The best new bands at this year's UK festivals
New bands made easy! The Time Out music team (and a couple of friends) count down the top ten up-and-coming acts coming to a field near you
Fri May 24 2013
Every summer, music's hottest up-and-comers work the festival circuit, pitching up in fields and parks around the UK, all hoping that it's their set you stumble across. We've picked the ten acts you must see this summer, and rest assured: every single one of them is worth a muddy trek across the entire campsite.
Hot stuff: bands you must see this summer...
Sounds like Classical choons
Bringing a taste of the conservatoire to the festival scene is this oddball mix of silky classical strings, bleeped out electronic pop and uniquely London vocalists. Released on the Black Butter label – the folks who made Rudimental explode into the charts – Clean Bandit is young, playful and roguish enough to get away with anything.
© Kirsten McTernan
Sounds like Country bumpkin pop
This singer-songwriter from deep in the Welsh valleys claims he only has six good songs. But, on the evidence of the charming and wryly humorous tracks that comprise his debut album, ‘Ships’, we reckon he’s got many more gems to come. Onstage he turns the fey charm up to 11. And he has a tendency to dress up as a cat. Beat that!
© Theo Jemison
Sounds like Out-there beats from the LA streets
Picked by Heidi
‘This guy is mental in all the best ways. He tears it up and plays everything mashed up in a way that works, and his energy is infectious. That ’fro flopping back and forth whilst he’s dropping Snoop Dogg! I’m down.’
Heidi is a Radio 1 resident DJ, and hosts The Jackathon at Lovebox.
© Owen Richards
Sounds like Indie-folk with edge
Tired of Laura Marling’s warbling? Too grown up for Lucy Rose? Then Marika Hackman is the girl you need to court. This Brighton-based acoustic star-in-the-making isn’t any old guitar plucker. Her songs are richly metaphorical, and full of dark surprises that offer shade from the festival sun. Join in and get down to something profound.
Sounds like Full-fat dancefloor fun
Whether or not you share this larger-than-life DJ’s passion for snacking, you’ll definitely find his beats irresistible. Eats Everything’s productions combine jungle, rave, techno, Chicago sounds, booty-house, minimal and more into grooves even the most partied-out festival punter will want to shake their tired tush to.
Sounds like Rock ’n’ roll made easy
Maybe it was the Ramones? Weezer? Blink-182? The Strokes? Whatever your age, there’s probably a group who first made you sit up straight and realise just how awesome and fun rock music could make you feel. Remember? Well, Parquet Courts can bring you back there – and they don’t even sound like they’re trying that hard.
Sounds like Psychedelic summer vibes
Picked by Shaun Keaveny
‘Glastonbury can be a meteorological mixed bag to say the least, but it’ll feel like a heatwave even through the drizzle on the John Peel Stage when Sydney pair Jagwar Ma get their grooves out. Hat-tipping as they do to everyone from Madchester’s funkateer pioneers to Tame Impala and Conny Plank, their psychedelic dubfunk will have you tripping all the way to the cider tent.’
Shaun Keaveny presents the breakfast show on 6 Music.
Sounds like The cool return of garage
This pair of London teenagers can do lush electronica, delve into deep and dubby textures, or simply get an entire crowd raving with a killer garage-house set. They should follow dance prodigies Disclosure to the top of the charts. You might be rushing into the dance tent just to avoid the rain, but you’ll stay for Bondax’s sonic sunshine.
© Alexis Maryon
Sounds like Neo-soul with a kinky twist
Rope your tents down tightly if Lulu James is playing at a festival near you – her turbo-powered vocals will likely blow it clean out of the ground. Betraying her South Shields roots with a look straight out of Grace Jones’s vampy style book, her super catchy digital soul is worth weathering any storm for.
© Dan Kendall
Public Service Broadcasting
Sounds like Film’s past – music’s future
There isn’t a single other band in the UK like Public Service Broadcasting. Yes, that’s partly because of the archive film samples scattered throughout their tracks. And the retro-visual live show certainly helps. But, even without words and pictures, there aren’t many other bands around either who can pump out such impressive, elating, white-knuckle instrumentals.
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Ed Sheeran + Foy Vance
- BLUESFEST: Sheryl Crow
- LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL: Dr John – A Tribute to Louis Armstrong
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Placebo
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Kylie + MNEK
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Jessie J + James Bay
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Ben Howard + Hozier
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Mary J Blige
- BLUESFEST: Gregory Porter
- ITUNES FESTIVAL: Nicola Benedetti