Festival 2017

7-9 July

East Sussex

Welcome

Welcome to Brainchild Festival. We are a DIY powered and volunteer-led festival celebrating the talents and ideas of the people around us.

For three days in July, we stitch together incredible creative projects into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art.

The festival is a meeting of minds; it is very intimate, with artists, crew and festival-goers all camping together and no VIP areas on site. We push important conversations and interdisciplinary art to the forefront and welcome everybody to get involved. Built up by friends of friends over the years, the atmosphere is warm, open and relaxed. Brainchild is the perfect place to let your guard down, try things out and discover amazing artists. We hope that you will find something you love this year.

Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016!

★★★★ - The Independent

Lineup

Over the years Brainchild has become more of a big creative network than a 3 day festival. Every year, over 300 artists contribute their work and ideas across different areas, be they art installations, led discussions or DJ sets. Here’s what’s in store.

5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist

Adam Blake & Errol Linton

Alice Phoebe Lou

Andrew Ashong

anu (rhythm section)

Baewatch ‘N’ Learn

Ben Fehr & Liam Cutler

Ben Hauke b2b Daniel Fitz

Boko! Boko!

Bridget Minamore

Brother Portrait

Caleb Femi

Cecilia Knapp

Cesca

Charlie Towler

Compton White

Cosmo Pyke

Daniel Wye

Debtford

Dego (2000Black)

Don’t Problem

Dylema Collective

Eclair Fifi

Elisa & Srigala

ElPeche

Elsa Hewitt

Emanative

Emma-Jean Thackray

Emma Joliffe’s writing workshop

Equal Echo

Eye Want Change

Ezra Collective

Feeling Blue (get in the sea)

Film essays by Charlie Lyne

Footshooter

Foreign Body

Fuck You Pay Me

gal-dem: reimagining feminism

Gardenn

GCDJ

‘Giving crisis a voice: who owns a story?’

Haseeb Iqbal

‘Having an impact’

Horsey

Hot Mess

Hudnall

Ishmael Ensemble

Isobel Rogers: Elsa

Jamunji Dub

Jess Murrain

Joshua Mooney

Jossy Mitsu

Kojey Radical

Kokoroko

L.A.B Beat Physics

Ladybeard x Beauty

Laura Misch

Little Grape Jelly

Lulu Popplewell

Luo

LVNA

Madi Maxwell-Libby

Massiah Abraham

‘Measure of success’

Molinaro

Naomi Ishiguro

Nathan Roberts

Pecs: The Drag King Collective

Pedaler

People of Colours: POC showcase

Pie Eye Collective

Positive Negatives

Project Karnak

Project Play

Rachel Nwokoro

Random Acts

ResisDance

Ross From Friends (live)

Roya Shadmand

SE Dub Collective

Shivum Sharma

Short Story Hour

SIREN DJs

Skinny Pelembe

Sophia Del Pizzo

Sophie Duker

Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah

Squid

StorySlam

Susso

Tamsyn Kelly

Tenderstem DJs

The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

The Grind

The Harry & Chris QUIZ

Thidius

Andwot & Alex Rita (Touching Bass)

Tristan Rogers

Vels Trio

Voguing with Jay Jay Revlon

‘We all know there’s a housing crisis’

Where Pathways Meet

Wondering Hands Theatre

woom

Wovoka Gentle

Yoga Sessions

You, Me and the Distance Between Us

5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist

Sam wants to tell you about five encounters he had on a site called Craigslist.

Sam is anxious about the way he gets to know people. About the way he self-sabotages his attempts to communicate and reach out to those around him. Sam wants this to be a chance for you to get to know him.

5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist is a new solo show performed by one person. One person who needs an audience to tell his story. It’s a show that, in exploring one person’s self-sabotaged attempts to know those around him, considers the extent to which a group of people in a darkened room can ever get to know each other.

Desperately hilarious and achingly bleak, 5 Encounters on a site called Craigslist is an intricate and tender question mark around our attempts to encounter each other in a technologized world.

YESYESNONO is a company concerned with exploring the potential of theatre as a democratic space. A space where real experiences are expressed through unreal means. Sam Ward is currently at HOMEMcr as resident assistant director. He is in his final year of the MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck and prior to that has directed nine productions including work by Philip Ridley, Sarah Kane, Martin Crimp and David Greig.

@yesyesnonotheat

Adam Blake & Errol Linton

Described by the Observer as the ‘Brixton harmonica wizard’, Errol takes to harp as well as harmonica to blend the sounds of the deep Memphis south with his Jamaican roots. At Brainchild, he’ll be accompanied by down-home, sizzling guitar sounds of Adam Blake.

Alice Phoebe Lou

Alice Phoebe Lou’s fiercely independent approach to her music has given the singer songwriter a creative confidence that shines through in her captivating vocals and stripped back music. Having developed her bluesy, folk sound busking on the streets of Berlin, Alice has caught the ears of a community of music lovers the world over with her honest storytelling and raw, beautiful voice.

Having spent two years playing intimate gigs across Europe and South Africa, and supporting established like-minded artists like Rodriguez, 2016 saw Alice release her first full length studio album. Orbit comprises nine jazz-influenced, eclectic tracks recorded between Cape Town and Berlin that encapsulate the freshness of her live style, vagabond spirit and showcase her distinctive, soprano voice. Produced by Matteo and Kyson, the album is a testament to Alice’s collaborative way of writing and features musicians from South Africa and Europe lending their musical skills and different visual artists producing art works to match each track. The result is an intricately woven pattern of soul, blues and jazz: scattered with retro, beatnik melodies; soothing vocal harmonies and sleazy brass flourishes. 

Andrew Ashong

Andrew Ashong is a British-Ghanaian soul singer-songwriter, DJ and producer from south London whose approach to music making and support for DIY artists has been a major inspiration to us for years.

We’ve been struck by the beauty of his song-writing – tunes like ‘Flowers‘ with Theo Parrish, or ‘Special‘ have been go-to records for both unstoppable dancing and peaceful mindstates ever since they dropped. Now, we’re very humbled to have him with us at Brainchild for a live set as the sun goes down on our Saturday night.

With Andrew it’s not just the music but his whole creative attitude that’s got us excited. For us, he stands for celebrating diversity in artistic approaches and for strengthening community within music. We will also most definitely be inviting him to bring some picks from his incredible vinyl collection to our Open Decks session at the Steez Café on the Sunday afternoon.

His first solo release, on Theo Parrish’s label Sound Signature, and ‘Flowers‘ won Gilles Peterson’s ‘Track of the Year’ at the 2013 Worldwide Awards. When asked, what is behind the excitement of this record, Theo Parrish said, “The Funk. Right under my nose were all the essential elements: simplicity, drive, and honesty gained from heartfelt experience in Andrew Ashong’s music. It’s more than just that. It’s human.”

 

anu (rhythm section)

anu is a DJ and illustrator based in London. When not ushering in the dance, her work as wicked radio host is unparalleled, with shows for NTS, Rinse, BCR & Balamii, bringing a seamless colourful palette of music ranging from nostalgic Bollywood soundtracks, new age walls of ambience, early Hosono and party tunes. With a supremely varied collection and sensibility, she always brings a smile to the dancers faces.

Check out her illustrations here and her NTS show here.

Baewatch ‘N’ Learn

Baewatch ‘N’ Learn is a female collective running events in venues across London, showcasing primarily female creative talent in film, music, and art.

Ben Fehr & Liam Cutler

Ben Fehr & Liam Cutler are a contemporary electronic pairing from London, their self-titled project pursues deep electronic sounds, working with modern textures alongside unconventional composition to create rhythmic and melodic soundscapes. Often collaborating with visual artists their live performances create an immersive experience providing captivating audio-visual shows for audiences.

Ben Hauke b2b Daniel Fitz

Daniel Fitz has been buying records and playing loud music in fields and clubs for over 10 years. This year he’s playing b2b with long-time friend and fellow South London don Ben Hauke. Expect some top class heaters.

Boko! Boko!

Boko! Boko! is a trio of DJs – Tash LC, Mina & DJ Chin – who play forward thinking club music from around the world. The group host regular parties spinning afrobeats, dancehall, funky and everything in between, and were recently crowned champions of the first ever Roundhouse Rising Soundclash!

Bridget Minamore

Bridget Minamore is a writer, poet and journalist from south-east London. She has been commissioned by the Royal Opera House and Historic England, performed at the Roundhouse and the Southbank Centre, and regularly teaches drama and poetry workshops. With Point Blank Poets, Bridget has performed in both Rome and Vancouver, and was shortlisted to be London’s first Young Poet Laureate. In 2016 her first pamphlet of poetry Titanic came out on Out-Spoken Press, and she has been a part of the Brainchild Festival team since the very beginning, back in 2012. After a few years of forgetting to put herself down to perform, this summer Bridget is making her return to the Brainchild stage – and couldn’t be happier.

 

 

Brother Portrait

Brother Portrait is a first generation in this land Sierra Leonean Black British artist. One third of hip hop group black/other. Well into the importance of cultural production for social and political justice and for understanding expression and sense of self.

His gorgeous video with POC for Seeview/Rearview was premiered on OkayAfrica and has been celebrated by many since. Check his interview with Skin Deep last December.

Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi is a poet, filmmaker, and the current Young People’s Laureate for London and we are so excited to have him to Brainchild for the first time this year.

As a poet, Caleb’s commissions include the Tate Mordern, The Royal Society for Literature, Lit Festival and the Guardian. Caleb has graced major stages such as the Roundhouse, Barbican, British Library, Royal Festival Hall. He has also opened up for Lianne La Havas and has performed at many festivals including Latitude, Ed Fringe, Boomtown, Lovebox and Greenbelt to name a few. Caleb has also won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Genesis Poetry Slam and is currently working on a debut pamphlet.

As a filmmaker, Caleb has released two documentaries ‘What Did Love Taste Like In The 70s?’ and ‘Heartbreak & Grime’, to good international reception, which has led him to give talks and panel discussions on the topic of Grime music, Roadman culture and masculinity.

Cecilia Knapp

Cecilia Knapp is a writer, poet and performer. She’s taken her poetry all over the UK and internationally, made commissioned work for the TATE and BBC iplayer, and had her words played on Radio 1, 1Xtra, 5live and XFM. Her one woman theatre piece Finding Home is an exploration of loss, identity and growing up. It is supported by the Arts Council and the Roundhouse and has enjoyed sell out London runs. It will tour in 2017.

Cesca

Slowly emerging from the bedroom studio with some seriously intense groove music from outer space, Cesca are three young dudes attempting to paint their alien sound on to the canvas of the London jazz scene.

Charlie Towler

Charlie Towler is a DJ and music journalist based in North West London. As demonstrated by his guest features on Radar Radio and Worldwide FM, along with his regular contributions to online magazine Stamp the Wax, Charlie’s style is heartfelt, colourful and wide ranging. Reflecting countless hours spent scouring record stores, Charlie stitches together a loose, soulful and often wild selection; with sounds ranging from African oddities and loose percussive jams to hallucinogenic chuggers and oddball techno. Taking inspiration from the likes of Arthur Russell, Golden Teacher and DJ Sotofett , Charlie’s cosmic, spiritual and psychedelic selection should not be missed!

Compton White

The mysterious Compton White is a fast rising producer from the UK who has been critically acclaimed by a wide range of media outlets, as well as forward thinking music lovers.

White – real name Lloyd Whittle – has spent his life between the Isle of Wight and London and imbues his music with nostalgia for his childhood as well as other autobiographical details. His unique musical style is rooted in a rich history of electronics and bass heavy genres and has early Warp Records tinges interlaced with an emotive, inventive and contemporary R&B style. His short but stylistically wide-ranging EP ‘Compton White’, announced him as one of the most exciting new artists in underground music, garnering positive reviews from Mixmag, The Quietus and Clash Music.

Cosmo Pyke

Cosmo Pyke is an exciting South East London artist and multi-instrumentalist that combines indie, jazz and blues mixed with elements of hip-hop.

Daniel Wye

Daniel Wye is a comedian from the tropical land of Coventry. He has come to terms with the fact his entire existence is one cosmic joke, but is trying to figure out if that’s because he is a pathetic millennial or if Zeus genuinely cursed him in a past life. Join him as he craves for your attention and validation because he is a child from a broken home.

@DanielWye

Debtford

DEBTFORD are Deptford born artists K3mp and Cecil B. These two old friends are making an attempt at explaining the sour taste left in their mouths from gentrification and the changing surroundings of their hometown and their working class identities. Expect a big mouth over big beats.

Dego (2000Black)

 

As the head of the enigmatic 2000BLACK imprint and revered as one of London’s most important musical visionaries, Dego continues to pioneer forward-thinking soulful music across all tempos and is never restrained by genre, only influenced by quality. Recognized as an Award-Winner, Tastemaker, Songwriter, International DJ and genre defying Music Producer, Dego focuses on generating and performing soulful sounds that often forge into the unknown territories of Black music. Making genre guidelines obsolete, Dego has subsequently heavily influenced the evolutionary course of underground Electronica and the Electro Soul sound.

 

Don’t Problem

Eight-person brass behemoth. No covers.

Dylema Collective

The Dylema Collective is a one year old “spoken-soul” poetry-music project that loves all things Neo-Soul, Contemporary Jazz and floaty R&B – and they infectiously blend those sounds with a cross-over of Funk, Latin and poly-rhythmic grooves, spoken-word poetry and gospel harmonies. Thematically, their feminist poetry addresses matters of race, gender and individuality, values reiterated by the hidden message within their name’s acronym: “Do You. Let Every Man Adapt”. In short, they love sharing music and poetry – along with their penchants for body glitter – that truly make your brain and booty dance!

Eclair Fifi

 

Eclair Fifi is Clair Stirling. From Edinburgh, Scotland. She started DJing at 16yo on InterFACE FM, online pirate radio in London. Then she helped form LuckyMe playing as resident at their early clubs and radio shows . Amongst committed artwork and touring, she has since gone to host an In New DJs We Trust residency on BBC Radio 1, create critically-received mixes for RA & FACT, host the original LuckyMe show on Rinse FM and now at home on her headline radio show on NTS.

From her EU headline touring to curated parties at Paris Social Club, Clock Strikes 13, Coachella, The Tate, ADE & The Warehouse Project – Fifi’s energy stems from the perimeter of music genres. Her sets traverse Latin Freestyle, italo, techno, Hip Hop and RnB.

Off the stage, Eclair Fifi has featured in modelling campaigns for a handful of fashion labels – amongst them featuring on a flagship store on a Times Square billboard – but Clair is an active illustrator and production designer behind numerous covers and videos. Her latest project is a series of classic Italo, House and Latin Freestyle reissues shining a spotlight on drumapellas and sythnapellas as contemporary DJ tools – all lovingly cleared and presented with hand drawn portraits of the original artists.

Elisa & Srigala

Elisa Imperilee’s vocals and Srigala’s organic production style come together for their debut EP. Tipped by Lonely Table as up and coming artists to watch in 2017 the buzz is beginning to build as 1 O’Clock Club follows the release of ‘Differences’ which was recently played on Giles Peterson’s Worldwide FM and featured in Indie Shuffles Soul & R&B discovery playlist.

Born and bred in Brixton, their debut EP is a melting pot of genres including soul, jazz, hip-hop. It is named after the 1 o’clock club in Brockwell Park where the pair met as toddlers. Dedicated to friends Conrad, Max and Bruno who passed away in 2011 the EP is an honest and self-aware reflection on experiences of love, loss, growing up and learning to express who you are – themes listeners will no doubt relate to.

The release marked a celebration for the beginning of what promises to be an exciting year of new music, self-discovery and growth for Elisa Imperilee and Srigala.

ElPeche

ElPeche is a São Paulo born, London raised artist who’s influences range from the classics of Brazil’s Tropicalia movement such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, to the Northeastern Brazilian Alceu Valenca, through to European electronic music artists such as Nicola Cruz. He has been producing music for the past 4 years and has recently released a number of edits and originals both independently and through labels such as Tropical Twista Records, Sonido Trópico, Generation Bass and In-Correcto.

Elsa Hewitt

Elsa Hewitt is a songwriter, producer, musician and vocalist from Lewes. Guitar was her first instrument, after which she began using electronics as a solo artist; she has supported the likes of Samaris, Daisuke Tanabe, Anna Meredith, Cat’s Eyes and Olivia Louvel. In 2016 she won the PRSF Lynsey de Paul Prize for female songwriters and producers and was also selected for the Year 2 Future Bubblers talent scheme from Gilles Peterson and the Brownswood imprint.

In April 2017, Elsa self-released her debut album Cameras From Mars, a ten-track album with a fractured and supernatural essence, fusing tender moments of sincere lyricism embedded with twisted pulses of UK dance currents, meditative sub frequencies, and lofi, textural ambience. Despite her sonic unpredictability, Hewitt’s spiky passion for song-writing remains a powerful and central element to all of her material.

Emanative

Drummer, Producer and DJ, Nick Woodmansey creates and produces music as Emanative and has most recently released records on Brownswood Recordings/ The Steve Reid Foundation as well as being involved with production/ mixing for Sarathy Korwar’s recent album on Ninja Tune and Collocutor’s debut album. He is also a Trustee of The Steve Reid Foundation along with Gilles Peterson, Four Tet, Floating Points and others.

Emma-Jean Thackray

Emma-Jean Thackray is an award winning composer, trumpeter and producer. She is currently part of the Red Bull Music Academy’s Class of 2016 and has recently received the Emerging Excellence award from Help Musicians. On top of this, Emma released one of the most exciting and unique jazz records of 2016, “Walrus”.

“Walrus” has been daily listening since we first heard it, and we thoroughly recommend you dive straight in, bop your head & dance around. Check out the amazing artwork too, by Jack Greeley Ward (his vimeo is here).

Emma Joliffe’s writing workshop

Emma invites you to a writing workshop to explore the art of ‘portrait poems’: poems about people – from strangers on the street to our closest loved ones. Learn to sharpen your eyes, explore metaphor and write lines as perfect as Prince: ‘She walked in through the out door’. This fun, engaging workshop is for everyone.

A former teacher turned creative learning consultant, Emma’s passionate about working with people to help them find their voice and tell their stories. She likes to tell stories, sometimes in others’ voices. She writes bittersweet poems with humour, hope and humanity. Emma has performed her work at gigs and festivals all over the country, winning slams, and appearing on Channel 4’s Random Acts. Wherever she performs – from school assemblies to the upstairs of pubs – she always takes audiences on an emotional journey.

Equal Echo

Equal Echo is a new project by one of our favourite producers and DJs the lovely Hector Plimmer and musician Alexa Harley. They opened our Festival Launch party in February, and we are really excited to have them with us this year at the Steez Café on the Friday evening.

As with some of Hector’s solo material, the sound is mellow and made up of cross-rhythms that give you goosebumps when they play. There are no tracks out yet, but you can keep up to date with their previews from the exquisite videos that they post on their Facebook page here.

 

Eye Want Change

Eye Want Change is a film organisation which embraces smartphones to break elitist barriers in the filmmaking industry, and nurture creative self-expression and storytelling from a multitude of voices.

Created as an antidote to elitism in the film industry, Eye Want Change seeks to design a space where creativity and passionate storytelling is placed above formal education, access to equipment, large budgets and technical expertise. Inspired by the use of phones by activists across the world and films shot entirely or in-part on smartphones, we look to citizen journalism and new technologies as ways to democratise mainstream media and diversify filmmaking.

They lead regular workshops, digital spaces and screening events centring around how to make meaningful films on smartphones, guerrilla filmmaking and how to harness technology for social change, as well as hosting an international smartphone film competition each year.

Ezra Collective

Ezra Collective is the award-winning band born out of Tomorrows Warriors UK organisation for jazz music. First coming onto the scene in May 2012 when they were victorious in the Yamaha Jazz Experience Competition. They were blown away at the standard of Ezra Collective’s set and the advanced musicianship demonstrated by the band.

This lead on to an award which saw Ezra support Terence Blanchard in London Jazz Festival 2012. Since then they have gone on to headline various festivals and play in different clubs around London and beyond. This includes Royal Albert Hall and Festivals up and down the UK. The strong influence of Afro Beat, Reggae and Hip Hop, tied together by tuition and understanding of jazz creates the unique Ezra Collective sound.

Ezra Collective have also been used as rapper Pharoahe Monch’s live band further demonstrating their versatility in musicianship and other noticeable collaborations in hip hop such as TY. They continue to push boundaries of live music creating a unique blend of Afro Beat, Hip Hop and Reggae, tied together with a love of jazz. EZRA Collective’s debut EP Chapter 7 is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

Feeling Blue (get in the sea)

Reality, escapism, dissociation, relationships and mental health are all explored in this dreamy, glossy, immersive performance.

Feeling Blue are four artists collaborating across disciplines of moving image, installation, dance and music. Returning to Brainchild for their second year, they’re bringing a taste of their most recent show ‘Get in the Sea’ – the product of a ten day residency at Platform Southwark this March.

Film essays by Charlie Lyne

Charlie Lyne is a filmmaker and film critic from London. We’ll be screening his newest short film, Fish Story, which has been showing at various film festivals this year, but all we know so far is that it’s ‘a search for truth behind a fishy tale’.

We’re also showing Beyond Clueless – Charlie’s whirlwind adventure into teen movies, traversing the drama, romance, secrets and scandals of over 200 coming-of-age classics.

Footshooter

A producer and DJ currently based in Brighton, Barney Whittaker aka Footshooter is bringing a new exclusive live set to Brainchild. Set to drop a fresh EP of new sounds this summer, he will be performing a live rework of these tracks for the first time. The EP explores the spaces between Hip-Hop, House, Broken Beat and Funk, and the set will marry these elements with live improvisation and experimentation. The set will feature vocals from Slam The Poet, Izzy Risk and Brother Portrait and he will also be joined by Jack Stephenson-Oliver on keys and Da Rico on guitar.

Foreign Body

Foreign Body is the beautifully crafted debut solo show by Imogen Butler-Cole about hope, healing and forgiveness after sexual assault.

Uniquely told from the perspective of the survivor and perpetrator of the same assault, using a charged combination of verbatim, physical theatre and a stunning original soundtrack, Foreign Body is a brave, liberating and life-affirming story.

In spring of 2017, Foreign Body premiered during Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival then toured to Northampton, Coventry Equalities Festival, Rich Mix London, Hamilton House Bristol and Dhaka Bangladesh. The play has been developed at renowned feminist theatre festival Calm Down Dear, RADA Festival, Exeter Bike Shed, Hamilton House, Bristol and Off Beat Oxford.

“Groundbreaking” “Inspiring and uplifting” **** The Stage

Foreign Body aims to destigmatise dialogue around sexual violence – we’ll be hosting a Q&A after the performance at Brainchild.

Fuck You Pay Me

Actor, activist and poet Joana Nastari presents a work-in-progress deconstruction of London Stripclub culture.

In city slowly eating itself, an industry which employs thousands of women is fighting to keep up. As the streets of Soho are cleansed and the last remaining strip pubs are giving way to yet more artisan coffee shops and luxury flats, the casualties of this city-wide sterilisation are rarely heard from. Fusing music, spoken word, comedy and verbatim interviews, “Fuck You Pay Me” refuses to satisfy your appetite for a ‘scandalous tell-all’ or tragedy porn. Instead, it’s a celebration of the complexities of life as a stripper in London, a deep and thoughtful look into the politics of our relationship to sex, work and the rapidly changing city in which we live.

Joana is a founding member of feminist artists collective “Sexy Lamp Society”, organising meetings and talks, as well as hosting experimental theatre nights in unconventional spaces. Joana has worked as an actor across London theatres and was most recently nominated for a Broadway World award for Best Actress for her role as Unn in the Awakening. She also hosts sex worker community events at a local strip joint, encouraging women to share experiences, skills and secrets.

“A country without bordellos is like a house without bathrooms”

– Marlene Dietrich

 

gal-dem: reimagining feminism

gal-dem is a creative collective and magazine (online and in print) comprising over 70 women and non-binary people of colour. The aim of gal-dem is to open up our take on the world to a wider audience.

In this workshop we will reimagine traditional feminist motifs with those figureheads and messages that are most relevant to us. Join us and get creative with gal-dem.

Gardenn

Gardenn is a new night in Brighton aiming to deliver exciting dance music from the world over, in a friendly and open environment. It’s residents are Will Wiffen, Caldera and Footshooter.

GCDJ

GCDJ stands for Girls Can’t DJ – they’re a female DJ duo playing the best in rnb, disco, garage and funky house. GCDJ are known for mixing old school nostalgic jams with fresh new tunes. The girls have residencies across Brighton and London and a monthly show on Balamii Radio.

We’re excited to get our headphones on, turn the volume up and see where they take us at Brainchild’s silent disco.

‘Giving crisis a voice: who owns a story?’

A meaty session looking at how film, TV & theatre can best engage with and deepen understanding of the refugee crisis, exploring the relationship between contributor and producer.

We start with a play: Ellen Muriel’s You, Me and the Distance Between Us, which uses songs, puppets and disarming honesty to open a conversation on refugees, life in Europe’s camps, and the ambiguous role of privileged volunteers.

Then we get into the discussion – Ellen’s joined by Ralph Thompson, producer of Battersea Arts Centre’s London Stories, an immersive theatre work with true stories told by migrants who have made the capital their home. Also on the panel are two producers of the Bafta-winning BBC documentary Exodus – Daisy Squires and Hassan Akkad, who is himself a Syrian refugee. The series portrays intimate stories of the refugee crisis by giving cameras to some of those smuggling themselves into Europe. 

Haseeb Iqbal

Haseeb Iqbal is a teenage spoken word artist from North London. He writes about the personal and the political – from universal issues to stories about himself – and was recently profiled by The Fader. Starting writing at just 15, Haseeb has performed at various London open mics such as The Poetry Society, Upstairs At The Ritzy, STEEZ, and The Tate. A member of the Brainchild family who has come to our events before, 2017 will mark Haseeb’s first visit to the festival as a performer.

‘Having an impact’

How effective is direct action, and when should we take it? Get involved with this led discussion about the merits and methods of activism as we try to figure out how to have the biggest impact on the issues we care about.

Horsey

HORSEY… There were forces beyond their control drawing them towards the abandoned log cabins on the south side of town…

Each night for months their dreams were filled with the scent of pine sap and dry kindling. One such night under a full moon – when the dreams had come so strong that they could taste the forests musk in their mouths and feel its wet mud between their toes – they awoke suddenly, thick with sweat and writhing naked next to each other on the bare floor of log cabin 7.

How had they got here? What time was it? These were the poorly tensed questions that ran through their minds and poured from their mouths. Then suddenly, in the corner of the room, they saw them…

A drum kit, made from wood

A wooden bass

A guitar, wood no less

And a piano. A wooden fucking piano.

Horsey was born.

Hot Mess

Hot Mess is Max Levine and Anna Piper. Anna is a stand-up and actress, she was highly commended in this years Funny Women competition. Max is a writer and performer with credits including The Cambridge Footlights and BBC Radio 4’s Newsjack. They met when they were members of The Soho Theatre Young Company and they aim to amuse you.

Having had them scratch their new show with us at Hatch in November, they then went on to run a preview at Platform, our home in Southwark. The shrieks of laughter and delight were quite unlike anything we’ve ever heard, and we cannot wait for their set in our comedy showcase at this year’s festival.

Hudnall

Hudnall is a South East Londoner who buys and plays records to tell stories and express emotional truth. With a record collection spanning a multitude of sounds from House, Techno, Disco, Jazz, Soul, High Life, Ambient and beyond, his sets are all based around his feelings in that moment, stitching it all together to say something honest and that matters, flaws n’ all.

You’ll often catch Hudnall at one of his own parties; Pantheism in south London.

Ishmael Ensemble

2017 sees multi-instrumentalist Ishmael embark on his most ambitious venture yet with the launch of the Ishmael Ensemble. Their debut Lp “Songs For Knotty” on Banoffee Pies Records takes the listener on an emotional journey through jazz & ambient music. With support from from the likes of Gilles Peterson, Alexander Nut & Tom Ravenscroft, the 6-piece band have a busy year ahead.

Isobel Rogers: Elsa

Elsa is a mixture of music, storytelling and stand up that takes us through the day in the life of a girl working in a cafe. She spends her hours eavesdropping on coffee dates where customers don’t always seem to be telling the truth. It’s a show written and performed by Isobel Rogers, a singer, songwriter, actress and writer who creates characters through music, and relishes blending the political with the personal in her work. She is on Soho Theatre’s young writers programme and is a resident artist at London’s Camden Roundhouse, where she recently supported the band The Tiger Lillies and Camille O’Sullivan. Elsa is also travelling to Edinburgh this year.

Jamunji Dub

In April 2017, the Steez community gave birth to what is now known as Jamunji Dub: a two-piece dub/jungle/d’n’b outfit consisting of Danny Wallington and Giuliano Osella. They’ve since collaborated with Shumba Youth, Fedzilla and Laous de Don. At Brainchild they’ll be joined by the amazing Gabriele Pribetti on sax, who has performed with the likes of Zion Train among many others.

Jess Murrain

Jess Murrain is an actor, writer, spoken word artist and theatre maker. Her work is queer, feminist, dyslexic and experimental, and she trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her most recent collaborations are with the Bristol Old Vic, Complicite, Etch, Tobacco Factory, National Theatre Studios and LIFT. She has poetry publications with the Poetry School, and her readings and spoken word performances have spanned various events and spaces including Brainchild Festival, Roundhouse and Love Each other or Perish: 50 Greatest Love Poems as part of the Festival of Love, Royal Festival Hall. In 2011, she co-founded Theatre with Legs with director and performer Lucy Bairstow. Following a recent run at the Camden People’s Theatre and Pleasance, their show ‘DIGS’ is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017. Her poetry shorts at Brainchild Festival 2017 will explore some connecting and cathecting and some singing and some looping and some talking and some walking (into the flames. Lol.) It’ll be about love and grief and protest, and we can’t wait to listen.

Joshua Mooney

Joshua Mooney (Formerly known as Wilfred Giroux) now releasing and playing parties worldwide under his new moniker and real name. Playing Emotional garage, Melodramatic House, Warm Disco with releases to drop and parties being thrown throughout the year.

Jossy Mitsu

Originally hailing from Birmingham, Jossy Mitsu has been shelling down clubs around the country since the age of 18. Now 22 she’s based in London and hosts a bi-weekly show on the hugely exciting online platform Radar Radio. With affiliations to Astral Black, Sum Cellar & grime crew Wave Gang, she’s well known for her eclecticism – whether she’s rinsing out sweaty club heaters, firing skeng on sets with MCs or serenading you with her certi 2-step vinyl collection.

Kojey Radical

Kojey Radical is a London based poet, musician and mixed media visual artist. Beginning as a contemporary artist Kojey moved through the arts with increasing curiosity and defiant will to never be confined to one art form. GALLONS is the latest project to come from the enigmatic poet and wordsmith; produced by Greatness Jones (Giggs, Avelino, Scorcher) with supporting Creative Direction from Kojey and Craig Most Popular Human.

Kokoroko

KOKOROKO is a young, London-based, Afrobeat 7-Piece. We play music we love, we grew up with and our parents got funky to. Inspired by Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen and the great sounds that have come out of West Africa, we put on a performance to honour the masters that taught us.

L.A.B Beat Physics

The L.A.B Collective is a group of DJs, producers and visual artists all working together to push underground music culture. Last year saw Busy + D’Vo launch the Beat Meet – an a live beats party and showcase filled with champions of the beat scene community. Now the collective gear up to create compound vibes together at Brainchild.

Ladybeard x Beauty

Join the team behind award-winning independent magazine Ladybeard for some life drawing and a led discussion around the topic for their next magazine issue: beauty.

Laura Misch

We were overwhelmed by Laura’s spirit and talent at last year’s festival. After she played in Alfa Mist & Barney Artist‘s B2B set, Laura took up Alice Phoebe Lou‘s invitation and got involved with her main stage set purely through improvisation.

This year we’re very excited to have her with us to play her own tunes with some guest musicians. Laura’s infectiously soulful music has been increasingly garnering praise; with plays on Radio 1 & 1Xtra and features on Majestic Casual. After playing her unique electronic solo set at shows alongside jazz & soul luminaries Soweto Kinch, Andrew Ashong and Binker & Moses, Laura went on to sell out her debut headline show, which combined her exploratory electronics with some of London’s finest musicians. She’s since followed this up by playing sold out shows supporting rising stateside lyricist Noname and the ever-energetic jazz great Roy Ayers. Across her online music and special live set-up, you can expect textured sax soundscapes, achingly poignant melodies, deep groove and a whole lot of soul.

Little Grape Jelly

Little Grape Jelly is a poetry collective formed of Lily Ashley, Grace Pilkington and James Massiah who will be presenting their project Hell-p Me at Brainchild. Three distinct voices come together to explore the benefits and limitations of communicating online. This is their interaction via email and social media over the past nine months, in free verse and other poetry forms. Each performance offers something new as the conversation continues between shows, detailing the ups and downs of life and love in the digital age. Immediate, honest and fleeting, here is what happens when three different worlds collide on one page.

We’re exciting to be hosting a Q&A with Little Grape Jelly after their performance at the festival.

Lulu Popplewell

In an attempt to shake off the shame, Lulu relays a series of snapshots from her teenage diary. By sharing some extracts from her early teens, and embarrassment of anecdotes, she explores what has changed 13 years on – if anything.

The confessional comedian invites others to identify with, or just laugh at, the cringe things that come out of a teenage girl’s mouth (pen), with some stand up material thrown in to cushion the bum-clenching awkwardness of it all.

@lulu_popplewell

Luo

Luo is a Brighton-based producer and live band focused on combining various styles of electronic music with organic instrumentation.

At its core Luo is made up of producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Trinnaman, drummer Sam Hughes and guitarist Jake Keeble; occasionally the group expands to include additional musicians.

They have supported Venetian Snares, Death Grips, Mouse on the Keys and Three Trapped Tigers and have received critical acclaim from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Clash & more. Their debut LP ‘Sleep Spindles’ was released on Brighton label Small Pond Recordings in October 2016.

Taking pieces from a wide range of influences, Luo is a melting pot of genres such as Hip-Hop, Post/Prog/Math-Rock, Jazz, IDM, the UK electronic music scene and its many subgenres to name a few – tied together by melodic hooks and detailed, off-kilter drum sections.

Live shows centre on glitchy, hypnotising grooves and atmospheric keyboards, embellished by Sam Hughes’ intense precision drumming and Jake Keeble’s euphoric, textural guitar work.

LVNA

LVNA (Lydia Clowes & Teresa Origone) came together in London as a keyboard and vocal duo, which soon expanded into an all female four-piece band, and developed the project into the sleepy lullabies and soulful sounds of LVNA. Influenced by a wide range of artists, from Lianne La Havas to Little Dragon to D’Angelo, their debut EP ‘In Limerence’ captures the essence of childhood and vivid dreams with sweet sounding synths and unpredictable beats bouncing under pure vocals. The EP is a colourful collection of songs in which LVNA spontaneously blend jazz and soul elements with lo-fi production.

Madi Maxwell-Libby

Madi Maxwell-Libby is a comedy performer, spoken-word artist, Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion 2016, and award-winning office temp*. Her poem ‘Kids, Coins, Cuts’, (about childhoods under austerity) was broadcast on BBC iPlayer for National Poetry Day, and she was a finalist in the National Slam Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. She has performed her work for Nationwide’s TV ad campaigns, the Southbank Centre and bemused commuters in busy city train stations. She is a Resident Artist at the Roundhouse and is currently developing her first solo show MASSIVE SENSE OF URGENCY, a physical comedy show about living under capitalism, with support from Battersea Arts Centre and Camden People’s Theatre. She is from London and wears a lot of wool.

*not a joke

Massiah Abraham

Massiah Abraham is a written + spoken word poet and photographer. Fusing poetry with jazz, trip-hop and neo soul sounds, her work takes a philosophical approach to the human condition. Having been part of the Words First program launched by BBC1xtra and Roundhouse, she has gone on to perform at festivals such as Farmfest, Leefest, Goddess Fest (the first all female festival in the UK) and the Last Word. Her work has been featured on BBC1xtra, Edge FM and Innov8 Radio. She is currently working on a poetry book, merging her passion for both poetry and photography, and we’re excited to welcome her to the festival this year.

‘Measure of success’

In the age of doing it yourself, success can mean a lot of things. Is it as simple as winning accolades or having a large following? What part does money or fame play in the success of a DIY project? When does a successful project stop being DIY – and is that always a good thing?

Join Liv Little of gal-dem, Errol Anderson of Touching Bass and Boiler Room, and spoken word artist James Massiah in conversation about what counts as success for project founders, freelancers, and creatives.

Molinaro

Apron Records’ new gun and super talented young producer consistently pushing things forwards in his DJ sets and own music. Remember the name!

Naomi Ishiguro

Naomi Ishiguro has spent two years working as a bibliotherapist at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath – listening to strangers’ problems and recommending books that might help see them through.  She was the head of UCL Writers’ Society is now studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at UEA, as well as working on her first novel. Naomi’s bringing her notepad to Brainchild to read us a tale or two in our Short Story Hour.

Nathan Roberts

Comedian Nathan Roberts (Selected for BBC Radio New Comedy Award, So You Think You’re Funny? Semi-Finalist) takes an anecdotal and absurd approach to anxiety, modern romance, and navigating the choppy waters into adulthood.

@Nathan_Darcy89

Pecs: The Drag King Collective

Pecs is an ever-growing collective of female actors, comedians, singers and dancers, who love nothing more than to put on handsome drag shows for the queer and curious Ladies & Gents of London and beyond.

Pecs have charmed their way through London’s cabaret scene, leaving a trail of delicious cologne in their wake, giving sell-out performances at such (dis-)reputable venues as The Abbey Tavern, The Battersea Barge, and Bar Wotever at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Their shows explore the performativity of gender; unleashing their inner masculinity they undermine the patriarchy through a particular brand of searing satire and down right silliness.

Pedaler

Pedaler’s been around the block supporting some of the biggest in the game. He knows how to get most dancing with anything from obscure underground music to r&b classics and everything in between. It will be a party!

People of Colours: POC showcase

People of Colours is a digital collective and online space promoting diversity in the film and virtual reality Industry. Run by people of colour for people of colour, their aim is to create a stimulating community and celebrate genuine diversity.Through open submission, the People of Colours core team select work to showcase at their events and on their online platform. From music videos, film shorts, documentary and even virtual reality, People of Colours is about celebrating excellent bodies of work all in one place.

Pie Eye Collective

Pie Eye Collective is the musical brainchild of composer/instrumentalist Matt Gordon. The project serves as a vehicle for explorations into djing, producing, remixing and elevated global consciousness through sound and vibration and art.

He is resident dj at #earthbound (Job Centre Centre, Deptford). for four hours every Thursday night, listeners are taken around the world and through alternate timelines via the extensive Deptford beach/vaudeville playbook vinyl library.

Pie Eye Collective is also a member of Diego Ghymers’ London Soundpainting Orchestra (www.lspo.co.uk) and Emma-Jean Thackray’s Walrus; with both groups active regularly in and around London.

Positive Negatives

PositiveNegatives produce literary educational comics, animations and podcasts about contemporary social and human rights issues using multimedia, illustrations and narratives.

We’ve been inspired by their comics for a long time, and they are now beginning to make animations. At Brainchild this year we welcome the team down to talk about this new venture and what relationship animation can have with news.

Project Karnak

High energy drums combined with the mercurial Jazz Progressions following by strong guitar and bass accompaniment to create an explosive unique sound forged in South London. Having only been together for less than 6 months, this new outfit has attracted the attention of Stamp The Wax, Worldwide Fm an Djs all over the world. Following of their release “Fellowship” their EP is coming out May the 30th! Soon followed with gigs

Project Play

Project Play uses playing, nonsense, and nostalgic games as a way to combat anxiety and create new communities of young people in London. They’re interested in exploring the importance of play and vulnerability in our everyday lives, and have hosted free workshops for adults at universities, festivals and community centres. Previous games include fancy dress relay races and panty hose bowling!

We are very grateful that the team are returning to the festival, hosting a flying apparatus workshop and an earthquake-proof fort building competition – both involve judging panels, creative use of materials and a whole lot of fun!

Rachel Nwokoro

Rachel Nwokoro (RachelShapes) is a crossdisplinary Storyteller and the 2016 UK Slam Champion, born and bred in London. She mostly writes in a bid to understand things that she doesn’t, to ask questions, to learn how to be a better human, encourage awareness and conversation around important issues, and most importantly… because she loves it. Rachel has been performing spoken word poetry for just over a year at different venues in the UK and Paris, having began her career on the Open Mic circuit in a bid to curtail her crippling anxiety. She likes cuddles and pancakes so if you have either of the two at Brainchild Festival then they will be happily received.

Random Acts

First Acts is part of an exciting initiative between Arts Council England and Channel 4, working with and developing 16-24 year old filmmakers, and helping them to produce shorts for C4’s Random Acts.

At Brainchild, Random Acts producer Beth Webb will be joined by artists who have taken part in the First Acts programme, including Aliyah Hasinah and Ellen Pearson.

We’ll be screening lots of our favourite shorts at the festival, but you can also check out Aliyah’s film Sentence and Ellen’s film Lawless before you arrive. We’re really excited to hear the story behind them.

ResisDance

Resis’dance are a diverse group of women taking hold of the tech and decks, smashing the patriarchy and supporting under funded radical grassroots groups. They came together to organise banging party nights – whilst challenging gender norms in the party and political scene. They hold events, run DJ and tech workshops and book out DJs and MCs. Resis’dance prioritise the voices of women of colour, working class women and trans women both in our collective and when planning our events. They bring together different activist communities to form an affinity on the dance floor, and every event has grassroots beneficiaries (who are invited to put forward artists to perform but also to be able to promote and raise money for their causes).

Ross From Friends (live)

Through drawing influence from early experimental music, 80’s pool club synth jams, hip-hop sampling and anything laden with a four to the floor thump, South London-based Ross From Friends provides his own compressed, fidgety interpretation of Techno/House certain to make you move.
After Ross’ debut EP on Breaker Breaker Recordings, his output gained traction online in late-2015 through a series of mysterious SoundCloud uploads. Now taken on board by lo-fi front-runners, and Lobster Theremin affiliates, Distant Hawaii for his much anticipated ‘You’ll Understand’ EP, Ross has a bright future with exciting conquests on the cusp of fruition.

Roya Shadmand

Roya Shadmand is a British writer, poet and performance artist, currently based in Paris. She has performed at various festivals across the UK, including Brainchild, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe (to name a few).

She is a Roundhouse Resident Artist, an ex-member of the 2015-2016 Roundhouse Poetry Collective, and was a finalist in 2016’s Chortle Student Comedian of the Year. Shadmand’s work circles around issues of gender, culture, (in)sanity, childhood, children’s education and questions concerning the existence of/struggle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

Sometimes she is funny, usually she is uncomfortable.

Roya will be performing 10 minutes of new material as part of a Hatch showcase of developing work.

SE Dub Collective

It’s not often we get to see QUITE so many incredible musicians bring the heat as when we see SE Dub Collective, and after their beautiful set at last year’s festival we had have them back.

In this super-group you’ll spot musicians from the thriving South East London music scene, such as Ezra Collective, Nérija, SumoChief, Poppy Ajudha, Maisha and many more. These are some of the most talented and generous musicians we’ve had the pleasure of growing with over the last for years, and believe us when we say that their take on dub, reggae, dancehall and rocksteady will have you going wild.

 

Shivum Sharma

Singer/songwriter from south London.

Short Story Hour

This year’s Short Story Hour will be a showcase of new fiction from rising stars on the UK literary scene. Our headline act is Chibundu Onuzo, the youngest woman ever to be signed by Faber and Faber. Her debut novel, The Spider King’s Daughter was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Etisalat Prize, shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and Commonwealth Book Prize and won a Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, Welcome to Lagos was published in January 2017. Chibundu is currently pursuing a PhD in History at King’s College London.
Short Story Hour will also feature work from Naomi Ishiguro, who was the head of UCL Writers’ Society. She spent two years working as a bibliotherapist at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath. Naomi is studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at UEA and working on her first novel.  
Tristan Rogers’s writing has been featured in the UCL Writers’ Society Anthology, and he was part of the Slightly Foxed team for many years. Tristan is now editorial assistant at drawingmatter.org.
This will be a chance to sit down, listen, and get lost in the stories. 
The event will be hosted by Leon Craig, who has read at Polari Salon, Swimmers London, and That’s What She Said, among others.

SIREN DJs

SIREN exists to challenge and re-define current preconceptions within dance music, whilst bringing to the fore those underrepresented in the scene. They throw queer parties in London promoting women and non-binary artists, as well as running workshops, radio shows and publishing a zine.

You can listen to their NTS show here.

Skinny Pelembe

Now part of Brownswood Recording’s Future Bubblers, Skinny released his first cut of Afro-Psychedelic-Soul, “Mindset Is Fear” on through his “Skinny’s Own” imprint, getting spins by the likes of Boiler Room’s Thristian, BBC6’s Tom Robinson and Gilles Peterson.

Sophia Del Pizzo

What if, bear with me now, you made friends with your feelings. What name would you give depression? If anxiety was a person what accent would it have?

Sophia Del Pizzo will perform some material from Assmonkey: In Conversation, her debut one woman show. It’s a sarcastic and honest tale about anxiety, crutches, and a sharing of experiences and characters from a journey of self help and scientific* research. There’s comedy, there’s experiments, there’s character work, there may even be a little bit of yoga.

*Use the term loosely

@sophiadelpizzo

Sophie Duker

Duker is a fearless stand-up who tackles topics like identity politics and pop culture with unapologetic sass.

Co-host of the cult comedy revue MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRLS “smashing the heteronormative patriarchy one show at a time” (DIVA) and regular writer for both BBC Comedy and Cartoon Network, she recently won a place on the prestigious Pleasance Comedy Reserve.

“A sparky proposition… intelligent jokes” The Independent

@sophiedukebox

Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah

It’s no secret that the film industry is a male-dominated environment; its rampant sexism has been a hot topic for a while. Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah was founded by three women in an attempt to tackle this issue and form a collective for females looking to create work, and gain experience and skills in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. We have a DIY, guerilla style approach to filmmaking where we embrace messing up, facing fears, and where there are no stupid questions.

SKMY started when Laura Kirwan-Ashman and Aya Arden-Clarke made a one-minute funny film for the Met Film School Comedy Challenge (which you can watch under Projects). The film was shortlisted and writer Laura won a two day intensive filmmaking course. The entire film was written, shot, and edited in a total of around five hours and they thought to themselves, ‘Why the hell aren’t we doing this all the time?’ They then joined forces with multi-hyphenate Charlotte Lowdell to form SKMY. The collective’s first project is a web series which is currently in production and they have collaborated with I Am Dora, the ICO, and the ICA on the Two Films by Josephine Decker project.

Squid

Squid are a British five-piece formed in Brighton, UK.

Drawing on influences from styles as disparate as Krautrock, Jazz, & Ambient – the group has a cohesion & dynamism that belies their youthful existence.

Utilising varied and interchangeable instrumentation – Squid’s extraordinary individual and collective musicianship finds them exploring the depth of their own soundscapes, and finding the peace or the chaos instilled within.

Brightons finest – ‘Woozy, ethereal, atmospheric neo-jazz’

Thisyearinmusic (Perfect Teeth) – ‘A slow burning instrumental full of breaks that flaunt their capacity for improvisation. It’s one of the best songs of the year so far!’

Never Enough Notes – ‘Squid’s blend of ghostly electronica, post-rock and experimental shoegaze is a firm nod towards Floating Points and Slowdive.’

StorySlam

StorySlam believe that everyone has a story to share; thy just need a platform to share it. A bit like the The Moth, this is a workshop and story slam where people turn their real life experiences into first-person storytelling live on stage. Come along with a story to share, or just enjoy everyone else’s!

Susso

Susso is a collaborative project between the members to the celebrated Suso /Susso and Kuyateh griot (musician and storytellers) families and UK bassist/ producer Huw Bennett. The album ‘Keira’ was released on Soundway Records in Oct 2016. The music is inspired by, and directly samples the magnificent sounds of the Mandinka people, recorded in Gambia, 2013. Initially traveling with the aim to gain perspective as a musician and to discover a new world of music first hand, Huw found himself humbled by such a welcoming community of artists. Huw’s guide and teacher of traditional Mandinka repertoire was Yusupha Suso (who features heavily on the album), son of internationally renowned griot Mawdo Suso and master balafon in his own right.

As a result of the success of ‘Keira’ and to further promote the record and benfit these familes of musicians, Huw decided to form a 6 piece live band, comprising of UK based Mandinka and Wolof musicians from Gambia and Senegal, as well as musicians from the London jazz and electronic music scenes. Together they subtly marry the core Mandinka sounds of the Kora, Balafon, Djembe, Dun Dun with analog synth sounds and weighty Afrobeat grooves. The result is an intense, beautiful and unpredictable live show where each musician is focused on creating this new musical fusion, but remains dedicated to learning and referencing these West African traditions and its repertoire.

Have a listen to the record here and his interview with Musica Macondo here.

Tamsyn Kelly

“The Next Big Thing” Wild Above Rule Rats Winner 2016

Soho Theatre Young Company

Experimental character comedy, inspired by Emma Watson.

@tamsynkelly

Tenderstem DJs

Tenderstem are a new venture from Alfie and Liam (formerly Delphine). Based in East London these boys have party dates booked in for some of the hottest days of the summer.

Be sure to get limber with them from 8:00 at the Shack on Friday Night.

What to expect? Your daily dose of Vitamin D

The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“I’m Madame du Thé and I’m worldly and wise,

Oh the wonders I’ve seen with these elegant eyes.

So much knowledge is crammed in this pretty little head,

Pythagoras theorem, the Dutch language, 93 names for shades of red.”

You are cordially invited to take a peep inside Madame Fanny Du Thé’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Unsatisfied with the expectations thrust upon her as an aristocratic Georgian young lady to stay still and look pretty, Fanny has ventured across seas and explored the world. Now she’s back, and she wants to share her new-found wordly wisdom with you, you lucky devils. Reach into her cabinet to see what curio grabs you, and let Fanny enlighten you with her titillating, musical tales. Will you fondle the Frenchman’s finger? Will you pinch the cursed cherub’s cheek? There’s only one way to find out – come along and sneak a peek.

Riddlestick Theatre are a Bristol-based theatre company who play with past and present, fiddle with fact and fiction, and toy with traditional forms of tale-telling. After performing their medieval folk comedy, The Dead of Night in the Middle of Nowhere in the woodland at Brainchild 2016, they are thrilled to be returning this year with this new musical cabaret of curiosities.

The Grind

The Grind is a drama series that follows a collective of friends in their early twenties hustling to make a name for themselves in London’s creative scene. Nick, Sage, Avery and Josh use their connections and street smarts to make a path to the top, but challenges still lay ahead – career wise and in their personal lives. This is a London centred series bringing the grit and glitz of the city to the screen.

Come along to The Cinema for a screening, followed by a workshop and Q&A with The Grind’s creator – filmmaker, screenwriter, director and producer Nosa Eke.  Alongside filmmaking collective Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah, Nosa will be discussing how to get started in your filmmaking career, and how a web series might be the path to follow.

The Harry & Chris QUIZ

In the words of QUIZ Khalifa – Yea, Uh huh, you know what it is! After a sell out Edinburgh Fringe Debut and subsequent UK tour of ‘The Harry and Chris Show’, a fun-filled monthly night ‘Joyride’ in Southwark combining music, poetry, comedy and games and a soon-to-be award-winning podcast (The Harry and Chris Podcast) there was only one thing left to conquer – A Quiz!

Whether you’re hungover from the night before, or on your way to being hungover tomorrow, or constantly drunk on life itself, this is the place for you. The kind of quiz where creativity is more important than knowledge, and having fun is more important than anything. Bring yourselves, we’ll do the rest.

Thidius

Thidius are fronted by siblings Izzy and George Risk (voice and guitar). After storming onto the south London music scene with their first EP ‘Rush you’ they were quickly offered their first european tour supporting King Krule. Izzy and George are accompanied by Ben Hayes (synth), Tom Driessler (bass), and Harry Pope (drums).

While gigging extensively to solidify their growing following Thidius have been producing the follow up to ‘Rush you’ with the release scheduled this year.

Andwot & Alex Rita (Touching Bass)

Andwot and Alex Rita represent 2/6 of Touching Bass, the collective of London-based soul disciples who throw monthly offline dances in an intimate Brixton restaurant. These groove specialists are focused on forwarding the legacy of black-oriented music, whether it’s their monthly NTS Radio slot, regular sessions at Brilliant Corners or various sets elsewhere.

Tristan Rogers

We’ll be settling down to hear a Tristan’s stories in our Short Story Hour.  His work has been featured in the UCL Writers’ Society Anthology, and he was part of the Slightly Foxed magazine team for many years. He’s now editorial assistant at Drawing Matter.

Vels Trio

It’s been exciting early days for Brighton based experimental group Vels Trio (keys player Jack Stephenson Oliver, bassist Cameron Dawson and drummer Dougal Taylor) since meeting in 2014.

The bands drive to perform and consistently push their live prowess – already garnering an exceptionally diverse array of fans and admirers alike – has propelled them into the live arena to share stages with acts such as Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Sons of Kemet, Moses Boyd’s Exodus, Let Spin and two performances at the illustrious Love Supreme Festival.

Being almost indistinguishable by any sole genre, the group’s mutual loves and individual fortes across prog, electronic, jazz, funk and hip-hop has paved the collective way for their early sound.

With a keen desire in improvisation, Vels Trio’s sound can be characterised by their heavy grooves, emotionally charged songwriting, coupled alongside expressive, progressive modern musicianship to create an excitingly frenetic, and irresistibly engaging live sound structures.

After 3 years of tirelessly indulging in their passion for music in an endeavour to explore, discover and create – Vels Trio are ready to unveil their inaugural release Yellow Ochre EP on Total Refreshment Records.

Voguing with Jay Jay Revlon

Limber up, dress up, bring your most outrageous moves and your most audacious self to a voguing workshop with Jay Jay Revlon – MC, DJ, father of the Kiki House of Tea, and co-founder of English Breakfast London, responsible for some of London’s finest voguing nights.

Instrumental to the rise of London’s voguing scene, Jay Jay Revlon caught wider attention last year when he was filmed at London’s vigil for Orlando. As Jay Jay himself says, ‘voguing requires you to let out all your emotion and spirit on the floor. It came about as a reaction to oppression: in the 80s you would let out all your pain in a costume at a ball. It brought the community together and I think it still works’.

See you on the floor – don’t forget your glitter (and your shade).

‘We all know there’s a housing crisis’

A discussion led by writer Bridget Minamore. We’ve grown up with a very real knowledge of a housing crisis in this country, but as we try to figure out our plans, what are the actual solutions out there?

Where Pathways Meet

Where Pathways Meet are an ensemble that was born our of love for the otherworldly musical explorations of Sun Ra.

“dedicated to making music animated by a reverence for his spirit, they went about their work with energy and enthusiasm. Any rawness in the execution seemed unimportant by comparison with the good feeling they imparted.” – Richard Williams, The Blue Moment 

Wondering Hands Theatre

A journey into the weird and wonderful world of sex and relationships inspired by real stories of first kisses, crushes, discovering identity, bodies and all the fuzzy stuff in between.

“The anticipation and excitement in the air was tangible and people’s faces beamed with smiles, which were destined to remain there throughout the performance.” -Puppet Place

“If there’s any show that could convince you of the validity and vibrancy of cabaret puppetry as an art form, it’s “SEX and Puppets” -Ruthless Magazine

“Sex and Puppets” is gorgeous, heartwarming fun that will leave you a better person – and perhaps a better lover – for watching.” -Erotic Review

Wondering Hands will be performing 10 minutes of new material as part of a Hatch showcase of developing work.

@WonderingHands

woom

Woom are a choral collective who feel singing together is unifying and empowering. As well as performing their selection of originals and covers at Brainchild, Woom are running a workshop for anyone keen to join in – expect a warm, open embrace. Alice, Ella, Izzy and Lara birthed Woom and they cannot wait to sing with you.

Wovoka Gentle

“Wovoka Gentle is constantly evolving project. Our roots are in traditional soil – we love the structure and soundscape in folk songs – but we wanted to work from those foundations to develop a new vocabulary, a new kind of songwriting.”

Ever since we first saw Wovoka Gentle play, we knew we had to get them involved with Brainchild in some way. Not only are they creating new sound palettes with eclectic influences, but their approach is shaped by their roots in performance and theatre. Just after they formed, the band wrote and performed the score for avant-garde physical theatre company Stasis’ production A Table, directed by Aniela Piasecka, and went on to provide music for the world premiere of Alex Howarth’s stage adaptation of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape at London’s Bridewell Theatre. Informed by such collaborations as these, the use of performance art, installations and projected visuals has made its way to the heart of Wovoka Gentle’s live shows.

Wovoka Gentle launched their first EP, Wovoka Gentle [Yellow], via Yucatan Records in July 2015 with a sold out show at London’s Cecil Sharp House, followed by two more records, Wovoka Gentle [Blue] and Wovoka Gentle [Red] and sold out shows at Elektrowerkz and Chat’s Palace.

Yoga Sessions

Yoga has swiftly become a festival favourite, returning for the fourth festival running this year! Taking place outside the Forum on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, sessions will be led by teachers from different schools, designed to cater for beginners to seasoned yogis. The classes will combine flowing breath and physical postures to create a moving meditation, find a sense of grounding, strength and awareness in body and mind. A playful and uplifting class suitable for all levels that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. Yoga is for everyone!

You, Me and the Distance Between Us

Ellen Muriel’s diverse solo theatre show exposes and challenges her experiences of being a long term volunteer in Europe’s refugee camps. She uses a combination of shadow and cloth puppets, slam poetry, acapella singing and humorous role play to bring alive the existential issues that surround this mass movement of people.

Since its creation in May 2016 the show has been performed 47 times in 6 different countries. Typically hosted in theatres, cafes, community centres and schools, Brainchild will be its first field-festival experience!

✮✮✮✮ Simplystageytix, Jo Trainor – August 2016. “It’s not condescending, it’s not pretentious, it’s about humanising a crisis.

✮✮✮✮✮ Edfringe Review, Naoise Murphy – August 2016. “Muriel has created a poetic monument to the displaced people of the world.”

✮✮✮✮✮ Edfringe Review, Hannah Congdon – August 2016. “She does not put a foot wrong in this moving and frank illustration of our shocking global predicament.”

Audience response: “I laughed, cried, felt embarrassed, humbled, angry and sad.” – June 2016.

Installation Artists

Kavitha Balasingham & Gavin Jones

Kavitha is returning to Brainchild this year with her trademark optical illusions. This time she will be collaborating with Gavin, a Brighton based artist and maker. Gavin is interested in materials and processes, creating work which spans from sculptural installations to machines that produce ceramic vessels.

This summer this dynamic duo bring you ‘the den’- an interactive piece ‘literally’ reflecting on the beautiful landscape in which the festival is situated. The installation invites festival goers into its mirrored exterior to trip out to an immersive optical illusion.

In addition their collaborative piece, Kavitha is also collaborating with Annie Fiddian-Green to make the backdrop of this year’s Forum stage. She will also have some of her hand made fruity merchandise for sale at The Kiosk!

Jess Young

Jess’s work, though overtly physical, is subtly influenced by the digital. The tactile materials she uses, including foam, latex and plastics, beg to be touched. This textural quality, alongside a saturated pastel colour palette that is unavoidably synthetic, would not look out of place on a computer screen.

For the festival she is collaborating with the the Brainchild team to turn our cocktail bar into an immersive space, dressed in her characteristic aesthetic.

Check out her instagram here

Kristi Minchin

Kristi is a Maker and 3D Artist with a passion for spreading positivity and happiness through immersive artworks and installation pieces. Her practice, fuelled by an interest in human interaction and play, is an exploration of colour, shape and form primarily through sculpture.  

Kristi recently exhibited her ‘Geometric Playground’ at the Artsdepot; now the Playground is coming to Brainchild! Working with a mix of woods and perspex, her bold design takes inspiration from machinery and the Memphis movement. Let out your inner kid as you find cogs to turn, levers to pull and pendulums to swing.

Writing

FAQ

Volunteer

Join the crew! Brainchild is a festival that’s run on the goodwill and hard work of lots of amazing individuals. If you’d like to help us make the weekend happen, then volunteering over the festival is a great way to do it.

As part of the volunteer team, you will see the festival from the inside. The volunteers at Brainchild are fundamental to its success, helping to make sure things are ticking over and doing a variety of jobs, from bar work to catering, ticketing and lots more in between. Every year we’ve met some of the most generous and spirited people on the volunteering team – read on for more info.

How it works:

Over the weekend, you will help out for 10 hours split up into 3 shifts so you still have lots of time to explore the festival and party. Plus, if you volunteer with a friend, just let us know and we’ll do our best to put you on shift together.

All volunteers will need to be on site from Thursday evening for a briefing and to be given their rotas. You will also need to be on site until your shifts are complete which might be Sunday night or Monday morning.

After the festival, when you’ve done your shifts, half of your ticket-price will be refunded to you.

And, if you can stick around, there’s drinking and relaxing to be done with all the crew on the Monday night. We hope you’ll join in, email ‘tomo’ or ‘ali’ @brainchildfestival.co.uk  us know if you have any queries.

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Get In Touch

Please note that the deadline for submissions in music, art, talks/workshops and poetry has now passed. Theatre and film submissions are open until the 10th March. However, if you get in touch we will endeavour to get back to you to discuss your idea, just write to the relevant programming teams at either ‘music’, ‘art’, ‘theatre’, ‘talks’, ‘poetry’, ‘film’, ‘workshops’ followed by …@brainchildfestival.co.uk.

Alternatively, please check out Platform, our HQ in Southwark, London where we are able to put on events and projects – maybe your idea can happen there.

For volunteering inquiries, email tomo

For site and production email joey

For food traders email jasper

For press and partnerships email alice

For any other enquiries email team

@brainchildfestival.co.uk

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