Best New Bands Of 2014’s Festival Season

Lying around in summer with an overpriced plastic glass full of warm lager listening to bands at your favorite music festivals seems a long way off. But in the Northern hemisphere music festival season is well and truly underway.

My advice for music festivals is avoid the main stage with the overweight rock royalty and head to the ‘new music’ or ‘up and coming tent’ as that’s where you’ll find the interesting stuff. Based on what’s booking in Europe here is my pick of the summer’s new crop of best bands that will be making a noise at Aussie music festivals over the summer:

  1. Royal Blood Supplying grungily muscular rock in a brutish but whipsmart QOTSA vein, Brighton duo Royal Blood will be bringing the swirling moshpits this summer, their churning roil offset by Mike Kerr’s wounded yowl. Catch them at Download, Glastonbury, Summer in the City, T in the Park, Reading & Leeds.
  2. Courtney Barnett – There’s a reason why the world and his wife are banging on about Courtney Barnett this year; its because she’s really, really good. The Melbourne native’s frank and down-to-earth charm recalls 90s grunge-tinged, singer-songwriters such as Liz Phair with unvarnished riffing and funny, frank tales of masturbation and anaphylactic shock. This is going to go down a storm at Glastonbury.
  3. Chance The Rapper – Chance’s sharp, accessible hip-hop, equal parts post-Kanye and daisy-age heritage, has been a huge hit at festivals, and after his BBC Sound Of 2014 nod (plus a slew of other next-big-thing accolades), he’s going to be riding and rapping even higher and harder. Scheduled to be playing at Glastonbury, Wireless and T in the Park.
  4. Fat White Family – Sick, subversive and silly, the post-punk sleaze of Brixton’s least likely hews bits of the Fall and Birthday Party into a disreputable, riotous live show that’s a London match for Atlanta bad boys Black Lips. Shows already booked at Field Day, Latitude, Secret Garden Party, Visions, Green Man and Reading & Leeds.
  5. Radkey – Old-school and righteous 90s-style punk from the young and fiery Radke brothers from Missouri, head-banging with abandon and yet socially conscious. Their shows at Download & Meltdown are going to be packed out.
  6. Ella Eyre – Even if you think you haven’t heard Ella Eyre yet, you probably have, thanks to her star-making turns on Rudimental’s Brit-winning single Waiting All Night, Tinie Tempah’s Someday (Place In The Sun), and Naughty Boy and Wiz Khalifa’s Think About It. Runner up for both the Brits Critic’s Choice and BBC Sound of 2014 awards, she’ll be second-to-none on summer stages with her huge, purring beast of a voice. It’s going to be a busy summer for Ella at Parklife Weekender, Isle of Wight, Wireless, Wakestock, T in the Park, Kendal Calling, Y Not, Standon Calling and V Festival.
  7. Telegram – One of a clutch of bands such as The Wytches and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats ploughing a darker, truer freak-beat furrow than the pastichey likes of Temples, Telegram’s fighty-Floydy punk-psych racket is as pleasing as their killer cheekbones and shiny hair. Catch them at Field Day, Benicassim (probabaly the best festival on the planet) and Festival No 6 in North Wales.
  8. Jungle – One of this year’s most intriguing recurring tips, this chilled, enigmatic London duo are signed to XL, from where they’re dispatching ever-more addictive smooth, glimmery, funky-soul future grooves. Catch these funky groove monkeys at Latitude, Reading & Leeds and Unknown Festival.
  9. Eagulls – Call me old-fashioned, parochial punk but what’s not to love about a noisy punk band from Yorkshire? Expect good old-fashioned punk rock attitude, class emnity and goth-toned, Killing Joke-indebted nervy rock from these Leeds lads. You might see me down the front jumping up and down to these lads at Latitude, Beacons, Reading & Leeds and End Of The Road festivals.
  10. The Temperance Movement – According to guitarist Luke Potashnick, The Temperance Movement “Is about friendship, good times and redemption, losing your way, then finding it over and over.” TTM are prime blues/rock, with every track an instant shot of pure Americana. These Brit cock-rockers at least sound like there’re having fun. Just like a bottle of Vat 69 whisky, they are unpretentious; not exactly what you’d serve your most demanding friends, but a quick way to one hell of a good time. And, whatever my more discerning learned colleagues tell me, there is an atavistic part of all of us, which wants to check out the smart-alec aesthetics for a night and fool around. Check out the TTM currently on tour with The Rolling Stones all over Europe and heading down-under soon.

Of course all of the above is purely subjective and has being passed through the Tim Dalton filter. Don’t take my word for it – turn off your TV and get out and see some new bands and make up your own mind and let me know what’s missing from my list?