Following on from the recent lineup announcement Louder Than War caught up with Ritual Union Festivals promoter Simon Bailey to ask him for his own personal top ten picks.
Top pick has to go to our headliner and hometown boy, Gaz Coombes. He’s delivered another fine album this year with World’s Strongest Man, of which the title tune is a cracker. A legend in his own right!
Track – Worlds Strongest Man
Having just won an AIM award for her latest album, Holiday Destination, my money is on Nadine Shah for the Mercury. Her acceptance speech for the AIM awards was fabulous. We were absolutely delighted when she agreed to play this year’s festival.
Track – Out The Way
One of the most exciting and hardworking bands on the circuit right now, Fontaines DC blew my socks off when they played a show for us here in Oxford earlier this year. They’ll be joining us for the aftershow party after playing a set at Simple Things in Bristol earlier in the day. I couldn’t think of a more fitting band to close the whole day!
Track – Chequeless Reckless
Ghostpoet for me, consistently delivers with every record. Last year’s release Dark Days + Canapes saw him at his absolute finest for me. He always seems a bit shy on stage but his live show is astonishingly good and always keeps me totally engrossed from start to finish. A definite future headliner in years to come.
Track – Many Moods At Midnight
This will be a debut Oxford appearance for Suuns and I have to say, I couldn’t believe we managed to convince them to come. They’ll be headlining The Bullingdon stage this year going on after Gnod. What a double header that is!
Track – Pie IX
With Ritual Union, we try to get too bogged down with headliners and billing, we have a whole bunch of great bands appearing all throughout the day. This year, I really wanted someone exciting and lively to open things up early and get everyone in the mood, so I was delighted when Boy Azooga agreed to come and kick things off for us early doors!
Track – Loner Boogie
I’ve been in love with this band since hearing their debut EP early last year. Who doesn’t love a sax every now and then? I think we haven’t seen the best of this London 6 piece yet and 2019 could really be their year!
Track – Patience (just cos I love the video)
Lice have been on my radar for over 18 months now due to their reputation for absolutely rip roaring hometown shows in Bristol, my friends who live down there have been telling me to book them for ages. Seems the world is catching on now too and signing to Idles’ label, Bally Records, is only going to help them reach the masses a bit further…
Track – Stammering Bill
I’ve saved the last two spaces for two of our emerging local bands as this is a great opportunity for me to give them some wider exposure. The words pop and punk have never been two words that have sat very well together for me but perfectly sums up this exciting Oxford 4 piece. Catchy tunes, great songwriting and raucous energy. Who doesn’t love that?
Track – 1000 000 Miles
Not a lot is known about this secretive Oxfordshire 5 piece at the moment. Occasionally they pop up for a gig and then go away and work on their sound again for a couple of months. I have to say, every time they come back, they’re always better than the last. Expect big epic psych sounds referencing Oxfordshire forefathers Ride… Future Oxford stars in the making!…
For more information and for tickets visit www.ritualunion.co.uk