A dubstep artist headlining at a left field music festival may have come about by accident, but the appearance of Jazzstepper and the Moody Boyz as the closing act of this year’s Le Weekend festival is as much of a coup as it is an eye-opener. Throw in a collaboration between Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley and Mount Vernon Arts Lab’s retro-future sonic engineer Drew Mulholland, veteran improviser Keith Rowe, Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista and a tribute to Theolonius Monk, and after 12 years, Le Weekend’s already broad church looks like it’s opening up even more.
Jazzstepper and the Moody Boyz stepped into the breach following the last-minute cancellation of analogue explorers Broadcast. Throwing a dubstep act into the mix, though, given the mongrel form’s current standing at the epicentre of a street-smart club scene, certainly confounds any perceived notions of Le Weekend as a chin-strokers paradise.
For sure, the festival is increasingly reaching out beyond the Tolbooth’s four walls. Saturday morning, for instance, will see Brilliant Corners (no, not the 80s indie band), take in some of Stirling’s lesser travelled highways and byways, as an assortment of musicians give renditions of Theolonius Monk’s Blue Monk right across town. Campbell has also put out a worldwide call for similarly inclined devotees to do likewise, posting clips on YouTube as they go.
Festival director Alasdair Campbell is typically ebullient. ‘This was a real opportunity to change the direction of the festival and to step out from our comfort zone,’ he says.
Tolbooth, Stirling, Fri 29-Sun 31 May