Posts Tagged ‘Dorset’

The Death Of Pop return with ‘700 Spas’

Dorset quartet The Death Of Pop are returning next month with a new EP, coming in the form of its first taster, new single ‘700 Spas’.

The track is the first preview of ‘Heads West’, which comes out via the Bristol-based Leisure Records on 16th March. A jangly, retro cut that barely scrapes the two-minute mark, ‘700 Spas’ is a sunny return that feels completely uninhibited.

“700 Spas is inspired by a spelling error that I saw a student at school make,” the band’s vocalist Angus James tells us over email.  “I started to consider how isolating it would be if you struggled with communication. The song is about knowing everyone around you is leaving you behind but being powerless to understand why or do anything about it.”

The band are set to play a headline show in London, on 28th April at Shacklewell Arms.

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End of the Road

We’re back for our 13th year at Larmer Tree Gardens, with EOTR 2018 taking place between August 30th-September 2nd 2018.
Headlining this year will be the incredible Vampire Weekend – announcing their first show in four years – and Feist, who will both make their long-awaited Larmer Tree debuts for their only UK festival appearances of the summer. Joining them will be the dazzling St. Vincent and our Thursday night headliners, Yo La Tengo, who will open #EOTR18.

Elsewhere we have the ever thrilling Ezra Furman, the mesmerising Julia Holter, and the legendary John Cale and Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco fame .

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End of the Road

It seems like only yesterday that we were high-fiving each other after last year’s magical festival. The Independent declared that it came “close to stealing Glastonbury’s crown” and it was voted ‘Best Festival’ by BBC 6 Music Drivetime listeners for the third year running, plus we won ‘Best Line-Up’ at the UK Festival Awards . Now we’re back in business and pleased to announce two of 2017’s headliners, along with many more phenomenal bands and performers.

WATCH OUR ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO NOW!

Tier 3 tickets are now on sale at £179, with no booking or transaction fees. Grab yours now!

Father John Misty will make his first ever UK festival headline appearance at End Of The Road. Since 2012, Joshua Tillman has emerged as a singular and idiosyncratic voice. With his polarising witty lyrics, his ‘intimately berserk’ live performances, and with a new album Pure Comedy due in April, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for the Woods Stage. Next up, Mac DeMarco returns with his delicately demented pop to play his only UK festival this year. Last seen presenting us with our tenth birthday cake on the Garden Stage before staging a full on cake fight, to say that we’re excited to have him all to ourselves is a massive understatement.

We’re honoured that multi-Grammy award winning Americana legend Lucinda Williams will be bringing her pioneering songwriting to Larmer Tree Gardens for the very first time. Following the universally acclaimed 2016 album The Ghosts Of Highway 20, End of The Road is the only festival where you will hear her spellbinding songs brought to life. Following Lucinda Williams’ lead will be rising country star Courtney Marie-Andrews and Julie Byrne’s startlingly beautiful voice will surely bring the festival to a standstill. Acclaimed newcomer Japanese Breakfast brings her blend of dark lyrics and blissed out pop melodies while Let’s Eat Grandma will keep things weird!

Ty Segall returns this year! Not one for half measures, his live show is an over-the-top howling assault on the senses that is as gloriously bewildering as it is exciting. Fellow punks Parquet Courts, who kindly provided the soundtrack to our excellent launch video, also make their second appearance at End Of The Road following their breathlessly exciting show in 2013.

We are proud to say the 2017 line up is also filled with thrilling new artists, including Car Seat Headrest whose recent album Teens of Denial is a heady mix of introversion and aggression, vulnerability and playfulness. Live he covers everyone from The Cars to Frank Ocean, as well as ripping through his own original material. California indie duo Foxygen will play for us at last. Their long awaited new album Hang features contributions from the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd, Matthew E. White, The Lemon Twigs and more.

Speaking of The Lemon Twigs … the ultimate critics pets have gone from playing New York bars to receiving praise from as far and wide as the Zombies to Questlove. They’ve already played with Foxygen and Car Seat Headrest, so we’re happy to keep the gang together at End of The Road 2017.

We are extremely excited to reveal more of this year’s line up, including our third headliner… Mr Bill Callahan. We have long wanted the ex-Smog man to play among the magical surroundings of Larmer Tree Gardens, so we are utterly thrilled that the seminal and singular songwriter will be joining the already exceptional line up, including Father John Misty, Mac DeMarco and Lucinda Williams, for his only UK festival appearance this year.

Tier 4 tickets are now on sale at £189, with no booking or transaction fees. Grab yours now!

We are also thrilled to announce shoegaze legends Slowdive – whose first album in 22 years is due out in May – will be joining us to headline the Big Top on Thursday night. They will be joined on Thursday by The Moonlandingz, fronted by two of Fat White Family – with Lias Saoud, proving a fantastically acerbic front man, perpetually on the verge of either collapse or combustion. They have to be seen live to be believed.

We like to keep things in the family at End of The Road, so this year we not only have the critically lauded Waxahatchee – AKA Katie Crutchfield, unofficial leader of the DIY indie punk scene – we also welcome her supremely talented sister Allison Crutchfield. Both are renowned for their captivating live shows so we’re very excited to have them both play at this year’s festival for the first time.

Also joining us for the first time we have the sublime Moses Sumney. We’ve been a long time fan since his star turn on Beck’s Song Reader – his version of “Title Of This Song” was a standout among many established artists who contributed, his voice being one of those remarkable instruments; rich gorgeous and effortless.

Psychedelic explorers Pond will be making a very welcome return to Larmer Tree Gardens, following their standout set in 2015. With their highly anticipated new album The Weather due in May, we can’t wait to see what they have in store this time around. Hopping across the ocean to neighbouring New Zealand, we have the bewitching talent of 4AD signed Aldous Harding, her bleak and beautiful eponymous debut album balancing fragility with raw charm.

Adding to the already packed list of exciting newcomers, we are thrilled to have the excellently named PWR BTTM dropping in on an unsuspecting Larmer Tree audience – turning gender politics into loud, infectiously positive, glorious rock music centred around what it means to be young and queer and confused. Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are poised to take over the airwaves with their charging drums, addictive bass lines and ridiculously catchy melodies. The fact their debut EP came out on Sub Pop says it all! We’re definitely set for a thrilling show. And a thrilling weekend all round!

END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL 2017 LINE UP ADDITIONS:

Bill Callahan, Slowdive, Japandroids, Pond, Baxter Dury, Waxahatchee, The Moonlandingz, Moses Sumney, Timber Timbre, Alex Cameron, Daniel Romano, Blanck Mass, Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz, Aldous Harding, Mdou Moctar, PWR BTTM, The Surfing Magazines, Jonathan Toubin (DJ), The Surfing Magazines, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Lowly, H. Hawkline, Lowtide, Tides Of Man

END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL 2017 LINE UP:

Father John Misty
Mac DeMarco
Band Of Horses
Lucinda Williams
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Amadou & Mariam
Ty Segall
Real Estate
Parquet Courts
Perfume Genius
Alvvays
Foxygen
Car Seat Headrest
Jens Lekman
The Lemon Twigs
Deerhoof
Gold Panda
Nadine Shah
Bill Ryder-Jones
Ryley Walker
Girl Band
Marika Hackman
Courtney Marie Andrews
All We Are
Julia Jacklin
Sinkane
Romare
Vaudou Game
Let’s Eat Grandma
Margaret Glaspy
Kelly Lee Owens
Michael Chapman
Brix & The Extricated
John Smith
Japanese Breakfast
Julie Byrne
OMNI
IDER
Nap Eyes
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Amanda Bergman
Nadia Reid
Tasseomancy
Pixx
Girl Ray
Ultimate Painting
Shovels & Rope
John Moreland
Gabriella Cohen
HMLTD
Gulp
Shame
Lisa O’Neill
Xylouris White
Goat Girl
Lankum
Scott Hirsch
W. H. Lung
The Honey Hahs
DUDS
J. Bernardt
Legends Of Country
Mega Bog
The Spook School
Creatures
LISTEN TO THE LINE UP IN FULL ON SPOTIFY

More acts to be announced so keep your eyes on our website

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Which festival books the best lineup this year it for me it certainly was The End Of The Road Festival at The Larmer Tree Gardens scenery with its lush greenery, grotto’s and follies, roaming peacocks, squarking parrots is all breathtaking. But then add in attractions like papier mache sculptures of badgers and foxes, crafting workshops and yoga classes, a Secret Postal Office for delivering private messages even to the bands , it’d be hard to argue that there’s a festival anywhere that pays attention to the little details the way that End of the Road does. It remains one of the most breathtaking sites on the UK festival scene, and it’s hard to imagine anyone not walking up to the stunning Garden Stage for the first time and being anything less than blown away by it.

With second and suprise performances from the likes of Ezra Furman, Flamingods, and Weaves, while others featured unbilled additions like Wild Beast and Jon Hopkins. There were also plenty of artists making their UK debut Pinegrove, Lucy Dacus  or returning after long absences Broken Social Scene,

Tonight, the site feels pristine starting with for the first time ever a main-stage line up on the Thursday night. this year the mammoth Wood Stage was open to welcome one of the year’s most anticipated acts, The Shins. The upside of this change of course being more music, the downside being that many of the festivals punters haven’t actually arrived yet, and the stage slightly dwarfs the in situ crowd. None the less the crowd are treated to two excellent sets, starting with returning heroes, Teleman The London quartet have had a triumphant year, releasing their second album, Brilliant Sanity.

The headline act for their first gig in the UK in four years, is, of course, The Shins. And once he’s settled into the set, frontman James Mercer reveals he’s done some undercover reconnaissance: “I took a walk around earlier,” he says.” This is a beautiful place, and we’re really, totally happy to be here. This is our first proper show in years.”

But there is also something celebratory and consistently joyous about the Portlanders’ return to major live performance, here at the dying days of the British summer. The Shins open politely with the clean strikes of “Kissing The Lipless”, from 2003’s Chutes Too Narrow, before Wincing The Night Away’s “Phantom Limb” kicks in, its greater sonic range and insistent melody visibly lifting both crowd and band. There is a new album due soon. But on this evidence, new material will be drip-fed rather than force-fed to a crowd comfortable with the back catalogue. For those hoping for exclusives, much of this set is heritage Shins, drawn across their four extant albums.

Mercer is a genuine, warm frontman, and following “Girl Inform Me”, there’s spine enough to introduce “some new stuff”. He’s delighted at the whoops in response. This new song may or may not be called “Figment Of Imagination” (that’s the hook lyric, but Mercer has never been one for an obvious title), and it’s a curious piece of big music, “Figments” has a stop-start bounce, a pert, pogoing melody. There’s experimental drama, too to another theatrical new number – title missed, lost or unspoken which has mouth-twisting lyrics about Paul Simon’s “50 Ways” being wrong, bubblegum woos, and some on-the-beat head-nodding like McCartney circa Hard Day’s Night.

The Shins grow in confidence with each song, powering past “Sleeping Lessons”; “Australia”, “Saint Simon”, Mine’s Not A High Horse”. The banter gets better. Mercer takes his shirt off to wolf-whistles; some muso doodling is jokingly dismissed as “some Richard Marx shit – maybe that could be a hit!”. You can hear the band tighten itself during the set. It’s on the woozy “Sea Legs” – and, tellingly – on Port Of Morrow’s brilliant “Rifle’s Spiral” where this newer incarnation excels; these songs’ greater sonic range filling the stage, and the air.

Suddenly, they are gone, offering “Caring Is Creepy” before leaving the stage as a unit. We are made to wait – and wait – for an encore. First a sheepish Mercer ham-fists the intro to “Your Pilgrim” (“I haven’t played this song in like eight years”), before 2014’s “So Now What” – widescreen pop from the Zach Braff movie Wish I Was Here. Then what many here were waiting for: “New Slang” – the song that appears to have changed many people’s lives, not just those who fell in love with The Shins circa Garden State. By the final bars of “Simple Song”, the audience – some young, some old(er), some Richard Marx fans, apparently – are streaming back to the bars, and the neat tents, and The Shins have passed the test.

“Thank you so much. Have fun, you guys”. Winningly, James Mercer says farewell. The word is well and truly out that Ezra Furman is doing a set of cover versions in the tiny Tipi Tent, as a suprise show.

The Friday the first proper day of the festival began with an explosive set from Toronto band Weaves specialize in making those deconstructed songs sound smooth and engaging — whether it was the charmingly ebullient “Coo Coo” or the careening “Two Oceans”. Seeing Burke share a mic to duet with bassist Zach Bines returned the feeling of ease, the two barely breaking a sweat while nearly cracking open the roof of the Big Top tent. the set doesn’t quite catch fire but their jerky rhythms are just a so arresting, whilst singer Jasmyn Burke is a magnetic stage presence and a wonderful singer,  “Hulahoop”, Jasmyn Burke lounged across the top of the Big Top stage monitors, as if their unpredictable, twitchy art rock was no more challenging than some piano bar jazz. That sort of understated confidence made their set stand out even more than their music already did, both their songs and those of fellow Torontonians Dilly Dally a little rougher around the edges who followed immediately after.

The aforementioned Ezra Furman is taking to the tiny piano stage, essentially a fake front room set up in the wooded part of the site not far from the Garden Stage, resplendent with flamingo wallpaper, arm chairs and a piano. Furman took to the stage in a red dress, that looks like it cost far more than the $5 one he mentioned in hit single Restless Year, it’s a stripped back affair, Ezra taking the opportunity to, let some of the “children out of the basement” that don’t normally get an outing. It’s a wonderful way to see another side to an artist, who’s live shows with backing band The Boyfriends, tend to the more energetic and debauched side of his musical personality.

Eleanor Friedberger begins her End Of The Road set with a shameless and endearing overture to the crowd. “I’m gonna get this out of the way so you’ll be the most sympathetic audience in the world,” she says after her bassist and drummer follow her onto the leafy Garden stage. “It’s my 40th birthday and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend it.” Outside of one of indie rock’s finest celebrating a landmark birthday, Friday at EOTR offers much cause for celebration. While many mainstream festivals whine unconvincingly about how hard it is to find female artists to fill out their bills, the Wiltshire weekender has quietly stacked the schedule (and two of its four headline slots) with women.

Friedberger has made her name on a speak-sing vocal that evokes Patti Smith’s keen angles. It’s in full force this afternoon, and even more versatile than usual: she’s sharp on “That Was When I Knew”, and keening on “Evergreen” from the Fiery Furnaces’ EP. She plays a number of Furnaces cuts today, including “I’m Gonna Run”, with its flinty vocals and dissonant runs of guitar, which sets up a fine contrast with her more lyrical solo material. The heartfelt plea of “Sweetest Girl”  “stop crying so I won’t start” – offers sharp relief to the somber bass, and “Scenes From Bensonhurst” is full of bitter recriminations. Lyrical mood aside, she looks delighted as she delivers every lick and growl; even more so when a cake appears from the wings and the crowd sings her happy birthday.

Whitney are proving to be one of the year’s break-out alternative bands, with debut album Light Upon The Lake receiving near universal critical acclaim. The band, who formed when Smith Westerns split up and are fronted by former Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s drummer Julien Ehlrich, the band deal in harmony-laden americana country, and seem a perfect fit for the festival. All of which makes it slightly surprising that it’s not quite as packed on the Garden Stage as we’d imagined. The set though is sublime, from discovering the singer is also the drummer, to just generally swooning at their sun-kissed sound, they’re a band who show little let up in quality, and look destined for big things , Make sure you catch them at the Bodega later this year with Julia Jacklin as support.

Money and their early evening set at the Big Top brimmed with the type of bruised, envenomed tunes that made January’s Suicide Songs so compelling. And, true to form, frontman Jamie Lee had a fair share of that dark-cloud perspective and maudlin sense of humor at their set in the Big Top. “We supply what I believe to be a healthy dose of cynicism and negativity to the world, and we get back the opposite,” Lee smirked. “I don’t understand you guys.”

The ensuing “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky” felt cracked wide open, his voice soaring just as the lyrics sank to the floor with a poisonous thud. “Have you seen the disgrace?” he began, imagining later being buried while the drunks sing. Joined by a cello and a violin, the band’s dramatic songs swooned and swayed even further, and the crowd gave back an equally added bit of positivity. Perhaps Lee will never understand them.

Where Friedberger employs subtlety, Margo Price‘s main stage set is all power. She belts out “Tennessee Song”, and dedicates Mickey Newbury‘s “Why You Been Gone So Long” to the driving drizzle. Her set might be the most pure country moment in EOTR’s history; the crowd take to it tentatively, with a few men in Uncut’s earshot mocking her Nashville pronunciation, but they’re eventually won over by Price’s generous performance. She covers songs by her friends, does a serious vocal turn on Gram Parsons‘ “Ooh Las Vegas”, and capers through “Four Years Of Chances”, a song about a useless bloke who can’t see the prize in front of him. “I don’t put out the shit that gets bought and sold,” she sings on “This Town Gets Around”, confronting sleazy Music City corruption. Price’s debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, released through Jack White‘s Third Man Records earlier this year, made her the first artist to reach Number 1 on the US country charts without making the country radio airplay charts: she’s slowly inverting the genre’s traditional popularity paradigm, as well as winning over a country that’s been notoriously resistant to Tennessee’s twang. Anyone not yet sold should be converted by rollicking “Hurtin’ On The Bottle”, her ebullient closer.

Catching fifteen minutes of Cat Power, who’s exquisite sounding. Before heading over to see, probably one of our favourite bands of the year, Mothers. Sadly with a very rude talkative crowd, the Athens quartet never really hit their stride, A slightly disappointing end to an otherwise wonderful days music.

So the first proper day of music at this year’s End Of The Road festival is over, with some great sets from the likes of Cat Power and Margo Price.

Cat Power “The band’s easy warmth gives the evening a welcoming air even if Chan Marshall’s not necessarily playing all the greatest hits…”

Eleanor Friedberger, Margo Price and Savages make the audience complicit in their terrifying seduction, luring them into their waves of choked noise…”

A few hours later on the main stage, Savages make the audience complicit in their terrifying seduction, luring them into their waves of choked noise. Front person Jehnny Beth swaggers and whirls her arms during “Sad Person” (so much so that the elbows on her suit appear to have burst from past exertions), and thrusts into every word of “City’s Full“, amplifying its lascivious worldview. “Because you’re so nice we’re going to play you a love song,” she tells the crowd before “When In Love”, which initially comes off more like a threat than a comfort. “But don’t worry because it’s a Savages love song. So it will be kinda loud and exciting. We need you to come closer for this, because it’s cold and we need you to be warm.” The audience edges towards the barrier; close enough to see bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Faye Milton earn their titles as Savages’ MVPs, not least on debut single “Husbands”, which still sounds like an attempt to pile-drive through the depths of hell, almost three years after its initial release.

Festivals book Savages on the regular for good reason. With only two full-lengths to their name, the London act find harmony between love and fury, steering their music straight into a wall with terrifying speed while reviving the belief that love should be lived and expanded, not bashed or belittled. They bring those feelings to life each time they play. There’s never a shortage of intensity. In fact, they embrace that, scowling onstage or singer Jehnny Beth climbing into the audience several times in a set.

Savages are one of the few acts who exceed in their ability to entertain set after set, all without changing their setlist. The Woods stage crowd was given an especially powerful set when the band launched into a cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream”. Their pounding volume was turned down low, the song’s emotive words left to stand on their own, an extension of their musical beliefs at heart in the most tender of ways. Beth shared a few words about the passing of Alan Vega this year and paused to remember him, battling with a lump in her throat just like the audience did. Without losing a beat, they went into “Adore” right after, bringing most, if not all of the crowd, to a teary-eyed state.

Leading on unconventional vocalists is one of End Of The Road’s great strengths. While Animal Collective confound the main stage with their avant-garde burbling, Cat Power leads the second stage through a set of low-key songs that take flight on her iconic and extraordinary vocals, which require no introduction. Her band’s primary mode is steady low-key soul; tremors of guitar and scuffed splashes of drums guided by her impressionist lyrics. The easy warmth gives the evening a welcoming air even if she’s not necessarily playing all the greatest hits. And if her reputation for unsteady performances gives her set a slightly anxious air, it’s unfounded this evening, as she yearns through songs mostly taken from her famed covers records.

The artist born Chan Marshall opens with a few tracks from 2008’s covers album Jukebox: “New York”, a soulful ballad made famous by Liza Minnelli, and “Lord, Help The Poor And Needy”, popularised by Mississippi blues artist Jessie Mae Hemphill. But she soon dips back into her own back catalogue with Moon Pix’s “Metal Heart”, which rolls on tumbles of piano and a subtly crashing chorus. She reimagines Nico’s “These Days” as a languid, expressive Stevie Nicks ballad, and dips back into Jukebox for a thrashed rendition of “Woman Left Lonely”.

Marshall continues her unconventional takes on classic songs: John Phillip Baptiste and George Khoury’s “Sea Of Love” is tender to the point of being unrecognisable, and feeds perfectly into the soft chords of “Bully” from her 2012 album Sun. That album’s “Nothin’ But Time” (originally a duet with Iggy Pop) offers one of her set’s most ferocious moments, but mellows into the soft soul of “The Moon”, from 2006’s The Greatest. There’s the sense that Marshall could have drawn from her many original albums, but her gratitude for the large crowd for sticking by her is palpable and affecting. “You guys are fucking amazing,” she entreats. “Thank you – you have no idea. Thank you, thank you.”

As End Of The Road continues,  acts coming up on Saturday include Bat For Lashes, Goat, Jeffrey Lewis and Meilyr Jones.

“How’s the festival been? So far we’ve only seen the backstage,” Julia Jacklin joked near the start of her early afternoon Saturday set. “I had the falafel wrap,” chimed in drummer Ben Stephens. “It was really good.”

That good-natured back-and-forth runs throughout Jacklin’s songs as well, the Australian singer-songwriter delivering a strong, thoughtful set despite having left the Into the Great Wide Open festival in the Netherlands less than a day earlier. Songs like the waltzing, expressive “Leadlight” stole the show, Jacklin and her band light on their toes and keeping things upbeat despite the low energy in the room,While the biggest reaction is for recent single, Swimming Pool, the stand out moment is the closing track, losing her backing band, bar some lovely harmonies from her drummer, the version of the title from her upcoming album, Don’t Let The Kids Win is spectacularly good. Half an hour or so with Julia is a rather excellent way to start your day.  after a few songs, no one could deny their warm Sydney charm.

Encircled by rococo Victorian temples and a dutifully tended laurel hedge, The Garden Stage at The End Of The Road festival is well suited to acts of a pastoral stripe. And so it is, on a muggy Saturday lunchtime, that Rough Trade’s Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, ensnare passers-by with delicate, woozy acoustic folk, Clarke’s classically folkish voice drifting like smoke over the trees. The duo are a rare find; reinforced by a spare, sensual cover of Nick Drake’s “Time Had Told Me”. This is dedicated to Joe Boyd, who apparently passed the act over for a Drake celebration night. “Here’s what you could have won, Joe,” Clarke tells the punters, her pristine phrasing intimately recalling Sandy Denny.

Over at the Big Top, The Big Moon

 

lucydacus01liorphillips End of the Road 2016 Festival Review: The 20 Best Moments

The mass rush for cover also results in the Tipi Tent being jam-packed for Lucy Dacus and the next act Frankie Cosmos,

There’s a great buzz surrounding singer songwriter Lucy Dacus both in the UK and back in her American home — and her afternoon set at End of the Road felt like a coming-out party. “I’m Lucy Dacus, from Richmond, Virginia,” she smiled softly, clearly not expecting the frantic whoop from one corner of the crowd. “Is somebody here really from Virginia?!” she replied.

This was, after all, her first show outside of the United States (“It exceeds expectations already,” she insisted). The stunning “Direct Address” perfectly complemented her debut in front of an entirely new audience. “I don’t believe in love at first sight,” she repeated over dark, warm acoustic guitar loops, eventually delivering the stunning closer: “Maybe I would if you looked at me right.” After her excellent UK debut, many more will be looking at Dacus, even beyond her fellow Richmonders.

Intimacy like that in Frankie Cosmos songs often doesn’t translate well at music festivals. Competing stages wash over the quiet volume, mumbled lyrics become undecipherable, and the general spirit of lo-fi feels at odds with the sheer vibrancy of a gathering that large. And yet, Frankie Cosmos worked the Tipi Stage on Saturday to their benefit, turning a rainy day into a cozy gathering of friends, everyone shoulder to shoulder to get that bedroom pop comfort.

While the band rolled through the majority of their new album, this year’s excellent release “Next Thing”, the highlight came from frontwoman Greta Kline’s subdued enthusiasm. “Since this is the most people we’ve ever played to, we’re going to whip out a new song,” she said at one point with a grin, leaning into her guitar and muttering, “So dumb…”), but the best was her fascination with the band’s newest member, Tobias, a small stuffed rabbit . During one song, she walked to the side of the stage, bent over, and then returned with the creature in hand, raising him up to the ceiling, Simba style. Eventually, she set him back down, but later placed him in her elbow while singing. “That was ‘Tobias’ featuring Tobias,” she told the crowd. “That was his first moment in the spotlight. You saw it here first, folks.” It was a brief but charming moment that made the set, because surely, there’s no better way to bring bedroom pop songs to life than to bring the bedroom onstage with you.

Next up in the Big Top it was Shopping who provided the best give-and-receive gifting experience. The London DIY act traveled a short distance to the fest and seemed to have all the energy left to burn because of it. After releasing two albums in 2015, the band sat on a heap of new material to choose from, but the songs short run-times made for a stuffed set that fans — and boy, were there fans — were eager to hear. More noticeably, they were eager to dance to them, and guitarist Rachel Aggs was the one to show how it’s done.

Like it’s sung in “Why Wait”, Aggs wants to do it her way, and she does with enough spunk to get you asking why you aren’t, too. The trio kept things simple, pushing a catchiness out of their instruments that made dancing easy. Aggs’ high kicks and air punches saw her curls flying around her head, at the festival, she was a dancing role model for all.

Then rain. The weather has broken by the time the suspiciously talented Meilyr Jones take the same stage.  If you like your harpsichord staccato, your melodies intricate, and your chamber pop a little twisted, the he former Race Horses frontman will interest you deeply. The set is culled largely from this spring’s elegant solo debut, 2013, which references a range of baroque-pop touch points from Scott Walker to Plush to Beirut. Backed by a crack band, he runs straight into the indie soul revue of opener “How To Recognise A Work Of Art”. He croons that biting refrain (“It’s a fake! It’s  fake!”) with intensity and glee, all teeth and charisma. “Passionate Friend” is similarly driven, somehow blending straightahead indie pop with a Gregorian lilt, and the kinky wit of The Super Furries.

An Aberystwyth man, Jones is unimpeachably Welsh, and when introducing the well-crafted “Olivia”, he muses on the fact that it is the nation’s most popular girls’ name. “I don’t think that’s true,” he coos. “Maybe in England…”

He’s music may be intense, but Meilyr Jones is a funny, apparently hyper-confident stage presence, introducing the band six times over while prone on the floor. His articulate, ambitious songs are framed alternately with crunching guitar, keening violin, Bacharach piano movements and parping trumpet. That his trumpeter is sporting a Frank Zappa t-shirt is relevant:  Jones’ music displays a compositional eclecticism that only falters during an extended jazz jam, whose labyrinthine twists include a quick stab at the riff from Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”. B-side “Equal In Love” is a hushed, particular highlight, arch yet aching. Despite the rain, the crowd thickens steadily, led by a vanguard of fans who can mouth lyrics referencing Byron, Rome and birds singing Bach. “Fucking beautiful” calls a bloke from the audience. “Thank you,” comes the genuinely touched response.

Durham-punks, Martha  win over a large crowd with a set of vibrant enthusiasm, and big pop hooks. They might not seem the most obvious fit for End Of The Road, but lifting tracks from both their critically acclaimed latest effort, Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart, and debut album Courting Strong, their winning blend of heartbreaking lyrics and unforgettable choruses goes down a storm.

In a festival high on swooning singer-songwriters and soaked to the bone in the English afternoon mist, Durham emo punk band Martha sure felt like a shot in the arm. In fact, it inspired the first crowd surf I’d seen of the entire festival, coming during the absolute jam “Ice Cream & Sunscreen”.County Durham’s indie-punk tykes Martha aren’t exactly the biggest band on the line-up, but perform to a packed crowd in the small, typically sleepy Tipi Tent on Saturday evening. Not bad considering they’re loud and punk as fuck, and this is a festival once known for being folky and beardy.

Their blend of massive pop punk hooks and intelligent, emotionally resonant lyrics on tracks like “Chekhov’s Hangnail”, “Goldman’s Detective Agency”, and the superb “Dust, Juice, Bones and Hair” garnered plenty of fist-pumping, moshing, and sing-alongs, perhaps the most joyous set of the weekend. JC Cairns, Daniel Ellis, Naomi Griffin, and Nathan Stephens-Griffin each took their turn at the mic, boosting the sense of community clearly felt by the pockets of young super-fans and the older onlookers who just stumbled into the Tipi stage out of the rain alike.

With a murky day giving way to a soggy night, we risk heading out into the darkness for a set from M. Ward, which is solid, if unspectacular. His new material sounds like some of his strongest yet, and while not the most captivating performer, his voice remains as smoothly enticing as ever.

It’s overcast and rainy and we’re in a muddy field, so it seems appropriate to go full Wicker Man with a main stage performance from GOAT, whose pagan schtick and psych-rock songs would be excuse enough to make a sacrifice to the rain gods. Also, one guitarist wears a white, oval-shaped mask, making it look like ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison has swapped instruments and joined some kind of meditation retreat.

Fifteen minutes or so before Ezra Furman and The Boy-Friends take the Garden Stage as Saturday’s headline act, the PA is pushing out some high gloss soul-pop. Chic, Donna Summer, The Jackson 5, OutKast’s “Hey Ya” and Prince. Even Britney’s “Toxic” gets an airing, and it’s pretty wise programming. The crowd is heavy and there is certainly an ‘up’ vibe here in among the trees, a clammy wet night after a sodden afternoon. The expectation is fun. They want energy, rather than introspection.

Ezra Furman’s been playing impromptu spots across the festival, but this is his scheduled headlining slot. There is a genuine clamour around this artist right now, and you feel it in the audience as he makes the entrance, back to the masses, in cocktail dress, pearls, and Jayne Mansfield stockings. His most albums Day Of The Dog and Perpetual Motion People are intense, enveloping experiences, for sure, but it’s on stage where this guy really shows what matters to him. That’s the raw, visceral, unexpected thrill of a live show, feeding off the energy from the sea of heads beyond him.

“Teddy I’m Ready” – from the Bella Union EP ”Big Fugitive Life” released in July – is where he begins the assault. Dedicated to Mississippi man Ted Hawkins, it’s a biting speed-freak piece of rock’n’roll, and immediately, there is a little bit of mayhem. There are an explosion of influences in Ezra Furman’s music: 50s Cadillac rock’n’roll, southern soul, windmilling power pop, and, the filthy punk attack of 80s forebears The Violent Femmes and The Gun Club.

The Boy-Friends are a great, tight, muscular band, with saxophonist Tim Sandusky a focal point and driving force for some heavy, hungry music. He’s Clarence Clemons to Furman’s Bruce, and the E-Street Band is a useful, if overused reference point. There is a feel of soul revue here, the brass honk – for that is the only permissible word to use – brings the party in every song. 

As a frontman, Furman can magnetise his punters, with a mixture of intense confessional, and genuine right-back-atcha affection. “We’re gonna play some stuff we’re not so sure about,” Furman announces, but they sound pretty confident from here. “At The Bottom Of The Ocean” from Day Of The Dog dances on its twisted Kurt Vonnegut lyric and punishing Bo Diddley backbeat. The take it down a step with the Swordfishtrombones shake of “And Maybe God Is A train”. It’s a great version and Furman feels the lyric, intimately: “And maybe God is a boy, kneeling down in dirty gardens/And taking bugs apart with his hands/And maybe God is a boy, in a social situation/Trying to be tough like a man.” His voice gets hoarser and thinner over the show – hey, it’s got to be hard to keep this up, this long.

They accelerate through the back catalogue – “My Zero” and “Lousy Connection” fill the air, “ I’m Just A Little Piece Of Trash…” gets some genuine whoopage – until the clock must get punched. “Listen,” he implores, rather breathlessly, “I just wanna say that this festival, this country, is the greatest reception I’ve ever had in my life. THANK YOU FOR NOT DYING BEFORE TONIGHT!”

It’s a brave headline set that expects people to play along with the concept, but Bat For Lashes’ Saturday night performance is so naturally inviting that the specifics of her new album almost seem irrelevant. The Bride is a narrative about a woman jilted at the altar after her groom perishes on the road, which sounds significantly more bleak than Natasha Khan’s luxurious musical interpretation thereof.

This is Khan’s fourth record, and its two predecessors prioritised bangers over ballads, not least Two Suns’ Ivor Novello-nominated “Daniel” and The Haunted Man’s “All Your Gold”. Where those songs were notably ebullient, Khan infuses The Bride’s spectral ballads with a classic Carpenters-like sensibility, filled with tumbling melodies and soothing vocals. Her melodies are instantly magnetic and seductive, not least the languid “In God’s House”, and “Sunday Love”, where her ghostly intonation meets stuttering percussion.

“Sleep Alone” is glinting and lovely, and Khan prefaces “Travelling Woman” with a tribute to her stage predecessors Goat. The Bride bonus track “Clouds” is delicate, as is “Close Encounters”, a swooping thing that heralds the Spector-ish “What’s A Girl To Do” and the synthetic tremor of “Glass”. The pace picks up with Goonies-indebted “Daniel”, and then dips back down with “Laura”, a ballad that encapsulates Khan’s aptitude for balancing dark and light, The fullest realisation of her concept comes when a man proposes live on stage; his partner says yes.

Brian Christinzio, aka BC Camplight, was meant to be here a year earlier. Following the release of his superb return from the brink album, How To Die In The North, a freak leg injury resulted in Brian failing to meet his work permit requirements and being kicked out of the country; without wanting to get too political, the home office clearly don’t have much musical taste. Thankfully Brian is now able to resume his career and life in the UK, and there’s a celebratory nature to his set. Dressed in a large hat and dark glasses, we honestly have no idea what Brian looks like, but he sounds fabulous, and is thoroughly entertaining company. There’s a couple of new tracks, which bode well for where his music is going next, and it’s arguably the most triumphant (and booziest) set of the weekend.

Elsewhere on the site Wild Beasts are playing a surprise set, John Hopkins is DJing, Saturday’s entertainment once again shows what an eclectic, wonderful and joyous weekend End Of The Road remains.

with a suprise and a second set from The Big Moon in the late night Tipi Stage show. Followed by a scorching red hot from Louisana band The Seratones.

Sunday the last day of the festival started with New Jersey band Pinegrove and The Leaf Library. Playing tracks largely lifted from their excellent recent album, Daylight Versions, they’re something of a revelation, we knew they were good before, but with a beefed up speaker system, and a slot on the main stage, they grow into their surroundings and deliver a truly excellent set, and a perfect start to the day’s proceedings.

It doesn’t seem like it’ll be the case for long, but for now, Pinegrove have been slotting into early afternoon performances at their festival stops. “We’re peppy for the early crowd,” grinned frontman Evan Stephens Hall; and he was ready to prove it, turning even a line like “Do you want to die?” on the ensuing “Size of the Moon” into an upbeat anthem.

The New Jersey outfit tore through a good deal of the excellent album Cardinal , including a track from the “UK reissue bonus disc,” the excellent “Paterson + Leo”. Throughout the set, Hall fought through a cough (“I have allergic bronchitis; I’ll tell you more about that later if you want to know”) to hit all the highs in the group harmonies on tunes like “Aphasia” and “Old Friends”, further proving their cheery attitude and musical muscle,

Over on The Garden Stage, Imarhan bring a taste of Northern Mali to Dorset. Their infectious rhythms and distorted electric guitars bring the crowd to their feet, even if the bands sense of rhythm isn’t quite matched by their crowds dance moves.

ezrafurmansecretshow04liorphillips End of the Road 2016 Festival Review: The 20 Best Moments

“When I play as I do with my usual band, we want to have fun — which is why we don’t play soul-crushingly depressing songs,” Ezra Furman said in a low-slung waver, though smiling. “Which makes me soul-crushingly depressed when I think about it.” He proceeded to play a song he insisted was so sad it’d make many people cry or leave. “Watch You Go By” (from last year’s excellent Perpetual Motion People ) indeed brought more than a few tears, but no one was going to leave while this song remained.

Though he performed with the Boy-Friends on the Tipi stage for a Thursday surprise set and Saturday at the Garden Stage, he popped up for a third performance at the all-surprises Piano stage, standing alone in the charming living room-esque space. Furman also compared his songs to children that he unfortunately has to keep in cages, some longer than others because they don’t fit the settings. He has enough stunners to unleash three completely unique sets, letting the right kids out of the cages for his surroundings. And in the subtle, resonant, acoustic set at the Piano Stage, his saddest, sweetest, most intimate children ran free in the charming, old living room in the woods.

Kevin Morby // By Nina Corcoran

Kevin Morby’s album Singing Saw has been one of the most well received records of the year. End Of The Road marked the end of a huge touring period for Kevin and his band, and they’re unsurprisingly slick, and produce an excellent rendition of many of the tracks from that album, plus some of his previous output.

For Kevin Morby , the End of the Road really was the end of the road. “Last show of our tour,” he sighed. “Very happy to be at the End of the Road.” Rather than wear and tear, the psych folk artist and his band seemed glad to know they could use their last reserves in full, empty the tank on one last blowout.

The best recipient of that blast of energy was the already wiry “Harlem River”, the smoky intensity burning a little more intensely. Spider-leg extended technique guitar lines plucked and poked around Morby’s vocals, which floated like embers from a campfire. “I Have Been to the Mountain” followed later, perhaps the highlight of the set’s more upbeat tone, but nothing topped the intensity of “Harlem River”.

It’s still a wonderful set, and well received by the large crowd who have gathered.

brokensocialscene08liorphillips End of the Road 2016 Festival Review: The 20 Best Moments

“We’re Broken Social Scene and we’re coming back!” Kevin Drew insisted multiple times during the band’s set. That proclamation was partially tied to the fact that the band hadn’t played the UK since 2011, but also to the fact that they’re preparing for their first record since 2010.The first UK show in five years from Broken Social Scene was always going to be quite special, and that they draw one of the weekend’s biggest crowds is no surprise. What is slightly more surprising is just how great they sound. It’s easy to forget just how brilliant their four albums to date were, whilst their live show, featuring a revolving cast of what seems an almost endless number of brilliant musicians is a really spectacular thing.

The crowd showed the appropriate level of appreciation for their return, roaring for tracks like “Fire Eye’d Boy”, “Ibi Dreams of Pavement”, and “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl”. Brendan Canning high-kicked around the stage, Justin Peroff smacked away at the kit, the wall of guitars clashed and harmonized, and the horn section hit hard. But Drew and co. were interested in more than getting attention for themselves, repeatedly insisting that they were here for the audience, not the other way around.

“This is therapy time, you got a problem you’re gonna leave it here, you got issues you’re gonna leave it here,” Drew proclaimed, leading everyone in a group scream … or roar if you did it like me. Though I’m sure expelling the political and financial angst of the moment was important for the UK residents, the crowd didn’t need much encouragement to scream, as excited as they were for the return of Broken Social Scene. Coming back? They never left.

Nick Kivlen’s guitar arpeggios seemed as quick and sharp as a lightning bolt, but apparently they were strong enough to bust his amp. After a song with a particularly striking guitar riff, Sunflower Bean needed to do a quick-change on the amp, sticking bassist/vocalist Julia Cumming with the task of making small talk with the crowd to fill the space. “Talking on stage is not my strong suit,” she stated, matter of factly.

Luckily, the gear was swapped in a minute at most, and she could get right back to what is her strong suit: kicking ass on the bass. She’d go from deep knee bends to rapid pogoing, all while going through an improvised freakout jam. Jacob Faber splashed at the cymbals, Kivlen howled through his feedback, and Cumming thundered away in increasing spirals on the explosive “I Was Home”.

joanna newsom end of the road

Behind Joanna Newsom and her four-piece band hangs a giant replica of the artwork from last year’s Divers, her fourth album. Created by artist Kim Keever, the piece was created by pouring different coloured inks into an aquarium diorama, and photographing the moment the pigments burst into the water. Despite the faintly apocalyptic image of giant clouds appearing to engulf a forest, the backdrop offers a distinctly more heavenly vision than the real life night sky on the final night of End Of The Road, which is pitch black and drizzling heavily. “You guys are very brave and awesome to be here right now in the cold and the rain!” says Newsom in the first of many weather-based entreats to the crowd. The Californian in her seems concerned that we’re freezing in the mild chill – but then, most of us are only trying to wield beers and soggy cigarettes, not claw out complex meters on a giant stringed instrument. At any rate, on opener “Bridges And Balloons”, the soft patter of raindrops seems to syncopate perfectly with Newsom’s ornate harp figure; not only can she bend intellect and musicianship to her will, but the natural world too, apparently.

The decade elapsed since the release of Newsom’s debut album hasn’t dimmed the awe of seeing her play live; not just obvious feats, like the way she seamlessly flits between piano and harp on Divers opener “Anecdotes”, but her supreme knack for intensity. That song’s complex tapestry of mandolin (courtesy Ryan Francesconi) and harp combines to an anxious cosmic whirl, while the gasps in her voice on “Divers” make her existential lyrics feel as though they’re coming to her in real time. This is, she tells us, not optimum harp weather, and occasionally brings out a beeping tuner and tentatively checks the strings before launching into another epic. You wouldn’t know it: “Monkey And Bear” has never sounded better (at least to this seasoned Newsom gig-goer). She attacks the strings with a rare anger, and lights up her tale of betrayal at the hands of an intimate with incandescent rage. When she suddenly slaps the strings quiet, stills the band, and embarks on a quieter, more ornate run, it feels for a second as if the ground has opened up. Similarly, the contracting, piercing chorus of “Leaving The City” shakes with a violent and profound sadness.

The middle of Newsom’s set skews warmer: “Waltz Of The 101st Lightborne” feels like it should roll over the credits of an old-timey feel-good flick, and the skittish countermelodies between harp and keyboard on “Sapokanikan” are filled with wonder. Her vocal harmonies with multi-instrumentalists Mirabai Peart and Veronique Serret are lush and thrilling: the “hoo hoo!” cries at the end of “Have One On Me” dash like shooting stars, and send “Time, As A Symptom” spiralling skywards. After checking her setlist, Newsom realises she has less time remaining than she had thought, and opts to end on “Good Intentions Paving Company”, an accidentally perfect choice. “Well, behind us the road is leaving…” she trills, as End Of The Road 2016 prepares to dance out its final night.

Always one of the highlights of the festival scene, this weekend will see the 11th edition of End Of The Road. The festival, set in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens, continues to showcase the best in Americana, folk and basically anything they like the sound of, and this year’s line up might just be one of the best yet.

Joanna Newsom, Bat For Lashes and Animal Collective are set to headline this year’s End Of The Road festival.

The festival, which takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire, is consistently one step to the left of its peers when it comes to line-up and headliners – and this year is no different.

Alongside those three brilliant headliners (and this’ll be Joanna Newsom’s only UK festival date), Cat Power, Goat, Phosphorescent, Shura, Dilly Dally, The Big Moon, Field Music and many more are set to perform.

Joanna Newsom
It’s going to be a magical weekend, and not just because of the exceptiona Headliners including The Shins‘ first show in four years, plus the only chance to see the dazzlingly talented Joanna Newsom in the UK this year, the Technicolor genre-hopping Animal Collective and the otherworldly Bat for Lashes – as everyone who has been to End of The Road knows, it’s all about the new discoveries and secret performances. Who will be popping up at the Piano Stage or singing on the Disco Ship? Anything could happen… Including one more headliner still to be announced for the Big Top on Saturday night, who will be revealed on site!
Bands to see
Mothers: Kristine Leschper, the creative force behind Athens-based indie band Mothers, is the most impossibly mesmeric frontperson. She orchestrates, acting as the fine balance between the twee-weaving and explosive chaos that dominate her band’s sonic blueprint in equal parts. “I don’t like myself when I’m awake” she croons on ‘It Hurts Until It Doesn’t’, the band’s cue to ramp up the reverb-heavy motifs and blast into a head-spinning outro of flailing guitars and raw emotion. Mothers headline the Tipi Tent on the Friday night.
Younghusband: I’m delighted that EOTR thought to book London psych collective-turned-power-pop gang Younghusband, they’re a band too often overlooked by festival organisers. Their 2015 effort, Dissolver, saw the band team up with Bad Seed Warren Ellis to craft an effortlessly ornate collection of Big Star-indebted cuts essential to any festival. They may have shedded the psych freak-outs that brought them all initial attention, but Younghusband have morphed into an unstoppable force of power-pop freedom and organ-led melodic bliss.
U.S. Girls: Meghan Remy’s warped pop project U.S. Girls play evocative earworms, projected onto funhouse mirrors and wrapped in an unsettled haze – and the results are breathtaking. Utilising feelings of discomfort and unease – in both sound and lyrical narrative – where other artists might aim for familiarity and warmth, U.S. Girls is a thrillingly unique (and often incredibly catchy) proposition and I can’t wait to hear tracks from this year’s wonderful/brutal Half Free launched into life.
Savages:  I’d say I’m most excited about Savages. There’s an almost demented sensibility that you can hear in each song as they repeat powerful chords and start and stop in moments of stillness and eruption leaving you feeling like you’ve been sucked inside out.”
Sunflower Bean: There’s a propensity for heaviness reminiscent of Led Zeppelin accompanied by tender vocals about life and love similar to Shangri Las or something that make their set enigmatic as they take you down a psychedelic rabbit hole.
Thee Oh Sees: With their unique brand of psychedelic garage rock .In turns face-meltingly fast and hauntingly subdued, the relentless rhythm section tightly interlocking with frontman John Dwyer’s macabre croon, with an enjoyable recorded output. This August’s A Weird Exits is their 11th album in 8 years. It’s a predictably strong record, and there’s no doubting that Dwyer and co will be rattling just as hard as ever when End of the Road comes around.
Teenage Fanclub: It’s hard to think of a better way to say goodbye to EOTR 2016 than with a hits-packed set from Scottish indie rockers Teenage Fanclub. In an ideal world, the Bandwagonesque masterminds would be the most popular band in the world. They’re likely to grace the Big Top stage at around 11:15, and their myriad of indie pop anthems are sure to see out the festival on a massive high. Whether you choose Thee Oh Sees or Joanna Newsom before hand (and I’m not looking forward to making that decision), end your weekend dancing to some generation-transcending pop songs.
 
This year for the first time, we welcome cult national treasure Adam Buxton to the festival, who will be recording his much loved ‘ramble chats’ podcast with very special guests to be announced on Saturday. Other one off events include the first in a series of very special pre-release album listening parties for Wilco’s tenth studio album Schmilco, on Saturday morning at the Tipi Stage. The new record will be played on vinyl in full from 11am, before anyone else gets to hear it. 
 
As if that wasn’t enough, there are many delights to be seen and heard on this years Comedy Stage line up, lead by Bridget Christie following her well received show at Edinburgh Fringe, the inimitable Stewart Lee, alternative comedy hero Josie Long, acclaimed newcomer Lolly Adefope and Radio 4 regular Andy Zaltzman performing his Political Animal show. Other highlights include the legendary comedian and Comedy Club host Arthur Smith, along with comedy writer turned celebrity Masterchef Hardeep Singh Kohli, hugely respected and wildly popular Adam Bloom and Benedict Cumberbatch’s pal John Finnemore making his debut at the festival. 
 
There’s something to please all tastes in the Cinema schedule this year, whether your after an acclaimed documentary such as the visually stunning Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures or one of the year’s best independent films Everybody Wants Some!!!, Richard Linklater’s semi-sequel to his 1970s high-school comedy Dazed and Confused. Alternatively if you want to catch up some of 2016’s box office hits, there’s The Jungle Book and Nice Guys, as well as some old hit classics such as E.T., Kes and Being John Malkovich among many others. We also have a very special screenings of the music documentaries The Sad And Beautiful World of Sparklehorse and Invisible Britain: Sleaford Mods, both preceded by Q&As with their directors Bobby Dass and Paul Sng respectively.
 
Along with our usual stellar selection of workshops and activities taking place in the Wonder Lands and the ever impressive line up of Food and Drink on offer, including Beavertown taking over the Courtyard Bar this year, End of The Road is set to be one of the best weekends of 2016. and even the weather is expected to be fair all weekend.  
FULL INFORMATION AND TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE: www.endoftheroadfestival.com 

Fenen Lily

Hailing originally from Dorset, 19 year old songstress Fenne Lily has truly mastered the craft of making beautifully dainty alt-folk numbers, with a real understated elegance that belies her youth.

Lily’s first single ‘Top to Toe‘ is a subtle masterpiece, and is both thought-provoking and tranquil. Instrumentation on the track is intentionally bare, with only one swooping acoustic guitar present, making room for Lily’s confessional, heartfelt lyrics and dreamlike vocals, reminiscent of those of Julia Stone and Laura Marling.

Despite it’s relatively short lifespan, ‘Top to Toe‘ has gained mass critical acclaim since its release earlier this year, and has been championed by BBC Radio’s Huw Stephens and Lauren Laverne, among many others.

With her new single in tow, Fenne Lily is eagerly approaching the summer, as she gears up to perform an extensive array of notable festivals, such as Dot to Dot and The Great Escape. It’s definitely worth keeping your ear to the ground for this one…

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