Music

Three days of great music as always coming your way in 2015. Last year's line-up here. You'll need Spotify to preview the music on this page - but it is free and well worth it.

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Fri Lodge Stage

Fri In The Dock Stage

John Grant

John Grant

Like many our first introduction to John Grant was watching him on Later... playing Marz, his pick 'n' mixtastic confectionery song and the obvious gateway into his music. Whilst it is just about possible to listen to his music on a hubbabubba level, enjoying the richness of his voice, melody and accompaniment there will be some fragment of lyric which will get stuck in your teeth and insist that you pay greater attention.

His music is entangled in his personal life and nothing is seemingly left unsaid about the various traumas relating to disintegrating relationships, upbringing and sexuality. Confessional, obsessive but also humourous - 'to be with someone who looks smashing in athletic-ware'. It does make me wonder what the man is like to meet in the flesh - whether his music is therapy, exorcising agonies past or whether he's in pieces. Surely the former, we'll let you know.

With an expressive palette of language, we know you're going to fall in love with him - as Scroobius Pip said last year 'let's not be afraid of words'.

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg

On the rare occasions that we find ourselves in church it IS possible to separate the beliefs that people hold from the feel-good stuff like having a good sing, being offered some good advice and having a chat with folks afterwards.

Not sure Billy Bragg preaches as such, but you know what we mean. We love it, we are clearly in dire need of direction. At a gig at Teesside Uni he told us that we need to keep our personal cynicism in check. Indeed, if we are going to change the world, fix corporate tax avoidance and lobbying etc then beating personal cynicism is surely a good place to start. Although cynicism is a corner stone of my personality so it's always going to be a struggle.

We are living in interesting political times which is good (I think, in that party loyalties seem less entrenched) and we are looking forward to Billy's take on it all.

And then there is Billy's music too, lest we forget how good that is.

Johnny Marr

The Unthanks

A very welcome return visit by The Unthanks to Baldersby Park after they performed their audio-visual masterpiece Songs For The Shipyard in 2013. New album for them in 2015, a great big tour and a 10 piece band for your delight headlining the Main Stage on Sunday.

For those who missed them last time, have a look at the video Anthologies filmed in the grounds of the festival site. This is still gobsmacking - the singing and the backdrop which just appears to be missing the yellow brick road snaking off into the distance.

We have a feeling that The Unthanks like to avoid the folk tag. They clearly are just doing what they love and what comes naturally to them, drawing on England's (particular the North's) rich social heritage for inspiration.

"Rachel and Becky's voices are one of the true wonders of 21st-century music" - NME

The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present

So you've decided to put on a music festival, foolishly, and you are sat around the table with a group of your friends discussing who would be a headliner who could sell you tickets at a point when you have aspirations of competence, but absolutely no evidence at all to offer people that you know what you are doing. And so David Gedge took a chance on us back in 2010 when we were the first date on The Wedding Present's Bizarro album tour.

Naturally The Weddoes will always hold a special place in our hearts, perhaps yours too if you were there. We are sure that it will be a performance to remember on Saturday night, a chance to really let yourself go.

So if you don't mind we'll feature the same track as we did last time, Interstate 5, an unlikely tale of a woman using a man purely for carnal pleasures. Like, right ;)

Dan Croll

Dan Croll

We first saw Dan Croll and his band at 10am in the morning in a Brighton basement during the Great Escape Festival whilst still munching on a piece of slow-grilled hotel toast. Despite the early hour Dan and the fellas put on a great show at a time when my feet were still relatively fresh - seeing 30 bands in a weekend goes beyond fun by lunchtime.

I find it hard to describe the genre of his music, but it is undeniably positive and uplifting. Dan himself was a positively charming character, a confident young man, the sort of fellow your elderly relatives would adore. And yet InStyle magazine (whoever they are) identified his 'distinct bespectacled hotness' so there you go.

His top single From Nowhere featured here has clocked an astonishing 13 million plays on Spotify and earned him £13.52. His music has now truly reached the mainstream by appearing on the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack. An unlikely choice of artist to listen to whilst psyching yourself up for a car-jacking but we love him nevertheless.

The Felice Brothers

The Felice Brothers

It's impossibly hard to talk about The Felice Brothers without mentioning from where they hail, the Catskill Mountains. I seem to have an instinctive feeling of what it's like there, if not the specifics. Perhaps my pickup and new beard have gifted me this insight. Come to think of it last time I used father-in-law's chainsaw it did start first time.

The Catskills turn out to be surprisingly close to New York and upon closer investigation look like an ace place to go on holiday, the film location of Dirty Dancing surely being a blip on an otherwise stunning landscape.

The Felice Brothers are essentially a family band, and many would say a live band, with much of their appeal stemming from a chemistry onstage that seduces audiences into submission. This is pretty much what Kate said when she saw them last year at End Of The Road Festival (which we would highly recommend when you are sick of us).

Road trips and forlorn waitresses abound. Great stuff.

Benjamin Booker

Benjamin Booker

Sat here listening to Benjamin Booker's track Wicked Waters I'm reminded of the mood I was in last night when my phone pissed me off for the last time and I smashed it to pieces on the kitchen floor. A misbehaving smartphone induced destructive rage. Booker is the perfect accompaniment to smashing digital devices to bits.

If Benjamin Booker has a mobile phone at all, it will be one of those that you can get at Tesco for a tenner where the battery lasts for 2 weeks. Burners. What was wrong with those?

Anyhoos, if you are standing anywhere near the main stage on Saturday afternoon Benjamin Booker and his band are going to sonically rip your head off - along the lines of Marty McFly's Johnny B. Good at the Enchantment Under The Sea Ball. Indeed Violent Shiver featured here is clearly Chuck Berry's classic played backwards, or summut.

Angst, there is a time for it, Samsung Galaxy S3 minis had better watch themselves.

Ibibio Sound Machine

Ibibio Sound Machine

A big cheer went up in the office when Ibibio Sound Machine confirmed for July, adding a little more spice to the line-up. They are a London based outfit who specialise in an updated version of African highlife and Afro-beat mixed with electronics and a hint of George Clinton madness. Indeed, at least two tracks on the album have been beamed straight down from the Parliament mothership.

Their track Let's Dance featured here highlights the more playful side of Ibibio Sound Machine, leaving you in no doubt that should you so wish, you could let your hair down and jive to what will be a highly energised performance. However the album crosses so many stylistic boundaries that we strongly suggest giving the whole thing a listen on Spotify. It's easy to forget this is a debut album, each track is a gem.

On the day their horn-section-propelled performance will be perfectly timed to start just after the end of a closely related spoken word session that we are very excited about, but can't talk about quite yet...

Honeyblood

Honeyblood

Honeyblood are Shona McVicar on drums and Stina Tweeddale on vocals and guitar. There are of course many bands these days with this drums plus guitar/bass format notably Royal Blood, Drenge, Slaves and similarly all-girl duo Deap Vally (although our gals are from Glasgow rather than the wrong side of the tracks in Hazard County.) Hard work one imagines with just the two of you in the band.

Both sweet and snarling within the same song Honeyblood have some similarities with Bleach who played the festival last year. Stina plays a beefy sounding Telecaster so extra house points for Gryffindor right there, indeed they come across as a pretty fearless pair which no doubt comes with the territory as an indie duo.

But it seems to us that Honeyblood have got melody very much on their side. I suppose you can get so far by looking like the right girls for the job and giving it a generous amount of vim, but Honeyblood have got some great tunes which we think will raise them up above the latest crop of angsty young things.

Hinds

Hinds (formerly Deers)

Hinds are a four piece girl band from Spain, we are delighted to have them, they are utterly charming.

They are ramshackle but insanely catchy and a delight to see live - fun , fun, fun. Indeed my gig partner and I decided that we would much rather go out in Leeds drinking with Hinds than, oh I don't know, First Aid Kit. They are happy to admit when introducing a new tune that the song it is only half finished. This kind of announcement would normally make an audience nervous, but no one cares.

Trippy Gum featured here has about 4 or 5 effortless tempo changes in it and I doubt that Hinds are even aware they are doing something that other bands would consider to be dead clever. Whilst it is almost impossible to tell whether any band will go on to be enormous, Hinds just might. They win over all who see them play live.

Perfect Saturday afternoon giddiness on the Main Stage.

Black Rivers

Black Rivers

Black Rivers are brothers Jez and Andy Williams who also constitute 66.6% recurring of Doves, one of Manchester's finest. It is a tradition that every year around October we ask Doves' manager Dave if this will be the year when they reform and he says no - he says it nicely to be fair. No matter, one day perhaps.

Whilst we doubt that the Black Rivers' new bassman will have quite the same upside-down-back-to-front-plucking-a-chicken playing style as Jimi Goodwin, everything that made the Doves great is still there - including really interesting basslines suggesting that that element of the Doves was much to do with complementing inventive drumming(?)

You could argue that the boys should try for a radically new direction but they are clearly just doing what they have always done when they pick up their instruments. We're looking forward to very much to hearing the new album, out February 9th, and seeing how it all fits together live. A must for Doves fans and newbies alike.

Emmy The Great

Emmy The Great

A quick poke about online for Emmy The Great facts and figures reveals a nice Guardian piece written by Emma-Lee Moss (AKA Emmy The Great) with her five predictions of the future of music. Interesting, readable and probably more than half-right.

This does get us thinking about Emma's music. The track featured here Swimming Pool does have a certain futuristic thing going on, the male backing voice sounds like it could be computer generated by some as yet not invented artificial intelligence, but in a good way (not like Speak & Spell.) And then there is the image that we've used here from the single's artwork - Emmy could quite easily rotate her head, owl-like, through 180 degrees to reveal an EX_MACHINA style bonnet.

So all in all a very interesting artist. Happy to reinvent her music completely (have a listen to her Christmas themed album if you don't believe us) and her journalist output suggests a certain inquisitiveness that bodes well for her future music output as well as her Deer Shed show.

Damien Dempsey

Damien Dempsey

It feels like Damien Dempsey's music has been a big part of our lives for a long time, and all our friends' lives too. I don't think our site manager Jim would mind if I said that his music was an inspiration to him during a time in his life when he was particularly low.

His profile in the UK is relatively low compared to his native Ireland where he is a household name and it's not overstating it to say he is a national hero to many. Having recently experienced a Christmas show at the Vicar Street venue in Dublin I can testify that on home soil a Damo gig is more akin to an afternoon on the terraces. We've never experienced a bigger party gig in our lives, and we've seen a lot of shows.

So no, not an ordinary booking for us. If he is unfamiliar The Best Of Damien Dempsey album seems a fitting place to start and we would be made up if by July you were all able to sing along with us. Think of it as homework.

James Yorkston

James Yorkston

James Yorkston is a well established pillar of the Scottish music scene. We seem to have booked most of the acts from the other side of the border this year. And of course yet another artist with strong ties to the Fence Collective. We should really just say he's Scottish and you'll just have to assume a Fence Collective association unless we say otherwise. I don't think Wet Wet Wet have ever been part of the Fence Collective, or Simple Minds. You'll get a feel for who is in and who's out soon enough.

Another artist that we booked at our In The Dock nights in the Thirsk Courthouse, reading extracts from his tour diary book he was an entertaining talker as well as singer, with some very amusing stories about life on the road. He took his Scrabble very seriously I seem to remember.

Now on his 8th album, featuring many interesting collaborations, Yorkston seems to be hitting top form and he is surely an artist who you should make time for in your busy festival schedule.

Diagrams

Diagrams

Band names are interesting. 'Diagrams' suggests a certain illustrative formality and once you know the name of a band it can flavour your perception of them. All the same, I do think that Diagrams exhibit something mathematical or scientific, the fantastic Tall Buildings from the first album makes me think of fractals.

Diagrams is part solo project, part musical collective led by Sam Genders, founder member of Tunng and The Accidental. Whilst on the subject of band names 'Tunng' is one of those that I've always felt doesn't put the band in the best light, like The Maccabees, nothing to do with the music, but that 'flavouring' thing is still there. Might just be me.

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with how much we are fans of Sam's project. His rich voice reminds us very much of Paul Marshall AKA Lone Wolf from Leeds. I've been wandering around the house jauntily whistling the jaunty whistly bit from Phantom Power for days and I've only just realised where it's from. Sam's new album is a really positive listen and we are very much looking forward to him performing it live.

Menace Beach

Menace Beach

If Damon Albarn and Justine Frischmann's relationship had produced the pitter patter of tiny Britpop footsteps they would sound like Menace Beach's Come On Give Up featured here from their highly listenable debut album Ratworld.

But it's not all as my-old-man's-a-dustman as this track might suggest and the record takes influences out of various other 1990's indie-wheelie-bins too. Indeed this fuzzy nostalgia is so varied in sources that it never tires you as you listen to the record. This no doubt has much to do with the fact that the core of Menace Beach, Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, employ musicians pulled in from other Leeds bands including Sky Larkin, Pulled Apart By Horses, Hookworms and You Animals. As supergroups go, all good.

As someone else said online if they were from the US, the collective musical hive mind would be wetting its pants. But thankfully they are not which means it's considerably easier for us all to enjoy them in the flesh come July.

Kiran Leonard

Kiran Leonard

Problem with writing these previews is that sometimes an artist requires hours of listening time to fully get your head round. Got a feeling that Kiran Leonard will be one of those. This is a very good thing of course.

Kiran's debut album, Bowler Hat Soup, conceived when he was just 17, with all 22 instruments played by himself is certainly an explosion of ideas. Whilst Kiran doesn't appear to be the sort of 17 year old who should be left in sole charge of any machinery that could take your hand off, like a bacon slicer, his music is daring, charming and characteristic of the way all 17 year olds ought to be.

We've been enjoying the new Ariel Pink album recently, a similar madness going on here, Kiran's album artwork reflects this. I'm surprised that we haven't heard more of this sort of project, a modern day Tubular Bells, especially with cheap recording technology being within everyone's reach these days. We're going to hear much more from Kiran Leonard unless he decides to try his hand at some other pursuit, and at 17 why not?

The Pictish Trail

The Pictish Trail

The small Isle of Eigg in the Hebrides is home to Johnny Lynch (AKA The Pictish Trail.) You know, the one next to the Isle of Muck, but with a table-tennis table. Johnny lives there in his caravan which we seem to have found surprisingly quickly on a Google 'streetview' of the island. Incidentally the island is also home to the legendary Away Game festival.

My longing for a simpler life in a static caravan is no secret here, one day post-divorce. Johnny amuses himself by producing cracking music in-between feeding the log burner. Often described as folktronix he mixes accordian and 909 beats with scant regard for the consequences. Who's to stop him? If you enjoyed Malcolm Middleton's Human Don't Be Angry performance at DSF3 I think you'll love Johnny's music.

The Fence Collective's (there we go again) noble stand on downloads and streaming seem to mean that his most recent album Secret Soundz Vol 2 is only available on physical formats but our ears are currently enjoying an increased fidelity despite the CDROM drive making a right racket.

Boxed In

Boxed In

Boxed In is the music vehicle for London based producer Oli Bayston who has until recently been working just outside of the limelight providing keyboard, song-writing and production services of a number of artists including Lianna La Havas, Lily Allen, Willy Mason, Steve Mason to name but a few.

The opening track from Oli's new album is undoubtedly a 6 music favourite currently on heavy rotation on the station. It has a great piano part as you may already know. Before we read up about Oli's past collaborations we suspected that the piano parts on his record were a result of a new generation of instrument controllers like the Ableton Push (we have one at home that the cat sleeps on and it will feature in the science programme this year.) But he might just as easily be playing them on a standard keyboard having read about his talents. Either way the playing of all the instruments on his record is fantastic.

There is a big hole to be filled in the music spectrum by the demise of LCD Soundsystem - an artist who can seamlessly combine pop, electronica, guitars and live drums. Boxed In seems to be going a considerable way to plugging this gap.

FURS

The Lost Brothers

The Lost Brothers are Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech. They are 2 of Ireland's finest singer/songwriters.

We had The Lost Brothers come play for us at Thirsk in 2009, we had a great night and they were some of the best eaters of cheese round the late night supper table we ever had. They also put on a super show. Pitching their stylistic tent somewhere between Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers the Irish duo plough an often jaunty folk furrow with a homely and friendly quality to the vocals that point towards a strong Simon and Garfunkel influence.

More recently, following the release of their excellent album New Songs of Dawn and Dust their tones have been heard coming out of the DAB radio on Steve Lamacq's show. It's interesting that great artists don't tend to go away despite their relatively low profile when they start out - we love the Irish boys and may their soft, lost-in-dreamland voices long continue.

Shopping

Shopping

Quite possibly the best promo shot ever to grace these pages, Shopping are a super London based trio who we enjoyed live at the Gold Sounds Festival hosted by the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. We discovered some fantastic bands that day, testament to promoter Nathan's booking prowess.

With an East End DIY ethos Shopping describe their music as snake-hipped, groove riding, tough talking, life-loving post-punk funk which is accurate enough and has meant I don't have to work so hard with my own describing words. Angular guitar, funky bass all locked together in a casual but very well-rehearsed sort of way, tight yet slack.

They are certainly having an ace time when they play live as are their audience. For us they are taking a couple of leaves out of the Young Knife's book of how a three piece ought to function. Hints of Split Endz in there too.

You must try to catch them at Deer Shed as they are a band which needs absolutely no homework to thoroughly enjoy.

Slug

Slug

SLUG is the brand new musical venture from the mind of Ian Black, a merrily disruptive influence on the North East music scene for more than a decade. His debut album RIPE will be released on Memphis Industries on 13th April 2015.

Black says of the album, "'What ifs' play a massive part in RIPE. What if we use a stoner metal riff and use it like a dub bass part or what if we combined the drumming style of John Bonham with James Brown beat and the squelch bass of Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli." Long overdue if you ask us.

Ian is also Field Music's bassman and the Brewis brothers are all over the two tracks from the album that we have heard. Live, he's backed by David and Peter Brewis, Andrew Lowther and Rhys Patterson. Inevitably SLUG sounds quite like Field Music on the track featured here but departing slightly on the other track available online, Running To Get Past Your Heart, which is slightly more unhinged.

Field Music played DSF3 of course and they were fantastic, as we're sure SLUG will be too.

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O’Neill started writing songs and music at an early age in her native Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan, Ireland. She moved to Dublin, aged 18, to study music on a full time basis. Early on she was welcomed into the folk and traditional scene in pubs and venues around the city where her singular voice, witty lyrics and observations on modern Irish life gained her popularity and set her apart as a unique talent.

We are really enjoying this year's album Same Cloth or Not which inspired Kate to dig out her old Mary Margaret O'Hara record that she played constantly when we first met. They have certain vocal inflections in common we thinks.

With lyrics dealing with love lost to emigration (England Has My Man) through to our favourite tune Dog Baby - Howwwwwl, howwwwwwl. It's very nice to meet ya Dog Baby, I'll never try to eat ya, you're my friend.

Always good to know where you stand on BBQing the hounds ☺

Robyn Sherwell

Robyn Sherwell

It would be disingenuous of us to pretend that we are experts on the R&B tinged songstress genre that Robyn Sherwell inhabits. Our points of reference are no doubt way off - the music I used to enjoy listening to at the hairdressers in Shepherds Bush in the days when I had some to cut. Sunny summers in the city with Omar's There's Nothing Like This never far away.

Jesse Ware, there you go, that's bit more up to date.

But I think what we can appreciate is the quality of Robyn's voice, the beautiful restraint in the backing and the superb melodies and hooks. Having listened to her top 5 Spotify tunes through once, I came back to them a week later when she confirmed and was convinced that Love Somebody was a cover of some R&B classic, except it wasn't. Such is the quality of her output, which begs the question why isn't she a massive star? Lots of variables of course, time will surely put that right.

Video clips of her singing with just an acoustic guitar accompaniment confirm that she is equally capable outside of the studio environment. To be adored :)

Fatherson

Fatherson

As far as we know Fatherson have nothing to do with The Fence Collective, despite being Scottish and having a 50 percent trawler-chic-beard quota. How can that be?

I think drawing comparisons with Snow Patrol and Biffy Clyro gets you blackballed. Not that Fatherson can't muster more serene moments, the track Dust off the 2014 album I Am an Island is an exercise in restraint. Where Snow Patrol would come clattering in with bass and drums half way through Fatherson do not. This bodes well for the future. The Snow Patrol comparisons aren't ours BTW - we embarrassingly got a Patrol disc stuck in the car interchanger once, Jason at the garage never lets us forget this. Guilty pleasures. You and your fancy line-ups. Pah.

So more in common with Frightened Rabbit or Admiral Fellow, and we don't even know what Biffy Clyro sound like.

We expect them to light up the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon with their own blend of uplifting Scotrock with fine folky moments topped off with that Glasgow accent that we all seem to be addicted to.

Eliza Shaddad

Eliza Shaddad

Eliza is pictured here playing a Gordon Smith electric guitar, a very strong approval rating from us. Buy British!

From her biog Of Sudanese and Scottish descent, Eliza Shaddad is a writer and performer of arresting ability; blending intricate guitar patterns with a stunningly forthright voice. Winding between blues, folk, and jazz she has played across the UK supporting the likes of Michael Chapman, Rue Royale and Finley Quaye, and released her first record in March 2012 to first-rate reviews, blog support and radio support.

As a vocalist and writer with the collective Clean Bandit she has appeared on their EP 'UK Shanty'. In June 2014 Eliza Shaddad released her 2nd EP 'Waters' through London-based indie label, Beatnik. The EP quickly grabbed the attention of the music press, and gained airplay on BBC 6 Music, XFM, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio.

Curtis Eller

Curtis Eller

Andy, Deer Shed's resident cheerful person and organiser of many things, saw Curtis Eller at the Sun Inn in Stockton, which serves nothing but beautiful Bass beer, no really. He recalls lunatic banjo shenanigans, Curtis climbing all over the furniture, playing whilst squatting on window sills. If there had been a chandelier, he'd have been swinging from it. Not sure Stockton has many chandeliers.

From his biog 'the latest incarnation of the band has spent a year sharpening their skills in the burlesque houses, beer halls and underground theatres of the Carolina Piedmont' don't know about you but that sounds suitably exotic.

So to sum up, also from his enthusiastic biog 'The craziest, yodelling banjo player this side of New York. It's Vaudeville, it's Folk, it's Comedy, it's Song & Dance, it's the one and only Curtis Eller and his American Circus.'

One of many reasons to stay over on Sunday night to catch him on the Obelisk Stage.

Palace

Palace

Palace's rich, sultry songs resonate with a closeness that makes it clear this 4 piece have known each other for a long time. Although only having been together as a band since mid-2012, they have quickly produced a comfortable, beautiful collection of debut demo tracks. Their instruments blend impressively to create a rich, ethereal sound while the songs recall elements of Jeff Buckley, early Radiohead and Kings of Leon.

In between gathering a burgeoning collection of fervent fans by playing only a handful of small live shows, Palace have supported Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha, been played on BBC 6music courtesy of Tom Robinson and have been the subject many praise-filled blog posts: "It’s blissed out, dark and atmospheric folk driven blues, with nods to early Kings Of Leon (see "Trani" or Milk" especially), Jeff Buckley and Dan Auerbach. "I Want What You Got” in particular is refreshingly timeless." - Laissez Fair Club

Rozi Plain

Rozi Plain

Ahhh... girls with electric guitars, there's a thing, especially when they can play them well. We tried REALLY hard to get Annie Clark to play this year we really did. There are just some things in life you can't have, like Cameron Diaz.

Rozi Plain, a member of the extended Fence Records family uses her guitar as the foundation for her music. Interestingly (to me at least) her blue humbucking axe appears to be of unknown provenance. Closer inspection leads one to believe that it must be a custom affair, but not an especially high end guitar. I mention this because all to often it seems to me that artists, as soon as they can afford it abandon their copy guitars, their Squiers and Epiphones for posh American made Fenders and Gibsons. You don't see any Tokais on Later.... this is a shame. Parquet Courts might be an exception.

Anyway, Rozi's finger picking of her electric, not acoustic guitar through a Fender valve amp with her dreamy vocals floating above is not only commendable, but captivating. A veteran of Greenman and End Of The Road festivals as you might expect, you'll have 2 opportunities to see her over the weekend.

Cattle & Cane

Cattle & Cane

The first thing that you simply MUST do darlings is watch this video of the track Dancing recorded live at Wynyard Hall, Billingham, Cleveland.

Off you go. See you back here in 5 minutes, give or take.

So, stunning. Enough said about the music....

...but shot in such a cinematic Hollywood action film style that you almost expect Tom Cruise to come abseiling down into the nave, dressed in a black polo neck much like Joe's, and nick some silverware with the help of laser sunglasses.

Joe and sister Helen (looking gorgeous - a modern day Bedingfields?) are joined by additional family members Frank and Vinny with outsider Tom on drums. They hail from Teesside, can't you tell?

Fun Fact: Cattle And Cane is the name of a Go-Betweens tune, later covered by The Wedding Present.

Seafret

Seafret

According to the internet Seafret are vocalist Jack Sedman and guitarist Harry Draper - an interesting looking couple of fellas from the Wonderland Zoo that is Bridlington. Alternatively, a 4/5 star (according to Trip Advisor) bed and breakfast in Puncknowle where you can 'be welcomed with a cup of tea and home-made cakes'. Smashing.

The former Seafrets make a delightful sound, there is something very Simon and Garfunkel about them above and beyond hairdos and who plays what - a closeness that is evident in their recordings which is no doubt even greater when they play live. The accurate and intricate finger pickin' acoustic guitar is also pretty reminiscent of S&G, propelling their tunes along nicely. This is especially evident on their cover of Hozier's Angel Of Small Death and The Codeine Scene.

They have recently supported Jake Bugg no less, at Bridlington Spa, the pair returning home from their new London base to show Buggy around the Cruckley Animal Farm in the afternoon before the show. Perhaps.

Model Aeroplanes

Model Aeroplanes

Like Eliza And The Bear from 2014 the Model Aeroplanes are four young lads from Dundee 'in the seemingly constant pursuit of conveying their pure excitement at being alive' to nick a turn of phrase from last year that I was particularly pleased with. I can recycle, I'm on a deadline.

The track Electricity has some very nice Tears For Fears guitar moments. There's a band who have not been replaced with a newer version. They have a 1980s look in their promo shot don't they. Interestingly none of their tracks break the two and a half minute barrier - so plenty of scope for another of those 1980s favourites, the 12 inch remix.

Loads of very positive stuff that the band have already ticked off - BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park, Radio 1 plays, track of the week everywhere. All that kinda thing.

Quoting from their press pack, after stating that the band have supported The Editors and The View it goes on to say 'the single received plays in public shops such as River Island'. Sweet, and surely most impressive :)

Serious Sam Barrett

Serious Sam Barrett

Sam is an old friend of ours and the festival, he played our first festival and we also booked him in the old days when we used to promote In The Dock shows at the Thirsk Courthouse (hence the stage name of course.)

With an always impeccable line in white t-shirts and vests Sam is a master of 'Yorkshirecana' as he calls it. Whilst being a Yorkshireman to the core he is submerged in an American blue, folk and bluegrass tradition. He plays a 12 string resonator guitar which we seem to remember Sam named after an old girlfriend or we might have mis-remembered that.

We are looking forward to catching up with Sam in July. Since we last met he has played some big festivals, supported big names and generally found a big audience for his tunes from the Leeds delta.

FURS

FURS

FURS are siblings Elle and Liam Wade, Olly Betts and Amina Bates. March 2013. It was recorded at the Crows Nest Studios in East London with mixing by Claudius Mittendorfer NYC (The Vaccines, Johnny Marr, Temples). The track picked up a number of Radio 1 and XFM plays, plus a lot more prestigious online PR. In support of the release the band headed out on the road with Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse, The Cribs).

June saw the release of a free download ‘Going Nowhere’ via The Fly in preparation of the second single 'Just Kids' in August 2013. To support the release, the band toured in Europe and UK supporting San Cisco. 'Just Kids' landed the band a highly sought after live session on the BBC Radio 2 show with Dermot O’Leary along with glowing reviews including an industry favourite 'Record of the Day'.

Buffalo Skinners

Buffalo Skinners

With over 40 of these previews to write, and since Buffalo Skinners only played last year, you'll forgive my tired brain if I recycle...

If there's anything a good busking band can do it's entertain the masses. The Buffalo Skinners started life as a busking band in 2010, channelling old folk and skiffle heroes to appreciative ears in northern coastal towns. Four years together now finds them leaning towards a fuller electric sound borrowing from 60's rock & roll, British invasion bands and still, from their first love, folk. Their live show comes equipped with infectious energy and an arsenal of instruments; Fender Rhodes keyboard, violin and accordion, topped off with their signature 'harmonious vocal cacophony.'

By all accounts they accompanied an legendary after hours party last year in the Obelisk bar, which most of our team missed (something to do with getting 6 knights on horseback through a time portal.)

Maia

Maia

"Maia are a pop folk acoustic quartet from Leeds, who have described themselves as sci-fi folk evangelists! They have a radiant varied sound, stunning harmonies with a brooding sense of adventure and streaks of pop eccentricity" so says their press pack.

No mention of their shirts in all this, and why is the other guy smoking at the back, and what's all that stuff on the table?...but it is very informative in other areas, it seems that Maia are a super live prospect...

"Maia produced one of the best and most talked about performances on the main stage from the pin drop silence during one of their more tender moments to their rousing finale of which got them the biggest standing ovation of the weekend...truly mesmerising!” says Jim McLaughlin Festival Director of Musicport 2013.

“Maia have undeniable chemistry on stage, they are mesmerising to watch both visually and musically” – Hop Farm Festival 2012.

Sam Russo

Sam Russo

From Sam's biog. 'Sam Russo is a 29 year old touring songwriter and recording artist from the east of England. Broken hearted in perpetuity and a weary factotum at 19, Russo wrote his first acoustic songs in the back bedroom of a rented trailer home in rural Suffolk while he and his family built a house. He bought his first acoustic guitar from an ex-colleague who he says was 'planning to burn it. Why? For being full of bad luck and doing nothing but get him in trouble'.

It goes on.. 'Having since honed his craft playing literally anywhere that would have him, he has released a record with Chuck Ragan, played across the US as part of the Red Scare Across America package, and toured with such artists as Lucero, Tim Barry, Frank Turner, and Dan Andriano. When asked if the guitar he rescued from the flames has done the same for him, he says 'It's brought me plenty of trouble, if that’s what you mean.'

Obvious comparisons with Frank Turner then, minus the Eton thing, and with more lumberjack shirts.

Pixel Fix

Pixel Fix

This lot are an interesting bunch. I find Pixel Fix on Spotify, have a listen, and then try to find some nice pics of the band online. But the pics online do not contain a synth band but a guitar band. Can there be 2 Pixel Fixes?

Nope. For the Fixers are a guitar band who have stumbled child-like into Dixons and set to work on the rack of Casios.

The production is really quite lavish, you have to whack on a pair of phonies to really appreciate it I would say. Quite how Pixel Fix present themselves live over the weekend will be of great interest.

Various online whitters like The Guardian seem to suggest an R&B aspect to them, which I can't discern unless R&B is now something else, which is quite possible. OMG it's all too mixed up CANNOT PIGEON-HOLE. CANNOT COMPUTE. BRAIN EXPLODES.

All the usual XFM playlist and sessions, Huw Stephens track of the week and high profile supports points to a potentially much bigger audience for these young bucks.

Dan Donnelly

Dan Donnelly

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dan has been singing, playing and writing music since an early age. He started his career as singer and songwriter in critically acclaimed Belfast band Watercress and penned many of their most popular songs including "Candlemaker", which reached number 1 in the Irish indie charts and "Stars Shine On", which also topped the same chart. He has played in many guises all across the globe, supporting bands such as, Air, The Levellers, The Darkness, Duran Duran, Ian Dury and Turin Brakes to name a few.

In the past he has played at most of the major music festivals in the UK, including, Beautiful Days Festival, Glastonbury Festival and The Big session Festival. These popular performances gained him a nomination for the 2009 UK Festival Awards Critics Choice category alongside artists such as, Thom Yorke, Lily Allen and Mercury Rev.

The Hummingbirds

The Hummingbirds

From Liverpool we present Wayne and Collen Rooney's favourites, The Hummingbirds.

The Hummingbirds are a Liverpool based 5 Piece 'New-Country' band who capture that unique Liverpool sound, embedding Beatles like harmonies along-side jangling acoustic guitars and country riffs.Their infectious melodies and hook-laden choruses uplift and engage all that stand in front of their live performance, leaving the audience screaming for more.Their main influences are; The Eagles, The Beatles, The Hollies & Johnny Cash.

Growing up on the streets of Merseyside the 21 year old lads have been heavily influenced by music from the 50's/60's period capturing that unmistakable Liverpool sound that is helping make quite a stir with their feel-good tunes and strong melodic, harmonic sensibilities.

By all accounts a big hit live, perfect for the Obelisk stage.

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose is a Welsh singer/songwriter whose emotive, timeless voice has been described by folk legend Judy Collins as 'one of the finest I’ve heard'.

Deborah supported Judy Collins on the UK leg of her world tour in 2011 after meeting her at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2009 where Deborah opened the Big Top Stage. Her recent career has also seen her perform with Ralph Mctell, Julie Felix, Boo Hewerdine, Dan Cassidy, Kenny White, 10CC, Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Raghu Dixit, Thea Gilmore, The Medieval Baebes and Rickie Simpkins of the Emmylou Harris band.

Deborah's debut album, 'Song Be My Soul' is a great listen. The title track fuses self-penned words with Welsh folk song Calon Lan. It was composed by Deborah Rose and Martin Riley who is Musical Director for classical group 'Blake' and sets the tone for the rest of this enchanting album. It frames Deborah's purity of voice with classic folk and a whisper of the mystic energy gained from her celtic roots.