top of page
Southwest England

 All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, Minehead

Named after a Velvet Underground song and held at the Butlins holiday resort in Minehead, Somerset, the festival features avant-garde, underground hip hop, along with more traditional rock fare.

All Tomorrow's Parties is unlike any other festival. Even though it has expanded this year to 6,000 people, the majority of our population has no idea it exists. It couldn't feel more different from the Glasto/Reading festival model. For a start, it happens in cold midwinter and cold spring, in the incongruous setting of a tacky holiday camp, and the Kaiser Chiefs aren't playing. Staying in a chalet means you can shower, sleep and drop a log too. It's almost civilised. And there's a certain type of clientele that's drawn to ATP: each group of festival goers includes four malnourished art rock nerds (two with glasses, two without) and one female with a Karen O haircut. At least three of these people will be in a band, or involved in a "musical project". With this in mind, it's fitting that this weekend's curator is the architect of geeky mixed gender art rock, Thurston Moore. And as you'd expect, he's filled Butlins with white noise, proto-grunge leering, millennial psychedelic freakouts and greasy haired geeks.

Aust, nr Severn Bridge Services

Site where the car of Manic Street Preacher guitarist Richey Edwards was discovered in January 1995. It was parked at the service station leading to speculation of his suicide.

Richey James' silver L Reg Vauxhall Cavalier was found abandoned at the Severn View service station on Friday, February 17th. At 3am, it is a cold, grim place. It is a monotonous motorway drive from London to Aust. A pretty sane driver can make the journey in 2 hours. At this time of the night it is utterly deserted. A few drivers are asleep in their cars; cheapskate sales reps claiming for the Travel Lodge on expenses and pocketing the cash.

Cheltenham Cemetery, Southwest

The grave of the Rolling Stones founder, Brian Jones, who was born in Cheltenham in 1942 and drowned in the swimming pool of his East Sussex home in 1969. Jones’ grave is Plot V11393 and fans still gather here on his birthday (February 28th) as well as on the anniversary of his death (July 3rd). His parents’ home can also be found nearby, across from the Parish Church on Hatherley Road.

Colston Hall, Bristol

The city’s legendary concert venue which has hosted rock legends such as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson and more recently Robbie Williams and Will Young. In fact, the roll call reads like a Who’s Who of Rock ‘n’ Roll; anyone who was anyone has played here.

Glastonbury Festival

Home of the famous annual music festival - and often traditional mud bath - each June. No longer just an annual gathering of crusties and spiritualists, most now come for the top bands and vibe.

Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester

The Guildhall is a lively and diverse year round concert venue featuring new bands that are set for bigger things - past performers have included Muse, Radiohead, Oasis and more recently Maximo Park, The Rifles and Enter Shikari.

The Guildhall also played host to the filming of music videos for South West heroes EMF and their world famous hit single 'Unbelievable', and London's Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and their army-baiting anthem 'Bloodsport For All'.
The venue also boasts a year round programme of theatre, cinema, dance, workshops and events.

Hall for Cornwall

Formerly the Truro City Hall, this was where Queen performed their world debut in June 1970 - the same night Freddie Bulsara changed his name to Freddie Mercury.

Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon

The sports centre where Noel Gallagher roadied for a band that played here once and is supposed to have inspired the band's name but then again the band has also claimed: a Manchester cab company, a chain of women's clothing stores, and a local Indian Restaurant. Just a short distance from Swindon centre is Cotswold Waterpark, Britain’s largest water park

Rowden Hill, Southwest

The site of a car crash that claimed the life of 21-year-old Eddie Cochran in April 1960. During a five-week tour of England, Cochran was in a taxi to Heathrow Airport after a gig at the Bristol Hippodrome when the car blew a tire and crashed into a lamppost on the A4. The crash injured his songwriter girlfriend, Sharon Sheeley, and left another rock ‘n’ roll legend, Gene Vincent, scarred for life. There’s a memorial plaque to Cochran where the fatal accident occurred.

Severn Estuary Mudflats

The cover sleeve of Echo and the Bunnymen's second album Heaven Up Here was shot here.

Solsbury Hill

The inspiration for Peter Gabriel's 1977 debut single, this Somerset landmark lies between the villages of Batheaston and St Catherine. "Climbing up on Solsbury Hill / I could see the city light / Wind was blowing, time stood still / Eagle flew out of the night". Why not climb it yourself? The views of the city might make your heart go "boom, boom, boom," as in the song.

Unleashed Festival

You don't have to be a surf dude but it helps. Run alongside the annual Rip Curl Boardmasters surfing championships, Unleashed is held in a picturesque setting on a cliff overlooking the bay. In 2005, the two-day festival included performances by Razorlight and James Blunt and since then Feeder, Starsailor and Graham Coxon.

Weston-Super-Mare Beach

The sleeve of Oasis' Roll With It was shot here with the Gallaghers et al watching television sets on the beach with the pier in the background. Once again the band followed in the footsteps of the "Fab Four"; in 1963, The Beatles were photographed fooling around on the beach here dressed in Victorian bathing costumes.

Yes Tor, Dartmoor

This picturesque corner of Dartmoor featured on the sleeve of Yes's 1978 album Tormato, with the prog-rockers pictured in front of Yes Tor albeit with a super-imposed squashed tomato. Yes Tor is one of the highest points of Dartmoor - and of southern England. It is often termed the "roof of Devon". Explore the area by walking one of the trails.

bottom of page