By now you’ve pillaged overdrafts, scraped remains of loans and handed over a wodge of cash to the festival of your choosing. So Nouse Music has opted to give you some recommendations of what to see this summer; whether you’ve succumbed to the big two Glastonbury or Reading & Leeds, or ferrying to the offshore Bestival, hoping to avoid your parents at Latitude, glamping at The Secret Garden Party, promoting V Festival or Beach Break, hailing rock legends at Sonisphere or vainly headlining your own back garden to whatever strangers you could convince to come. For those picky few forsaking the UK and travelling into Europe there are a few specialised recommendations across the next page. But if your budget is stretched thin, Sam Briggs also has some cheaper suggestions that will squander less of your remaining pennies. Perhaps though you have been disillusioned by corporate behemoths, or maybe festivals are just too conventional for you, well thankfully Alex Swadling has some tip in her guide to more bizarre festivals.
It might be totally obvious way to begin, not to mention a further kick in the nads for anyone (like myself) without a Glastonbury ticket, but to paraphrase Kayne West Beyoncé is of the best performers of all time. With hits from Destiny’s Child and her own solo career, there’s no doubt any setlist will be solid gold. If her recent live performances are anything to go by, featuring an army of backing dancers that look like Gaddaffi’s female security guard entourage, it should be brilliant to watch even if you’re grouchily making do with a TV screen. For those desperate to get a bit closer, there are still opportunities to catch her in at T and the Park in Kinross, Scotland and Oxygen in An Nás, Ireland.
Along with Lou Reed, John Cale was a primary creative force behind The Velvet Underground, contributing as a bassist, viola player, keyboardist, and occasional co-songwriter. Since then he has branched into other genres such as drone and classical, and amassed some 30 albums in his solo career. His most famous work is perhaps Paris 1919, a series of orchestral backed and literary influenced pieces that are uniquely different to his nosier and more abrasive early work. Live performances are rare, and his appearance at Field Day in London’s Victoria Park is his only UK tour date this year.
Odd Future might be sick of the press, and well probably everyone else is as well, but somewhere behind all the ridiculous statements, controversy and hysterical hype is a good live act. If you managed to see Odd Future yet, you’re one of the exclusive few with their UK live shows confined to cramped ends of London that sell out in minutes flat. So their festival appearances in Reading & Leeds and Bestival might be your best bet. Past performances have involved jumping into the crowd from ridiculous heights, frequent security scuffles, impromptu Rebecca Black, and frenzied stage invasions.
Southend goths turned post-punk shoegazers The Horrors make their long awaited return to the festival circuit this summer. Having successfully reinvigorated their sound on second album Primary Colours, this will be a chance to hear cuts from self-produced third album, Skying, and hear what direction they’ve taken since. Indeed, new single “Still Life” suggests a continuation of the grander, synthesised elements of their latest output. Their live show, characterised by frontman Faris Badwan’s strong presence and the meddling with homemade pedals by guitarist/physicist Joshua Hayward, can be witnessed at Wireless, Field Day, ATP, and the headline spot of Reading and Leeds’s Festival Republic stage.
Filling this year’s 90s reformation post are arty alternatives Pulp. Rising to fame through the witticisms of frontman Jarvis Cocker’s everyman lyrics, and their electronically influenced Britpop, the band’s fame peaked with seminal album Different Class, alongside successfully filling in as Glastonbury headliners in 1995. Appearing on UK soil at Wireless, T in the Park, Electric Picnic, Reading and Leeds, as well as a series of European festivals, there is plenty of chance to catch Cocker and co. reel through the still classic “Common People” with a field full of drunk twenty-somethings – European or otherwise.
Having been known as the Artist, the Love Symbol, the Artist Fomerly Known as Prince and Jamie Starr, the author of classic tracks such as “Purple Rain” and “Little Red Corvette” will be returning to UK festivals this summer, simply as Prince. A legend of R&B, funk and flamboyance, his live show promises to feature hits from his 35 year career. Any artist who has changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and been voted the world’s sexiest vegetarian, alongside writing some of the sauciest and seminal tracks of the last three decades has to be a watch – catch him at Hop Farm, as well as many European festivals.
Ultra violent, fast and extreme – the beautifully brutal Birmingham foursome Napalm Death have proven themselves inextinguishable since 1981 and remain undiluted as ever. With 14 studio albums under their belt, Napalm Death have been extremely influential and haven’t yet lost their trademark style of neckbreaking fast and short songs. Napalm play with noticeable conviction and each politically charged burst of aggression is like a punch in a stomach, or perhaps that’s just the pit. Playing main stage at Bloodstock Open Air in August, the sweat, grind and ferocity will be unforgivable to forget.
The Big 4 are playing at Sonisphere – Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth – no one needs telling twice how amazing that will be. Turning it up to 11 however, is Richard Cheese and his jazz band Lounge Against the Machine. With 9 studio albums, including I’d Like a Virgin and Aperitif for Destruction, their set will be brimming with tickling lounge-style covers of tracks like SOAD’s “Chop Suey” and Slipknot’s “People=Shit”. Post-Cheese Traumatic Stress is not unlikely however – you’ll struggle to listen to the original ever again. But mostly, the struggle will be laughing and dancing all at once.
Undoubtedly known best for their youtube hit ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’, laptop musician Dan Le Sac and spoken word artist Scroobius Pip have since have been spreading their remixes and electronica hip hop in 4 studio albums and across massive festivals like Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds. You can also find them headlining at the smaller eco-friendly festival 2000trees, the extra intimacy is a blessing. But remember, they’re just a band.