This Feeling have been championing new bands for well over a decade and they can’t stop unearthing amazing talent from all over the UK. Their stage at the IOW Festival, in conjunction with Pirate Studios and scotts, was overflowing with ‘must see’ new bands, 47 in fact and the quality of music was exceptional. No wonder it’s the place to see future headliners! Northern Exposure picks from all four days below, not easy when the whole line up was so good.
Discovering new bands is exactly what This Feeling is about so it was great to catch Brighton 5-piece Hourglvss for the first time. The alt-pop band blend plenty of blues guitar into the mix, with the dual vocals of Katherine and Sophie creating perfect harmonies, it’s a beautiful arrangement.
Certainly, ones to watch keep an eye on. Late Night Honeymoon seems to get better and better, having just finished a successful UK tour they are well practised and their new romantic style vocals over indie guitars with huge choruses pulled in a big crowd.
A packed tent saw Liverpudlian headliners, Red Rum Club delivers one of the best sets of the weekend. With a successful debut album under their belt and a host of sell-out gigs this year many thought it could be a big night, but this was something special. The crowd sing and dance throughout the bands whole set, many knowing every word to the songs.
Ending on ‘Would You Rather Be Lonely’ some of the crowd were already singing it after the first note and then the whole tent erupts into the chorus well before the song has even started. It’s a fitting end, with lead singer Fran conducting the crowd from the shoulders of one photographer in the pit. As the band leave the stage there’s no let-up and the chorus continues for a good few minutes afterwards. Bigger stages to come for RRC very soon.
Another day, another band (or three!) to keep an eye on, first The Rezner, they were stunning. Indie rockers from Cornwall with a ballsy attitude and stage presence to match. Northern Exposure are no strangers to the energy of The K’s but it was a first for me and they didn’t disappoint, it’s an electrifying show and their lead guitarist, Ryan, is a superstar in waiting.
Singer Dylan John Thomas is a change of pace but what a voice, a remarkable, individual vocal, his rendition of Jonny Be Good was astonishing, check out his debut single ‘Nobody Else’.
Glasgow band The Ninth Wave are catching the attention of a lot of people and it’s easy to see why, brilliant doom rock with a splattering of 80’s new wave for good measure. The headliners, Velvet Hands, are up against Noel G but if you want to see someone else headline in the future then bands like this deserve your full support, plenty of tracks from their debut album ‘Party’s Over’ (a must listen to album) plus a spattering of new songs, all of which sounded great, it’s no wonder they’re supporting the other Gallagher soon.
Well, the party was definitely not over! Super Saturday was bursting at the seams with great bands from the off! Floodhounds, Jack Perrett, Saltwater Sun and Mummy all well worth checking out. Early evening saw Swindon’s finest, Getrz, take to the stage. They have been continually improving over the last year, playing a very tight set with a great mix of indie/punk rock.
Hands off Gretel have been on mine and NE radar for a while, a second album is just out and the grungy punk 4 piece plays a ferocious set of old and new songs.
First of the final three bands is two piece heaven from The Pearl Harts, as Kirsty and Sara rip through a high octane set filled with distortion and fierce riffs over thunderous drums, their album ‘Glitter and Spit’ is highly recommended as is brand new EP ‘Suck it Up’. Sugarthief bring something much lighter to the line-up with their hazy, dreamy indie songs, most of them are full of soaring singalong choruses and ‘Joy Affair’ is such a massive anthem.
Saturday headliners Saint Agnes are quite simply, outstanding, wow! What a band! A full-on rock ‘n’ roll outfit with an utterly mesmerising live performance, screaming guitars, gloriously heavy riffs, hard-hitting drums and in your face vocals, want to see a band that are ready for the next level? Look no further, incredible!
As we face the final curtain there’s still plenty more grassroots talent on this stage. Tom Lumley & the Brave Liaison bring their brand of stadium rock to the small stage, a massive wall of sound and a very lively stage show, surely they’ll be back and higher up the bill in 2020.
I knew about Rats but had yet to catch them, they brought a host of anthems which are certain to appeal to those craving a more modern, infectious and energetic style of indie, lead singer Joe has all the personality required to propel them further.
Mellor are up next, another band I have seen growing on the scene over the last two years, they play some great indie rock and I am still surprised no one has picked them up yet. The final act of the weekend are Only The Poets, fresh and vibrant indie pop from Reading, the unsigned band have hoards of enthusiastic young fans on the barrier and it’s that young fan base which will see them take a step up next year.
Once again, This Feeling curate another amazing festival line up. Tremendous talent on every day to suit all tastes and a wealth of potential for some big stars in the future.
ALAN WELLS WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY