Kings of Idle Land, Vault Festival

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by Gregory Forrest

Set against the racial tensions of the 2001 Oldham riots, Kings of Idle Land is a Romeo and Juliet reworking, in which tinnies, crisp packets, and roll-ups become a kind of love potion for two nervous young men.

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Monkeys Blood, Vault Festival

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by Laura Kressly

There’s a world of difference between London and the impoverished estates in Britain’s small towns. Mickey grew up on one in Hartlepool, a place famous for its historic execution of a monkey mistaken for a Frenchman, the more recent fraud case committed by John ‘Canoe Man’ Darwin, and not much else. Some of the town’s citizens maintain its xenophobic, monkey-slaughtering legacy in the form of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant protests, even though they’ve never met anyone off the estate. Micky escaped these attitudes through a successful career as a children’s entertainer – or so he thought.

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