pangea-main

A disconnected maze of mayhem and melodies landed within Manchester’s student union quarters as Pangaea – Europe’s biggest student run festival – landed on a cold, wintry Saturday night. ‘Space Odyssey’ was the flavour and Manchester’s roistering batch of exam-free students went to town on it. Cue tin foil antennas adorning a sea of green faced youths wearing all manner of ad hoc Martian uniforms. A collage of striking colour that would have made the cut in any Steven Spielberg extraterrestrial thriller.

Set within the University of Manchester’s fabled scholar nerve centre, the 16 stages presented by the organisers were as diverse as the artists billed. Almost like an IKEA Eden, with an arrangement of flat-pack, inflatable tents scattered across the grounds whilst also taking over the various Academy floors and hideouts; the area was packed.

Each stage embraced a distinctive artistic direction with its performers. The Ice Palace Dome was defined with sound-bites of hip hop fuelled brass including the incisive thunder of Manchester ensemble Riot Jazz and the 20 strong blues drenched murmurs of the University’s own MSC Big Band. The Wormhole exuded a more left-field stylistic approach as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – aka Londoner Orlando Tobias Edwards – produced a set of succinct snippets of dance heavy beats before being followed by the pioneering ambience of Paul Woolford – convulsive, enigmatic but an easy sound track to groove to. Blackpool based Rae Morris chilled with her infectious brand of Stockholm-pop. Reflective synths never sounded so crisp. UV Ball Pit Room told its own story.

Manchester brew savant Mr Scruff headlined on The Future Sounds, combining a perfect blend of old-school beatnik extracts aloft du jour snapping electronic sounds. Congo Natty – The Rebel MC – snapped through continuous rounds of astute phrasings and intense musings against the backdrop of his pulsating, bass heavy compositions.

The DJ tents that hid between the various live arenas offered extreme bouts of house, dub and soul music throughout and confirmed Pangaea as Manchester’s principal student experience. It’s important to remember that Pangaea is an observance for the weighty exams all had faced throughout the first term back in university. So odd face mask more associated with an economical remake of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’? Check. Inventive styles fusing together live for the ears? Check. Booze? Check. If Carlsberg did festivals…Pangaea would shit on it.

Words by Clive K Hammond

MORE

BLOSSOMS, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
FOR many the last few years have absolutely flown by. Election after election, tragedy after tragedy, humane coming together of community, solidarity, Iceland, the year of the celebrity death, Pokemon Go. Too much to remember. Yet for four lads, who unbeknownst to them spent the whole of their lives living within 2km of each other, […]
NICK MULVEY, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been […]
JOE INNES & THE CAVALCADE, FOREIGN DOMESTIC POLICY, INTERVIEW
“You know with this climate at the minute everything is changing,” London-based Joe Innes tell Quenched Music. With his new album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ taking years to finally arrange, it’s hardly surprising it’s become a labour of love for the self-confessed post-Brexit indie songwriter. “It took it’s time but that’s because in the time I […]
COMMON PEOPLE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
AS THE final stragglers danced their way from the Common People main stage, the filthy sounds of favourite headliner Sean Paul still ringing around the ears, it was time for the organisers to reflect on how successful this year’s festival was. 40,000 flocked to Southampton’s Common in anticipation of yet another Bank Holiday jaunt on […]
SIMPLE MINDS, MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
IN SIMPLE terms the word ‘acoustic’ means not having electrical amplification. But as Glaswegian new-wave act Simple Minds triumphantly demonstrated to a packed house at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, definitions are subjective. You would be forgiven for expecting longstanding Minds members Jim Kerr, the idyllic vocalist and endearing frontman since the group first formed in 1977, […]
CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]