Bestival – A Preview

hms-bestival-v4We’re off to Bestival in a couple of weeks time. We’re pretty excited. Hopefully a few of you might be there too. In that hope we’ve compiled a brief shortlist of acts that we won’t be missing. A few obvious names spring to mind, most of whom have previously featured on these pages: Bombay Bicycle Club, Disclosure, Bastille etc etc. The 1975 can probably be added to that list too, now that they are finally receiving some much deserved exposure. Truth be told though, its the acts we haven’t yet seen live, the acts that might not necessarily have 10,000 people watching them that we are most looking forward to hearing. We’ve picked five, check ’em out below.

John Newman

This selection comes a bit out of left field. We’ve not featured Newman before. Nor can we claim to have stumbled across his talents early or by investigation. Simply put, we heard him in the charts. His was the great voice that soundtracked Rudimental’s biggest hits: Feel The Love and Not Giving In. His own stuff sounds pretty good too: no doubt you’ve heard the irresistible Love Me Again. His soundcloud is home to a couple of other tracks that show some promise. It will be interesting to see if he can produce a set of sustained quality. If he can, then he could be onto something.


Jagwar Ma

Their debut album Howlin is wonderful, polished, psychedelia. The entrancing Uncertainty lends the album its name “How can ya, how can ya look so gloomy? When your gloomy howlin looks so good to me?” How indeed? Couple that with the beat driven What Love and the infectious Come And Save Me and you’ve got yourself a fine album. It will be a difficult sound to pull of live. They might manage it, they might sound even better. We can’t wait to find out.


Swim Deep

Another band who will arrive at Bestival of the back of strong debut album release. Where The Heaven Are We? Is summer escapism captured in 11 songs. A wistful haze of longing and contentment, songs fit for an island. Come rain or shine, their set should be something special. And that’s not just because She Changes The Weather was one of the songs of the summer.


To Kill A King

We are big fans of these guys. Cannibals With Cutlery was a superb album, a commentary on modern life that swung from pensive to passionate. Their live set will likely be characterised by the same contrasting emotions. Fictional State and Cold Skin will sound even more powerful live. It is tracks like Letters To My Love, tracks that swing between contemplative and epic that could steal the show though.

Story Books

Last but certainly not least. Story Books are yet to release an album, they’re at Bestival of the strength of an EP. Too Much A Hunter was ominous, forlorn and brilliant. Their’s is a dark sound. Songs struck through with foreboding, but within this darkness is a powerful uplifting streak as each track skilfully progress. This balance between hopeful and hopeless should be fascinating to hear live. Don’t miss it.