Days are getting shorter and nights are getting colder but UK festival summer is not over until we reach the high point of Portmeirion’s Festival Number 6. This year GIITTV is heading off to this fine event with a few extra surprises planned for our coverage. As usual, the line-up is brimming with ideas and some of the finest bookings this season.
To make it more fun, we’re giving you a chance to win a pair of tickets to Festival Number 6. To enter, all you have to do is tell us who you’re most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Number 6. All competition entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday Friday 14th August 2015. Winners will picked at random within 24 hours of the competition closing. Only one entry per person.
To get you started, the GIITTV team came up with a few of their own personal No 6 recommendations. Enjoy!
Bill Cummings, Editor
LA Priest is the project of former Late Of The Pier front man Sam Dust. Hiding himself away up in North Wales he created Inji, which was recently released on Domino Recordings. Running the playful gamut of imaginative electro pop and pulsing funk cuts that reference everyone from Daft Punk to Prince, Inji is possibly the most inventive album you will hear this year! Witness him being transformed by his particularly unique brand of pop music.
Gwenno Saunders discarded her history in the Pipettes to return to Cardiff in 2011; in the intervening period since, she’s crafted one of the best Welsh language albums of the year. Inspired by Owain Owain’s dystopic 1976 novel Y DYDD OLAF (The Last Day) it was re-released last week on a Heavenly Records imprint. Gwenno’s provocative sophisticated synth-pop wraps around lyrical narratives concerning such grand themes such as patriarchy, revolution, globalisation and holding onto Welsh identity.
Simon Godley, Deputy Editor
Two guys are currently blazing one helluva trail across the UK summer festival map. One is Jack Sedman; he sings and looks a bit like a young Art Garfunkel. The other is Harry Draper; he plays guitar and, legend has it, that just like Betty Grable’s legs before him, his magical finger-picking hands have been insured for a million dollars. Not all of these facts may be correct, but this much is true – when these guys play together as Seafret, they kick up the most perfect of musical storms.
When James Brown passed away in 2006 he must surely have bequeathed the mantle of “the hardest working man in show business” to Kenny Anderson. The man from Fife, who is King Creosote, also finds time to perform with The Burns Unit, run his own independent label Fence Records, collaborate with Jon Hopkins, and release more than 40 albums over a recording career that now stretches back almost 20 years. But not only is this Scottish singer-songwriter prolific, he is also consistently great.
Anastasia Connor, Festivals Editor
Not many bands can claim to be as consistently inventive and curiously smart as British Sea Power. Under the deceptive indie exterior of their music lies something altogether more dark and dangerously unpredictable. From cinematic musical landscapes of epic beauty to feral yelps and delicate, almost intimate whispers, BSP is more of a mystic faith than a band; so join the congregation and witness for yourself their wild pagan splendour.
Bridie Monds-Watson, aka SOAK, is a name that first cropped up on the ones-to-watch lists back in 2013. It’s taken her a bit longer to break through, but 2015 has certainly been a big year for the Derry singer-songwriter. Her distinct vocals and oblique narratives make her sound far more mature than her teenage years. The name SOAK, a portmanteau of ‘soul’ and ‘folk’, seems also a bit at odds with her sound that doesn’t easily fit into any neat categories. Definitely a special case!
Loz Etheridge, Albums Editor
Oldham’s favourite grandsons The Gramotones model themselves very much in the classic songwriter mould, delivering a highly energised profusion of 60s worshipping anthems, yet retaining an acute awareness of the world around them. The result is, more often than not, pure gold. The Hollies meet Temples, Mull Historical Society playing surf rock in their garage, or Arctic Monkeys shaking hands with The Kinks. But the most pleasing aspect of their sound is their refusal to dismiss any genre as too crass, so you can expect them to sound like Green Day one minute and Dave Clark Five the next. Catch them if you can.
New Yorkers Here We Go Magic should capture the ambience of the festival and the hearts of punters alike when they take to the stage on Saturday. An effortlessly soulful 70s groove beckons comparisons with both Jackson Browne and the Climax Blues Band in places, but what sets them apart is the somewhat fragile vocals of Luke Temple, which have been compared to the likes of Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley in the past, but are probably more accurately aligned with late Canned Heat frontman Alan Wilson. That and their obvious Krautrock leanings, anyway. Keep an eye out for them.
Toni-Michelle Spencer, New Music Editor
You know those moments in the life of a music fan when you hear a band for the very first time, and your heart momentarily skips a beat and your head snaps around to wherever the sound is coming from, wide-eyed and smiling broadly? This is exactly what happened to me the very first time I ever heard The Bohicas. They’re fresh, they’re fun and they’re bloody exciting!
Estrons are a band I discovered entirely by accident. I receive many emails every single day of the week – not even for a Sunday does everything stop! In one of those emails a few months ago were Estrons. At the time, I was struck by the band’s indomitable cool; they ooze a brilliant laid-back charm with a 60s twist and make everything sound so easy. I challenge you to resist dancing along to them, too; I bet you can’t!