Besides writing Breaking More Waves and going to plenty of gigs and festivals, another project I’m involved in and hugely excited about is Dials Festival. An intimate, fully independent new music festival that takes place in 5 venues on Albert Road in Southsea, Portsmouth, this will be our 3rd event, having previously put on shows in 2015 and 2016 which featured the likes of Dream Wife, Black Honey, Fickle Friends, Alice Jemima and Fear of Men. The ethos of our festival is very much D-I-Y. The team behind it are all volunteers and any profits that we make from the festival will be given to charity, namely a local Mental Health charity called Solent Mind. You can find out more about the good work they do by clicking here.
This year some of the acts that are playing at Dials include Welsh indie darlings Estrons, cool mellow pop artist Art School Girlfriend, four times UK beat boxing champion Grace Savage, indie punk band Yassassin, rising Isle of Wight star Lauren Hibberd, Bella Union's Penelope Isles, 6 music favourites Breathe Panel, dance pop specialist Salt Ashes, psych rockers Melt Dunes, brand new weird noisepop makers LibraLibra, Portsmouth's own indie starlet Jerry Williams playing a solo acoustic set and our headliners Tigercub, plus a whole host of others. You can buy tickets, find out more about the event and support a local charity by clicking this link (here).
Why not come and enjoy a day out in Portsmouth? All the venues are situated on 1 street (Albert Road), with the two venues that are furthest from each other being only five minutes apart. There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants and unusual shops to browse in as well.
I’ve booked approximately 40% of the artists playing the festival and many of them have featured on Breaking More Waves.
One act I’ve chosen for Dials is Brighton’s Fröst, who I asked to play after hearing just one of their songs. Sometimes you just have to rely on instinct when booking stuff, hoping that others will connect as well, and I had fallen in love with Record Still Spinning instantly. It has been on almost constant repeat ever since. Since booking the band it’s been great to hear them being supported by Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music who is also clearly a fan; she’s played Record Still Spinning a number of times on the station and has included another track called Venus d’Argent, from the band’s forthcoming album Matters, on her Recommends show.
After throwing names like Broadcast, Electrelane and Stereolab into the ring to give some comparisons for Record Still Spinning, let’s lob another one in for Fröst’s new single. For Black Mountain has that same sort of pulsing electronica and subtle throb that can be found on some of Goldfrapp’s work. Inspired by the experimental college in North Carolina founded in 1933 which emphasised holistic learning and the study of art as a core part of its programme, Black Mountain coils around with an ominous pop moodiness, always holding back, never quite exploding, and is all the better for it. It makes me even more excited for the band to be playing Dials.
Black Mountain is out now. Matters is released on 28th September and Fröst play the Sebright Arms in London on 2nd October, Brighton’s Prince Albert on 3rd October, before hitting Portsmouth’s Dials Festival on the 6th October.
Fröst - Black Mountain