England, Scotland and Ireland

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Hi, this is Gemma Dempsey and welcome to another edition of The Global Gig Guide. This week we head to the England for two events - Notting Hill Carnival and Creamfields, to Scotland for the first ever Connect festival, and to Ireland for the Electric Picnic.

First stop is West London for the Notting Hill Carnival – set up in the early sixties, the carnival’s roots are deep in the traditions of the caribeean culture , featuring calypso and soca music as performed by various steel drum bands.  Wearing colourful costumes, these mas bands tour a 3 mile route around Notting Hill which can take hours thanks to the crowds of people  cheering them on or joining in behind their favourite float. Sunday is children’s day and Monday is when they announce ‘The Best mas on the road’ in Westbourne Grove. In addition to the parade there are loads of static sound systems playing everything from ska to funk – my favourite is Norman Jay’s Good Times just off Ladbroke Grove or the Mangrove sound system in All Saints Road. And do not miss out on the huge array of traditional west Indian food on offer – from spicy patties to curried goat – its all delicious and part of the experience of Notting Hill Carnival.

Held on the same weekend as Carnival but 4 hours north from London near Liverpool is Creamfields. This is probably the original dance festival and has been going strong for almost a decade. Beginning at 3pm on Saturday until 6am the following morning, this is a festival for hard core dance fans. After a fairly dismal summer weather wise, the pundits are predicting a heat wave for this holiday weekend in the UK, so expect the 50,00 tickets to sell out – the line up includes LCD Soundsystem, Groove Armada, Kelis and my former colleague DJ Yoda,  all of whom will be keeping every one on their toes til the wee small hours.

Continuing north from Liverpool you will eventually arrive in Scotland, home of the first ever Connect festival. It will take place in the beautiful grounds of Inveraray Castle, situated on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyll – which is under two hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Connect is part of a year long celebration called Highland 2007, celebrating the natural beauty and artistic traditions of this part of the world.

The list of artists is very impressive for Connect’s first year – it includes – deep breath -  Bjork, Mogwai, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Scott Matthews, Craig Armstrong, Trashcan Sinatras, Hot Chip and Alex Smoke – check out their website now for all the latest information on tickets and transport.

Lastly a quick mention of the Electric Picnic in Ireland –– the event features The Chemical Brothers, The Go!Team, Marlena Shaw, Soul II Soul, The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, Damien Dempsey (no relation) and Deerhoof . Lost Vagueness will be there as will Pussy Parlure and the Silent Disco - according to the website its sold out,  so it you’ve got tickets enjoy the craic and send us some pics!

That’s it for this week-  next time on The Global Gig Guide we’ll be checking out Bumbershoot in Seattle and Reeperbahn in Germany.

Until then why not send us an email to Global@kcrw.com. And tell us about festivals you know or would like to know - otherwise check back with us next week for more information on Global Gigging.

The Global Gig Guide is produced  for KCRW.com by JC Swiatek and the theme music is composed by The Plush Interiors.