Photo: John Gilhooley


We couldn’t be any more honoured to announce that the legendary Fu Manchu will headline The Roundhouse on Sunday May 5th 2019 in fair old Camden Town.

Southern California’s boogie-rocking titans were born out of the hardcore punk scene of ’85 as Virulence, but quickly switched up their super-speed, underground angst for more of a drawlin’, skateboard rampin’, hard-rockin’ vibe and so Fu Manchu was born. Throughout the next thirty years or so they’d come to be known to many as the AC/DC of the now global desert rock scene: always consistent, always on trend, always ready to rock; any time, any venue, anywhere.

Earlier incarnations of the line-up featured the likes of Eddie Glass and Ruben Romano (who later formed Nebula) and even legendary ex-Kyuss sticks-man Brant Bjork for several years on drums. But it’s the stable post-2002 foursome of mainstay frontman Scott Hill, Bob Balch on lead guitar, Brad Davis on bass and Scott Reeder (no, not that one, the other one) on drums that’s the quintessential Fu. The perfect blend of style, guile, rough, smooth and un-mastered groove, they’ve never sounded better on stage than they do today.

Recently Fu Manchu have gone through a phase of touring full albums in their entirety, and from the rising asphalt of In Search Of…, to the laserblastin’ The Action Is Go and right through the true hell on wheels that is King On The Road and beyond, we’ve all got a favourite Fu Manchu moment. If not, then there’s never been a better time to get familiar with the hardest rockin’, hotdoggin’ back catalogue in history. To have Fu Manchu topping a Roundhouse bill also featuring All Them Witches, Witch, Earthless and Colour Haze, is something that’s been an amazing dream for us to bring to reality.

Fu frontman Scott Hill is clearly as excited as we are for the boogie van to roll into town: “We’re so stoked to be a part of Desertfest and to play the legendary Roundhouse in London. It’s hard to believe that we will be playing the same spot as some of our heroes like Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Ramones and Motörhead.”

We couldn’t agree more. So don’t go eatin’ dust, hang on and join us at the Roundhouse on Sunday for the finest evening of stoner and psych, riffs and groove, starring everyone’s favourite kings of the road: Fu Manchu.

Words: Pete Green


We are pleased to announce that London's own Grave Miasma will be joining the lineup of Desertfest 2019.

One of the blackest of the black the underground has to offer, they'll be part of this year's Old Empire main stage takeover, taking place at The Electric Ballroom on Friday 3rd May.

Members of London's - and indeed the UK's - ever burgeoning death metal scene, Grave Miasma were formed in 2002 as Goat Molestör; in those early years, the band released a handful of splits and demo EP's before finding their current moniker in 2006. Since then, they have taken a more steady approach than is often the case in the death metal scene, with their sole full length, 2013’s Odori Sepulcrorum, as well as their measured scattering of EP’s serving a slow drip of the brutality Grave Miasma have to offer.

Their unhurried approach has paid dividends, with an unquestionably atmospheric sound which stands unmatched and saw the aforementioned Odori Sepulcrorum earn praise from publications ranging from Metal Injection to Pitchfork. Perhaps the heaviest on the Old Empire Stage, at least in the traditional sense of the word, Grave Miasma are one not to miss when Desertfest weekend comes around.

Words: Tom Geddes