A new Piney Gir album is always greeted with glee around these parts and her sixth studio album You Are Here, released in November through STRS Records, did not disappoint with its combination of sparkling indie pop and dark psychedelia – the limited edition CD would make a great stocking filler, you can get it at Bandcamp.
With the festive season approaching and knowing Piney’s fondness for Christmas (check out her track for this year’s Advent Calendar), we thought we’d get in touch and ask her to plan her perfect fantasty music festival with a seasonal touch – here’s what she came up with.
Is there a theme?
Where will it take place (and why)?
Valladolid, Mexico – because that town is Christmas crazy! The whole town square is covered in colourful decorations made of paper and lights, piñatas filled with candy are hanging everywhere! They have a big procession in the village where everyone dresses up like reindeer, snowmen, Christmas trees, it’s like a big fancy dress party and already feels like a festival before the party has even started. There are fresh churros with chocolate sauce and festive Mexican folk music blasting out of the big parade where Father Christmas is riding on a Coca Cola truck (giving the reindeer a night off, I guess). The town was built in the 1500s so it’s super old and quaint, but mixed with all this modern stuff, creating the perfect Feliz Navidad fusion.
Who are your headliners?
I’m just gonna pick a bunch of amazing bands in no particular order because who can pick only one headliner when there is so much great music about?
Chic, everywhere they go feels like a party; Kate Bush, ultimate legend and would be crowned Queen of Christmas; Childish Gambino because he’s just plain amazing and kinda dreamy too; The Flaming Lips because everywhere they play people smile; Lizzo I love her jazz flute and sassy jumpsuits and brilliant modern feminist message; Supergrass it’s just amazing that they are doing a year back together so wanna book them while we can! Bjork, Feist, Karen O (performing ‘Crush Songs’ please!), Brittany Howard (from Alabama Shakes and Thunderbitch, her solo stuff is great too!), ESG because they are fun; David Byrne did the most incredible live show I’ve ever seen last year, so him please! Oh and the Muppet band “Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem”, they can play too and maybe Elton John could come sing ‘Crocodile Rock’ with them, I always thought he was a Muppet when I was a kid (in a good way). Can we also get Elvis to play as a hologram with a symphony orchestra? I saw that at the O2 and it was awesome.
Who’ll be playing the ‘legends slot’?
Dolly Parton because she is my hero.
Which up and coming new acts are going to open the main stage?
I love love love new grassroots indie music, but I am still constantly learning about it and sometimes when I do discover something it’s considered too big to be a baby band… my favourite recent discoveries are: L’Epee, Chorusgirl, Big Joanie, Dream Nails, Premium Leisure, Samantha Whates‘ Waiting Rooms project – but there are a lot of ‘Medium’ sized acts I’d love to see too like – Unloved, Alvvays, Julia Holter, Cate Le Bon, Jenny Lewis, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Willie J Healy, Goat Girl, Deap Vally, Mac Demarco, Hannah Peel and these guys have been around a while, but are not exactly ‘mainstream’ so I’d love to book them at my Epiphany: The Hidden Cameras, Fonda 500, Art Brut, Sweet Baboo, Psapp, The School, Ralfe Band, Ye Nuns, The Whittlers.
You can re-form / resurrect one band/artist, living or dead for a one-off performance – who’s it going to be?
Tough question as there are so many greats that are no longer with us, I mean, I saw Prince at Koko and it was mind-blowing… so maybe we could bring him back for Epiphany! Broadcast are one of my favourite bands, but I never got to see them play live, so that would be nice to see them play with their full line up. I also would love to see The Research together again, not sure if that will ever happen, but they had a real magic to their songs and musical chemistry. They are all still alive, so perhaps that one is more possible.
As is the promoter’s perogative, you have of course booked yourself to play – you can invite one special guest to join you onstage, who are you going for?
Oh wow, anyone? That’s also a tough question as there are so many amazing people out there… I would LOVE to sing with Khruangbin, they are one of my new favourite bands… and I love their cover of C’hristmastime Is Here’ (the song from the Charlie Brown Christmas Show – so perfect for our Christmas festival)… I think singing with them would be great fun!
These days festivals aren’t just about the music – what other surprises do you have instore for the revellers?
I once curated a stage at Truck Festival and we did this cool thing where everyone made a quilt square inspired by their festival experience. On Sunday afternoon we stitched the quilt squares together (thanks to Liz Davies who did the hard work there) and we auctioned it off for charity. That was fun to have that communal experience and also to fundraise for a good cause. So maybe I’d do that again. I’d also teach radical cheerleading, this is cheerleading as you’ve never known it, chanting feminist rhymes with pom pons created from recycled plastic bags – it’s fun and empowering! I think there should be line dancing lessons so everyone can do a synchronised dance during Dolly Parton’s set too!
Catch Piney Gir playing a solo live at The Lexington on Dec 21st as part of an all-dayer with The School, supporting Ralfe Band at Sebright Arms 29th Jan, with her full band headlining at The Finsbury Feb 14th for Get In Her Ears’ special Valentines show and at Deaf and Hard Of Hearing Centre in Oxford 13th March with Fiona Bevan and Samantha Whates.
Her new single ‘Little Cop’ is out now and will be followed by ‘Puppy Love’, out in the new year.