Thursday, 5 September 2013

Southsea Fest 2013 - Preview

As the nights grow longer and the damp disappointment of autumn and winter falls across the UK it’s easy to pine for the colour, excitement and fun of outdoor summer music festivals; but fear not, because it’s now become common place for many towns and cities to have their own multi-stage music festival and many of these take place between now and Christmas.

First out of the box is Southsea Fest, in Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth, on Saturday 14th September. Which means very little effort on our part - all of the venues are just 15-20 minutes walk from Breaking More Waves HQ. 

Now firmly established in the multi-venue city festival market, whilst maintaining a very independent ethos Southsea Fest 2013 boasts arguably its strongest line up since its inception. For the full line up click here and take a look and listen to the 10 acts that we recommend seeing below.

So what makes Southsea Fest worth a trip to Portsmouth if you don’t already live there, besides the line up? Here's the very simple and straightforward lowdown. 

1. Its cheap.

At only £12 for an early bird ticket (now all sold out) or £18 for a standard ticket it offers brilliant value.

2. Its location.

Based on Albert Road, Southsea amongst the curry houses, pubs, antique shops and independent fashion stores, all of the venues are within just a couple of minutes from each other on one road. No traipsing all across town to catch a band, just duck out of one door and into another. It's that simple.

3. Less one in one out situations than the bigger multi-venue festivals such as Great Escape.

Southsea Fest is always busy, but our experience has been that its relatively easy to skip from venue to venue without fear of standing in a queue outside as the band you want to see play, although of course there will always be exceptions.

4. Guitars.

If you like guitars, you’ll like Southseafest. There’s a lot of them there and they're mainly loud and noisy.

5. Most of the venues are ridiculously small.

The majority of the venues at Southsea Fest are simply pubs; prepared to get hot, close-up and sweaty. However, for those who fancy something a little more civilised the grandiose, elegant and highly decorative Edwardian playhouse that is the Kings Theatre provides a welcome seated respite from the rock'n'roll mayhem going on elsewhere. It's a must visit at some point in your day.

6. You might just see the next big thing.

In 2011 Bastille played The Fat Fox pub, The Joy Formidable almost made the floor of The Loft collapse in 2009 and the likes of Django Django, Pulled Apart By Horses and Eliza Doolittle have all played tiny rooms at the festival.

So without further ado, in alphabetical order, here are 10 acts Breaking More Waves recommends at Southsea Fest 2013. (Note some will clash). We’ll be posting a review very shortly after the event finishes.

1. Arrows of Love (Upstairs at Southsea Social Club)

Earlier this year we said of the group: "Arrows of Love is the sort of band that if you invited them to meet your parents, would dive straight in and have full-on screaming orgasm drug-laden sweaty sex with each other whilst mum and dad were cooking Sunday roast and then they'd have them join in for pudding."

2. Cosmo Sheldrake (The Fat Fox)

He went to school with Bombay Bicycle Club. He loops stuff. He's got a bag full of ideas. He's good.

3. Curxes (Downstairs at Southsea Social Club)

Curxes are Breaking More Waves regulars, although relatively light on new releases in 2013, we once described Curxes as the sound of two robots f*cking. This probably still applies, although now the robots have grown some human skin, although it's rather thick and mainly impenetrable. 

4. Drenge (The Fat Fox)

They played a moderately attended free show in Portsmouth earlier this year but since then they've been on an upward trajectory. "The sound of rock'n'roll at its most raw and untamed," The Guardian said of their sound. We wouldn't disagree. Pop fun fact : Drenge means 'boys' in Danish. Bring the noise.

5. Flyte (Wedgewood Rooms)

Recently introduced on this blog, Flyte may be a very new band, but they come fully formed with great songs. Likely to be low down the bill, we suggest these are a good early stop off point. "Classic songwriting with indie pop sensibilities, a smattering of groove and a chorus that sounds so wonderfully life affirming that we haven't been able to stop singing it since we first heard it several days ago," we said of Over and Out

6. Is Bliss (Upstairs at Southsea Social Club)

If you like hazy, reverb drenched, textured shoegaze then Is Bliss are worth lending your ears to. Still developing as a band their sound is slowly losing its early aggression and finding a calmer space. New single Desire via Portsmouth label Strong Island Recordings is released at the end of September.

7. Misty Miller (The Fat Fox)

Originally named as One to Watch on Breaking More Waves way back in 2010, Misty Miller has ditched the ukulele based folk pop ditties she once wrote for basement blues and rock'n'roll. If Misty version 2.0 was a fabric she'd be black leather. Having supported Jake Bugg earlier this year, she returns to Portsmouth ready to smoke your ears off.

8. MMX (Kings Theatre)

Another band that we introduced to the blog earlier this year, MMX  were once known as Francesqa. They play sleek brooding rock / pop whose mellow cinematic melodies should suit the Kings Theatre perfectly. They're fresh from playing Reading Festival 2013 as well. 

9. Night Engine (Wedgewood Rooms)

"It's because Night Engine make tight, direct pop songs that smash-funk their way onto the indie dance floor like outatkes from Let's Dance as well as Franz Ferdinand's debut album," we wrote of this band in January. We wouldn't disagree with that statement 9 months on.

10. Sons & Lovers (Kings Theatre)

Last but not least are Sons & Lovers. Having supported Ellie Goulding in 2012 and due to support The Naked And Famous on their forthcoming UK dates, Sons & Lovers are another band that played the Reading and Leeds festival this year and are now transferring their sound to the opulent surroundings of the Kings Theatre. Having named the band as Ones to Watch in 2013 on the blog last year, so far Sons & Lovers have yet to release a single. This however is about to change; keep an ear out for a song called Ghosts at Southsea Fest. Maybe they'll actually end up being ones to watch in 2014? Expect big, accessible pop rock that sounds like its made for the radio.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I seriously follow music news mostly for the festivals. I love them. I just feel like so many great performers can be seen at some many great, independent festivals all over the world. I'm in the States, so I won't be making this one, but it sounds incredible and I'm loving the sounds of Cosmo Sheldrake. I'll be keeping up with this blog and another favorite, Hhhhapy, to try and catch some glimpses of the festival in action!