It’s a big day! We’ve unleashed all our plotting and hatching, so feast your eyes below!
The line up includes some of the most exciting bands in the world right now. Nubiyan Twist will bring their intense afrobeat, latin jazz sound to the party. Steeling Sheep, the idiosyncratic Liverpool trio, known for their robotic quirky style and melodic harmonies will be a huge draw. They are widely regarded as being at the forefront of the modern “out there” wave of female bands. Henge, come in the name of rave and won the UK Festival Awards, Best Live Act in 2018. A must see! Not forgetting Dutty Moonshine Big Band, who fuse heavy bass with jazz.
Easy to love, The Magic Numbers, will play on Saturday – beefy electric guitars offering up a 70s rock feel all the way! And a perfect compliment to Razorlight’s high energy rock n roll. Delightfully undefinable, Honeyfeet’s absorbing sound is big and brassy, brimming with genuine swagger. Ríoghnach Connolly is front woman extraordinaire, with her musicality, versatile and poignant vocals. Not to be missed.
For some fast and infectious Ska anthems, no one does it better than Chainska Brassika. And if swing is your thing, look no further than Cut Capers – who fuse live brass with hip hop and throw in some glamour for good measure. Keeping the tempo up, Fitty Gomash’s Celidh won’t disappoint for a good ol’ knees up. And as for something with strings, heavy groove and intricate folk arrangements, cue Sheelanagig and The Elephant Sessions. And finally, Speaking in Tongues, will recreate the spectacle of Talking Heads at their peak.
Valley Fest has got a much bigger DJ line up this year. Norman Jay MBE, the groundbreaking selector, will certainly be serving up some good times that won’t fail to put a smile on everyone’s face. There will also be a DJ set from Leftfield who will bring an eclectic modern sound with some of the best new house and techno. Just the ticket for Friday night.
The Nextmen are playing too, masters of turntablism and musical innovation, expect some big boss tunes! The high energy hip hop duo, Too Many T’s will make you think, laugh and shake your booty. And laying down some big drum n bass tracks: Phibes and Audiomission. They don’t mess about.
45 live with Boca 45 and Pete Isaac will be celebrating 7” singles. Boca 45 is a Bristol beatsmith who’s been at the forefront of funky breakbeat music for well over a decade. He will play along with Pete Isaac – the much loved club promoter South West club-night Jelly Jazz.
Valley Fest is often a place to see rising stars. Hotly tipped, Balcony stand on the borders of two cultures. They’re stepping into the future by pushing the boundaries of dark pop and future wave R&B. And they capture the heart of timeless songwriting. Icarus are also rising quickly. They journey through the outer realms of electronic music. You heard it here first! Hejira are also ones to watch. The three core members of the band have played alongside Amy Winehouse, Nitin Sawhney and Floating Points. Their music is experimental and magical.
Not many artists can channel the energies of Fela Kuti, Gil Scott Heron and 2pac and balance them with perfect cohesion, but Afrkan Boy can. Onipa brings energy, groove, electronics, afrofuturism, dance and fire – all the way from Ghana. Vula Viel – described as “Ghanaian minimalism”, with the unassuming ability to blur the lines between atmospheres. Afon Sistema will drum out addictive beats and rich hypnotic rhythmic guaranteed to get you up on your feet. They play Maractu, Samba’s earthier cousin from Northern Brazil.
Lazy lakeside lushness
Part of Valley Fest’s appeal is the lazy lakeside vibe. And artists which perfectly cater to that include rising stars Ishmael Ensemble. This Bristol Jazz act are taking the world by storm. As do Bristol act, Three Cane Whale, who are a multi-instrumental acoustic trio known for their cinematic sweep and intricate delicacy. Their debut album was chosen by Cerys Matthews as one of her Top Five Modern Folk Albums.
Much-loved Nuala Honan, is on the bill. Her voice slides from beguiling sweetness to raw power. Rozi Plain’s set will no doubt be a lovely listen, her new album has been described as textural, repetitive and propulsive. And prepare to be mesmerised by the The Breath, who have the power to ensnare you! Tom Speight is just the ticket to ease us into the weekend. The Desert, relative newcomers, have warm weighted synths, perfectly placed percussion and a universe of otherworldly sounds. And for a bit of fun, the Ultimate Elton and the Rocket band will take to the stage on Sunday.
John Blakeley, Music Progammer says: “We’re creating a real lakeside party this year with some of the best names on the live circuit. Whatever your taste, there’s something for you. And we’re only down the road from Bristol and Bath!”
Buy your tickets before they all go!