See the Threadfest 2015 Programme

Threadfest, Bradford’s acclaimed festival of independent music and art returns this May Spring Bank Holiday for a special ‘compact edition’. After three years of successfully joining up venues and organisations across the city, this time we’re bringing it all under one roof to give you a focused taste of what Bradford’s DIY, not-for-profit, independent and underground scenes have to offer.

Confirmed acts include Sun City Girls’ Sir Richard Bishop (USA), ATP recording’s Vision Fortune, bleak heaviness from the North East’s Drunk In Hell, live disco funk duo Galaxians, avant-garde songsmith Richard Dawson, Yorkshire-born folk legend and Thurston Moore favourite Michael Chapman, Bradford’s psychedelic world-folk power trio The Family Elan, Italian free jazz devotionalists Jooklo Duo, The Quietus’ John Doran collaborating with Arabrot from Norway, the UK's first qawwali band Bradford's Hameed Brothers Qawwal, experimental techno from Leeds’ Chrononautz, Finnish progressive rockers Circle, London-based indie trio The Wharves, new no-wave noise rockers Commiserations, Aquarius Records favourite genre-defying ensemble Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, Devo-inspired angular pop from Cowtown, Northumbrian folk artist The Horse Loom, Roma Gypsy music from Makanitza, Welsh ‘post-pre punkers’ Mwstard, hardcore legends War All the Time, improv-unrock trio Jung Witches, heavy indie from Big Love, Italian Occult Psychedelia from Father Murphy, danceable synth experimentalism from Lord Adonis, and ambient guitar courtesy of Bingley’s Dean McPhee, Leeds' Black Flag flying hardcore tetrad Mob Rules; dreamy avant-folk from Sophie Cooper, a collaboration from the Todmorden experimental music scene known as Local Improvisers; and ‘Bradford’s Nick Drake’ Gerrard Bell-fife.

Art In Unusual Spaces offers a programme of artistic interventions and performances including multi-disciplinary artist Laura Milnes, and Quatsch: a noise act meets fashion show. Rehana Zaman will be producing a new work for the festival and Bradford Scratch Orchestra will offer a drop in workshop for musicians and non-musicians alike.

Bare Plume will provide sense-indulging ethical food and cocktails to help fuel the fun into the wee hours of what promises to be a feast for lovers of adventurous grassroots and underground music and art.

For devotees and supporters of this exciting festival of cutting edge independent music weekend tickets at just £27 or advance day tickets from £10 will guarantee you access to Bradford Playhouse for the full three days. For the curious a limited number of pay-what-you-feel daily tickets will be available on the door at the event.

The Mirrored Hammer: Bradford Threadfest 2015 Mixtape (Part One) by Andy Abbott on Mixcloud

Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson's relationship with Threadfest goes right back to our first edition at which he was so good we billed him twice! In the last year the mainstream media and wider audiences have caught on to the magic of Dawson's avant-garde folk stylings earning him a Wire cover and five star Guardian reviews. Recently signed to Domino imprint Weird World we couldn't be more excited to have him return.

Long-serving and always excellent Devo-loving skewed pop trio from Leeds recently finished touring with their peers Deerhoof. You may recognise their faces from other bands like Hilary and The Hate Crimes, Monster Killed by Laser and Hookworms. Cowtown are an institution, of the good kind, dependably bringing the party and the catchy hooks wherever they land.
Jooklo Duo

Head and soul cleansing Italian blazing free improv sax and drums duo revered by The Wire, Henry Rollins and all believers in spiritual redemption through 'the good energy'. Previous collaborators include Bill Nace, Sonic Youth and Merce Cunningham.
The Wharves

London-based stripped down indie rock trio with a breathtaking mix of 60s girl-group pop and 90s college rock. Their superbly crafted dual-vocal songs are captured on 2014's At Bay album on Gringo Records.
The Family Elan

Bradford's world-spanning psych-folk unit equally breathtaking as a tight-but-free bouzouki-shredding power trio or in their various collaborations with Bradfordian qawwali musicians and Bollywood brass bands.
War All The Time

Tight fast no messing hardcore with Scandinavian crust leanings from members of Boxed In, Kito and Sawn Off. WATT's members have helped keep the DIY ethos alive and pumping for decades, touring hard and wide including South East Asia.

Live experimental techno duo from Leeds, beloved of The Quietus and featuring members of Chops and Runners.
Dean McPhee

Blissful ambient solo electric guitar compositions from Bingley with releases on Blast First Petite and having toured with Thurston Moore and Michael Chapman.
Sophie Cooper

Other-worldly folk pop from the depths of Todmorden. Sophie's experimental take on the singer songwriter set-up is disarmingly transcendental, transporting audiences to a hinterland between realities and dimensions.
Lord Adonis

Gus from Mucky Sailor and Gurgles gets electro-dream-funky with his solo tunes.


Finland's cult-legendary prolific progressive experimental rock group formed in 1991 and with over 30 albums released. Playful, eclectic and mind-blowing; don't miss this opportunity to see what Sweden's leading daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter called "the world's best band - all categories".
Michael Chapman

Yorkshire-born Michael Chapman is a revered guitarist and singer who has produced over 30 albums since he started playing on the Cornish and London folk circuit in the late 60s with the likes of John Martyn and Roy Harper. Recently the subject of a tribute album on Tompkins Square featuring artists including Thurston Moore, Chapman's music has found new audiences and continued to pioneer and develop with an LP on Ecstatic Peace and collaborative tours and performances.

From Pembrokeshire come post-pre punk trio Mwstard performing avant-disco influenced by The Ex, The Fall, PIL and all that goodness. Featuring members of linchpins in Bradford's underground music history including Witchknot, Health Hazard and One By One.
Vision Fortune

Brighton's Vision Fortune are an experimental rock outfit who understand the value of repetition. Early gigs involved strobe lighting and endless cycles of stripped down riffs and techno-influenced drumming captured by their debut Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune on Gringo Records. Their follow up record Country Music is released by ATP recordings and captures an even more diverse range of influences and ideas.
Big Love

New band of familiar faces from Bradford's indie scene with members of This Et Al, Dolphins, Laboratory Noise, Minus Jack and more doing a shoegazing but undoubtedly rocking take on melodic indie with plenty of volume.

Members of Leeds DIY luminaries Etai Keshiki, Beards and Pifco team up to deliver brutal but achingly catchy post-punk no wave skronk.
The Horse Loom

Incredible Jansch-inspired folk songs with dazzling guitar work from Northumberland's Steve Malley of The Unit Ama, Kodiak and Crane.
Arabrot (w/ John Doran, Karin Park,Andrew Liles)

Arabrot is the award-winning experimental noise-rock and metal project of Norway's Kjetil Nernes. Their sizeable discography includes records produced by Steve Albini and Billy Anderson as well as a number of collaborations and interdisciplinary projects. For Threadfest KN is performing with The Quietus’ John Doran, Norway's Karin Park and Nurse With Wound/Current 93's Andrew Liles for a set of riffs, noise and spoken word.
Gerrard Bell-fife

One of Bradford's 'best kept secret' singer songwriters, Gerrard has been performing locally to dazzled audiences for the last few years with a melancholic voice and mature songwriting that is barely reconcilable with his young years.
Hameed Brothers Qawwal

Hameed Brothers Qawwal are one of the UK’s original performers of a form of Islamic Sufi devotional music that stretches back over 700 years. Featuring some of Bradford's premier musicians the band has been playing since the 80s for both the South Asian diaspora community – at weddings and traditional ‘mehfils’ (musical gatherings) – as well as for the wider public, at venues as diverse as the Bradford Mela, Oxford University, and as far afield as the USA, Australasia and the Arab Gulf.
Sir Richard Bishop

American composer, singer and guitarist Richard Bishop is best known as one third of the prolific Sun City Girls. As a solo guitarist he has a 'maxi-cultural' approach and has records released by John Fahey's Revenant label. His most recent album is an exploration of a particular parlour style guitar that is over a century old and is released by Drag City.
Father Murphy

Italian Occult Psychedelia duo/trio/no-band from Venetzia who have toured across the globe to disseminate their Catholic sense of Guilt. 'A downward spiral aiming at the bottom of the hollow, and then digging even deeper.'
Drunk In Hell

The sonic manifestation of the grimmer side of life in the North East, Drunk In Hell's pummelling and bleak-as-you-like repetitious noise rock is executed hypnotically. With a pedigree that includes hardcore legends Voorhees, performance-noise artists Smell and Quim and recent underground techno luminary Steven Bishop of Opal Tapes and Basic House there's few out there that can touch them.

Galaxians are a smooth yet visceral disco boogie duo featuring Jed on analogue synth wizardry and Matt on the super tight acoustic drum set. They've been moving the hips and raising the spirits of audiences across the UK and Europe since 2012 and have releases on labels including NYC's Dither Down.
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere

OUA are an Improvising rock band referencing Terry Riley, Krautrock, Magma & Sun Ra featuring members of Sheffield and Bradford's experimental and outer limits music and arts scene. Their two albums released on Martin Archer's Discus label have been awarded album of the week from the prestigious Aquarius Records of San Francisco.

Eastern European and Roma Gypsy music from members of Leeds' jazz and improvising community.
Mob Rules

One of the finest exponents of hardcore punk in the UK; Mob Rules are masters of pummelling and cathartic sludge in the vein of My War era Black Flag but equally crushing and precise when they pick up the pace. Their two LPs have been received as modern classics. Live, their intensity is doubled by frontman Tom's focused vocal delivery and stage presence.
Howie Reeve

Hard-touring solo bass ditties and off-kilter songs from Glasgow's long-serving rumbler who, if you've been around long enough, you may have caught with Maxton Grainger and Tattie Toes. Mike Watt of Minutemen / The Stooges is a fan and that ought to be recommendation enough.
Jung Witches

Open-ended art-rock trio from Bradford mixing and mashing post-punk styles like they're going out of style.
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