Long Division: '˜Six of the best' for Wakefield's annual music festival

Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.
Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.

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YES, it is that time of year already again when thousands of music fans are preparing to descend on Wakefield for the annual Long Division Festival.

With over 70 bands and artists playing at around a dozen venues, there is simply too much good music to choose from.

Now in its sixth year, the festival kicks off on Friday night at Unity Works when Gang of Four officially launch the festival, after being supported by local band Yard Wars.

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The main event comes around on Saturday, with music lasting from around 12.15pm when The Passing Fancy kick off proceedings for the day on the indoor stage at The Orangery.

Click HERE to find a rather useful Clashfinder page for Long Division

Thereafter, there is non-stop music right through until around 11pm when headliners Field Music (at Unity Works) and Brix & The Extricated battle for attention from the crowds.

On Sunday, a special event will see Post War Glamour Girls play at St Austin’s where they will make a live album recording.

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Organiser Dean Freeman admits a sense of relief that the festival is on again this year after doubtrs emerged following last year’s event.

Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.
Long Division 2016 starts its three-day run at Unity Works on Friday night.

But, following a successful crowd funder campaign, enough money was raised to put together another three-day spectacular.

“I’m very excited for Long Division this year,” said Freeman.

“I think back to last summer when it looked like our future might be in trouble and in response I got hundreds of emails and messages of support, not just from local bands and gig goers but from across the country, from artists who had travelled to our city for the first time because of Long Division and couldn’t wait to come back, from record labels, agents and passionate music fans.

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“I can’t wait to be among people who are that passionate about our city and I hope as many people to join us as possible.”

Dancing Years.Dancing Years.
Dancing Years.

In a valiant attempt to guide you through the day, PostMusic has come up with a handful of bands and acts we think are definitely worth a visit - should they not clash obviously.

We stress this is not any kind of definitive list, merely a guide, as we remain confident that whoever it is you get to see on the day, will all be well worth the admission price as you make your merry way around Wakefield.

Oh, and then there is Fear of Men, The Membranes, Los Campesinos ..... and not forgetting Louise Distras at Warehouse 23 at 6.45pm ...

Anyway, enough waffle, here are our ‘six of the best’ ...

RM Hubbert, plays Long Division 2016 - Westgate Chapel (6pm).RM Hubbert, plays Long Division 2016 - Westgate Chapel (6pm).
RM Hubbert, plays Long Division 2016 - Westgate Chapel (6pm).

RM Hubbert (Westgate Chapel, 6pm)

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Described as a guitarist and (occasional) singer from Scotland, RM Hubbert has been bashing out lovingly crafted tunes for more than 20 years or so. His appearance at #LD2016 forms part of a small UK tour to help promote his latest album ‘Telling The Trees’. If you are unfortunate enough to miss him in Wakefield this Saturday, fear not he will returning to West Yorkshire’s shores on Saturday, June 19 when he plays the Brudenell in Leeds.

Video: RM Hubbert with Marnie - ‘Sweet Dreams’

Dancing Years (Theatre Royal, 6.30pm)

Two years ago this five-piece from Leeds were one of a number of acts given space and time to delight crowds at Leeds Festival as part of the BBC Introducing initiative. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength, undergoing a relentless touring schedule which has taken them across Europe. Their latest release is the luscious EP ‘Learn To Kiss’ and, like Mr Hubert above, if you miss them at #LD2016, there will be plenty of other opportunities to catch them playing, including the Deershed and Underneath The Stars festivals to name but two.

Video: Dancing Years - ‘Learn To Kiss’

One Day After School, play #LD2016 at 1pm at the Theatre Royal.One Day After School, play #LD2016 at 1pm at the Theatre Royal.
One Day After School, play #LD2016 at 1pm at the Theatre Royal.

NARCS (Warehouse 23, 4.30pm)

Loud and brash are just two of many words often used to describe this Leeds four-piece, although they have many more strings to their bow than just volume - creating a number of fine pop tunes in the past two years or so - often with a serious political message, such as their latest release ‘Bullingdon Boys’ - the second single from forthcoming album ‘A Thinking Animal’ which takes a swipe at the likes of a certain Mr David Cameron and his university buddies.

Track: NARCS - ‘Bullingdon Boys’

Field Music (Unity Works, 10pm)

Okay, okay, we had to get one of the headliners in didn’t we? It’s jut the done thing isn’t it? But, in this case, with very good reason. The Brewis brothers - occasionally compared to Talking Heads - have been pushing the boundaries since their 2005 eponymous debut and arrive in Wakefield four months after the release of their sixth album ‘Commontime’. Will be heading back to Yorkshire soon when playing Deershed and Tramlines.

Video: Field Music - In session

JonnytheFirth (Unity Works Minor Hall, 8.15pm)

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No sooner had the dust settled on the somewhat surprising ending of three-piece Crybabycry with Rosie Doonan and Nici Todd, than the prolific Mr Firth was right back on it, quickly producing the album ‘Beautiful Beast’ in January, a track from which was featured on our very own PostMusic last month. In April, he followed it up with yet another release ‘ Big Screen’. Like we said, prolific.

Video: Jonnythefirth - ‘No heros’

Fur Blend (The Orangery, 2.45pm)

Earliest in the day for our ‘six of the best’, this lively three-piece from Bradford come into the festival on the back of their very rightly well-received single ‘Serotonin’ released on Wakefield’s Philophobia Records.

Video: Fur Blend - ‘Serotonin’

Bubbling under ...

As we said at the top, it’s virtually impossible to narrow down all the great music to just six acts at Long Division this year. So, basically, we’ve cheated a little bit to bring you several others who we just couldn’t quite squeeze into our ‘Six of the best’, much to our dismay. Rightly, they are ‘mentioned in dispatches’ here: Allusondrugs, Forever Cult, Fighting Caravans, Buen Chico, Climbing Alice, Heather Coulton and One Day After School.

Basically, just go along and make up your own minds - you won’t be disappointed whoever you end up seeing ...

Long Division in numbers ...

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0 - The cost of entry for 16-17 year olds to Long Division 2016

6 - The number of years the festival has been running (if you include this year)

12 - The number of different stages used throughout Wakefield over the three days

15 - The cost of entry - in English pounds - for 18-21 year olds to Long Division 2016

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60 - The number of seconds between each venue, according to the organisers. The same amount of time to walk to Wakefield Westgate train station from the centre of the festival

70 - The number of bands (at the last count anyway) performing at Long Division 2016

7,562 - The amount in pounds raised by 135 ‘backers’ through the Crowdfunder appeal set up last October to help fund the 2016 festival.

They say ...

“Long Division is an exciting, important music and arts festival. It puts Wakefield firmly on the map of the UK Festival Circuit and showcases the amazing venues and musicians of the sometimes undervalued city and its creative residents, inspiring those within it.” - Nick Simcock, Dead Young Records

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“Long Division 2015 was hands down the best festival I played at or attended this year. None of the corporate festivals can really hold a candle to Long Division.” - Damien Hughes, Allusondrugs

“Absolutely invaluable to us, the biggest showcase of the year for bands and venues in the city. Makes me proud to tears every year.” - Rob Dee, Philophobia Music.

“It was the existence of Long Division that gave me the confidence to bring back Unity Hall as a music venue.” - Chris Hill, Unity Works Developer.

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