Festival season may be over for one year but the new festival season is just around the corner. Gone are the days when music festivals only existed in the summertime while providing an excuse to go camping with your friends. Nowadays there's something happening somewhere every weekend of the year, and 2018's festival season kicks off on Friday with Rockaway Beach.
Now in its third year, Rockaway Beach takes place from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January at Butlin's in Bognor Regis. Spread across three stages featuring over 30 live artists and DJs as well as quizzes, artist Q&As and a selection of classic films from the archives. Its relocation to January, having previously taken place in October, may have raised a few eyebrows, but for just £85, including accommodation, there's more than enough going on here to entice punters out of winter hibernation.
DiS will be there spinning records all 3 days (come say hi!), and here's 10 acts we're particularly looking forward to seeing.
British Sea Power
(Saturday 13th, Centre @ 21:30)
Soon to be approaching their 20th anniversary - which probably makes most of us feel even older than we already are. British Sea Power are something of a national institution and one of the few bands who can still boast a rabid bunch of fanatics that follow them around the UK and abroad. They also boast one of the finest back catalogues around which should provide the perfect soundtrack to Saturday night.
(Friday 12th, Reds @ 15:30)
This Nottingham three-piece have been making a name for themselves with their explosive live show, not least because literally anything could happen while they're on stage. A recent venture to South Korea introduced them to a new legion of fans and with shows alongside Baba Naga, Sleaford Mods and Spring King already in the pipeline over the coming weeks, 2018 looks like it could very well be their year.
(Saturday 13th, Reds @ 18:15)
Sometimes keeping it simple works best, and in the case of Desperate Journalist sums them up perfectly. Influenced by the new wave element of post punk and the classier side of Britpop, they make spritely effervescent tunes that have seen them compared to Elastica, The Organ, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and The Only Ones, which I'm sure you'll agree is no bad thing.
(Sunday 14th, Reds @ 15:45)
This experimental but largely ambient three-piece finished 2017 on a high having released their excellent debut Atelo in October then spending the next two months touring it all around Europe. Having wowed those that witnessed their set at the last Rockaway Beach event in October 2016 it should come as little surprise they've been invited back a second time, and their soothing Sunday afternoon take on all things post-rock and beyond should provide a perfect antidote to the previous evening's hangover.
(Sunday 14th, Reds @ 18:15)
Helen Love live shows are about as rare as sunshine in January these days so why not put the two together here to provide a gleaming burst of summery pop. Having been ridiculously prolific in the late nineties with her hyperactive brand of Ramones-inspired indiepop, Swansea's most celebrated lo-fi act will be bringing some fizz for one night only to the sleepy seaside town of Bognor Regis. Expect bubble gum, glitter cannons, and stage invasions galore.
(Saturday 13th, Reds @ 12:00)
Having opened proceedings in style at last October's Ritual Union all dayer in Oxford, this Portsmouth outfit are expected to be one of the most sought after bands on the festival circuit this year. They've been compared to early (i.e. Syd Barrett era) Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, which kind of tells part of the story, but it's the mesmerising and at times chaotic nature of their live set that sets them apart from most of the other psych rock combos currently doing the rounds.
Peter Hook And The Light
(Sunday 14th, Centre @ 23:15)
As a founder member of both Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook needs no introduction. His playing style undoubtedly influenced pretty much every bass player that followed suit and both bands' back catalogues represent a touchstone in the history and development of rock music. Since his acromonious departure from New Order over a decade ago he's continued to play that back catalogue in flawless fashion with his band The Light and their Sunday night headline slot should provide the perfect festival finale.
(Saturday 13th, Reds @ 17:00)
Shrouded in mystery and dressed in loincloths, gowns and masks, Snapped Ankles might just be the best kept secret London has bestowed on us in many a year. Thrown together by a shared love of Can, Einsturzende Neubaten, The Fall, and pretty much anything obscure, their music blends all of the above in a rhythmic fashion making them sound totally unique amidst a cavalcade of ordinariness and plagiarists. Their set at last month's Transmusicales festival confounded all expectations and the smart money is on them doing the same again here.
(Friday 12th, Centre @ 21:30)
Five albums into their career and The Horrors continue to go from strength to strength. Arguably the most consistent UK guitar band of the last decade, this well deserved headline slot on Friday's Centre (main) Stage being the start of a 2018 that is almost certain to be packed with bill topping appearances all around the globe.
(Saturday 13th, Centre @ 23:15)
Expect a few tears to be shed in what will be Wild Beasts last ever festival performance. Having announced their split in September of last year, this Saturday night headline slot marks the first of four farewell shows over the next month. With such a distinguished back catalogue of gems spread across their fifteen years existence, this is one set not to be missed above all others. Cheerio chaps, you will be sorely missed.
Finally, here's a 25 song playlist featuring many of the artists scheduled to play this weekend.
For more information on this year's Rockaway Beach, including the full line-up and where to purchase tickets, please visit the festival's official website.