Posts Tagged ‘villagers’

My headliners of choice so far would be:


Becoming A Jackal is simply one of my favourite records of the last few years, and I’ve yet to see Conor O’Brien live, so this one’s a no-brainer.

Graham Coxon

Always such good value, and in something of a purple patch right now by all accounts, everyone needs to make it to this show, surely?

British Sea Power

Simply one of the most exciting, joyous live acts on the circuit right now … and full of raucous intelligence to boot.

Have I missed off your favourite? Enlighten me!


Further thought on who to see at this year’s Crawl: daytime-wise, incidentally, I’m already set on settling down with Magpie’s Nest on the Sunday; Saturday is up for grabs, but the Spread Eagle is always good value. Given how I’m packing out my evening schedules, I might just let the rest of my group decide what to do with Saturday afternoon. That’d be big of me, right? They’ll be grateful, I know it.

In terms of more evening acts, I’m pretty firm in still fancying Dananananakroyd (with whom the Crawl have an interview here), Piney Gir (with whom they had an interview here), and Treetop Flyers (get with the programme, Camden Crawl!); Villagers, Cate Le Bon and Frankie and the Heartstrings still seem like no-brainers, too. But how about any more for any more? The very wise Sheena over at the Ruckus has suggested a few mighty fine additions: Marques Tolliver, Dry The River, and Slow Club will all be making the right sort of sounds for my ears, too.

I’ve seen British Sea Power live a couple of times now, and they’re great – but do you check out a band you’ve seen before at a festival full of acts you haven’t? Maybe not. I love Miles Kane’s work with Last Shadow Puppets, but will he clash with Villagers? Those Dancing Days, Tom Williams and the Boat, and Let’s Buy Happiness will all be worth seeing; but what about leaving room for the surprises you’ve never heard of?

Roll on the programme, people …

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.

At long last: the line-up. Mostly, I’m smug that the rumours I leaked last week all turned out to be true, and I’m already looking forward to catching a bunch of them at the Crawl. But there’s a few other remarks to make:

  • The lack of big names. Is Villagers the biggest act on the bill? Saint Etienne may have some claim, too, but they’re not quite as current as Conor O’Brien. I know the Crawl tends to keep its big guns in reserve, and announce exciting special special guests closer to the date. (There’s my next rumour-mongering task, I suppose.) But this still seems a defiantly ‘alternative’ (how I hate that word) list: there’s a tiny amount of disappoointment on Twitter, misguided I think, because of this; but I reckon new music on the edge is what the Crawl is for. I’m excited.
  • The breadth of genres. This is an obvious one, of course – the Crawl has traditionally been good at spanning a wider range of music types than many festivals, often to hilarious effect. But here’s a bill with Tom Williams and the Boat and SBTRKT, Chickenhawk and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. That is wicked. For everyone who hates Hadouken, there’s a King Blues; for those not so keen on Toddla T, go see Cate Le Bon. It’s perfectly pitched – there’ll be something for everyone in the evenings. Kudos.
  • The wait. We’ve all been bitching about this, but hasn’t it been pretty damn clever? All the other festivals – Great Escape, Wychwood – have farted out their line-ups and there’s been nary a peep. The Crawl line-up has really generating a bit of a stir, at least in my corner of the interwebs. We’ve waited for it, and now it’s here – with some top-notch, uber-cool bands on the poster. They’ve played it with a very clever balance of marketing nous and musical knowledge.

I’m not an exciteable person, but today has been a good day … What do you lot think?

Who are those masked artists?

“Check back for rumours, official confirmations, news and much more,” insist on their page devoted to the Crawl. Pleasantly enough, they haven’t yet updated the page with the daytime line-up, so we can assume that rumours will be coming thick and fast Any Time Now.

Like all good fannish wannabes, I’ve managed to fenegle my way into the Crawl’s offices on an occassion or two: street teams are managed out of there and that sort of thing, and they are so harried that they’re often grateful for a hand. Last time I was in I failed to be the Julian Assange of metropolitan festivals and absolutely positively failed to catch a glimpse at anything close to a line-up. In part you could assume that’s because, like VirtualFestivals, they know nothing yet. Naturally.

But yesterday the Great Escape made its first line-up announcement for a festival which takes place after the Crawl; so surely somewhere, squirelled underneath a copy of Vice, or possibly tucked away inside their favourite Plan B record, was a piece of paper full of the goodies rumour-mongers like me breathe like oxygen. Which I definitely didn’t see.

Anyway. Who have the Great Escape scored, I hear you ask? Katy B, Warpaint and Villagers head their press release yesterday – not so bad a thing, given Becoming A Jackal was one of the best records of last year. But the Crawl, and rightly so, has always concentrated as much on the acts Q haven’t heard of yet as last year’s Mercury nominees. You might expect them to be casting a beady eye (no, they’re not performing) across bands like Tripwires, Said The Whale, Woodhands, Tribes or The Jezabels. Yes? No?

And here’s a tip: aren’t Gang of Four releasing a new record this year … ?