Festival season is upon us, and with that I wouldn’t be doing my job without recommending some people to go and see. Wether you love indie stylings, dirty dnb or laidback rock, I’ve got you covered with an array of exciting acts, established and fresh, to satisfy your summer cravings.
Roni Size (Glastonbury, NASS, Latitude, Boardmasters, Bestival)
One of the undisputed kings of drum and bass, Roni Size is set to embark on a colossal European tour which also stops at some of the UK’s essential festivals. If you have any interest in electronic music, namely underground stylings such as drum and bass, jungle and break beat, Roni Size and his Reprezent live band should be somewhere near the top of your list to see this summer.
Chance The Rapper (Wireless, Electric Brixton, Manchester Ritz)
To this day the best act I’ve ever seen live. Surpassing legendary names such as Eminem and Green Day, nothing can compare to the performance I saw from Chance The Rapper, backed up by his incredible Social Experiment band. Read my full review of why you should see him here.
Rebel Sound (Chase & Status, Shy FX & David Rodigan) (Reading/Leeds, NASS, Creamfields)
Featuring one of the most reliable electro acts in the UK, blended with one of the underground scene’s most prolific figures, with that added dash of legendary, and what you’re left with is Rebel Sound. Having smashed Red Bull’s Culture Clash late last year beating the likes of ASAP Mob and BBK, Rebel Sound have already shown their worth, so be sure to grab a live showing while they’re still about.
Like fellow Bristolians and trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack, Portishead aren’t the type to consistently tour or make their live shows widely available- they just pop up at a random festival whenever they feel like it, because elusiveness is what they’re all about. Latitude Festival in Suffolk has been blessed with the opportunity to host the group, and before they disappear for an unpredictable amount of time, make sure you go along to their set.
Flying Lotus (Glastonbury, Bestival)
Another elusive figure who is not one to be missed. Blending hip-hop, electro, jazz and everything in between is a difficult feat, one only mastered by a few including one of the hottest names in contemporary production- Flying Lotus. Featuring extravagant trippy sets and carefully planned lights and sounds to accompany the music, it’s much more of an experience than a performance.
Hudson Mohawke (Reading/Leeds, Bestival)
After a mass of guest production and remixes, as well as his work with Lunice under the name TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke finally blessed us with his debut album Lamtern which was an album I don’t think anyone was expecting. With such an energetic avenue of electronica explored, an evening set from HudMo is one not to sleep on.
Jungle (Glastonbury, T in The Park, Secret Garden Party, Bestival)
A fresh group that’s quickly taken the critics and charts by storm, Jungle are a soul-infused collective responsible for one of the funkiest jams in the last few years Busy Earnin’. If they’re hits aren’t enough to buy you over, take a look at their huge stage-filling performances filled with every instrument and type of vocalist under the sun.
Alabama Shakes (Glastonbury, T in The Park)
Alabama Shakes are not necessarily an act I would immediately turn to, but their recent album, Sound + Colour did impress me. Having taken an interest in the group, I had a look at some of their live performances, where front-woman Brittany Howard blew the crowd and myself watching at home away. A mid afternoon slot would be perfect for a chilled yet exciting one.
Jamie xx (Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds, Bestival)
Jamie xx’s massively anticipated debut was finally blessed upon us earlier in the month, and it blew my mind. Featuring elements of deep house, hip-hop, trip-hop, house, rock, gospel, electronica and everything in between, it was a complicated piece of music that really did impress me. In support of In Colour, Jamie xx has been stopping by at various US talkshows and blowing away America, just in the same way. Watch this space.
Kanye West (Glastonbury)