Lancaster Flooded with Music from 300 Artists: Reviews and Interview from Lancaster Music Festival


Bringing 300 artists to over 50 sets in and around Lancaster, last weekend the Lancaster Music Festival completed its 13th year. The festival has been deemed ‘one of the UK’s largest urban music festivals‘ and had local musicians clambering into pubs, bookshops, outside bakeries and on street corners to fill Lancaster with music of all genres, ranging from ‘Latin rock’ to ‘Cinematic DIY indie-pop’.

With majority of the sets being free, three SCAN members endeavored to cover as many acts as they could, seeing several of the 300 spectacular performers.

Maria Hill Interview with Beatboxer Roshan Adve

I found Roshan beatboxing outside Filbert’s Bakery. It had just been pouring with rain, but that didn’t discourage him performing for the small crowd gathered around him. I’d seen Roshan perform before at the university’s Battle of the Bands in which his group, The Directors, earned first place.

It’s safe to say that my expectations were high, yet Roshan exceeded them with a Kick Drum and a Hit Hat, producing a range of music noises and beats that I still don’t understand how it’s humanly possible to make.

Before running to his second set outside Lush, I managed to get a quick interview with him. Being a Lancaster University student himself, I was curious as to how he came to be a part of the festival.

“In my first year, I remember seeing signs [for the festival] but I didn’t choose to go because it was a new thing and I was quite nervous,” replied Roshan, “but then in second year [at university] they actually reached out to me to ask if I could perform some beatboxing for them. So I did that for them last year and I’m doing it for them again this year.”

As for getting the confidence to perform, he admitted that standing on the street beatboxing is a “nerve-wracking thing because you’re putting yourself on display and letting people judge you.” To get over his nerves, however, Roshan said that he reminds himself that “all of us are just living life and we want to hear nice music” and that the audience are there to “enjoy and not to critique you”.

Image by Scarlett Gill

Amy Dixon on 12 Strings Chinese Orchestra – Chinese traditional pipa, guqin & Hulusi

The Priory hosted a special event named ‘Songs from Home: Fusion’, which saw a range of musicians from across the world play traditional instruments. One of these was the 12-string Chinese orchestra, who transported the audience back to ancient China.

The performance featured a brief introduction of each song, which made it educational as well as entertaining. Whilst the topics of the songs ranged from battles to love stories, what they all had in common was the incredible sound of each instrument that filled the church.

Lancaster’s weather added an extra layer of awe to the performance as a sudden downpour of hail could be heard within the Priory as the orchestra played a piece called ‘Moonlit Night on the River’.

The performance certainly encouraged the audience to reflect on the themes of ‘home’ and ‘fusion’ by representing the rich cultural history that has found its place in Lancaster.

Lexi Joyce on ‘Kiwi’

Local Indie-rock four piece band, Kiwi, played at Cappuvino last Saturday night for their big show as a full band for the Lancaster Music Festival, amongst some smaller acoustic sets. The venue was accommodating, especially for such a large turnout.

A two hour set list of both uplifting originals and nostalgic indie covers, certainly attracted a good crowd. The covers from the likes of Courteeners, the Kooks, and Sundara Karma, really got the crowd involved, whilst showing the band’s own music influences that shine through in their own work. I would definitely recommend seeing them if you enjoy these types of genres.

If you missed their hearty set, make sure to keep up with their socials for any next shows coming up. Definitely worth the watch.

Also, they have a new single coming out in the middle of November, ’Lost and Found’. A great addition to their collection of music already out on streaming platforms. A great staple to add to your indie playlists, and a wonderful showcase of local talent.

Maria Hill on Luna Marble

The crowd murmured with anticipation after Luna Marble’s guitarist entered the stage. He was the last member to arrive for, due to traffic, it set got off to a slightly late start, but as the first notes reverberated through the speakers the audience at once knew that it was worth the wait.

A four person rock band with a guitarist, basest, drummer and singer/tambourine/guitar player, Luna Marble was an absolute delight to see. They played a range of their own original music, with every member of the band displaying their own talent.

There was no weak link and they played so well together that it sounded like biting into a cake in which each layer tasted delicious.

What struck me the most was the absolute vibes each member emitted in their fashionable get-ups and high energy levels. Dancing, swaying, and boogying about the stage, it was clear that each musician adored the music they were playing, and the audience did too!

Despite the fact that a lot of the Lancaster audience had never heard the Manchester-based band before, there was not a single still neck as the crowd of leather-jacket wearers banged their heads in time to guitar riffs and drum solos.

I left the venue with ringing ears, feeling immensely impressed by the talent exuded by this band of young musicians.

Image by Maria Hill

Amy Dixon on Zi Lan Liao & Tian – Chinese traditional feat guzheng & erhu

The second act to show the audience their ‘song from home’ came from the Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra from Liverpool, which is the first and largest of these groups in Europe.

The audience was treated to the knowledgeable expert Zi Lan Liao who played with two brothers called Charlie and John. The different ages and backgrounds of the group members reinforced the theme of ‘fusion’ that was the focus of these performances.

Many of the songs were over 2000 years old and included pieces from the Beijing Peking Opera. One notable piece was named ‘Before and After the Typhoon’, which used the instruments to mimic noises of thunder and lightning.

The pieces that were played for the audience came from all over China and Mongolia and evoked a range of emotions, much as the idea of ‘home’ can make us feel.

The highlight of the performance was the ‘drinking song’ which involved the audience clapping along faster and faster until someone made a mistake in the piece. This was great fun and left everyone smiling and laughing as the performance ended. 

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