Top Bands to Watch at Wilkestock Festival 2017 part 2

When it is: 1st-3rd September, 2017

Where it is: Stevenage 

For fans of: indie rock, post punk, DIY rock‘n’roll, & the underground rock scene

Wilkestock schedule
Stage splits and times

Back in April I published my Bands to Watch at Wilkestock Festival post, picking out my favourite bands amongst the first wave of acts announced. The full lineup to have come out since has proven just how sick the festival is going to be, setting it up as a definite highlight of the summer. The three day long festival takes place at the start of next month in Stevenage, featuring a wave of popular well established rock bands as well as some smaller bands who are more well known in the local scene (big up Luke Hinton and Juicebox for this). In my last post I picked the festival highlights out as Carl Barât & The Jackals, Yak, October Drift, MONO 01, Concrete Caverns, BlackWaters, VANT, The Wholls and 485C. Further festival highlights will be…

The Scruff

The Scruff are easily one of the coolest live bands I know, with a brilliantly vibrant rock’n’roll feel to their sets. With a classic sense of British rock authenticity to their music, The Scruff always put on a brilliant show with great reactions from the crowd. I last saw them in March supporting John Hassall & The April Rainers, and the wicked vibrancy their music has makes them one of the coolest most fun live bands I’ve seen this year. Adam is a sick frontman too, and has this fantastically raw gravel to his voice, which pairs with the raucous guitar to give the band a more gritty feel.

The Scruff

The Visitors

Another one of my favourite local bands, The Visitors are a class four piece from St Albans. They have a really bold, raucous indie rock sound, their sound taking you straight back to noughties post-Britpop indie. There’s a very charismatic feel to the band, who use blaring guitar riffs with mosh-pit inducing drumming, which makes their live shows really fun and enjoyable to be at. Alex is a wicked frontman too, with this Alex Turner-esque confidence on stage. Their music encompasses the cheeky attitude of indie rock, with tracks like Partying All Night giving the band a more intense raw feel. Last time I saw the band, they covered a few artists like Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and David Bowie, but their original tracks are just as credible too.


Waste are the only band on this list I haven’t seen live yet, but I am crazy excited to see them. They’re really my kinda music, full of this hectic post punk dirt, packed with this vicious flavour of hardcore rock. Their abrasive rock sound is uncaring and crass, with a riotous distorted bite. Live, I get the impression it’ll be a screaming thrashing explosion on stage, and the dark angst to their music has made them a favourite band of mine already. Everything I love about rock music is encompassed perfectly in Waste’s music; raw, snarling gravel, with brooding lyrics. Expect the band to tear the stage to bits.

Waste, shot by Max Melvin

Written In Ink

I first caught Written In Ink supporting October Drift at The Horn back last Christmas, and really loved their set. From the off, their set was packed with indie raucousness and a load of energy and vigour, drawing a brilliant reaction from the crowd. I love how tight the band are too, very intricate and meticulous with their riffs and track foundations. Mia is a standout musician in the band; an excellently talented drummer, she gives the band a whole new layer of finesse, building up a raw sense of old school rock’n’roll. Having undergone a couple of lineup changes recently, I look forward to seeing Written In Ink take to the stage again.

J.W. Paris

Maybe I go on about this band too much on my blog, but that’s because they are really fucking good. Emotive, raw, post punk rock’n’roll is the sort of sound J.W. Paris produce, very gritty and grimy with this cutting DIY edge. Live, the band’s sound is full of this raw intensity, with both Dan and Aaron taking it in turns on lead vocals. The cutting edge finesse of their voices are backed up by Josh’s raucous thrashing on the drums, amplifying the band’s immensity. They’re one of my favourite live bands, and blend blues infused rock with grunge, giving them a broodingly intense sense of punk filth and gravel. J.W. Paris’ rough DIY edge shines through their music, and every single track that band come up with is killer.

JW Paris
J.W. Paris

The Violet Shakes

The Violet Shakes recently debuted themselves as a new band; new image, new sound. They used to be known as Pages but have since re-branded, and Wilkestock will be their second gig they play as The Violet Shakes. Stepping away from synth indie music, the band have taken on a more edgy gritty sound, and it’s going to be brilliant to see them live again. Danny is a sick bassist, complimented by lead guitarist and killer vocalist Matt, whose riffs are very intricate and meticulous, gliding over that rich intensity of the bass guitar. James is a fantastic drummer too, and the three of them play in perfect sync with a very tight sound, built on firmly solid foundations. Stepping away from the 1975/ Wolf Alice vibes Pages used to have, I’m hoping The Violet Shakes live will be a lot heavier with a more intense raucous feel to their set (which judging from the demos I’ve heard, they will be).

The violet shakes
The Violet Shakes (bassist Danny and drummer James)

You can purchase tickets for Wilkestock here, and watch my blog for live updates with set reviews and band interviews over the weekend 

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