Check the Sea Change festival website here
• More acts for Sea Change music-and-arts festival in Totnes, Devon.
• Now added: Bo Ningen, Richard Dawson, The Membranes, The Wave Pictures, BC Camplight, The Drink, Modern Ovens.
• Previously announced acts include British Sea Power, TOY, Yorkston Thorne Khan and Alasdair Roberts.
• The Quietus website and Heavenly Recordings label to run stages in historical home of arts and environmentalism.
Sea Change music-and-arts festival
Totnes, Devon
26-27 August 2016
Sea Change festival is an-all new festival from a much-loved Devon record shop – Totnes’s award-winning Drift Records. As The Guardian has observed: “Drift is mind-bogglingly great, the kind of place you’d think was amazing if you found it in New York.” Rather, that is, than in a market town of 8,000 people, where Sea Change will be staged across several venues. Drift has been nominated in the 2016 Music Week Awards, in the Independent Retailer category – the third such nomination for the shop.
At Sea Change, Bo Ningen, Richard Dawson and Modern Ovens now form part The Quietus Presents evening, where the website will take charge at Totnes’s South Devon Arts Centre for the Saturday night…
MOJO magazine said the London-based Japanese noise-rock quartet Bo Ningen are “fantastically energetic… the most exciting young band in London”. Newcastle-based experimental guitarist/singer Richard Dawson is a force of nature. “Remarkably original folk,” said The Guardian in a 5/5 review. Also playing at the Quietus night will be Modern Ovens, a tribute to Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, delivered by an independent-rock super-group, featuring members of British Sea Power, Brakes and The Pure Conjecture. Sea Change will see the full Modern Ovens line-up playing for just the second time ever.
Also now added at Sea Change are:
The Wave Pictures – English national treasures, fresh from two recent collaborations with Billy Childish.
BC Camplight – New Jersey-born, Manchester-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Christinzio has recorded for Bella Union. His melodic wizardry stands alongside Todd Rundgren and Ariel Pink.
The Kentucky singer/songwriter Joan Shelly, whose new album, Over And Even, was written in an abandoned beauty parlour on the island of Thessaloniki.
London three-piece The Drink will bring their gloriously off-kilter guitar pop melodies – bold syncopated rhythms and off-road time signatures that locate them in the same gene pool as Joanna Newsom, The Breeders and Captain Beefheart.
Further, Sea Change are delighted to have Nathan Salsburg play as part of Joan Shelley’s band – and also play a solo set. Besides working as curator of the Alan Lomax Archive, Salsburg is one of the finest finger-pick guitar players of the moment.
Also to perform over the weekend are free-jazz trio Death Shanties, the Shetland-born multi-instrumentalist Thirty Pounds of Bone, Brighton-based mass-member mob The Pure Conjecture and Sound of Yell. The latter centre on Stevie Jones who has collaborated with Arab Strap and recorded for Chemikal Underground
The inaugural Sea Change festival has already announced appearances from British Sea Power, Yorkston Thorne Khan, Ultimate Painting, Howes, Rival Consoles, Luke Abbott and Alasdair Roberts.
The esteemed nu-Krautrock quintet TOY will headline a night presented by Heavenly Recordings, the revered label that’s been home to artists including Saint Etienne, the Manic Street Preachers, Beth Orton, Mark Lanegan and Gwenno Saunders. Heavenly will oversee the Friday night at Totnes Civic Hall, a venue which, in the early 1980s, featured shows from The Cure, Blondie and The Fall.
Sea Change is a carefully compiled 1,100-capacity festival – set in the centre of a town with remarkable cultural connections.
Totnes has been home to a remarkable array of artists, from The KLF’s Jimmy Cauty and Metronomy’s Joseph Mount to playwright Seán O’Casey and Mary Wesley, best-selling author of carnality-in-the-countryside. Totnes is also the home of the internationalist environmentalism of the Transition Towns movement. Such is Totnes’s history of forward-thinking, alternative ways of life – combined with an occasionally “to-the-Moooonn!!” mindset – that the town has been playfully twinned with both Narnia and Area 51. Totnes is the place where Brutus of Troy, mythical founder of Britain, is said to have first set foot on these islands…
Totnes has a mainline rail station and direct services from London, Birmingham, Cornwall and beyond. The town is within easy reach of Dartmoor and a dramatic coastline. With rumours of rock performance aboard the beguiling cream-and-carmine carriages of the local steam railway, Sea Change already looks to be the must-have-to travel destination for sensational ’16.
Sea Change will take place in a selection of venues in the centre of Totnes, including the Civic Hall, The Barrel House and the South Devon Arts Centre.
Yorkston Thorne Khan will play in Totnes’s striking 15th-century St Mary’s Church, where Indian sarangi maestro Suhail Yusuf Khan will be joined by James Yorkston (guitar) and Jon Thorne (double bass). Folk-rock sage Alasdair Roberts will also play in the church, with an especially assembled trio consisting of Roberts plus Stevie Jones (Sound of Yell) and Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells).
The festival will also feature the electronics of Luke Abbott and more beautiful electronic music from 22-year-old mastermind John Howes. With these two in town it’s perhaps no mere coincidence that Totnes was home to the Victorian computer trailblazer Charles Babbage. Also appearing at Sea Change will be ’60s revivalists and indie supergroup Rival Consoles and London-based nu-Velvets nabobs Ultimate Painting. Totnes’s musical community will be represented by celestial songsters Matthew and Me and local label and party crew Bizarre Rituals.
There will be events at Totnes’s restored Victorian cinema and at the historic Guildhall – plus action from Ways With Weirds and Folklore Tapes.
Weekend tickets are on sale now priced £45 from the Drift Record Shop or online at
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  1. You might be interested to know that James Hoare one half of ultimate painting comes from Totnes, also Michael Lovett of Nzca Lines and his brother Gabriel Stebbing of Nightworks who also plays with Christine and the Queens and also Ben Howard. It has been a very rich seedbed for musicians probably because there’s not much ready made entertainment.


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