Hydro Connect Festival 2008 - lineup in detail

  • The List
  • 17 July 2008
Hydro Connect Festival 2008


Oyster Stage

There’s a new album on the way from this swaggering fivesome so expect first plays of recently penned material alongside their by-now trademark electro-rock anthems.

Manic Street Preachers
Following the return to form of last year’s Send Away the Tigers, this passionate Welsh trio are fighting fit and promise soaring, string-fuelled singalongs to help close the first day’s proceedings.

Amy Macdonald
This talented Bishopriggs lass has sold over a million copies of her debut album in 12 months so festival goers can look forward to celebrations a-plenty during this top slot performance.

Minds will be blown by Fyfe Dangerfield and his merry bunch as they bring the genre-busting brilliance of recently-released second record Red LP to Loch Fyne.

The Whip
Juddering electro-rock courtesy of this Manchester-based quartet, which is a dead cert festival party starter.

Howling Bells
It’s been a while since we saw this inventive Aussie fivesome so it’s nice to have them back on the scene with more of their sultry indie offerings.

Guitars and Other Machines Stage

Mercury Rev
What a career this innovative psych-pop lot have had, and they’re back with a thrilling new work in the form of Snowflake Midnight – hear it first here alongside all those dreamy classics See page 4.

The Breeders
Kim Deal and co come to Argyll on the back of successful last effort Mountain Battles, proving that they are still as adored as they ever were. See page 7.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Now boasting powerhouse ex-Sleater Kinney sticks-maestro Janet Weiss on drums, Malkmus’ most recent outfit have become a truly phenomenal live proposition.

Cult electronic pop act with a strong visual aesthetic and an inspiringly open-minded attitude towards penning music, making them one of Connect’s most eclectic acts.

Asobi Seksu
Atmospheric NYC act who inject Hydro Connect with some much needed off-kilter noise pop – we all need a bit of it now and then.

Unknown Pleasures Tent: curated by Optimo

The brothers Mael are a pair of true musical individuals, making a spectactular glam pop stomp for over 30 years. This show, at the behest of those doyens of good taste Optimo, is their only Scottish performance and an absolute must-see for anyone who understands the genuis of the absurd in rock’n’roll.

Crystal Castles
Prepare for a real live spectacle from this Toronto-based duo, who mix intense, twittering 8-bit electronics with ferocious punk attitude and thundering rhythms.

Plus more to be announced


Oyster Stage

Bloc Party
See panel, left.

Paolo Nutini
The soulful singer-songwriter from Paisley will no doubt be showcasing more crowd-pleasing tunes from his second album, which he recorded in Ireland earlier this year.

Nick Cave plus three of his Bad Seed bandmates equals one raucous garage rock project with a second album mooted for later this year. See page 12.

Rock astronaut Jason Pierce made his name with an epic, pharmaceutically-influenced brand of music, but is now adopting a more back-to-basics approach after serious illness.

Michael Franti & Spearhead
This politicised songwriter blends hip hop with several other genres, and is also a candidate for the tallest man in music at 6ft 6in.

Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band
The doe-eyed Bright Eyes lynchpin returns with a five-strong band, conjuring up an upbeat/lo-fi range of harmony-filled and tightly-written songs. See page 14.

Joan As Policewoman
Torch singer Joan Wasser pairs a delicate, beautifully mournful singing voice with a lively, charismatic stage presence, for a must-see set.

Guitars and Other machines Stage

Fronted by the refreshingly outspoken Beth Ditto, this lively trio knows how to make a racket as loud as their frontwoman’s collection of Technicolor outfits.

Bringing their instantly-recognisable and much-loved grizzled blues to Inverary, this band may hail from Southport, but their music’s spiritual home is the American deep south.

Turin Brakes
Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian’s guitar duo came to prominence with anthemic harmonised acoustic numbers but have recently adopted a more emo-folk, full band sound.

Much hyped, Alan McGee-endorsed Glasgow rockabilly quartet bring their socially-conscious Mary Chain-esque rock to the masses as they prepare to release their debut album.

Black Lips
The self-proclaimed ‘flower punks’ are apparently ‘seriously slurred swashbucklers living out the ultimate teenage dream’. Or, to you and me, purveyors of good old-fashioned rock’n’roll.

Friendly Fires
Infectiously catchy electro pop is the trademark of this St Albans trio, and may cause outbreaks of toe-tapping, head-nodding and even uninhibited dancing.

Formerly known as the Mike Rosenberg Band, this Brighton five-piece specialises in gentle acoustic guitar-driven balladeering with the occasional electric beat or classical music sample.

Unknown Pleasures Tent: Curated by Soma

The Roots
This highly influential hip hop collective from Philadelphia have earned a formidable reputation for their engaging, genre-hopping shows, filled with old-school freestyling and live instruments.

Dave Clarke
See panel, right.

Andrew Weatherall
The techno don has been showing off his chops and encyclopediac musical knowledge in his extremely eclectic sets of late. Expect classic rockabilly, skewed electro and space rock in there.

‘It’s all from my mouth, yeah?’ says this beatboxer who creates every sound with his voice and doesn’t use any pre-recorded material in live performances.

Ivan Smagghe
Once known as Ivan Rough Trade, this much celebrated Parisian DJ/producer is an electroclash pioneer with renowned Fabric 23 and Death Disco compilations to his name.

A pseudonym of DJ Matt Edwards, whose remixing skills notoriously include fusing Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ and New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’.

‘I produce and recreate repetitive electronic sounds,’ says the Chicago native. ‘Sometimes I like to play them through large speakers in a riotous manner.’ Just the kind of live set we like at Hydro Connect.

Mr. Copy
This Glaswegian Southsider, aka Michael Weldon, is a veteran of Soma’s Pressure night, winning over dancefloors with driving basslines, stabbing synths and aggressive, rolling percussion. Here he brings us it all live.

Clare & the Reasons


Oyster Stage

Franz Ferdinand
Alex, Bob, Nick and Paul aren’t releasing their much rumoured African-influenced, electro-filled third album until next year, but they might play a few sneaky samplers here.

Sigur Ros
Soaring soundscapes from the Icelandic post-rockers, including fresh stuff from their new album, With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly.

Shimmery, floaty, folk-flavoured pop, . See page 22.

These Manc boys are arguably one of the most epic and beautiful sound bands ever to grace a stage. Go and be amazed.

The Levellers
The days of winsome crusty-isms may be a relic of the 90s, but this crew have consistently enjoyed a loyal following for their inspired English folk rock.

See panel, left.

Young Knives
These geek rockers like to fix up and look sharp before a gig, so there could be some tweed waistcoat and tie combos onstage,
not to mention among their fans.

Duke Special
AKA Peter Wilson, who hails from Belfast and has a fien line in piano driven, debonaire pop songs.

Guitars and Other machines Stage

See panel, right.

The Coral
An acoustic set of magical indie pop from the Wirral, with a nod to the psychedelia of the 60s and old-fashioned American country rock.

The Gutter Twins
Mark Lanegan and fellow alt.rocker Greg Dulli released their first album, Saturnalia earlier this year, full of dark, haunting and epic symphonies.

Camera Obscura
Sweet, summery folk-pop from Glasgow, with Tracyanne Campbell on lead vocals. John Peel was an early fan of their astute, considered tunes. See page 24.

The Faint
Spiky dance music from Omaha, Nebraska, full of moody punk beats and spacey electronica. Their new album, Fasciinatiion, is out in August.

Foy Vance
This Belfast singer belts out throaty, bluesy and sometimes gospelly performances, and has been compared to Tom Waits and The Blue Nile.

Iglu & Hartly
Voted the number one act at SXSW by American music mag Spin, this Hollywood duo channel 80s disco and 90s hip hop.

Unknown Pleasures Tent Curated: by Slam

James Holden
Experimental, often stripped bare techno and throbbing electronica from the London producer who also runs the Border Community label.

Quiet Village
Like a kitschy, soothing soundtrack to a silent movie, made by Joel Martin and Matt Edwards from Radio Slave.

Neil Landstrumm
Minimal techno, jerky electronica and some dirty grime thrown in for good measure, from this Edinburgh DJ and producer.


Returning for a second year after its successful debut the boutique festival has corralled headliners Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers, Bloc Party, Paolo Nutini, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros and Goldfrapp. There will be five stages: 'The Oyster stage', 'Guitars and other Machines', 'Manicured Noise', 'Unknown…

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