Thursday, 14 July 2011

Underage Festival - Preview

For those in London and under 18, this is the summer festival choice for you. Packed full of tipped off bands and optimistic teenagers, Underage Festival has always been a hit amongst young people since it started in 2007. Aimed at 14 - 18 year olds, the festival has changed its age limit this year to 13-17, which seems fitting as The Midnight Beast attract a certain following of young teenage girls, almost like a cult version of Beliebers. This year's line up includes headliners Bombay Bicycle Club, the well loved North London boys who have been welcomed towards a more mainstream audience after the release of their acoustic album 'Flaws'.

This year the line up is even more varied, from Underage regulars Rizzle Kicks who've recently had airplay on Capital for their interesting brand of British rap with 'Down With The Trumpets' to 80s new romantic inspired Romance. There's an artist for nearly every genre (and some sub-genres too) that could take your fancy so we've compiled a list of 5 different artists you shouldn't miss at this year's fest:

1. Bombay Bicycle Club
Easily the most musically progressed on the bill, Bombay Bicycle Club had their Underage Festival debut in 2008 where they evoked an energetic crowd reaction. With two critically acclaimed albums under their belts and the humbleness of a newly starting band, it'll be interesting to see what setlist they will decide to play, whether it be old stuff or new. They've recently released their lead single 'Shuffle' from new album 'A Different Kind Of Fix' which has shown a new, slightly more odd pop direction to the quartet. Expect soothing harmonies from Lucy Rose and Jack Steadman and a milestone performance from the band.

2. Janelle Monae 
Janelle Monae has only recently started to come into her element, thanks to her festival slots at this year's festivals. Her performance at Glastonbury saw her trending on Twitter and getting people talking about her suited catchy funk pop. Her concept album, 'The ArchAndroid' about robots is bizarre while bordering on genius. Her enthusiastic approach and genuine positivity is something that you don't seem to see often in music nowadays. Chances are, if she plays Tightrope or Cold War, the crowd will probably go mental for it. Watch this space.

3. Viva Brother
You might be wondering whether this is a joke or not, well you're half right. These arrogant Britpop wannabies have elbowed their way into the music industry on a mix of testosterone and deluded self confidence. If not only to just go along and laugh at them, they're probably going to be big some day so you can say 'I saw Viva Brother before they were big!' to all your less musically knowledgeable friends. They've commented on people throwing bottles at them and they seem to enjoy it so I wouldn't advise you that, we can't have them thinking they've got our attention. 

4. Rizzle Kicks
These guys have been around for ages now it seems, although they haven't been receiving the attention that they deserve. They're no strangers to Underage Festival but due to being the first act in the morning last year, they had basically no crowd which was disappointing because people should get to hear their music. You could quibble whether these guys are going to be the next biggest thing for British rap or not or you could just enjoy the music and appreciate this hard working duo. Single 'Down With The Trumpets' bound to evoke a big reaction.

5. Ghost Eyes
It feels like Ghost Eyes have popped up from nowhere, before checking them out from the Underage line up, I had not heard about them and I'm not sure many people had either. They've brought out a single, 'Phantom Mountain', with distorted voices, ooh's and buzzing synths, it falls somewhere in between oOoOO and Christian Aids. With a witch house vibe about the track, this somehow manages to hold itself up despite the scene moving on. Creepy stuff but in a really good way.

By Aurora Mitchell

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