End of the Road 2013 - Festival Preview Part One


I've been a little bit slack with Festivals this year (granted my failures with Glastonbury was out of my control) but aside from The Great Escape and a couple of one day festivals (one of them this weekend in Portsmouth where I'll be seeing The Joy Formidable and Charlotte Church) I've not actually done a 'proper' festival until now. End of the Road was one of the highlights of this year and I think this one may be even better. In my opinion it is the line-up of the summer, add in a relaxed atmosphere and loads of real ale tents and what more could you possibly want - yes sun (fingers crossed on that one).

The next two posts will see me pick a dozen acts to check out over the weekend which is now just a week away. I certainly plan on doing so. You'll see which I actually do and what else I get up to (well not everything) in my post weekend review. Anyway, straight onto it:

Daughter - Facebook
Garden Stage - Saturday

Not the most unique of starts I know but an essential act to see at the festival this year is Daughter. Her album If You Leave is a sure-fire inclusion in my 'favourite albums of the year' lists and is surely, if there is any justice, up for consideration for many other peoples too - a heart-wrenching, beguiling, emotive, bedazzling experience from start to finish - live they manage to hit places long though lost with their potent combination of glacial guitar textures and beautifully intimate vocals. Unmissable.

Warpaint - Facebook
Woods Stage - Saturday

Whilst I'm on blindingly obvious choices lets throw another in, a UK festival exclusive sees Warpaint hit these shores for the first time in 2013. A set that is sure to include a few new tracks amongst their spellbinding existing material, we've not been treated to any of the new stuff yet (given a UK tour set for October I'm certainly expecting to hear something soon) but given the history of this LA quartet, I've no worries about it being a perfect continuation of their delicious harmonies and beautifully textured rhythms.

Golden Fable - Facebook
Tipi Tent Stage - Saturday

I finally got to see Golden Fable at The Great Escape and was blown away metaphorically and almost literally too. I was pretty close to a speaker stack and their live sound is a lot bigger than I previously anticipating, combining the majestic vocals of Rebecca Palin's with Tim McIver's instrumentation and some extraordinary drums - the band are currently busy recording their second album and I'm sure we'll be treated to a few new songs next week.

Come see them and be blown away.

Anna Von Hausswolff - Facebook
Tipi Tent Stage - Saturday

An altogether new act for me discovered by delving into the line-up, Anna Von Hausswolff released her second album Ceremony in June, a captivating, uncompromising vision of darkness and the morose.

"Deathbed" takes four minutes to introduce Anna's typically haunting vocals, starting with a creeping organ which can be quite frightening whilst "Mountains Crave" is about as accessible as it gets, a cinematic melody and beautiful soaring vocal delivery. The record ebbs and flows throughout (from "Red Sun's" brooding power to "Liturgy of Light's" soft guitar textures).

Perhaps an even more challenging than Soap&Skin - I think it promises to be a quite extraordinary performance.

Allo Darlin' - Facebook
Woods Stage - Friday

Indie pop darlings (sorry) Allo Darlin' are sure to bring summer to Larmer Tree Gardens no matter what the weather is as Friday draws to a close.

I recently saw the quartet at The Buffalo Bar and caught a wonderful set with highlights from last years Europe, their debut and a helping of new tracks too. Expect to see dancing and singing along. Fun times a guarantee.

Widowspeak - Facebook
Big Top Stage - Sunday (to be confirmed - Widowspeak's website suggests Friday)

I think the band are on a duo tour so this Widowspeak show might be a little different to the one I recently saw at Cargo, what is guaranteed though is the irresistible vocal purr of Molly Hamilton and spidery guitar patterns that will temporarily transfer the audience to a hazy, American west. Widowspeak are a wonderful live band who are not to be missed.