Cambridge Junction 2015 recap

// cambridge Father John Misty, TORYCORE, Cum Cum Again and THIS IS HOW WE DIE - the diverse 2015 of Cambridge Junction

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In their 25th year of existence the Cambridge Junction has delivered one of the strongest and varied arts and music programmes the city has ever had. To look back on 2015 we first spoke with Arts Producer Daniel Pitt

How has 2015 been for you?
Pretty good. I’ve passed the three years working and living in Cambridge mark now. I feel like the theatre and dance programme at Cambridge Junction, which I am responsible for, is getting increasingly noticed and people are coming to see the shows in healthy numbers. There’s always more people to convince that contemporary theatre is for them though. Why not try it rather than the cinema sometime? It’s always better than Netflix.

What has been the best show for you this year and why?
The autumn season kicked off with a bang with Still House’s Of Riders and Running Horses, performed atop the Cambridge Leisure multi-storey car park [photos of the event here]. It’s a dance show with a live band that just makes you want to dance, and both nights, as soon as they were given the chance at the end of the show, the whole audience (children to OAPs) raved in the open air. That was fun.

Who has been your favourite act to perform for you this year?
In May, I presented Kim Noble’s You Are Not Alone. Kim’s work crosses comedy, live art and film. It’s morally-questionable, heart-breaking documentary stand-up about depression and isolation– it slaps you in the face with things you don’t want to see, makes you laugh and then makes you contemplate the world we’re living in. The audience that came loved it, but for me the highlight was getting a real horse riding around on the J2 stage! I would credit his last show, Kim Noble Will Die (2009) with helping re-define my taste in theatre, so being able to present his new show was personally exciting. If you want to see the show, it’s about to open for a second long London run at Soho Theatre – over Christmas, though it’s the least festive show in the world.

Who has been your favourite new act to perform for you this year?
Christopher Brett Bailey’s THIS IS HOW WE DIE in April. I’ve seen that show five times now; twice at Cambridge Junction. It’s the most amazing, dizzying, poetic, gross, hilarious text spat at breakneck speed at the audience until language collapses, followed by 20 minutes of the most exhilaratingly loud music. Mr Bailey will be making future appearances at Cambridge Junction in 2016 with new works.

Which one of your shows has most surprised you?
Might have been the audience in #TORYCORE in October who decided to sit down on the floor in J2 for an onslaught of doom metal and the verbatim horrors of Conservativism [preview]. Great gig, great art project, great donations for Cambridge Food Bank, but weirdly sedate vibe.

What has been your favourite Cambridge show this year that you didn’t put on?
I’m going to have to go for music: Battles in Junction 1. Brilliantly, furiously loud. Like THIS IS HOW WE DIE but without the words.

What shows are you looking forward to in 2016?
I’m writing these interview answers in Belgium, here to see a show called A Piece of Time by Nick Steur. In March 2013, as part of monomania festival (a collaboration with Bad Timing and Aid & Abet), I presented his last show FREEZE! which is Nick miraculously balancing real rocks on top of each other. Just balancing rocks on precariously and casually seeming to defy gravity. It’s just what it is, it’s simple, pure and captivating to watch. It was performed in Aid & Abet’s loveably crumbling warehouse, the last public event before it was closed and knocked down, and is one of my favourite bits of programming so far in Cambridge. So I’m going to see his new piece which will be in Cambridge in March and I’m looking forward to people in Cambridge seeing it. It’s a UK exclusive.

If you could book any act next year, who would it be and why?
Ontroerend Goed – another company from Belgium. Over a series of shows, they are probably my favourite theatre company; they’re always pushing boundaries and playing with form. And I wasn’t put off by one of their shows almost breaking up my relationship in 2009! They come to the UK, but they’ve not been to Cambridge.

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And then representing the music side of the last year we spoke with Popular Culture Manager, Rob Tinkler

How has 2015 been for you?
It’s been our 25th year of existence so it’s been a good year filled with nostalgic recollections of past shows and new shows that we’ve been excited by.

What has been the best show for you this year and why?
Cum Cum Again – the club we put on as part of our 25th Birthday weekend. Because it was an intimate club night with no stars, nice people and great music.
Only downside was it had to end!

Who has been your favourite act to perform for you this year?
Father John Misty. Loved his album and his live show is even better [review].

Who has been your favourite new act to perform for you this year?
Hannah Lou Clark who supported Gaz Coombes.Great pop songs with an extra something [photos of that night here].

Which one of your shows has most surprised you?
Hiatus Kaiyote – surprised me because it brought in a new audience for us, it was jazz(ish) and we’ve not done well with jazz in the past but this show did really well. And they were great.

What has been your favourite Cambridge show this year that you didn’t put on?
Hot Chip at the Corn Exchange. If only for their cover of Dancing In The Dark/All My Friends [review].

What shows are you looking forward to in 2016?
Currently Matthew E White in January. I think he’s going to be one of the shows of 2016 even though he’s on in January

If you could book any act next year, who would it be and why?
If the laws of time and space don’t apply it would be Bob Dylan.The 1966 UK tour incarnation with The Hawks as his backing band. Because even 50 years later the recordings of the shows sound like nothing else since..

Father John Misty image – Valerio Berdini

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