Saturday, April 22, 2006


The now, surely, overcrowded festival market shuffles yp to make a little more room as the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival expands into a two day, five stage, ninety act affair.

Battles for headliners have got so fierce now, Tartan Heart are having to go for Embrace to lead things off.

Also playing: Biffy Clyro, Mystery Jets, Martha Wainwright, Morning Runner, Seth Lakeman, King Creosote and Cinematics.

They're calling it the "mini-Glastonbury of the North", which also suggests the inspiration behind many of the new generation of festivals is less a desperate desire to hold a cultural event; more a greedy eyeing of the Clear Channel paydays.

Talking of Embrace, their World Cup anthem is out in the wild now, demonstrating the problem you get when you invite a bunch of moody mumblers in to produce something that's meant to be sung on terraces: you end up with something of a hodge-podge.

We apologise to all hodge-podges reading.

Meanwhile, in a bid to give the song a shelf-life beyond England's early exit from the World Cup, the band have made matters worse by not mentioning football, except in vague terms:

McNamara told BBC News the song featured football references.

He said: "There's 'You lift it up with one proud kiss', which is obviously about lifting the cup.

"Then there's 'You're the first in my life to think we might just go all the way'.

"I wasn't born in 1966 but I think they have got every chance."

Do you see? He's written a song about cumming in someone's mouth, but managed to persuade the FA that it's got something to do with helping England win the World Cup. (Actually, our understanding is that this is the sort of claim that senior members of the FA used to use in the typing pool not so long back.)

Here's just a taste of what a songwriter falling off a tightrope looks like:

You're the first in my life
To make me think
That we might just go all the way
And I want you to know we're all hanging on

They'll come and yes they'll try
To break us down
But we know that we'll never lose
If we keep moving forward and don't look back

Okay, then, someone sort of the old copies of Three Lions again...

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