The best bands playing Glasgow's Stag and Dagger 2014
Highlights include The Hold Steady, Royal Blood, East India Youth, Honeyblood and Casual Sex
Who to watch at this Sunday-before-the-Monday-bank holiday one-day Stag and Dagger festival
The Hold Steady
Dense, expansive old-school indie rock with bite from Minnesotan Craig Finn and his band, this headline slot comes hot on the heels of the release of their sixth album, Teeth Dreams. Also sharing top billing are sometime-Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr, Johnny Flynn and dreamy Sydney psych outfit, Jagwar Ma.
The Arctic Monkeys-approved (they’re supporting them at Finsbury Park later in May) Brightonian duo are the kind of raw, garage-thrill mainstream alternative music hasn’t had since Jack White was starting out. Brusque, noisy and with vocals from Mike Kerr which sound oddly like Muse’s Matt Bellamy, they’ll clean your ears out.
East India Youth
The pseudonym of Bournemouth-based solo musician William Doyle, East India Youth released his debut album Total Strife Forever at the turn of the year and revealed with it a talent for measured synthesiser symphonies and simple, lacerating torch crooning. Think a more sensitive and winsome Thom Yorke.
Local girls done good Honeyblood are just bloody great, with the Glasgow-based duo having demonstrated a talent for everything from rough-edged Riot Grrl punk to moody, gothic alterna-rock with a hint of Patti Smith or Throwing Muses about it. For evidence of the latter, see ‘Bud’, their first single of a well-won deal with FatCat.
We’d also highly recommend Lanterns on the Lake, Los Campesinos! and Tennis, but a list of top suggestions wouldn’t be complete without the spiky, smart and utterly irresistible sound of Glasgow’s bastard-baiting Casual Sex.
Various venues, Glasgow, Sun 4 May. See staganddagger.co.uk for full line-up info.