Stag & Dagger 2010: The highlights

Stag & Dagger 2010: The highlights

Not sure how to sort the wheat from the chaff at this year’s Stag & Dagger festival? Don’t worry, David Pollock points out the ten bands you’ll want to watch

No city is complete without a city festival or two – or even three, this summer. Returning for a second annual appearance in Glasgow this fortnight is Stag & Dagger, a two-legged affair starting in London. They don’t have a monopoly on the very finest new bands, but they’re working on it. Here are The List’s absolutely, positively must-see highlights, timetable permitting.

Silver Columns

Put Domino signee and Four Tet collaborator Adem Ilhan together with the Fence Collective’s Pictish Trail, aka Johnny Lynch, and what do you get? One of the year’s most thrilling electronic pop acts, strangely enough, as anyone who caught their debut set at this year’s Homegame will testify. Signed to Moshi Moshi, so expect to hear much more of them. (pictured above)

Dam Mantle

A product of Glasgow’s increasingly vibrant electronic scene, Kent ex-pat and sometime post-rocker Tom Marshall moulds 8-bit sounds into triumphant, orchestral patterns. Hear what we mean by checking out his debut EP ‘Grey’, on Halleluwah Hits.

Django Django

Wonderful soundtrack-alike variety from this anglo-Scots quartet from Dalston. Surf guitars, Morricone menace and psyched-out electronics collide in a style not unreminiscent of The Beta Band. Which is no big surprise, considering their number includes Dave ‘brother of John’ Maclean.

Gold Panda

Already given a leg up into the year by the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll, Chelmsford-raised, London-based producer and confirmed Japanophile Derwin Panda makes pretty, dreamy soundscapes with a heavy Oriental feel. Listen to his self-released debut single ‘You’ and you too will anticipate his appearance all over quirky adverts and TV idents by year’s end.

Male Bonding

Noise, distortion, no songs over three minutes long and an at least partly-concealed sense of pure pop urgency from this, you guessed it, all-male trio. Also based in hipster ground zero Dalston, their signing to the legendary Sub Pop label for debut album Nothing Hurts is a coup for all concerned.

Kid Adrift

Described by The Guardian as ‘Muse being remixed by Aphex Twin’, 21-year-old Clackmannanshire lone gunman Iain Campbell has been making massive waves behind the scenes of late. Now signed to Island, expect his career to take off in a big way in 2011.

Olympic Swimmers

Indie as hell, this one-girl, four-boy bunch make chiming, delicate indie rock in the mould of The Delgados. Funny that, because two of them actually play in Emma Pollock’s live band, while Suzie Liddell does a rather charming vocal impression of the queen of beautifully gloomy jock rock.

Jesca Hoop

Wondrous weirdness from Californian singer-songwriter Hoop, who is now based in Manchester. Once, believe it or not, nanny for Tom Waits’ kids, her 2009 sophomore album Hunting My Dress is a microcosmic masterpiece of inventive, infectious pop composition and weird vocal gymnastics, not a million miles removed from PJ Harvey or Bjork. Or Waits, for that matter.

The Antlers

The Brooklyn based solo project of Peter Silberman, now expanded to a trio, The Antlers (who sound nothing like Crystal Antlers, who sound nothing like Crystal Castles, and so on) are a fragile, wintery delight comparable to Band of Horses.


They release songs called ‘I Wanna Kill’ and ‘Summer of Hate’, and they’re deeply in hock to The Jesus and Mary Chain. You must love this band.
Various venues, Glasgow, Sat 22 May

Men & Machines

Disco, house and more from Men and Machines at this irregular but worth waiting for night. Fri 12 Aug: The wait for the next M&M will be a long one, sadly. This 3rd birthday residents party will also be the last date thanks to relocation to London, but you can still hear the Men & Machines monthly podcast on…

Stag & Dagger

Multi-venue music festival featuring a host of live acts. The 2016 line-up includes Band Of Skulls, Deaf Havana, Emma Pollock, Fews, Formation, Francis Lung, Milk Teeth, Smash Williams, Slow Club, Stanley Odd, We Are Scientists and The Van T's.

Male Bonding

Tinnitus inducing London noise pop trio.

White Hinterland

Songwriting that takes its cue from everything from tribal rhythms to the jazz divas, woven around an experimental backdrop of beats and loops and topped with the sublime, Feist-like voice of singer/songwriter Casey Dienel. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Esben & The Witch

Brighton trio blending electronics, radio static and schizophrenic, raucous vocals to mystical and somewhat gothic effect.

Silver Columns, Midnight Lion, Mopp and Nevada Base

The first of a month of King Tut's Summer Nights, showcasing the best up-and-coming Scottish music, headlined by an electronic dance pop duo comprising Johnny Lynch (aka The Pictish Trail and also one of the heads of Fife micro-label Fence) and singer/songwriter Adem, who have just released their first album, 'Yes, And…

Jaguar Love

New wave outfit from Portland. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Gold Panda and Dam Mantle

Experimental instrumentals from leftfield producer/ remixer Derwin.


Difficult punk trio with a purpose. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Sleigh Bells and Holograms

The Brooklyn duo perform tracks from their noise pop extravaganza of a debut album, Treats and recent follow up 2Reign of Terror 2.

Synth Eastwood

Performance from this Dublin-based art, music and technology community. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Taz Buckfaster

Dub and electronica. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.


Experimental electro. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.


New York rockers who have hit big with their single 'We Are Young'.

Three Blind Wolves

'Badass hillbilly rock'n'roll' from Ross Clark's band.


Lo-fi scuzzy indie rock four-piece from London.

Chapel Club

Inventive furrowed brow indie from London.


Excellently monikered experimental types from Oz-land, fronted by Ms Holiday Sidewinder. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Divorce, Asss and Neighbourhood

Noise rock and punk action at this album launch for Glasgow's much-touted Divorce.

Olympic Swimmers

Melodious indie pop five-piece, fronted by Susie Liddell, who have been compared to everyone from the Delgados to Electrelane.

Islet and Op

No-wave DIY from Cardiff.


Young Reading indie band, with a laid-back sound reminiscent of The Big Pink. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Wax Fang

Experimental, psychedelic sounds from Louisville, Kentucky. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Turbo Fruits

Raucous Nashville surf-rockers make their first visit to Scotland. 'Part of Stag and Dagger festival'.

Kid Adrift and Song of Return

Glaswegian Iain Campbell and his band, making spooky electronica and glitch-pop.

Samuel Chase

Downbeat electronica/indie. 'Part of Stag & Dagger festival'.

Stag & Dagger

Featuring 100 music acts and DJ sets, including These New Puritans, Archie Bronson Outfit, People Under The Stairs and Sinden And The Bug.

Kill Em All Stage For Stag And Dagger Festival!!

Filthy Dukes and ZNTN DJs play indie, electro, pop and rock, plus Django Django, Is Tropical, Clock Opera and Teenagers In Tokyo perform live.

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