Long Division Launch: Unity Works, Wakefield

All Long Division veterans will tell you that the next best thing to the festival itself is the tantalising build up to the event. After months of speculation, and the promoter’s hands held way too to their chests, tonight was the night that the punters would get their first glimpse of the line-up. To launch the event two of Wakefield’s favourite bands were on hand to bookend the announcements.

First up were Leeds own Post War Glamour Girls playing a stripped-back set while Drummer, Ben Clyde, was out of the country. Playing tracks from their increasingly impressive back catalogue it was pleasing to see that the strength of their songs is not diminished by the new treatment necessitated by the absence of percussion. They were charming, warm and affable and treated us to a bunch of songs that seem to grow every time I hear them. As part of their performance they presented us with two treats which started the buzz that infected the rest of the night. Firstly they signed off the set with a rendition of Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” that would have had Robert Wyatt nodding in approval. Lastly they announced that on the Sunday of the Long Division Festival they would be giving a live performance, recorded and mixed live to tape, from St Austin’s Church in Wakefield on Sunday 12th June as part of the Festival. The band will be joined by Morgan Tatchell-Evans on electric piano and Rob Slater on electric guitar and percussion. The amazing Greenmount Studios will be on hand to press the record button.

Next up was festival Director Dean Freeman to announce around 40 of the bands who will perform at Long Division 2016, more of which at the end of this review (we had to wait so long it seems only fair that you should share a little of our pain).

Man Made took the stage to a raucous Wakefield welcome. They have played the Merrie City three times in the last year or so and have always gone down a storm. They cited Long Division 2015 as their favourite festival of last year and are, for my money at least, the best rising band on the circuit.

On stage this inspired three-piece make a blissful pop noise. They are tight as a drum, and head troubadour Nile Marr is an unfeasibly talented songwriter. The songs are perfectly crafted and the live experience is simply joyous.

The gig was a mixture of early tracks – Carsick cars, Bring Some, Nobody’s Dreaming – and a good number of newer tracks – High Tech Low Life, Slow Dance, All Mine. Their first album “TV Broke My Brain” is available from all good tax avoiding online retailers from 16th April (other outlets are available).

So back to Dean Freeman for the bands appearing at Long Division 2016. The highlights from the current line-up includes:

Field Music
Gang of Four
Los Campesinos!
Brix and the Extricated
Bis
Membranes
Emma Pollack
Malcom Middleton
Kid Canaveral
Middleman
The Lake Poets
Post War Glamour Girls
Man made
The Spills
The Ainsley Band
One Day after School

There are many more bands to be announced so for the full line-up and updates check out the Long Division Festival site.

See you there.