With Long Division 2016 fast approaching, Louder Than War’s Dave Beech compiled a list of artists he thinks you should go and watch.
Though music festivals were once resigned to the muddy fields of rural country estates and farmland, recent years have seen the proliferation of inner city festivals that celebrate local talent, providing a platform for bands on the up, as well pulling in the bigger names. One such festival is Wakefield’s Long Division, and given it’s now only a matter of weeks away, we compiled a list of nine bands we think you should be checking out.
South Yorks five-piece Deadset Dream make upbeat pop-punk that draws its influence from the ’00s generation of bands. Rather than feel completely derivative however, it segues between the British influence of You Me At Six and Don Broco and the So-Cal sunshine sounds of Blink 182 or The Movielife. With a set that promises to offer high energy and spirits both, you’d be stupid to miss them.
Another band on the bill from Sheffield are O Captain. Making rich transatlantic indie that puts equal emphasis on melody and melacholy, the band’s recently released Within and Without EP is both understated, and at times imposing, and is a testament to the band’s ability to play with dynamics.
I Set the Sea On Fire
The very definition of alternative, I Set The Sea on Fire are a genre-bending cacophony of brass and bass. Combining elements of funk, grunge and hip-hop in order to create something truly special, their sound is impossible to pin down though they themselves compare it “to an off shore oil rig explosion, but with less screams and a lot more trumpet.” Having seen the band live before, I know they’re not one to be missed.
Leeds trio Forever Cult are a band we’re all too familiar with, having had our ears decimated by them multiple times, and we recommend any one trying to shake a Friday night hangover to go and do likewise. Making an abrasive and off-kilter racket, the band are still riding high from their incendiary show at Live at Leeds, so expect this to pack a similar punch.
A band who arguably need little introduction in West Yorkshire, Allusondrugs join label-mates Forever Cult on the bill and promise a live show equally as enthralling. Successfully balancing slabs of weighty grunge with moments of introspective wonky pop, the band’s live shows are nothing short of exhilarating and they’re one of the festival’s Must-Sees.
With all the fizz, froth, fun (and of course empty calories) befitting of their label name, Alcopop’s Johnny Foreigner are one of those rare bands who actually sound like they’re enjoying themelves. Occupying a strange and somewhat sugary area somewhere in between punk and indie-pop, they’re anarchic enough on record – live it will be something else.
Having reviewed RM Hubbert’s recent album Telling the Trees, (awarding it 9/10 in the process) it goes without saying that Hubby had to be inclunded on this list. A far cry from some the of other bands on the line-up, his set is one which will provide some much needed respite away from the weight and wails of a few of the aforementioned.
Fellow Scotsman to RM Hubbert, Arab Strap member and now solo artist Malcolm Middleton will offer a further break from the day’s mayhem. With a set that promises both established material as well as tracks from his soon to be released new album, it’s a set you don’t want to miss out on.
While their early releases were frothy and poppy in the same vein as Johnny Foreigner, Los Campesinos! developed a preoccupation with death and mortality around four albums in to the career, allowing them to, somewhat ironically, find a new lease of life, transforming them from indie-pop darlings in to some of the strongest songwriters of their generation.