Alabama 3, Pendulum (DJ Set), The Hot Puppies, The Crimea, The Mighty FUOD - The Square Festival

Owain Paciuszko 17/07/2008

If you were to place a red mark on the map indicating the location of every festival over the summer months you would end up with a join-the-dots Jackson Pollack, yet you'd be hard pushed to find one in more obscure a locale than the Square Festival.

For those aware of the area the idea of 6 stages and 60 bands over 2 days (26th and 27th of July) in Borth, a tiny little town just outside of Aberystwyth, seems like an impossible act; not to mention finding room for the crowd, camping and car parking. But to see a wild array of music in such a strange, seaside location is one of the many exciting surprises that the Square Festival is sure to have up its green sleeves.

The open-air 'Sunshine Stage' may have a fate tempting name, but it boasts a DJ set from Australian drum and bass group Pendulum, and live sets from British blues-gospel-rock band Alabama 3 (of course most well known for 'Woke Up This Morning', the theme tune to 'The Sopranos'), former Aberystwythian melodramatic popsters The Hot Puppies, much-hyped indie group The Crimea (they had the honour of having all 11 of their original album demos on John Peel's show), electro from nemo (yes, strikethrough) and eclectic dance act The Mighty FUOD who, with nine members and a rather in-your-face style, are an intimidating stage presence.

Elsewhere there's ska and reggae (among others) on the Backbeating stage, drum & bass on the Kontrol stage and indie, rock, metal, punk on the Runway stage. Not forgetting to mention the Cabaret stage which promises to be a platform for those wishing to show off their own creative endeavours, and the Mix Society stage - which is, at time of going to press, mysteriously ambiguous on what it will entail. Added to this bubbling stew of performance is a plethora of arts, crafts, vintage clothing and food stalls; which if the example of local cuisine in Aberystwyth is anything to go by should be mightily impressive (if you're in Aber get a nice sandwich from Chives and shun the far-reaching tentacles of Subway).

Above all else this festival promises to be something delightfully different to the usual fare, with a line up of highly promising and intriguing acts that I could delve into and prattle on about for a fair few pages (and inevitably will do when I turn in my review!), but spiced by the surrounding scenery this is definitely a weekend worth experiencing.