The exact venues and times have still to be announced for this year’s festival, but that shouldn’t stop you starting to think which acts you’re most eager to see. Any list you draw up right now will be subject to change due to the dreaded clashes, queues or other issues which can emerge at any festival; but, pending the release of the actual programme, why not have some fun? There are enough acts for everyone, after all.

My priorities are shifting all the time – the more I look at the bill, the more coherent and consistent it seems to be. I’ve been exploring the music of some acts I haven’t encountered before – the swirling noise of Divorce, for instance, has surprised me – and weighing up all the ones I’m already a fan of to put them in that all important order of priority. Hmm.


I’m expecting this show to be popular – and anyone who wants to see them will need to resign themselves to getting there early. (Another question for the programme: which other acts on the same bill as Villagers?) Still, the bill has some strength in breadth and depth that there’ll be no great concerns that you’ll catch a stinker by waiting. Expect a properly seminal gig from this one. An ideal headlining alternative, if you can’t get through the doors, would be The King Blues.

Cate Le Bon

Already on my must-see list, and that of most of my friends, the moody Cardiff chanteuse will, I suspect, weave just the right atmosphere at the Crawl. Slightly dark, slightly painful, her songs translate perfectly from record to live gig, coming across like a Celtic Cat Power with a side of PJ Harvey. There’s nothing not to like.

Frankie and the Heartstrings

This will almost certainly be one of the busiest and most-hyped of the mid-level sets: the Heartstrings have been getting some serious press and prominence for their debut record, and seem already positioned for that crossover move so beloved of indie bands of their stripes. To that end, it might be a gig well worth squeezing yourself into – or not. One to double check against the programme.

I could go – also listed should be Tom Williams and the Boat, Polarbear, Beth Jeans Houghton … hmm, another post soon, I think.


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