Gideon Feldman
Attitude is Everything c/o Artsline
54 Chalton Street