Thursday, 12 July 2012

Youtube Mixtapes - 10 acts to see at Beacons Festival



I don't know about you, but Festival season hasn't been too cheery thus far, has it? Whilst Hackney Weekend was a star studded success, both Isle of Wight and T in The Park struggled in my eyes - mostly due to the awful weather, but also due to line up's heavy with pop and the same recycled festival acts.


That said, August is set to be a lot more promising, and I'm not just talking about the weather forecasts. It seems that in the world of festivals, the way to go is smaller rather than bigger, focusing on the quality of the acts rather than digging out decrepid crowd pleasers to make money. And this is where Beacons really stands out. With it's art installations, craft classes and bespoke food all set to a backdrop of rolling Yorkshire Hills of Skipton, it is more Latitude than T4 on The Beach. At £84.50 for the full three day weekend, it's a damn sight more reasonable that it's competitors too. And, if you're REALLY hardcore (like me), it's also the perfect warm up to the Reading and Leeds weekend, kicking off the Thursday before. 


Naturally, festival atmosphere and surroundings has a lot to answer for, but it is generally the bands that determine whether you are to part with your well earned cash. So what does Beacons have in the way of music that you simply must see? Well, for your listening pleasure, I have put together a list of the bands I'll hopefully be catching at the festivial. Don't say I never give you anything, eh?


Wild Beasts 
Come on, you didn't really expect me to do this countdown and miss out my favourite band did you? Beacons will be the nearest the Kendall four get to a hometown show, and it's wonderful to see them in a headline position, hopefully giving them the chance to go for a greatest hits set that celebrates their entire career so far, as well as putting a nice bookend on the smother era. I myself will be looking out for a bit of old school - Beacons won't get much more joyous than hearing this vintage track ring out from the main stage.


Ghostpoet

An act I've been meaning to see for quite some time now, Ghostpoet will be putting in an appearance on the Saturday as warm up for Wild Beasts, his woozy trip-hop not a million miles away from their dark atmoshperics, despite the differing genres. Survive It should be something rather special in the dark.



Factory Floor
If you like the sound of live Hot Chip when they spin off intro extended experimental breakdowns, Factory Floor are likely to be a good shout at Beacons. They may come across as difficult listening first time around, but give Two Different Ways a go - at 8 minutes long, it'll gives you time to run off for an emergency pint before the drop really kicks in.






Arthur Beatrice

If oddly euphoric melancholy is more your thing, Arthur Beatrice may be up your street. Perilously difficult to google, their sound varies song to song, but Midland seems to sum them up best - mysterious 80's flecked indie. If I'm not explaining this very well, maybe you should just try them out for yourself.  



Runaround Kids

 Something of hometown heroes, Wakefield three piece Runaround Kids don't mess about, delivering straight forward sunny indie pop in the vein of the Two Door Cinema or Bombay Bicycle Clubs. Let's just hope the weather stays cheery for them...






Hey Sholay
Something of a buzz band earlier in the year due to Radio 1's support, Hey Sholay have earnt a fair reputation on the gigging circuit of Yorkshire, so Beacons should bring them a sizable crowd. I particularly like Burning, it's frantic drumbeat no doubt a stimulant for some muddy field pogo-ing.





Clock Opera
I discovered Clock Opera only afrer realising I'd missed them at Dot to Dot Festival, so Beacons is the perfect excuse for me to catch back up with them. If you like Local Natives or Grizzly Bear, they are a must - pretty and slow burning Belongings is likely to be an emotionally charged 'moment' live.






Tall Ships

Whatever Los Campesinos recommend, I am sure to like. Such is the case with their much bigged up tour mates Tall Ships. Chemistry is pretty summative of what they do, both in sound and visual aesethetic - gloriously D.I.Y, itchy math rock that twists and turns when you least expect it. 





King Krule
A guy I am somewhat obsessed with (not in an inappropriate way, the boy is only 17), Beacons marks a rare live appearance for King Krule. I'd be pretty annoyed if I missed it, for I think that in the absence of  Jamie T (who he's not that much like anyway, but it's the nearest comparison I can think of), he's going to be huge. Grab him before he's hot!




Kwes

To round off the top ten, here is another guy I'm really backing. Kwes properly impressed me at Dot to Dot, and is a perfect, gentle bridge gapper for anyone who wants to start getting into electronically influenced music, but doesn't know where to start. Considering when I last saw him, there were only about 10 other people in the room, here's Beacons brings him the crowd he deserves.






Beacons Festival takes place on the Funkirk Estate in Skipton between August 17th and 19th. Weekend Tickets are priced at £84.50. For more information, visit http://www.greetingsfrombeacons.com/

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