Circus of sounds


FOR Morecambe-raised musician Mike Freear, standing at the helm of the UK’s first “neo balkan rave circus” is fast becoming a way of life.

Summer 2011 saw Leeds-based band Slamboree take the festival and live music scene by storm, at the same time creating a ground-breaking spectacle that few have forgotten, and many are still talking about.

And guess what – the band play their first Lancaster gig this summer.

Freear, 29, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, before his family came to Morecambe.

He attended Our Lady’s High School and then went to Preston College to study music technology before doing two years of a music technology degree in Leicester.

He is now self-employed and working full-time in the music industry, currently living in Bristol where he is producing Slamboree’s first album.

Influenced by his dad’s Big Audio Dynamite records, and listening to Bomb The Bass, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy with his mum in the car on the way to school, Mike quickly developed a penchant for electronic music.

He became involved with Lancaster-based promoters Solar and Sourpuss, and ran a night called Jilted at The Crypt, formerly beneath The Royal Kings Arms Hotel in Meeting House Lane.

After witnessing a Slamboree show at Kendal Calling last year and being blown away, I wanted to know how exactly the band came into being.

Mike explained: “The idea for it grew from wanting to combine underground electronic music with a full live band and an underground circus scene.

“My mission for 2011 was to collect a small army of all my favourite musicians to play with and team them up with stage performers and magicians, with some fire and pyrotechnics in the mix if it could be managed.

“Basically, a band where there’s always something to look at and surprise you, while performing live electronic and acoustic music with heavy beats to dance along to.

“I definitely had an overall sound in mind but with everyone bringing their own flavours to the table it’s taken shape and developed using everyone’s influences and ideas, and I’m really pleased with how the sound has developed.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (08-03-12) for full story.