A Carefully Planned Festival #6: Past and Present
We get to know the founder of the Northwest's most ambitious DIY music event – Matthew Boycott-Garnett tells us about his favourite acts to play previous events and who you should catch this year
One of the Northwest's biggest celebrations of DIY music returns this October, as the sixth edition of A Carefully Planned Festival takes over Manchester's gig venues. The enormously varied line-up includes well-known names like Adem, Johnny Foreigner and Alasdair Roberts alongside underground heroes such as Cowtown, USA Nails and Allusondrugs, plus a plethora of new bands from across the UK. In fact, with over 160 acts spread across nine venues over two days, it's safe to say you won't go short of things to see. Win a pair of weekend tickets here.
With the line-up now complete (thanks to the latest additions of Kid Kin, Real Terms and Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam), ACPF founder Matthew Boycott-Garnett tells us a little about the acts he's proudest of having hosted, and gives you tips on who to catch at this year's festival. "My short-list for this was LONG," he tells us. "It’s hard to miss so many things out, but I’ve tried to consider all aspects of each of my choices and I think these ones are fully accurate. It was really nice to go through all the line-ups from previous years and remember some incredible times." You can do the same here if you like, but for now it's over to you, Matthew...
The band's he's proudest of hosting in previous years
"Some bands who’ve played at ACPF have gone on to become HUGE, but none come close to having done so in the way that Everything Everything have. They are one of my current and all-time favourite bands, and the fact that Mike [Glenister, co-promoter of years gone by] got them to come and do a three-song acoustic set, unannounced until hours beforehand on the first day of our first festival in 2011, is something that fills me with immense pride and joy."
"Another one of my all-time favourite bands, who also played at the first ever gig I organised in Huddersfield in October 2007. Their continued relevance and their influence on so many bands and musicians in the ‘math-rock’ scene(s) and beyond is unparalleled and inimitable. And IMHO they just keep getting better and better. They came to play for us on the Sunday afternoon of ACPF#2 and it was delightful."
"Alasdair is so-much one of my all-time favourite musicians that he’s pretty much a real-life hero of mine. There is absolutely no other musician like him. His vibe is so firmly-rooted in the traditional, and so authentic, and yet so enthusiastically distinctive and somehow ‘fresh’. His technical proficiency is astounding and yet remains perpetually shrewd and beautifully modest. That he has been such a pleasure to correspond with over the years is a splendid and charming bonus."
"As silly as it is, [band founder] Paul Russell once suggested that without me asking him to bring Human Pyramids to Carefully Planned, the live show may have never existed! I seriously doubt that would’ve been the case, but it is true that they played their first ever show at ACPF#3, and it was a ridiculous, astonishing experience for the many people who squished into the Soup Kitchen that night, alongside the 30 or so people performing on-stage. Madness."
"I was lucky enough to see Richard play in the Auditori Rockdelux at Primavera Barcelona a couple of months ago. It was an exhilarating and moving set, and I have literally never felt as proud to have had somebody play at CP as I did during that performance. Dry eyes might’ve been a toughie even without such memories, but I’m so glad his set at Carefully Planned helped me form a small part of the substantial admiration I have for this incredible performer.
"This was another of Mike’s bookings and he just suggested to me that he too might be most proud of having Richard Dawson involved above all else."
New bands you should check out at A Carefully Planned Festival this year
"What do I know about new music, haha! I’m 31. Nah, only joking. I know loads. These are the freshest new acts on the ACPF#6 line-up this year. There’s plenty more."
"This is a new punk band from Cardiff, which is in the South of Wales. I’m pretty psyched about the approximately-two-minute, noisy garage-pop songs they’ve got up on Bandcamp. Not seen them live yet 'cos they’ve not played in Manchester yet. Saturday night of CP-Fest ought to be a good place to start. Could be a mad one."
"Byfyn is the project of Ellie Isherwood, a freelance sound designer and electronic music producer based in London, which is in the South of England. She knocks about with The Rising Sun Collective and has put together ‘a band’ for her upcoming shows. She’s recently switched to playing on the Sunday of the fest 'cos she got a part in a cool theatre show. She’s also recently released her first EP, which sounds like Braids, The Luyas and iamamiwhoami. It is all at once fragile, assured, loose and measured. And really good."
"Living Body are THE most exciting thing happening in the UK music scene for me at present. I was lucky enough to host their first show in Manchester, and they blew me away. The group were put together by Jeff T Smith, who previously went by the name Juffage. He used to bring an entire band set-up to each show and play it all himself. He then stripped this back to a voice and electric guitar set, and now he’s asked some cool musician friends to help him realise bigger visions of these songs, and see where it takes them.
"So far, it’s going very well: pretty, intricate, unusual and ultimately powerful compositions, presented with sincerity and aplomb. The whole set was utterly unique and still somehow ‘catchy’ and accessible. This band are from Leeds in Yorkshire and will be playing at Gullivers on the Sunday evening of ACPF#6."
"These are probably the ‘oldest’ band on my tiny list of new bands. They are only just over one year old though. Still new, but quickly making significant progress both musically, and in terms of building a committed following and reaching loads of people around the UK. I think it’s probably because they’re dead nice and lots of fun. Thanks to Lisa Murgatroyd of Oxjam fame for putting me onto them. Peaness are from Cheshire and they’ll be playing at Soup Kitchen early Saturday evening at ACPF#6."
"If you’re into guitar-based pop music, you really have to hear Real Terms. They are the real deal. It must surely get harder and harder to make interesting and original music these days. Not for John Crawford, David Kelly and Lynny though, whose efforts have been steadily increasing in depth and quality and weight and range since they first played together way back in, like, 2008 or something.
"Most recently, all three played in Vasco Da Gama, but the new material suggests a significant shift of focus towards a very particular, but not easily-pigeonholable, aesthetic and I’m super-keen to hear more. I think they’re based in Liverpool, by thee way, but John works at a brewery in London. Though that’s none of your business. Still... pretty cool."