Bearded Theory Spring Gathering is back at its iconic home of Catton Park nestled in the National Forest for their 11th outing. They have six main music stages being The Pallet, Magical Sounds, Woodland, Maui Waui, Convoy Cabaret and One Big Showcase. They have several smaller venues including Something Else Tea Tent, The Ship, Rogues Hideout, Magic Teapot, Alpaca, Creative Intentions to name just a few. We’ll be live tweeting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (@musosguide), as well as bringing you reviews from all three days here at Musos' Guide.
The line-up is pretty great with legends like Robert Plant, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Jimmy Cliff, The Membranes and Therapy? Other festival staples like Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Jesus Jones, The Coral and Altern-8 join the relative newcomers like Sleaford Mods, Idles, Jake Bugg, Rews, Pins and The Winachi Tribe for a very promising three days of dancing and merriment.
The Winachis are headlining the Showcase stage on Saturday night, and we spoke with singer Liam Croker about the festival, headliner Robert Plant, and the band’s adventures in Hollywood.
“Bearded Theory festival is one of our big dates. It’s one I’ve been wanting to go to. It’s really eclectic. The line up this year is mind blowing. I was thinking about going anyway just to watch the bands. We got an email form the Academy Of Music And Sound and we’d been picked out of 2000 applicants to headline their stage on Saturday night at Bearded Theory and wow, what an honour that is! From planning to go and watch to headlining one of the stages, we’re over the moon. It’s the introducing stage. We’re at that point now where we’re headlining those sort of stages. We’ve been around for about 3 and a half years now. We’re getting to that point where we’re headlining these stages and looking to break in to the bigger ones too.
I saw Robert Plant in March in Hollywood. We were touring in California and our manager and sound engineer brought us to see him in this really small theatre. There were only about 300 people in this wee theatre with Robert Plant. It was surreal. He was amazing. He’s still got it. And he had a pair of really tight pants on so it looked like he had a massive chopper. What a dude!
It’s been a hell of year. We went out to America in March and came home to play two really big home town shows and we just did a massive show in Warrington town centre last weekend. It was the Warrington Music Festival. Us and Fun Lovin’ Criminals were the two main acts. We did that on Saturday. We don’t get to play our home town much so it turned into a big carnival. Now we’re gearing up to do a full UK tour from May until September.
The first time we went out to America, we were working with Danny Saber, the producer. He’d worked with Black Grape, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. We were working with Danny when we met Harry (Bridgen). Then Harry came on board and has been managing the band since.
We went back out here in 2016. We did the video for our single a room with a zoo with Tommy Flanagan from Sons Of Anarchy. Tommy’s a fan of the band. Our manager says Tommy approached him about being in the video. He said he had a little break in his schedule and if you can get the lads to LA within this time, I’d be able to do it. Tommy was great to work with. It looks like I’m riding through the desert on the back of that horse but that’s Tommy’s garden. It’s fucking enormous. That’s his actual horse too. It’s called Zeus. The video for ‘A Room With A Zoo’ and the horse is called Zeus, quite an interesting coincidence. The first scenes are done in East LA, in a rough neighbourhood, in a warehouse. The Tommy scenes were done at his ranch in Malibu. His next door neighbour is Will Smith or somebody. I went from a council estate in Warrington to being on a back of a big white horse in Tommy Flanagan’s back garden within a week. The craziest Tuesday afternoon I ever had. What an experience!
And then we went back again in March of this year and did a tour of California. We got a new guitarist and his first show was headlining The Harvard And Stone at Hollywood Boulevard, no pressure there! His name is Mike Bee. I’ve known Mike since we were in our late teens, a long time. Our old guitarist, Jamie, had to leave and Mike stepped in. It’s been a very easy transition into the band. We broke him in in America and he’s coming out with us again. It’s all good.
The equipment company, Behringer, we did a live session for them which you can see on YouTube. They launched a new series called artist profiles. They get a new artist and you talk about your career and stuff. We launched that series while we were in LA. It was an honour. We are going back. I can’t go into it too much but this year we’ll be back in LA for another round. While we were out there we did some work in the studio with a producer called John X. He’s worked with Danny, with all those big names. We did a track with him called ‘Funky But Chic’ and we’ll be launching that back in the States. In the coming months, all will be revealed.”
Bearded Theory runs May 24 - 27 and tickets are available here.