Festival Programme

Cloudspotting turns over a new Leaf in landmark festival

Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival has announced its Saturday night headliners for its 10th Birthday in June.

The award-winning, family friendly festival takes place at the Gisburn Forest Hub over the midsummer solstice weekend (June 19-21, 2020).

Snapped Ankles and Sarathy Korwar – both artists from the Leaf record label – will share top billing on the main stages. Arun Ghosh, Keeley Forsyth, Jonnie Common and Gideon Conn are among the other acts confirmed to perform in the first line-up announcement.

Snapped Ankles have made a massive impact on the UK’s alternative festival circuit over the past couple of years, thrilling audiences at the likes of The Green Man and Blue Dot festivals.

Fittingly for a festival that is based at Gisburn Forest, Snapped Ankles create music that the band themselves says: “comes from the trees.”

“They make homemade synthesisers out of logs and perform in costumes created from foliage,” explains Festival Director Matt Evans.

“They have been on our radar since we clasped ears around their debut album ‘Come Play the Trees’ in 2017, so we are thrilled to get them for our 10th birthday party. Their shows are highly energetic, frenzied even, and our stage in the forest will be perfect for them!”

Snapped Ankles will be part of a three-act label showcase from The Leaf Label – an independent record label based in Leeds that is itself celebrating 25 years since its foundation. London-based drummer, tabla player and bandleader Sarathy Korwar and the enchanting actor turned singer songwriter Keeley Forsyth, will also be representing the label.

Matt adds: “Cloudspotting shares a bit of the Leaf ethos, in that we try and pull together the most eclectic music programme we can with a focus on live performance.”

“Snapped Ankles bring the feral energy of the forest with an active rebellious environmental conscience. Sarathy Korwar is a virtuosic musician who tells a very different story of identity from the perspective of an Indian living in Britain and Keeley Forsyth has just produced an incredible debut for Leaf, which is simply stunning. Three fabulous acts, all very different!”

Snapped Ankles – who herald from an East London warehouse – are only performing choice festival dates this summer after a heavy touring year in 2019 to support their album Stunning Luxury.

Sarathy Korwar has established himself as one of the most orginal and compelling voices in the UK jazz scene, leading the UPAJ collective – a loose band of South Asian jazz and Indian classical musicians brought together through a love of collaboration and improvisation who set up a residency at the Jazz Café in London. Korwar has collaborated with celebrated saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet / Comet is Coming) on the A.R.E Project, and clarinettist Arun Ghosh, who will also be performing at Cloudspotting. He has also toured with jazz giant Kamasi Washington, Youssef Kamal and Moses Boyd.

Korwar released his vibrant second studio album, More Arriving, though The Leaf Label, last summer. The album features rappers from Mumbai and Delhi, spoken word and his own Indian classical and jazz performances. It is a record that powerfully confronts the issue of migration.

Actor-turned-musician Keeley Forsyth completes The Leaf Label showcase. Forsyth starred prominently in series such as Happy Valley and Waterloo Road and also in the Marvel blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy. Her new album ‘Debris’ has been highly acclaimed in the music press for the raw beauty of her songs.

Other artists confirmed to play include Gideon Conn, Jonnie Common and Lancashire based acts such as Harp and a Monkey, Irish folk band Drop The Floor, Propori, Teri Birtwistle and Manchester punk group Loose Articles.

“It’s great we have the likes of Gideon and Jonnie coming back as they both played in years 1 and 2 when we were located at the Aspinall Arms,” said Matt.
“It’s nice to have shared this festival journey with some of these acts whose careers have progressed at a similar pace to our festival.”

Meanwhile, Cloudspotting Festival’s 10th Birthday has been boosted by a project grant from Arts Council England.

Matt added: “The money will help towards some special artistic commissions at the festival and will also help us engage with community groups and schools in the lead-up to the event itself. It will also enable us to increase production levels on our performance stages.”

*Cloudspotting takes place on June 19-21 at Gisburn Forest hub (BB7 4TS). Tickets are on sale via The Grand Venue Box Office, 01200 421599, or on Skiddle. www.cloudspotting-festival.co.uk