Whilst checking my photo ID, booking a flight to sunny Southampton and other necessary preparations I’ve lost days trawling Soundcloud, YouTube and the other voids of the internet to find the best of what’s coming up at this weekend’sBlissfields Festival. And, what have we found for you? Well check out this lovely lot.
Part Scottish, part Sudanese, totally awesome. Whether performing solo or with Clean Bandit, there’s something a little bit spellbinding about Eliza Shaddad. She’s a completely new discovery for us over here and that’s exactly what festivals like Blissfields are all about.
Sam was kind enough to send us a copy of his record a few weeks ago and we’ve gave it a few spins. It’s enjoyable acoustic indie folk pop for want of a better genre. We’re fairly confident it’ll sound even better in the sunshine with a pint of cider in hand.
BEANS ON TOAST
The last few times I’ve seen Beans on Toast he’s been either playing a set to a half empty bar, held aloft by hundreds of fans outside Wembley Stadium or sleeping on a sofa in my old flat. As well as performing and DJing, Jay is also curated the acoustic stage this year. Excellent!
JIM LOCKEY & THE SOLEMN SUN
We discovered the big folk-punk stylings of Jim Lockey through Frank Turner as they toured together over the last year. They’re now well versed in playing huge shows having gigged with Mumford & Sons etc. and have already notched up several big festivals this year.
Marika is a local talent. Well, local in that she’s from the fine county of Hampshire. Not to be dismissed as merely another singer songwriter, Hackman’s songs are finely crafted more in the vein of old prog rock than twee acoustic pop.
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
It seems like all our favourite bands feature banjos these days. Everybody’s having a go since Marcus Mumford hit the big time but no one does it quite like these guys, dropping samples, synths and bits from old public service announcements. The ‘lessons of the past through the music of the future’ apparently!
We know Theme Park aren’t in any way folky. We also don’t care. We love a little bit of indie pop over here especially during festival season and in lieu of The XX or Vampire Weekend, we’ll be looking forward to these guys treating us to some summery tunes.
Matt’s been a favourite on the Folk and Tumble stereo for a while. We’ve had the pleasure of catching him live a few times as well and it’s always something special. Powerful vocals abound, hurling out beautiful melodies and haunting refrains. No doubt this set won’t disappoint.
With big apologies to First Aid Kit and Haim, The Staves are most definitely are favourite band of sisterly siblings. Close knit harmonies and charming girl-next-door stage patter makes them wholly endearing whether in an intimate acoustic show or even if they’re rocking out with Glastonbury headliners.
There are dozens of other acoustic acts we’ll be checking out before getting our party on to Bastille. Dan Smith’s played Blissfields before and this year they’re back in the headline slot. We’ll have a beer and be throwing awkward shapes to ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ for sure.
If you’re not making it to this year’s festival make sure to catch these acts where you can, sign up for the Blissfields mailing list and grab some early tickets for next year. With previous headliners including Mumford and Sons and Ben Howard you’ll be sure to catch some great acts and maybe be the first to tell your mates about that next big thing.