We are less than ONE WEEK AWAY from the gates opening to Glastonbury Festival 2017! I’m even more excited and emotional than usual; maybe it’s the thought of there being no Glasto in 2018, which means I have to squeeze as much as possible into this one, knowing it’ll be two years before I get to come back. My packing is almost done, (see my packing list and essentials on my What to Pack post), I’ve downloaded the EE app, and now I’m starting to think about what bands/acts/artists I want to see over the 5 days…
For me, some of my greatest festival experiences have been watching a lesser known artist on a smaller stage. The vibe is a lot more intimate, and you really feel a part of something special. With the vast offerings of Glastonbury, the main way of finding these gems is to just take a stroll through the fields and follow your ears to where the music sounds good. If however, you’re a bit more of a planner, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite non-headliner acts you may not have heard on Radio 1, with links to their music on Spotify/Apple Music so you can hear for yourself before next week, and stage location and times for the festival if you fancy trying to stumble to find them. To mix things up a little, I’ve also asked some blogger friends for their recommendations, as I’m well aware my music taste is not going to cover everyone!
So let’s kick things off with…
Skinny Lister – Sunday 7.50pm – Avalon Stage
As an avid Frank Turner fan, I first came across Skinny Lister as Frank’s support act, and since then I’ve seen them 5 or 6 times. They’re a six piece folk band from London with a heavy Irish-style lilt, and they get the crowd going like nothing I’ve ever seen before. If you want to dance with strangers, drink from a passed-around-the-crowd ceramic jug filled with supposedly ale, and watch a man lift a double bass over his head during a song, only to swing it back down, cradle it like his long lost lover and continue playing without missing a beat, then Skinny Lister are the band for you.
Gentleman’s Dub Club – Sunday 8pm – The Glade, OR Sunday Midnight – The Truth Stage
Delving into the worlds of dub, ska and reggae emerge these Gents from Leeds. I can almost guarantee you’ve danced to High Grade (see above YouTube video) if you’ve been to a few festivals before. I think of them as the modern day answer to the Specials… a 9 piece band that will have you dancing along to trumpets and drums, and singing their refrains in no time. They will be one of the last bands I see at the festival this year as I skank along at Shangri-La in the early hours of Monday! Join me! You won’t regret it!
Krafty Kuts & A Skillz – Saturday 7pm – Arcadia
From the collaboration that brought you Tricka Technology, these two are my favourite DJs to see live. The masters of mixing and mashups, in the incredible setting of Arcadia’s huge spider, means this cannot be missed. Their “versus” style of live vinyl mixing means you’ll be jumping the whole time. Squeeze them in before your chosen Saturday headliner to set your night off!
Emily Barker – Friday 2.30pm – Acoustic Stage
If you’re after something a little more folksy and chilled, Emily Barker’s beautiful voice will transport you to another world on Friday afternoon at the Acoustic Stage. I first saw her with The Red Clay Halo, with whom she made four albums, but she’s back to her solo style. A fantastic singer songwriter I can’t recommend enough!
The Dhol Foundation – Saturday 11.15pm – Avalon Stage
The Dhol drum is a Punjabi drum worn over the body and struck from both ends. I came across these guys at Boomtown Fair last year and they were my favourite discovery! Everybody goes crazy dancing to these Bhangra beats, with so many different styles of music tied in, including Irish folk! You can’t help but move your feet. Perfect for getting you in the mood for an evening in Shangri-La afterwards. Try something a little different, and I promise you TDF will be one of your firm favourites of the weekend!
Too Many T’s – UNCONFIRMED but epic!
I couldn’t do a blog on smaller artists without mentioning my favourites who I’ve seen so many times, it’s Too Many T’s! It’s still unconfirmed whether they’re even playing at Glasto at all this year, I’ll update this page when we know! But these guys are just awesome. Ross, Leon and Savage Henry will make sure you have a hell of a time, and I’m sure you’ll see me down the front going mental! If you like hip hop, mad rap skills and dirty beats, you will enjoy the T’s. Likely to find them either at the Bimble Inn up the Park, potentially near the Avalon, or maybe at the Rum Shack in the Common. Here’s an awesome pic of TMT’s from the last time I saw them at Omeara in London:
And a few others not to miss!
Beans on Toast (Leftfield – Sat 7.30pm)
Will Varley (Avalon – Sat 5.10pm)
Hunee (NYC Downlow, Fri 1am)
The Blogger’s Suggestions
I asked a few of my fellow bloggers what their suggestions would be for smaller acts at Glasto and why. Here are their responses! Have a read and check out their blogs!
Hayley from Strangeness & Charm
The National and Biffy Clyro are two of my favourite bands. Not a lot of people seem to have heard of The National, but they’re amazing live.
Go and see Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes because even if you aren’t into punk music, you’ll be left spellbound by the show. Frank is one of the best frontmen around, and always creates the best atmosphere at shows getting everyone to participate whether you know and like their music or not.
I highly recommend checking out Matt Maltese and Mullally. I work with both of them and they’re very different but both hugely talented musicians.
Matt Maltese sings beautiful songs (some of them about the end of the world) whilst accompanying himself on the piano. He’s got an amazing voice.
Mullally has some really great summer music, and a captivating voice. He will be perfect to listen to whilst sipping on a fruity cider.
For me it’s all about the UK hip hop and grime being represented at the festival this year. My top pick has to be Kano the ultimate G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) his live performances are energetic, skillfull and mesmerizing. Be prepared to get in the thick of it if you go! His Mercury nominated album Made in the Manor sounds amazing live. Second up is Avelino. If you haven’t heard of him he’s the Young Fire to Wretch 32’s Old Flame, which was the title of their collab Mixtape which landed last year. His single Energy is just that and features both Stormzy and Skepta and had just been used on the FIFA18 ad! I haven’t seen this guy live yet but he’s on my list.
Kim of Kinsey’s Blog
Warpaint are an all-female line up who absolutely rock and are an antidote to the all-male headliners on the main stage yet again! Lisa Hannigan is possibly still best known for appearing on Damien Rice’s debut album but her stuff is whimsical with a sharp edge, and she has such a distinctive voice. I really recommend hanging out by random stages to see what you find. We saw She Drew The Gun on the Greenpeace stage last year and they’re already going on to bigger and better things.
New York Brass Band are always a highlight of the festival for me. They also seem to play everywhere so it’s always easy to see them. I think I saw them 3 times last year! (Twice by stumbling upon them)
Charley from www.captaincharley.net
The Correspondents are an absolute must if you’re looking for a fun time. Their music is a little hard to describe. It’s a little jungle, a little jazz and a little dub. The lead singer has some crazy moves! I’d also recommend Glass Animals, Little Dragon, King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizzard (what a band name!), Temples and Angel Olsen.
Wild Beasts have been one of my favourites bands for years but unfortunately never seemed to have made it big (not as big as they should be, anyway. They’re a really unique indie band and their songs are catchy with haunting vocals. They’re great live as well!
Elinor of Beach Hut Cook
Lucy Rose is an indie folk artist and sung backing tracks for Bombay Bicycle Club. Her style is gentle whimsical folk with a modern twist. Perfect balance to some of the louder more boisterous acts you may need recovering from earlier in the festival!!