Dead Kids play Offset Festival

AT LAST it s here, the much anticipated second Offset Festival at Hainault Forest Country Park. And Dead Kids – fronted by former Wanstead High School student Mike Title – have been chosen to headline the Guitar Hero New Bands stage on Saturday night. Mor

AT LAST it's here, the much anticipated second Offset Festival at Hainault Forest Country Park.

And Dead Kids - fronted by former Wanstead High School student Mike Title - have been chosen to headline the Guitar Hero New Bands stage on Saturday night.

More than 2,000 groups applied to perform on the stage, which, as its name suggests, is dedicated to up-and-coming bands.

Mike, who grew up in Newbury Park but now lives in Hackney, is pleased to be part of the festival although he was only too pleased to move out of Redbridge as soon as he could.


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"I felt Ilford was very limiting, it's such an ugly place. The reason I called the band Dead Kids was because immediately I left school I had to walk up Eastern Avenue - which is soul-destroying in itself - and get on the Tube which was full of people hiding behind their newspapers and reading the same stories every day about dead kids. Only the names and pictures changed.

"I thought 'there's got to be something better than this'. So I decided to make music, something joyful."

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And exuberance is encouraged at a Dead Kids concert.

Mike says: "People live such pent-up lives. You need to release those emotions. Coming to our gigs is a cathartic experience."

Offset organisers describe their sound as "antagonistic post-punk". So now you know what to expect.

They five-piece have played Glastonbury and toured Europe and are now planning to make the most of the Offset Festival.

Mike says: "It's a great festival where people are removed from their urban environment."

The main stage headliners are original punks The Slits on Saturday and Southend garage rockersThe Horrors on Sunday.

Of the latter, the Offset organisers say: "Reviews have been simply astonishing for The Horrors second album, Primary Colours. Drowned In Sound insists, and we agree, that it's 'wholly worth all the hype that's attracted to its unexpected brilliance'.

"Changes of direction like this have rarely been so successful, but it works 'in a good, nay, great way. Because they're out of the garage. There's no dicking around with sub-two minute blasts of noise designed solely to provoke and annoy. There are songs on here. Actual, complex, textured, songs'."

The Slits started as a frenetic, anarchic all-female answer to the growth of male punk bands in the late 1970s. They supported Clash on their White Riot tour.

Vocalist Ari Up re-formed the band, with some new members in 2005.

For more details on the line-ups and tickets, go to www.offsetfestival.co.uk.

Under-12s go free when accompanied by an adult.

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