Co-founder Cerys Matthews curates a knock-out music line-up of jazz, blues, classical, world, folk and funk at The Good Life Experience. Taking cues from her superb BBC 6 Music show, expect to discover new sounds, new bands, and dance with new friends at The Good Life Experience.
Elsewhere our friends at Caught by the River return to host their very own stage in a new, beautiful location- with another triumphant line-up. Caught by the River is an arts/nature/culture clash, conceived in 2007 as an online meeting place for pursuits of a distinctly non-digital variety: walking, fishing, looking, thinking. From birdsong and beer to adventure and poetry; life’s small pleasures, in all their many flavours.
NORMAN JAY /
GUY CHAMBERS /
DAVE HASLAM /
TANKUS THE HENGE /
THE TURBANS /
ERROL LINTON /
SNAPPED ANKLES /
JNR. WILLIAMS /
INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP /
WORKING MEN'S CLUB /
MODERN NATURE /
AND MANY MORE
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Get up close and personal with this genius of the decks who amasses crowds of thousands each year at NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL. Feel by your own response what grooves and master picks and mixes make him the King of Kings for clubs and the best audiences around the world. Expect the unexpected: Oasis mixed with Gilberto Gil, Motown, Stax , disco, Marley, Sly and the Family Stone and so much more… and all of it wrapped in the effortless cool of this legendary DJ. The return of the 'Emperor of the decks’ has been secured for the third time to bring his GOOD TIMES to the GOOD LIFE. As far as we're concerned nobody does it better. Norman admitted in an interview on BBC 6 Music that he loves the Good Life audience, come and see why we love him back. Norman’s big return to these Flintshire fields is on the Main Stage, Saturday night at 11.30pm.
BBC Radio 1 DJ, Annie Mac, picked up on Jnr. Williams as soon as she heard his debut release and played it on her "Future Sounds” show. It's a remake of Dinah Washington and Amy Winehouse’s 'What A Difference a Day Makes’, resplendent in electronica and Jnr.’s heartbreaking vocals. Jaws dropped at BBC 6 Music too; Cerys played this on repeat, supported follow up singles ‘Healer’ and ‘A Prayer’, and is stoked to welcome Jnr. Williams to The Good Life Experience 2019 as one of Jnr.’s earliest live forays in his career. You’ll be able to say you were there from the beginning. Think Nina Simone and James Blake and you’ll be getting close. Catch him on the main stage on Saturday at 6.30pm.
Ever wondered what it would feel like to be at the HACIENDA at its peak? Or with the STONE ROSES playing SPIKE ISLAND? DJ and writer Dave Haslam will afford us a good peak at the Good Life in 2019. Dave made his DJing debut at the Hacienda in 1986. He played over 450 times, including the last night the Hacienda was open; June 28th 1997. In 1989 and 1990 he toured with The Stone Roses and played at most of their biggest UK shows in those years, including Spike Island. Now he DJs worldwide: Paris, Turin, Detroit, Berlin, Ibiza, New York, Lima, Cleveland and afterparties for New Order, Depeche Mode and Gorillaz, “playing the best records ever made one after the other” and this year you can CATCH HIM in FLINTSHIRE. DJ’ing in the main tent on Friday night at 10.30pm.
Go Gentle, Road to Mandalay, Angels, No Regrets, Millennium, I Don’t Want to Hurt You, Rock DJ, Kids. Just some of the songs written by Guy Chambers with his writing partner Robbie Williams. Other chart smashing collaborations had Guy working with Kylie Minogue, Beverly Knight, Melanie C, Katie Melua and Rufus Wainwright but this appearance at The Good Life Experience 2019 will allow us insight into the brains and soul behind these mega hits and melodies.
This year Guy's solo release ‘Go Gentle into the Light’ took the streaming world by storm with tracks played alongside other piano works like Ludovico Einaudi's music. It will be pure pleasure to see and hear Guy Chambers play piano and talk about writing music in an intimate gig in Hawarden Castle [free tickets here] and also on the Main Stage at midday on Sunday. Make sure you’re there.
TANKUS THE HENGE
The parting shot of Jockey Club chief executive, SIMON BAZALGETTE (AKA sewer builder extraordinaire Sir Joseph Bazalgette) to Cerys on leaving The BBC 6 Music studios post-interview this year was: “Whatever you do, bring TANKUS the HENGE’ to the GOOD LIFE 2019“. Cerys checked them out and agreed that their funk-fuelled repertoire, their channeling of New Orleans, Tudor England, ratty soho alleyway, Harlem's The Apollo, Shakespeare, 20th Century American Literature, Oliver Twist and Tom Waits were just what the doctor ordered. Catch this psychedelic, rock n roll octopus –(only with four more legs) on Friday at 8.45pm.
International musical adventurers The Turbans bind together music from ‘manywhere’, igniting audiences with the bacchanalian spirit of the Eastern Mediterranean. Drawing on the rich cultural heritage of both the Levantine and Balkan regions, they create original music for the 21st century, inspired by ancient melodies.
Sonically huge and visually arresting, the interstellar live show embodies the skill, experience and passion of intrepid instrumental explorers from Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and England, pooling their energy and creativity in a spirit of generosity and openness that is so needed in these troubled global times.
Simply one of the best live acts in the world. There’s a buzz growing around this blues band that you don't want to miss. Errol and his band were rightly nominated this year for best blues act by JAZZ FM. Think Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, bring them into the twenty first century by combining ‘50s Chicago blues with Jamaican reggae rhythms. In the words of the late John Walters “Errol is as good a Harmonica player as anyone can reasonably hope to become, he is the real deal... Let the rafters shake on Saturday night. 10pm.
Rene Alvarez Quartet
Their compadres Los Revolutionaries blew the roof off the Main Stage in 2016, and we're smoking hand-rolled cigars with relish at the return of the new set up. The Rene Alvarez Quartet promise to bring musical ammunition to tackle even the most reluctant dancer...
The quartet will return for another triumphant set on Saturday night. Expect them to bring the party!
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR
The Doors, Pearl Jam and The Lemonheads are just some of the diverse influences for this indie-rock three piece recently praised for their grit and authenticity by The Guardian, NPR’s Ann Powers and on Cerys’ BBC Radio 2 music show. Live performances have also drawn wildly enthusiastic responses with comparisons to the likes of Kings of Leon, Nirvana, Buffalo Tom and The Marshall Tucker Band. Signed to Loose, they join a roster that includes Courtney Marie Andrews, Israel Nash and The Handsome Family.
They’ll be conquering (we had to) the Main Stage on Friday at 6.15pm.
ESE AND THE VOODUU PEOPLE
Born and raised in South London, Ese is no stage school product but the real, streetwise thing and another talent to catch early at The Good Life 2019, (they were nominated by the Guardian as ‘one of the acts to look out for in 2019’).
Jimi Hendrix is a clear influence with further nods to Bowie, Prince and Erykah Badu… Catch them at the Main Stage on Saturday at 3.45pm.
SUB ATOMIC SOULS
A chance to get OUT OF OUR TINY MINDS ON THE GROOVE with London based Sub Atomic Souls playing old school Rhythm & Blues and Funk, all Soul powered: originals and classics: Albert King, James Brown, Pee Wee Ellis and all in between with Alex McBain, on guitar and vocals; Phil Hughes on vocals, harmonica and sax; Costa Tancredi on bass and Chris Brice on drums. Bring your Blues Brothers Ray Bans to the main stage at 7.15pm on Friday.
They came from the trees.
Now settled in fertile east London, Snapped Ankles maintain the feral energy of the forest. Fight or flight. Primal motorik rhythms, the rush of white noise and post-punk angles; an aural onslaught played out on homemade log synths, electrified guitars and sticks beating hell on taut animal skin.
Snapped Ankles have flourished in the sub-tropical climes of warehouse and squat parties, moving onto performance art collaborations with filmmakers and shows in unlikely locations such as barber shops, games arcades and the forests they once called home. They plough a singular furrow at improbable angles. The woodwose have discovered electricity and they’re not afraid to use it.
INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS OF POP
It’s 10 months since The Moonlandingz founders / writers Adrian Flanagan (Eccentronic Research Council) & Dean Honer (All Seeing I /I Monster) bumped in to lead singer, Leonore Wheatley (The Soundcarriers) at a ‘Circuit Bending Workshop’ in South Yorkshire where they decided to try writing “one song together and see what happens!”
Always with one eye on pop music and the other on something more artful, playful and slightly wicked, Leonore describes the group as “Grace Slick on the raz with Donna Summer and the Pet Shop Boys, legging it over to Kraftwerk’s gaff for a quick synth-sesh before getting a cab round to All Saints gaff to sing at the telly til the sun comes up!”
WORKING MEN’S CLUB
Like a homage to smoke-filled vaults, ageing billiard rooms and crumby packets of pork scratchings in the Working Men’s Clubs of days gone by, Todmorden-by-way-of-Europe trio Syd, Jake and Giulia are about to fling open the doors of their own millennial social hub, fusing the 70s post-punk start-stop sound of Talking Heads, Gang of Four and Television with the stomp of Parquet Courts’ positivity. Syd’s half-spoken words jab through Strokes guitar lines with Mark E. Smith drawl...it’s the feeling of a Saturday spent scuffing about in thrift stores and hanging out with friends.
Seatbelts are comprised of James Madden, Ryan Murphy, Abigail Woods and Alex Quinn. James and Ryan - known for their work in Hooton Tennis Club - wanted an alternate name for The Beatles, and while jumbling the letters around over a drunken phone call Seatbelts poured forth.
Their first release 'Songs For Vonnegut EP' is dedicated to legendary writer Kurt Vonnegut. With a new EP 'Please Slow Down' due to be released this April the band have shared two singles so far, the lush 'Content Crush' and the upbeat, avant-pop 'Spanish Songs'. Their latest single 'Spanish Songs' has received airplay on BBC 6music (Gideon Coe) and BBC Radio Wales (Janice Long). The publication 'Louder Than War' described the single "for any lovers of that Postcard Records era Seatbelts bring that twist of classic melody and delightful eccentricity with this perfect single".
Modern Nature - the name taken from the title of Derek Jarman’s garden diaries - is the new project of Jack Cooper, ex of Ultimate Painting / Mazes and Will Young of Beak, featuring Aaron Neveu of Woods and Sunwatchers’ Jeff Tobias on saxophone.
“The band is so new, it's hard to say who's in and who isn’t”, says Cooper.
KATY J PEARSON
Combining a unique voice with a knack for melodies that lodge themselves in your brain, Katy J Pearson writes songs could only have come from her time growing up in the rolling hills of the West Country. Having first explored songwriting as one half of dream-pop duo Ardyn, her new solo project casts a more intimate light upon her distinctive vocals, whilst also refining her portrayal of the wondrous world around her. Her songs convey a glorious nostalgia, refreshingly at odds with the rush and fury of modern life.
TOBY JAY & JIM GHEDI
Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay’s duets for the 6 and 12 string guitar are a collaboration exploring connection to landscape and place through composition, improvisation and folk song. At this year’s Good Life, they will be playing songs from 2018’s ‘The Hawksworth Grove Sessions’ as well as brand new material.
“Ghedi and Hay may be working in a deep tradition, but there’s something to the Hawksworth Grove Sessions that feels distinct…“ - UNCUT
“What's absolutely certain is that these two British musicians are currently on a creative roll that shows no sign of slowing any time soon…” - fRoots
TREVOR MOSS & HANNAH-LOU
Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou met as teenagers in 2003 at Goldsmiths College, New Cross, South London. They would go on to become influential figures in the Brit-Folk revival. Their fifth album Fair Lady London, recorded on their 4-track cassette recorder in a quiet corner of a castle in the rolling valleys of East Sussex, was released in late 2018 on the Maiden Voyage Recording Co. Label.
DJ78 provides a unique audio experience using a pair of 1930s HMV wind-up Gramophones and a staggering collection of vintage 78rpm shellac records.
Looking dapper in his antique suits, DJ78 delights in unearthing vintage tunes and dropping (really) old-skool beats from his extensive archive of rare discs, covering Ragtime, Hot Jazz, Swing, Hillbilly, right through to the pioneers of Rock'n'Roll. Throughout Great Britain & Europe, DJ78 has delighted audiences of all ages with his eclectic pre-vinyl playlist of tunes from more than six decades of popular music.
He is a founding member of the Shellac Collective who curate The Pig's Big Ballroom at festivals throughout the UK and a fixture at The Good Life Experience since the start.
VINTAGE MOBILE DISCO
The Vintage Mobile Disco -also known as Donna Somerset after its West Country roots- is a diminutive, artisan soundsystem, lovingly assembled within a rickety old laundry truck by friends Russ and Rich. Its ethos is very much back to basics, and in reserving the old ways it has only two rules; 7" vinyl only, and it has to have been recorded at least 30 years ago. Expect to hear plenty of soul, disco, boogie, forgotten folk, psych, funk, country, soundtracks, easy listening, and other oddities found lingering in the dusty racks of the forgotten record stores. The selections are familiar, without being clichéd. Nostalgic, without being cheesy.