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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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