All you science types, have I got a feast for the mind for you. Take the world-leading facilities of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, and then stick some star-shattering speakers around the site. Presto, you’ve got the makings of one of the kookiest and yet family-friendly festivals you’ll come by any day. In 2011, Live at Jodrell Bank played host to the cornucopia of psychedelia that is Wayne Coyne’s Flaming Lips, alongside the kings of the music video OK Go and maritime doubleheader British Sea Power and Wave Machines.
While 2012 was cut short due to poor weather, seeing punters miss out on headline act Paul Weller on the Sunday, the first day again proved that the atmosphere when you gather a bunch of like-minded people around a big telescope is difficult to beat. Elbow did their thing in 2012 on the Saturday, and Guy Garvey said the festival was ‘a dream come true’: “All the thrills of space exploration for a band of the Star Wars generation, plus some pretty amazing cold war era hardware. Thanks to everyone who stood in the rain right through to the end, you made it the best gig ever!… ooooooh Jodrellites”
With that in mind, 2013 is set to be another triumphant year under the shadow of the Jodrell Bank telescope. The event will be held this year during the last weekend of August. Reykjavík-born soundscapers Sigur Ros will be looking to go stratospheric with their Friday 30th August headline set at this year’s festival. Drawing from six albums worth of material, it’s sure to be a night which will have thousands of onlookers gazing to the stars with joy.
We’ve been saying it for the good part of 2 years now, but for all you hipster types who hold a hankering for being at the forefront of what’s got a ‘buzz’ around it, here’s another reminder.
The Great Escape 2013 is COMING, on the 16th May to the 18th May in Brighton, and yes, it’s the exact place you need to be if you want to be at the vanguard of the musical trends of the tail end of 2013. Established as Europe’s answer to America’s South By Southwest (SXSW), you can catch a multitude of bands across 30 diverse venues, from seaside bars, to underground cellars that see the very foundations of their buildings reverberate.
Rocking these diverse venues will be lo-fi pop trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra (no, I don’t like the name either), alongside one of the top tips for 2013 singer songwriter Tom Odell. Manchester’s The 1975, who have been tipped for greatness by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, not to mention us, will also appear ahead of next EP ‘Music For Cars’ on the 4th of March.
New Kerrang! favorite Marmozets will be bringing their raw as hell rock ‘n’ roll to the sunny Brighton shores as well. And they’ve announced the first headline act, Bastille, who have been enjoying an incredibly successful start to 2013 and will most likely be one of the most popular bands of the weekend. They were voted #2 on the TGTF 10 for 2013 poll.
Bastille’s show is one of a small number that will take place at The Dome. To gain access to a Brighton Dome show, attendees can top up their festival wristband for only £7 per show, or purchase a separate gig ticket for £14.50. While super early bird wristbands have tone, a 3-day early bird festival wristband can be yours for £45 plus booking fees. Early bird delegate badges are available for £145. View the initial line-up here.
It’s a hell of a festival cliché, but there truly is something here for everyone. Whether you like your synths dirty, your metal heavy, or your lyrics whiney, you won’t be stuck for choice at TGE.
The behemoth event known as Coachella consistently delivers a line-up that makes all us UK-based festivalers turn from smug Glastonbury relishing revellers into green-eyed monsters, praying for cheap trans-Atlantic flights. This year of course is no different, as the Coachella Music and Arts Festival has drawn in both the best home-grown talent, and the reticent prime cuts of British exports.
You only have to look at the headliners on the Fridays. Blur and The Stone Roses are two bands with a fanatical following from years ago and who still have already inspired a ticket buying frenzy that has seen the 3-day event sell out in record time. The re-formed Stone Roses promise to bring their archetypal brand of faux mope rock to American shores, while Blur will assault the assembled masses with waves of Britpop and shouting, plus probably some kind of Damon Albarn pomp. But that’s allowed, he’s like royalty, yeah? Now that’s just two of the bands and in all honesty, that’s enough to sell out the event for me. But if you have been lucky enough to grab one of the proverbial golden tickets to the sold-out event, then here’s a little more of what you have to enjoy at this orgy of talented fellows.
The Gaslight Anthem will be making an appearance midway down the bill, and will be bringing a bit of ‘Hometown Glory’ (see what I did there) to Coachella. Mercury Prize winners and golden trio of the recent British indie scene the xx will also be performing a set in support of their (now not so) new record ‘Coexist’. Alongside Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith will be Franz Ferdinand performing slightly lower down on the bill than you’d expect of a band with their formidable reputation. On the same day, Saturday, dance groove titan Moby will be performing, as well as Sigur Ros, Hot Chip and New Order. I did tell you it was an orgy of talent, eh?
To finish the weekend off then, what better way to do so then a dosing of nostalgia served with a hearty portion of topless men, with long or shaven, hair jumping about on stage. I of course refer to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will be closing the event.
Coachella 2013 is already sold out, but we’ll be keeping an eye on things in Indio 12-14 April and 19-21 April.
Reading and Leeds.The rockers’ festival, taking place August Bank Weekend, 23 to 25 August 2013.
Forget all this chatter about it getting a little too indie. Where Download goes down and out to bring you the heaviest of heavy metal, Reading 2013 sits proudly on rocks shoulders and goes hey! We don’t have to all wear black to throw some horns and get down and dirty (insert your favourite metal cliché here), we just need some sick bands to thrash about to.
How do they top that? Well, how about getting the biggest rapper in the world, Eminem. FACT. Getting everyone’s favourite shirtless Scotsmen Biffy Clyro to headline. And by booking a re-formed Fall Out Boy, a rejuvenated Bring Me the Horizon and System of a Down. BLOODY SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Remember them, and just how hard they rocked, yeah, well, just imagine how hard they are going to rock the Main Stage.
Add to that the pure power of Deftones, the hottest new band around in the shape of alt-J, a Sub Focus live set for you dub junkies, an 18-year old with a number one album (Jake Bugg), math-rockers Foals and jesus. You’ve got the makings of a helluva weekend. A perfect mix of what’s hip and new and the best of the ‘older’ generations of rock.
And they’re not even finished. What next? I simply can’t see them topping what they’ve got so far. So if you’ve been swayed, weekend tickets, early entry permits, camper van permits are still on sale and are available from Seetickets, here for Reading and here for Leeds.
By Mary Chang on Friday, 1st February 2013 at 4:00 pm
Last July, Stockton’s Young Rebel Set made an appearance at Germany’s Omas Teich Festival, where they previewed this new song, ‘Mountains’, another grand, anthemic number from the band. It’s been a long time coming to YouTube for this performance to arrive, so be sure not to miss watching the performance below.
If you recall, I named their debut album ‘Curse Our Love’ my 3rd best album of 2011. I’ve never seen the band perform, so fingers crossed they will be playing somewhere near me (or while I’m on holiday in England) very soon.
This week? Possibly the genre that is most prolific – and the most crowded: the singer/songwriters and folk artists. Last week it was interesting to read that in an interview with SPIN, singer Scott Hutchinson of Scottish band Frightened Rabbit complained of being compared to current folk rock behemoths Mumford and Sons. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they brought folk rock to the forefront of popular music and proved that that brand of ‘popularised’ bluegrass could be popular around the world. There is no doubt a whole new generation of folk rock artists that are being given a second glance, instead of being ignored, thanks to the hard work of Mumford and other acts soldiering on in this genre. And then there are the singer/songwriters: we may romanticise the image of a solitary, guitar-wielding man in front of a crowd, the reality is that there are both men and women who are pouring their hearts out into song, sitting in their bedrooms wondering what might be. In that respect, SXSW does its best in giving these folks the proper credit – and surely the proper platform – that might propel them into the big time.
What I had envisioned this weekly guide to be was simply a handy resource if you were wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But even if you’re not attending the big event, I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music. And that isn’t limited to one place or one event. You can find new music anywhere. And without further adieu…
Lauren Aquilina – This 17-year old is from Windsor, but knock off the Royal Family jokes, please. She independently released her debut EP ‘Fools’ in October, so what a coup to get the SXSW nod when you’re still unsigned!
Jake Bugg (added 10/01/13) –Noel Gallagher’s young protégé who has already found fame in the last year at the Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City, the Nottingham native has made folk and country guitar rock popular again with his debut album
Bo Saris – blue-eyed soul delivered in a falsetto. It’s difficult for me to listen to, but if a Dutchman described as ” the new, male equivalent of the late Amy Winehouse” doesn’t make you shrink in horror…
Bwani Junction – Edinburgh band invoking the Afrobeat spirit of Vampire Weekend with their jaunty guitars. They even describe themselves as “Big Country were from the Soweto”. They made their Great Escape debut in 2012 with the Scottish contingent, so it seems only fitting that they make their SXSW debut this year.
Matt Cardle (added 10/01/13) – the winner of the 7th season of the UK’s X Factor, it’ll be interesting if his popularity in Britain will translate into fame in America.
Jamie N Commons – Has singing the blues, just like plaid shirts, become trendy again? If yes, then Jamie N Commons is its poster boy. And if for some reason you miss him and you live in America, don’t fret: he’ll be supporting Lianne La Havas (his fellow BBC Sound of 2012 longlist alum also at SXSW) on her North American tour directly following the festival.
The Dunwells – it is unfortunate that in the post-Mumford and Sons world, other folk bands that came out in 2009 were left behind. Hopefully, Leeds’ Dunwells will use this opportunity in Austin (and New York in January and Colorado in March post-SXSW) to show everyone just how talented they are and they’re not Mumford wannabes.
Paloma Faith – imagine my surprise to hear that Paloma Faith is now on my mum’s approved list, after watching her perform on Graham Norton. I’m kind of interested to see what kind of people would show up to see her in Austin: Amy Winehouse fans?
Fossil Collective – If you transported the Byrds to Leeds, what would they sound like? Probably something similar to Fossil Collective. I might have compared them to Fleet Foxes, except that in the press shots I’ve seen of Dave Fendick and Jonny Hooker, only one of them has a beard so…
For some mp3s and John’s review of their EP ‘On and On’, head here.
Goldheart Assembly – Having loved their 2010 debut album ‘Wolves and Thieves’, I felt like it’d been nearly forever since I last heard anything about Goldheart Assembly. When I checked on TGTF, the last thing I’d written on them, a post about their single ‘Harvest in the Snow’, was posted in March 2011. It’ll be 2 years, then, when they make their way to Austin, and not a moment too soon. Were they waiting for the Fleet Foxes love – and expected backlash – to die down? We’ll never know for sure, but I for one will be eager to see them live for the first time.
Ed Harcourt – Compared to the other singer/songwriters on the SXSW list, Ed Harcourt is a relative granddaddy – at 35, he’s released five studio albums to date, with an sixth, ‘Back into the Woods’, to follow in late February 2013. ‘The Man That Time Forgot’, the first song to be offered up from the new album, can be downloaded for free here.
Robyn Hitchcock – When your own Web site is called ‘a museum’, you know you’ve paid your dues to the music industry. This is where cult singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock finds himself, revered in the UK for his English eccentricity, though I am very curious at the kind of turnout for his shows at SXSW and indeed, where they will have him play.
Jesca Hoop (added 10/01/13) – to some of us, she’s better known associated with Elbow. Not actually British (she’s a Californian transplant to Manchester after Guy Garvey discovered), she started with a very eclectic sound which turned decidedly poppier with ‘Hospital (Win Your Love)’, the last time we checked in with her.
James Hunter – from the same town as Lammo (Colchester) comes this r&b and soul singer, previously nominated for a Grammy for his 2006 album ‘People Gonna Talk’. This is exactly the kind of music I don’t usually seek out, so I’m rather keen to see him play. I’m imagining the scene to be as hopping as JD MacPherson’s at last year’s Great Escape.
Josephine – if Morrissey was a young black woman, he might just sound like Josephine. (And yes. I didn’t believe Paul Lester either until I heard ‘What a Day’.) I haven’t heard her debut album but I’ve been told the rest of it doesn’t sound Smiths-esque, so you can’t blame Manchester for it.
Kodaline – Gary Barlow’s favourite new band from Dublin doesn’t show any signs of slowing down after getting a BBC Sound of 2013 longlist nod, We’ve written quite a bit about this band, so you can read all of that here. They have new EP out in March, and the promo video for its title track ‘High Hopes’ is below.
Cate Le Bon – Cate Le Bon is a breath of fresh air compared to most of the other Welsh acts tipped for 2013′s SXSW, which appear to all be thrashy, hard rock bands made up of men.
Read our previous live coverage of Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun here.
My Darling Clementine – ‘country/soul’ duo from Birmingham by husband/wife coupling Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. Long Facebook profiles seem overdone to me, so…
Willy Moon (added 10/01/13) – placing #6 in the TGTF 10 for 2012 readers’ poll, signing to Jack White’s Third Man Records, having one of his songs play on a new iPod advert in America? Willy Moon’s life just gets better and better. A little bit pop, a little bit soul, a little bit ‘50s styling for one hip sound.
Tom Odell (added 10/01/13) – Having already won the BRITs 2013 Critics’ Choice award, the sky’s the limit for this Chichester-born singer/songwriter.
Christopher Rees – Cardiff singer/songwriter that NME describes like this: “It’s not easy to achieve noise metal god status accompanied by a cello but Christopher Rees makes an awesome, bloody fist of it. Pumped up and snarling but managing to wrench beautiful tunes out of the wreckage… This is seriously amazing stuff”. This description has us intrigued!
Roo Panes – ‘classical folk pop’ is not a genre normally explored here, but I’m always up for a challenge. This is Andrew ‘Roo’ Panes’ project with a strong backing and voal harmonising band. He has already been singled out for his handsomeness, as Burberry chose him to model their autumn/winter 2012 collection. Given Mumford and Laura Marling‘s recent meteoric rise to fame in America, Roo Panes is the odds-on favourite to follow in their footsteps.
Sounds like: he should be signed to Communion, if Ben Lovett hasn’t come sniffing round yet
Lucy Rose – We, of course, already knew how talented she was. But 2013 could just be the year that Lucy Rose breaks out of Bombay Bicycle’s shadow and becomes a huge worldwide success in her own right. Though I worry what would happen to Lucy if she suddenly became massive; would she stop doing the things like Tweet at her mother on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable that make me go, “oh, bless!”? A scary prospect…
Paul Thomas Saunders – it must be hard to be Paul Thomas Saunders, a Leeds singer/songwriter in his late twenties and allergic to alcohol. But I guess he must use all that extra free time not boozing at the pub to write. Evidently I missed a “triumphant” appearance at last year’s Great Escape. Need to rectify that.
Jack Savoretti – part Italian, but that’s where any comparison to Paolo Nutini ends. Savoretti has already been on the road with Corinne Bailey Rae and shored up Radio2 support, but why isn’t he massive? Just wait until one of his songs gets synced on a major film soundtrack.
Skinny Lister – this London folk band have already made quite an impact on America, through a previous appearance at SXSW and then an even more surprising appearance last year on the Vans Warped tour of North America. Could they be riding the Mumford wave? Possibly. Their debut album ‘Forge and Flagon’ gets an American release this month, so we’ll see if the momentum lasts.
The Staves – three harmonising sisters with guitars from Watford who are no stranger to America, having toured here a couple times now with the (now defunct?) Civil Wars, I was surprised to see them get another turn at SXSW. If they do get an opportunity to sing in St. David’s again like in 2012, go, go, GO. You won’t be disappointed.
Story Books – Kent band sounding at times haunting and at times bombastic. Not really sure why they’re not more popular or, frankly, why we haven’t heard of them yet.
Richard Thompson – like Robyn Hitchcock, I’m not entirely sure what Richard Thompson is doing on a list of acts scheduled to perform at SXSW. Having already made a name for himself as a member of Fairport Convention and then with his wife Linda and now as a solo artist, I suspect he’ll be using the guest spot to advertise his latest album ‘Electric’, out in February.
That’s it for the genre chapters in the TGTF Guide to SXSW in January. To not miss any of our SXSW 2013 coverage, bookmark this tag and of course, keep it here on TGTF for even more great content in the weeks leading up to the big event in March!