Homelands 2003
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Once, dance music was all about of the DJ. It's taken a while, but today dance music is the big ticket in live arenas across the globe, with acts capable of delivering shows as muscular and mesmerising as any rock act. Make no mistake - Homelands 2003 promises to deliver a selection of the best live acts in the world. And the contenders are:
Groove Armada: One of them is 6'7". They play trombones. They once made an album in a cottage in the Lake District. They are Elton John's favourite band. They are unique in many other ways. They are Groove Armada, and they float into the Homelands headline slot on the back of countless award nominations, three perfect albums ('Vertigo, 'Lovebox' of hi-res funk and a very big round of applause.

It's probably because of their languid trombone classic 'At the River' that Andy Cato and Tom Findlay were once lazily termed a 'chill out' act - but we'll hazard a guess that airing of 'Superstylin', 'If Everybody Looked The Same' or 'Purple Haze' will shake the Matterley Bowl like an earthquake. May 24th sees the full funkadelic live show by one of Britain's - and Elton John's - favourite new music names.
The Streets' Mike Skinner was robbed at the Brits awards. Nominated for four, he won none, we all know a genius when we hear one. His 'Original Pirate Material' LP combined the wit and lyricism of street corner Britain with the two-step energy of the nation's inner cities. His tours have practically set venues across Britain on fire and the single 'Has It Come To This' will remains a classic long after everyone has stopped wearing Reebok Classics. At this rate Mike Skinner will never have to eat, let alone work in Burger King ever again.
Boom boom: shake the room. Bristol drum & bass trio Kosheen - vocalist Sian Evans and DJs and producers Markee Substance and Darren Decoder - are the biggest noise in high-velocity dance music bass since the invention of the bassline. Their barnstorming Number Three smash 'Hide U' was nothing short of an evolutionary leap for the bass & bass scene: it won them Best Newcomer and Best Single in 2001's Knowledge magazine drum & bass awards, and consolidated their reputation as fearsome talent on vinyl and in the live arena. Their skills have been worked to a razor-sharp point touring the globe
as support for Faithless, but Kosheen are so much more than simple bruisers. Their emotive music - singles including 'Catch' and 'Slip & Slide (Suicide)' transcend the drum & bass genre to become stand-alone modern classics with the capacity to move the mind, body and soul at the same time. The living bassheads are in the area. Structural engineers will be on hand to deal with the damage after their appearance.
'Their album is so good Jacko will wish he‚d been there' - Rolling Stone magazine
There's no doubt about it: Danish duo Junior Senior are the freshest stars and poppiest shakers in music since Fatboy Slim. They've spent 2003 blowing the charts apart and demolishing dancefloors and with their sensational Number Three hit 'Move Your Feet'. The tracks spent 22 weeks in the chart in Denmark, and British clubland has already witnessed the mania caused by the Junior Senior live experience, who segue seamlessly between pumped-out dance music and full-blooded rock music. In an age of dreary conformism, they have respect for nothing except fun - live sets include The Beatles' 'Twist & Shout' pasted into Salt 'N' Pepa's 'Push it'. With 'Move Your Feet' they've already written not just the soundtrack to this summer, but every summer: the hands-in-the-air dementia where we're all superstars for an afternoon. Junior Senior perfectly expresses what Homelands is all about. Move your feet and feel united? Oh oh yeah…
We Love…Homelands are proud to present one of Hip Hop's most enduring, unique and legendary groups. Hailing from Long Island, New York, De La Soul are Posdnous, Trugoy the Dove and Pasemaster Mace. The hip hop trio have redefined the genre and proven that love and peace are just as much a part of rap as guns and violence with their classic million selling album, 3 Feet High and Rising. Spawning huge singles such as Me, Myself and I and The Magic Number, De La Soul have subsequently confounded and astounded with different styles and directions. From De La Soul is dead to Bulhoone Mindstate and A Roller Skate Jam called Saturday to their excellent Art Official Intelligence series the trio have clocked up more sing-a-long hits than you can shake a stick at. With their timely Greatest Hits due out on 26th May and the re-release of their classic 3 Feet High & Rising album a week later, Homelands 2003 will indeed be the magic number.
The hits keep on coming. Un-Cut's 'Midnight' is a warp-speed hyperballad sampled from Shirley Bassey's 'Light My Fire'. Fittingly, it's about to set the charts and clubland ablaze. Un-Cut - Darren Lewis, Iyiola Babalola (aka 2D) and singer Jenna G - may be new faces, but their art is finely honed and as well suited to the speaker stacks and wide open spaces of Homelands as it is to the intimacy of your home listening station. Make no mistake, Un-Cut are future stars of dance music - with a track record in the drum & bass scene stretching back almost a decade back they understand instinctively the precision science of moving bodies and creating maximum emotional impact in the heat of the night.
Don't mess with Simon Franks and Tom Dinsdale - the buccaneering duo behind Audio Bullys. The pirate sounds of street-tough breaks and buzzsaw basslines colliding, they're Basment Jaxx crossbred with The Specials. Put it this way - their debut single was entitled 'We Don't Care.' Few names are as widely tipped for stratospheric popularity in 2003, and highlights from once their album 'Ego War' touches down at Homelands, expect the charge of the fight brigade.
Manchester electronicists Mint Royal craft angular, melodic funk. Occasionally, when the mood takes them, they deliver a track like last year's 'Sexiest Man in Jamaica', a full-fat rasta-house joint that guaranteed to tear the clouds out of the sky.

Tickets £49adv
C/C Hotline: 020 7344 0044 (24hrs)
Or book online @ www.meanfiddler.com & www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Also from Ticketmaster in selected Virgin, Tower Records and Waitrose
Stores, plus usual agents (subject to booking fee). No booking fee for cash purchases from Astoria box office, Camden Ticketshop and all Mean Fiddler box offices. Info Line: 020 8963 0940

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LIVE ARENA
RADIO 1 STAGE
STRONGBOW BAR
BACARDI BBAR