As the late Mungo Jerry once famously sang; ‘In the summertime, when the weather is hot’, and then he sang some more words that I can’t remember, and then he quietly slinked off the page so that I could write a preview for BRITISH SUMMERTIME, a wonderful festival taking place in BRITAIN in the SUMMER. Will Mungo Jerry be performing? NO. He’s DEAD.
How did he die? In the SUMMERTIME when the WEATHER IS HOT you BERK. Have you even been LISTENING? The heat he forewarned us of. The HEAT emanating from a lineup so hot that it cannot be touched by human hands, let alone seen by human eyes. The only way this lineup can be ingested, dear reader, is through the heart. Held in human hearts. Human hearts like yours. Human hearts that Florence + The Machine, The National, Khruangbin and Blood Orange are perpetually hungry for. Open that heart, and let your enthusiasm for music pour out. Let it pour into Mungo Jerry’s waiting jug, one that he will blow raspberries into until the end of time*.
As we snake our way up the lineup, we see acts like Goat Girl, Self Esteem, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cherry Glazerr taking the stage – a quadrilogy of feminist ephemera that will certainly threaten to spill out of Hyde Park and wash over the streets of London like a big angry tidal wave. Following that will be the masculine brooding of Marlon Williams, the delicate folk timbre of Aldous Harding and the atmospheric, midnight loner-pop of Nadine Shah – each spinning a hushed reverence for a sweaty English crowd. They didn’t pack shorts. Just as Mungo Jerry foretold.
And then, the heavy hitters. Blood Orange falls ripe from the orange-tree and into the hungry mitts of the starving dancer, providing a multicolour patina of pop expression as well as a zesty new flavour of diet coke. The crystal-clear funk of Khruangbin will gather, dense and heavy in the air, before placidly crashing down on the gentle folk below, threatening their ears with whispered promises of jams groovier than anything they’ve ever heard before.
Oh baby, it’s headline time. The National have pitched their tents, ready and waiting to be as depressing as possible, hopefully quelling the party atmosphere and instilling an impending sense of dread upon all who will witness their band perform. Interestingly, Matt Berninger and his boys have opted to eschew their set in favour of a two-hour funeral dirge, only interrupted by lackadaisical banjo and jug-band-tooting.
Finally, Florence. Glittering and divine, she will descend unto the stage with the grace of a thousand ice-skating deer, and gather the crowd into a kind of ceremonial performance that tugs at both their heartstrings and desire to buy a big floaty dress and walk around barefoot. Florence and the Machine sure does have squeaky clean feet for someone who walks around festival stages without any shoes on, huh? Rumour has it that ‘the machine’ part of the band is actually an industrial-strength footbath that keeps ‘em squeaky clean before performances. God, I love music.
In the summertime, the British summertime, the Barclaycard Presents: British Summer Time, the weather is indeed hot, and Mungo Jerry’s rotting, exhumed corpse will be there to prove it. I guarantee you. It says so on the lineup.
British Summer Time is on Saturday 13th of July 2019, and tickets are still available!
Feast your eyes on the video for ‘Hunger’ by Florence and The Machine Below:
*Seriously, watch the music video for the original song. They just blow raspberries into the bottle. What the f*** is up with that.