As many of you may know, Bramhall Rugby Club in Stockport is playing host to Headlander Festival over the next two days (21st - 22nd June). Rather than compile my usual list of 5 bands from all corners of the UK, this weeks chart will focus on the bands that I'm looking forward to seeing over the next 2 days. So without further hesitation, we'll kick things off with...
Playing their own fantastic blend of contemporary blues, Manchester trio Turrentine Jones are harbouring an aesthetic completely evocative of the 1960s. Drawing on influences from the likes of The Doors and The Velvet Underground, their music is as fresh and as exciting as it would have been to see Jim Morrison tear up The Whisky-A-Go-Go circa 1966. Playing the second stage on the Friday, Turrentine Jones are a band who are sure to make you dance to their nostaligia-tinged sleaze blues, complete with organs and all. Crackin'.
Nottingham's In Isolation are a band whom are fantastically indebted to the post-punk of 1980s Britain. They utilise synth hooks and crashing drums to uphold a sense of ominousness to their music while guitars and vocals are ultimately balancing the scales. Usually such a synth-driven aesthetic would deter me personally, but In Isolation manage to keep the balance perfectly and come of all the better for it.
Fidel & the Castros
Thankfully with Manchester's Fidel & the Castros, the brilliance doesn't end with their name. Making music that's immediately accessible yet keeps you coming back for more and more, the band's own blend of radio-friendly indie-pop is sure to go down well when they take to the Main Stage this Saturday. The guitar work here lends itself fantastically to more than your usual indie fare, as it straddles the fine line between 90s alternative and times, even emo, while the vocals assert the band as one of the strongest to grace this weekends festivities.
Perhaps one of the bands that I'm most looking forward to over the next two days are the fantastically elegant but never short of impactive, Sister Ray. By their own admission, the band aren't ashamed at utilising simplistic and commercial song structures as the backing for their wonderfully spun lyricism. Vocalist Leanne Scaletta provides a softer edge to the vocal duties that's juxtaposed against occasional violent but always on point lyrics. If you're going to the festival, Sister Ray are a band you should definitely check out.
Following in the footsteps of bands such as Sublime are Jeremiah Ferrari, and what festival would completely without your obligatory dub/ska/reggae band. These lads are without a doubt going to inject a healthy dose of sunshine and (probably) sensimilla in to an otherwise wet Stockport. Definitely a band to get your knees up to, and one who has already forged a path for themselves and garnered a healthy following throughout Manchester and further afield. Exactly what you need to round of a weekend of quality music. Perfect.
Of course there are more bands playing that I'm looking forward to seeing, and several that I've featured on the hallowed pages of this blog before now. With it being a Top 5 chart though it dramatically limits what I can include, so bands such as Kids With Machetes, Velocets, and Freedom of the City have all been featured and I wanted to expose those I hadn't yet. You can check out the full line-up here.
Alternatively, you can check out last week's Top 5 Unsigned here.