Festival season is fast approaching and Blissfields is one of our favourites. The festival began back in 2001 when organisers Paul and Mel Bliss hosted a small event for about seventy guests on Bradley Farm near Alresford. As it grew the festival began to receive recognition by winning the ‘Best Small Festival’ award at the 2007 UK Festival Awards.
The festival has a built a reputation for showcasing some of the UK’s biggest talent before they hit the big time. Previous acts on the main stage include Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, Ben Howard, Sam Smith, Bastille and Frank Turner. This year will be no different and here are my tips for the must see performances this year.
Saturday headliners Metronomy consist of Joseph Mount (vocals, keyboards and guitar), Oscar Cash (saxophone, backing vocals, guitars and keyboards), Anna Prior (drums and vocals) and Gbenga Adelekan (bass guitar and vocals). The electro-pop group have released five studio albums of original material, Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe), Nights Out, The English Riviera, and Love Letters – their fifth studio album titled Summer 08 was released in July last year.
You will also have heard Mount’s work on remixes for the likes of Gorillaz, Sebastien Tellier, Roots Manuva, Klaxons, Goldfrapp, Young Knives, Zero 7, Ladytron, Lady Gaga and Lykke Li.
Metronomy by Gregoire-Alexandre
The quartet behind Sundara Karma have been causing quite a buzz in the UK music scene. Helped by some acclaimed performances at Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds festivals and supporting Two Door Cinema Club.
Singer/guitarist Oscar “Lulu” Pollock, lead guitarist Ally Baty, bassist Dom Cordell and drummer Haydn Evans are no strangers to the south coast after recently selling out the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea and playing a small intimate show at Pie & Vinyl. The Guardian have likened the band to Arcade Fire, U2 and Bruce Springsteen which I couldn’t disagree with more! I would say that the band share more of a likeness to the likes of The Amazons, Kings of Leon and Catfish and the Bottlemen.
The band have just released their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect which features the awesome ‘Flame‘ and ‘The Night,’ which had also been released prior on 2015’s four track EP titled EP I.
The Cinematic Orchestra were formed by Jason Swinscoe in 1999 and in that time they have twice sold out the Royal Albert Hall as well as the Sydney Opera House. They are most famous for their track ‘To Build A Home‘ with Patrick Watson. For me, this a beautiful and sad yet uplifting song and I cannot wait to hear it played at the festival.
After a decade they are back with new material and the first track to be released from their forthcoming studio album is ‘To Believe’ with Moses Sumney and is available to download and stream now.
The Cinematic Orchestra
Indie band, Black Honey, have been building quite a following over the past couple of years. They have recently been seen supporting the epic Royal Blood on their UK tour. Frontwoman Izzy B Philips’ vocal evoke memories of Blondie’s Debbie Harry which should be reason enough to take the time to give them a listen. I recommend that you start with ‘Somebody Better’, ‘Hello Today’ and ‘All My Pride’.
If you are the type of person who likes to catch a band before they get huge then you will need to be at Blissfields to see Pumarosa! Signed to Chess Club Records, the five-piece from London were originally a punk duo. Nowadays they are cannot be easily pigeonholed, they dip their toe into various different genres. They have been described by the Guardian as potentially the missing link between Joy Division and Pendulum.
Pumarosa released their debut single ‘Priestess’ last September and ever since their debut has one of the most eagerly anticipated of 2017. Last month the wait was over and they released The Witch.
There are just five weeks until the festival begins so don’t hang around, pick up your tickets now from www.blissfields.co.uk/tickets. Adult weekend tickets are now priced at £110 each with concessions also available.