© All photos by Sahera Walker
© All photos by Sahera Walker
Wilkestock festival year and year again always stands out as one of the best festivals of the summer, an eclectic mix of genres, stages, and just the best vibes in general making it one of my favourite festivals ever. 2019 saw the festival’s best lineup to date, with Slaves headlining on the Saturday, bands like Lady Bird, LIFE, Zen, JW Paris, Avalanche Party, Strange Bones, and many others also gracing the lineup. Here are Indie Underground’s Festival Highlights from Wilkestock Festival 2019
Well known for their raucous punk angst on stage, Slaves have had an incredible summer, and their headline set at Wilkestock was one of the best, trashiest, and sweatiest times I’ve seen them play. Opening with a scathing screech of ‘Oi, what are you doing? Nobody gives a shit!’ before lunging into the thrashy The Lives They Wish They Had, Slaves played a mix of old and new tracks, their setlist featuring the likes of Magnolia, Beauty Quest, Sugar Coated Bitter Truth, Live Like An Animal, and classics Where’s Your Car Debbie? and The Hunter
Their energy is always impeccable, a solid raucousness and tightness embedded in the unique energy Laurie and Isaac share with one another. Tracks like Fuck The Hi-Hat (which Slaves smashed out just after a cymbal was kicked out into the audience) and Sockets were filled with that scatty passion and vigour which is so special to Slaves, resulting in the psyched up crowd moshing and jumping around in the audience
Luke Hinton (Juicebox – The Horn St Albans / The Horn at The Half Moon Bishop’s Stortford) runs the bookings for Wilkestock Festival, and Slaves played The Horn years ago to a tiny crowd, so seeing them headline the festival to such a stunning crowd reaction really was a magical thing to witness
Heavy and raw, Strange Bones are always phenomenal live, and their set at Wilkestock for many was the most anticipated set of the weekend. In such an intimate setting, their set was immense, the tent absolutely packed; Bobby did everything that is classic for a Strange Bones live performance, from crowdsurfing and jumping into the crowd with his gas mask on, to climbing up the metal ladders inside the tent before jumping from the top into the audience. Their set was wild, tracks played including God Save The Teen, Snakepit, and Here Come The Wolves. An absolute blinder, Strange Bones never fail to entice, excite and impress, and their set was undeniably one of the best festival sets I’ve seen this summer
Savage and malicious in their fun punk attitude, Lady Bird were a definite highlight of the festival. Signed to Slaves’ DIY Girl Fight Records Label, the three piece had circle pits and moshing during their set from the very start, which can only really be described as a passionate set full of fiery grit and vigour. Their set included tracks like Spoons and Social Potions, as well as personal favourite Boot Fillers; this band have some seriously strong riffs up their sleeves, a rowdy guitar-heavy foundation to their music
Playing on the tiny Bella’s Stage on Saturday night, Avalanche Party were phenomenal, putting on a menacing and visceral set which obliterated the tent to pieces. They’re incredibly enticing live, and what always intrigues me about this band is the intimidating stance of lead singer and guitarist Jordan, who comes across as possessed in his demeanour. Their set was a stunning chaotic mess, featuring tracks like 7 and Porcelain
One of the most scarring and exciting sets of the weekend came from Hull’s LIFE, a politically angry and vivacious life band, who are no strangers to rowdy crowds and mosh pits. Only a few tracks in, lead vocalist Mez was out in the crowd, dancing, jumping and screaming into the mic with them. Dedicating the politically brilliant track Euromillions to “Brexit and the new government,” LIFE also played tracks like Ba Ba Ba, Popular Music, Moral Fibre and In Your Hands
Always a favourite band of ours to catch live, JW Paris packed out the Bella’s Tent on Friday evening, their sound deafening and a lot heavier than previous times I’ve seen them. They have a very unique and eclectic sound, elements of blues and a more classic rock’n’roll vibe intertwined with a grungy post punk foundation. They played tracks like Radio, Rapture, Darker Side Of Paradise, and That’s Why, much of the energy of their set matched by audience members dancing and singing lyrics and riffs back at the band. Their riffs are incredibly catchy, a vehement angst ingrained in their sound, both guitarist Dan and bassist Aaron 100% in sync as they played together – an absolute beauty on stage
We also had the pleasure of catching Fiende Fatale, whose messy scatty post punk sound has improved so much since we discovered them in 2016. Lead guitarist and vocalist Matt ended up with blood pouring down his head at one point, their entire set rough, intense and incredibly charismatic; they have so much energy and power on stage, and the way guitarist Rolph played alongside drummer Dom was insatiable. Zen were another highlight, bringing their quirky post punk vibes to Bella’s Stage, and Caretta also packed out their set, with a fiery grungy set, their sound much heavier and enticing with their new tracks. One of the best bands from Sunday were FRAMATICS, who completely exceeded my expectations. A similar vocal style to Sophie from Sophie & The Giants or Yonaka’s Theresa, lead singer Maddie had a new powerful confidence, her voice really strong and intense. This power was matched perfectly by the force of the rest of the band; Liam on bass and Zach on lead guitar have a really strong fire between them when they play, their deafening heavy riffs an explosive eruption, backed up brilliantly by drummer Adam
Until next summer Wilkestock!!
©All photos by Sahera Walker
With an impeccable reputation for live music, DIY venues, and thrilling punk gigs, Camden is one of the UK’s strongest towns for rock music, and Camden Rocks festival each year helps solidify this. With 400 bands playing over the weekend of June 1st & 2nd, the festival is split over 20 of Camden’s finest venues, from mosh-pit indulging DIY spaces like The Dublin Castle, to the intimate Hawley Arms, to larger club spaces like The Electric Ballroom. This year, the lineup is a fantastic mix of indie, punk, and rock’n’roll, and we have narrowed the lineup down to our top 5 Bands to Watch
A deafening formidable riot on stage, Strange Bones fuel vivacious punk scat with a grungy foundation. Their sets are always fuelled by an insatiable feel of chaos and urgency, their manic deranged tracks undercutting a politicised edge. Expect intense mosh pits and crowd surfing, with front man Bobby known to jump from amps directly into the crowd beneath
Top tracks: Here Come The Wolves & Give Me The Sun
2. Projector The Monarch, Saturday 1st, 4pm-4:30pm
Cleverly blending grunge with an indie pop sensibility, Projector create a beautifully complex shoe gaze vibe with their music. The dreamy indie breeziness is undercut by deafening bass lines, which builds up an interestingly 90s based sound
Top tracks: Go Ahead & Break Your Own Heart
3. False Heads Camden Assembly, Sunday 2nd, 4:15pm-5pm
Scathing and raw post punk trio False Heads are the most exciting live band at the minute, their music vigorous and powerful, their gritty punk rigour riveting and dynamic. Front man Luke has the passion and attitude needed to convey the band’s ballsy angst perfectly, and his messy riffs slice through the deafening bass lines from Jake and the furore of drummer Barney. They have cultivated a special reputation for themselves as East London’s most exciting band, their live sets fuelled with power and dynamism; certainly not a band to miss live at this year’s Camden Rocks
Top tracks: Slew & Fresh Ink
4. Dirty Orange Music And Beans, Sunday 2nd, 6:30pm-7pm
Merging together old school rock’n’roll (think Hendrix, Rolling Stones, and The Strokes) with a fresh indie-punk vigour, Dirty Orange are always wonderful live; they use retro reverb effects and distortions when playing to amp up a 70s rock sound, accompanied by the accented vocal of lead singer George, yet they still manage to maintain a freshness to their sound. Incredibly catchy on record, and extremely fun live, Dirty Orange’s set will be a very special one
Top tracks: Council Estate & Time Again
5. Gaygirl The Good Mixer, Sunday 2nd, 9:15pm-10pm
Brooding and abstract, Gaygirl blend a messy punk aura with shoegaze indie psychedelia, a very new and innovative sound to get from a band. What I love about Gaygirl is their ability to blend their dreamy indie-pop cloud with a more scathing and intricate punk bite, a rawness and messiness softly layered over their sound. Live, the band are sonic and gripping, and they create a wonderfully hedonistic atmosphere
Top tracks: Sick Note & Paralydise
Additional bands to catch… JW Paris, The Black Roses, Cavalcade, The Pigeon Detectives, King Nun, Pretty Vicious, Brain Ape, Rascalton, Asylums, Queen Zee, Juicebox, Hands Off Gretel, The Gulps, Rews, The Pearl Harts, The Howlers, Panic Island, Dutch Mustard & The Scruff
Hear our Camden Rocks playlist below…
Tickets for Camden Rocks are only £40 per day, or £70 for the whole weekend – this festival is really one of the best for new music, and it plays such a pivotal role each year in its support of the DIY scene, so go and grab a ticket now!
Wilkestock festival…sick as alwaaays
Once again the festival was a blitz of immersive, scathing post punk music, this year’s lineup playing host to a plethora of intoxicating and talented bands on the upcoming DIY scene. Indie Underground covered the Saturday of the festival for the upcoming issue of Some Might Say Zine, hanging with Strange Bones, Cabbage, 485C, and The Scruff both on and off stage. Check ’em out
All photos by Sahera Walker
The number one party #ZoneIsland of last summer is returning next week, thanks to This Feeling once again taking over a stage at the iconic Isle Of Wight festival. One of the biggest champions and supporters of new music, This Feeling are teaming up with Pirate Studios and Pretty Green, with over thirty bands gracing the stage; no doubt it will be biblical. If you’re looking for the freshest, most raw and enticingly hedonistic live music, paired with the indisputable fact that future headliners will be playing the stage, then This Feeling’s tent will be the place to be. Here’s our top five unmissable bands to catch live at the festival
Last summer This Feeling hosted a stage at Reading Festival, and Avalanche Party were undeniably the standout highlight act from the entire weekend. There’s a manic visceral energy which infuses their live sets with a deranged,almost feral nature. Tracks like Porcelain and 2021 are a solid testament to what gritty garage punk music is, and the intense brutality the band create with ease is enthralling and mosh worthy on stage
A few months ago, Calva Louise were creating sugar coated punk music; blaring riffs and scarring vocals layered over delicate whispers from vocalist Jess, and carefully created pop riffs blended in with their DIY grit. Yet latest single Outrageous takes you back to the old school DIY punk sound of the band, which is one of messy, filthy grunge. Authentic and stunning in their unique brand of punk, Calva Louise are one of the tightest and most polished live bands on the scene at the moment, whilst still able to inject a scatty excitement and vitality into their live sets
Having seen Cavalcade support The Wholls back in March, I have been desperate to see them again ever since. The four piece have a wild sound; it’s got a post-Britpop/ rock’n’roll bite to it, but it’s not as commercial sounding as many other bands who fall into this genre. Perhaps it’s their jaw dropping riffs that give them the edge, or it may be the energy and vigorous no-shit attitude they have on stage. Either way, this band are fast becoming one of the most interesting and fun live bands emerging onto the scene
Sophie And The Giants
Completely bad-ass and intense both on stage and on record, Sophie And The Giants are a vivacious new band, whose enigmatic sound blurs the fine line between pop and indie perfectly. Sophie’s vocal belongs to a class of head banging pop rippled with savage heaviness, similar to the likes of Yonaka’s lead vocalist Theresa. They use synths perfectly too, using them to enhance their thudding music rather than distract from the refreshing indie rock they are so perfectly creating
The Surrenders time and time again have proven themselves as one of the most intense, hedonistically wonderful live bands on the scene right now. Their live sets are rippled with a bluesy nostalgia, the immensity of their groovy raw riffs akin to the talent of Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Connor’s vocal is scarring and raw, a gritty dirty bite embedded in his soothing voice, amped up by the vibrancy of Rich and James on guitar. Scott is a wonderful drummer, particularly with his rowdy backing vocal on Pursuit Of Love. Riff wise, lead guitarist Rich is genius in that he plays with an immaculate sense of natural ease, and this effortlessness builds up the flawless brilliance The Surrenders have on stage.
Other bands to catch: The Scruff, The Velvet Hands, SONS, The Black Roses, Himalayas, & The Cosmics
This Feeling will also be hosting stages this summer at Y Not? Festival (26th-29th July) and Truck Festival (19th-22nd July)…they have smashed it this year lineup wise, and if last summer was anything to go by then time is running out to see these bands in small venues playing for DIY promoters, so act fast
Buy ya tickets here: http://www.thisfeeling.co.uk/
Wilkestock 2017, you were a blast; have a look at some of my on and off stage snaps, featuring some of my favourite bands everrrr. Interviews coming soon with a bunch of these bands (including The Scruff, The Wholls, October Drift and BlackWaters), so keep an eye out for them.
© all pics by Sahera Walker
The zone strikes again, as This Feeling take over Reading festival for one last rock’n’roll party of the summer. This Feeling and Jack Rocks have joined forces once more to put on what will easily be the best stage at the festival, featuring the best upcoming bands in the UK. A sick mixture of indie, post punk and garage bands, the tent is gonna be a raucous explosion of fresh talent. If you’re looking for future festival headliners, then the This Feeling tent is the place to be. And if you’re not sure which bands to check out, here’s Indie Underground’s bands to watch.
Palm Honey (Saturday, 12:00 pm)
A trippy blend of drugged up psychedelic rock and distorted indie, Palm Honey are musically and aesthetically a stunning live band. They have a screwy nostalgic 60s sound, very reminiscent of experimental bands like Cream and Pink Floyd. They use distortions and blurred amp effects to give their music a more soft trippy edge, full of hazy psychedelia. The band’s aura has a mesmerising finesse to it, and the guitar brings back a gritty bite which glides through that synthetic psychedelia.
BlackWaters (Saturday, 12:45 pm)
A raw post punk four piece, BlackWaters are proper rowdy on stage. Manic and hectic, they have a deranged intensity live, and Max’s voice is packed with post punk grit and rawness. They’re really heavy both on stage and on record, and live they have a really abrasive uncaring feel to their sound. Their music is mad and loud, and has a thrashing mosh pit-esque feel to it. Messy and full of a post punk vibrancy, BlackWaters create a hectic riot on stage which is always fucking class to be a part of.
The Assist (Friday, 12:45 pm)
The Assist are always insane live, blending indie and rock riffs with rapping and a more quirky hip hop vibe. Mikey raps over funky bass lines, and the band fuse a variety of genres perfectly. The way the band perform is really creative and unique, and the raw indie rock rap sound they have is perfect for dancing and grooving. It’s honest and open indie rap, with funky jazz elements to their sound. I love how they don’t stick to one genre, but instead transcend a vast number of musical genres. The experimental exploration the band have gives them a unique vibe which makes them extra fun to see live.
False Heads (Saturday, 3:50 pm)
False Heads are easily going to be the highlight of Reading this year. Tearing up every single stage they’ve ever graced, the three piece have a really tight solid sound to their sets, packed with deranged heaviness from Luke on lead guitar and Jake on bass. Barney’s drumming amplifies the band’s post punk riotous nature, and the anger and bitterness behind Luke’s lyrics make the band mental live. They’re full of raw passion and energy, and the grit and gravel to False Heads gives them a Nirvana-esque feel. They always blow me away each time I see them, and I can genuinely see them playing headline sets at Reading one day.
Breed (Saturday, 4:30 pm)
Blinding disordered rock band Breed are a killer four piece, the second generation of post punk rockers Jackals Rose. They’re full of heavy grit live with a really intense brooding edge, and Jake’s voice and charisma as a frontman is blinding. There’s this immense force the band have, both on record with tracks like Starman and Get With It, and on stage. The harsh rock grit they have gives their music a messy dirty edge, packed with raw rock’n’roll purity, and they’re KILLER live.
Rosko (Sunday, 9:40 pm)
Another one of my favourite live bands, Rosko are one of the quirkiest most interesting unique bands on the scene right now. They fuse indie, rock, hip hop, rap, reggae…pretty much every genre with a grimy gritty rock feel. Their riffs are meticulous and intricate, played perfectly in sync with the reggae style drumming. Bruce’s vocal has this accented bite too, giving the band a very cocky abrasive feel which I love. Live, they remind me a bit of Jamie T, and the intriguing unique sound the band have makes them one of my favourite groups around right now. A must see this weekend.
Anteros (Friday, 11:20 pm)
Anteros are a stunning band live, with a really fun indie rock/ pop aura to their music. Tracks like Cherry Drop and Drunk are insane live, with Laura’s voice gliding beautifully over the heavy gritty riffs. There’s something quite abrasive and arrogant about the band’s stage presence; their sound is ridiculously tight and polished, and the way Laura struts around on stage gives them this confidence and attitude which is infectious. I love the style and aesthetic to Anteros too; very fashionable and edgy, they’re stunning to watch live as well as to listen to. Their tracks blur the boundaries between indie rock and pop; there’s an anthemic feel to their choruses too, and I can see their set on the This Feeling stage as being a big stepping stone between where the band are now and inevitably bigger things to come.
Strange Bones (Saturday, 6:05 pm)
Heavy, uncaring, riotous punk is what Strange Bones are made of. The energy and heaviness the band have has a raucous sense of anarchy to it, especially live where Bobby puts his balaclava on midway through the set before diving into the crowd and crowd surfing. Tracks like Big Sister Is Watching have a nasty politicised bite, the band never swaying away from the riotous attitude and scepticism which is so key to punk. The nasty rawness to tracks like Spitfire and Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus make them an insane band on stage, with new track Energy unreal live too. Bobby’s rough screams paired with the dark heaviness of the guitar make them one of my favourite live bands; their set this weekend really is unmissable.
The Blinders (Saturday, 1:35 pm)
The Blinders are one of the best live bands around right now, fact. Their music is full of heavy distortions, pounding bass lines and lyrically brooding dark connotations. Their shows are hectic and manic, with a frenzied post punk aura to their sets. Looks and sound wise there’s a very cutting edge sense of political frustration, with lead vocalist Thomas wearing a shirt which said ‘the Tories are a bunch of cunts’ last time I caught them live (can’t disagree with that). Thomas on lead guitar and Charlie on bass is a lethal combination, resulting in vivacious heaviness which rips their stage to bits. If you’re into heavily politicised, abrasive cutting edge rock music then look no further than The Blinders; the dynamic vigour and energy they have is blinding, and their music is packed to the brim with a sensual DIY edge.
The Wholls (Friday, 2:25 pm)
A band who produce alt-rock, post punk music infused with rock rawness and a shot or two of Jack Daniels…The Wholls are maybe one of the coolest most exciting bands to have been picked up by This Feeling. I LOVE these lads. Their guitar sound is roaring, with raucous rock heaviness. The thing which makes their sound so intense and unique is that rough gravel of Tordy’s voice. There’s a gritty undertone which makes tracks like X21 and Take Jimi works of art. Their music is heartfelt, authentic rock’n’roll, and it’s packed with passion and spirit which make them phenomenal live. There’s something brooding and sensual to their tracks too, most of which have a mosh pit inducing aura.
Reading festival this summer has an unreal lineup, and aside from the This Feeling stage I’d recommend catching Marmozets, Black Honey, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, IDLES, LIFE, Cabbage, King Nun, and Tigercub