17-18-19 August 2012 / De Montfort Hall & Gardens, Leicester

  • "The finest weekend out that Leicester has to offer... Not to be missed"
    The Mirror

  • "The Grandson of Glastonbury"
    Steve Lamacq, BBC 6Music

  • "Anyone half awake knows that Summer Sundae is hitting the musical spot better than ever"

  • "You can genuinely say that there is something for everybody"
    The Guardian

  • "One of Britain's Premier Music Events"


Ed Harcourt

8:20pm, Sunday, Indoor Stage

Ed Harcourt

Ed entered the sometimes vile jelly of the public eye with his 2001 debut 'Here Be Monsters', which was nominated for the Mercury Prize and which announced him as a singer, songwriter and musician of rare talent and wit. There followed three more albums for Heavenly Records - 2003's diverse and ambitious 'From Every Sphere', 2004's shadowy and romantic 'Strangers' and 2006's sometimes euphoric, sometimes anguished 'The Beautiful Lie'. There was also a compilation of B-sides and unreleased tracks, 'Elephant's Graveyard', and in 2007 a best of named 'Until Tomorrow Then'. Playing piano, guitar, drums and anything else that came to hand, he displayed remarkable musical chops, a distinctive, engaging voice and a gift for arrangement on these polished yet emotional records, which refused to fall comfortably into any identifiable niche.

A series of tours across the globe through this time saw Ed playing with an impressive list of names including REM, Wilco, Norah Jones, Beth Orton, The Gutter Twins (Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli), Snow Patrol, The Divine Comedy, Supergrass, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the recently departed Mark Linkous. His own support acts included The Magic Numbers and Feist. At 2005's Meltdown festival he also performed with Patti Smith and Marianne Faithfull. Further collaborations took place with Jamie Cullum, Erik Truffaz, Sondre Lerche, Shivaree, Ron Sexsmith and Yusuf Islam.

Ed founded his own Werewolf Studio in West London, while finding "interesting ways to pass the time" such as writing with Lisa-Marie Presley and Paloma Faith and playing on Tom Jones' album. His studio is his "haven. A crazy junk toyshop, a cornucopia of chaos. A place of catharsis where I can go and bash things and shout." Having his own studio helped Ed with "discipline, and bouncing ideas off others...you musn't over-analyse the machinations of song-writing though – it can destroy the soul of it."

Most of his last album 'Lustre', was written in 2009 and the songs were taken to Bear Creek Studios, north of Seattle, where Ed worked with producer Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, Black Heart Procession, The Gossip) before it was released in June the following year. Every Ed Harcourt album displays a dazzling breadth and depth: 'Lustre', bookended by the angelic voices of the Langley Sisters (Ed's wife Gita and her siblings), is an energising marriage of restless invention and classic pop smarts, of insight and hooks. From the uplifting opener to the finale 'Fears Of A Father', 'Lustre' succeeds in being both robust and aerodynamic.

Ed's sixth studio album, 'Back Into The Woods' is due for release later on in the year.