Urban festivals are all the rage nowadays. The no camping, no mud, no wellies proposition is surely a big selling point, but the reasonable pricing along with the sheer multitude of bands you get to see is arguably the biggest persuasion. Dot to Dot Festival graces Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester this Bank Holiday weekend, and with over 400 acts performing I’ve picked the top ten that you have to see.
Australian supergroup made up of The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective and the Jungle Giants, Confidence Man made a huge splash with their debut single, ‘Boyfriend (Repeat)’. Fresh off playing four huge shows at The Great Escape last weekend, Confidence Man will no doubt bring their brand of hugely fun pop bonanza to Dot to Dot this weekend.
PINS’ distinctive in-your-face style of punk-rock has been honed to near-perfection on the live scene for the last couple of years. Songs such as ‘LUVU4LYF’ and ‘Young Girls’ are straight up bangers and they’ve recently worked with the legend that is Iggy Pop on latest single ‘Aggrophobe’. Sold? You should be.
Yellow Days released his awesome debut EP, Harmless Melodies, last year. It’s about breaking up with his girlfriend, and it’s a mix of Splashh’s dreamgaze pop, with Mac Demarco’s laidback swagger and the voice of Paolo Nutini. He’s also only seventeen and he’s already the real deal and easily the most exciting name on the Dot to Dot line up.
The Big Moon
By this point, The Big Moon are festival veterans. It’s a foregone conclusion that you’re going to see them, you’re going to love them or continue to love them. Only this time they come with debut album, Love in the 4th Dimension, in hand which is one of the best albums of the year. Look out for ‘Zeds’, ‘The End’ and ‘Pull the Other One’ which evokes everyone from Pixies, to The Maccabees, to Sleeper.
Psych-rock band Mystic Braves sound like the love-child of Procol Harum and Tame Impala, with mixes of Scott Walker and The Last Shadow Puppets. On ‘Mystic Rabbit’ they evoke Spaghetti-Western era Ennio Morricone, and on ‘Bright Blue Day Haze’ they sound like Jethro Tull. They certainly wear their influences on their sleeves, but there’s also something profoundly unique about Mystic Braves.
Brighton band Yonaka, which means “dead of night” in Japanese, have been thrilling and destroying small venues for about a year now, and after a huge support slot with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, they’ve begun to find an audience for their raucous rock music. Huge new single ‘Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya’ is likely going to be the highlight, but the main attraction is lead-singer Theresa Jarvis’ awesome post-punk vocals, which conjure everyone from Beth Ditto to Black Honey’s Izzy Baxter.
Arguably the biggest band on the D2D line-up, The Growlers are a little bit of everything. From surf-rock on ‘I’ll Be Around’, to reggae-ska on ‘One Million Lovers’ to psychedlic rock on ‘Dope on a Rope’. Playing a late-night slot, The Growlers are bound to bring everything and the crowd is going to be up for it. I wouldn’t wanna miss it.
Michigan based Heaters are garage-rock from a bygone era, but they’re so good they could well bring it back from the abyss. Their music is murky, dishevelled and yet compelling and alluring. They’re almost designed for festivals and I’m sure everyone gracing their presence when they’re on stage will be sold.
Cosmo Pyke is a poet, pure and simple. He talks about what he sees around him, in Peckham, and backdrops it with laid-back, carefree music that is beautiful to listen to. His biggest song ‘Social Sites‘ travels around South London, sketching out something intimate and beautiful. He’s not to be missed for his mid-afternoon slot.
After releasing their second album, Babes Never Die, and subsequently getting over the difficult second album problem, Honeyblood are more than ready for their huge slot at Dot to Dot. Songs such as ‘(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here’, ‘Killer Bangs’ and ‘Choker’ are going to sound huge in their respective headline venues.