With Electric Fields just over two weeks away, there’s still time for festival goers to get their weekend-long dose of escapism before the season draws to a close. Held in Thornhill, Dumfries in the grounds of the stately Drumlanrig Castle, the festival will be taking place over two days for the first time on August 26th and 27th.
This, of course, is testament to Electric Fields’ growing reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting festivals, despite only being in its third year. With a diverse lineup that includes a mix of familiar faces along with some of the country’s best emerging talent, music lovers are given the opportunity to see their favourite bands along with discovering some new ones in an intimate setting with a good community spirit. For those keen to stay away from the big crowds at mainstream festivals, then Electric Fields offers a brilliant, affordable alternative at only £94.50 for a weekend ticket and £55 for a day ticket. 2016 looks to be its biggest year yet with four stages of music, a variety of ales and global cuisine on offer, family areas and the introduction of boutique camping.
Musically, there’s something for everyone; Primal Scream never disappoint while The Sugarhill Gang and The Charlatans will offer a welcome blast from the past. Everything Everything, Wild Beasts, The Twilight Sad and The Go! Team will keep indie fans happy while a range of electronic music will be available on the Sneaky Pete’s stage from acts such as Erol Alkan, Joy Orbison and Factory Floor. The Tim Peaks stage, curated by Tim Burgess, will be offering an eclectic choice of performances from the likes of Don Letts, Riding the Low, Teen Canteen and his very own DJ set. Keen to champion the best of Scotland’s emerging talent, there’s also a host of new artists to become acquainted with across the Main Stage and Stewart Cruickshank Stage; The Lapelles, Sweaty Palms, Be Charlotte, Model Aeroplanes and The Van T’s will be among the upcoming artists appearing across the weekend (look out for our recommendations soon).
So without much ado, GIGsoup has attempted the impossible task of whittling it down to these five acts that we reckon you just can’t miss:
It goes without saying, really. These guys never disappoint live and are bound to hit Electric Fields with a hit-packed set worthy enough to headline any festival. Following Bobby Gillespie’s fall earlier on in the summer which led to the band cancelling a number of appearances, it seems that they’re raring to go again which is great news for those attending. With the latest album seeing them steer into more poppy territory, the band have built a career on the art of reinvention so expect to hear a range of material from brilliant albums like ‘XTRMNTR’, ‘Vanishing Point’, ‘More Light’ and of course, ‘Screamadelica’. ‘Movin’ On Up’ and ‘Loaded’ will be perfect set closers on the Saturday; who could resist?
With three albums to their name, Everything Everything have developed into a very captivating live act. Genre-wise they’re very hard to pin down but they have a distinctive sound thanks to Jonathan Higgs’ inimitable falsetto, their syncopated rhythms and quirky melodies. Perfect for a festival, their sets usually have an emphasis on upbeat material with lots of singalong catchy hooks to keep the crowds interested. Their latest album ‘Distant Past’ is perhaps their best release to date with its excellent title track and ‘Regret’ likely to be big highlights.
Honeyblood had been fairly quiet for a while until they recently blasted back on the scene with the fiery ‘Ready for the Magic’. They may have kept us waiting a while for new material but it was definitely worth it; if the new single is anything to go by then the new album ‘Babes Never Die’ will surely be a belter. It encapsulates everything we already love about the band and more; those fuzzy guitar licks, catchy riffs and punky attitude sounding all the more ferocious now than on previous offerings. The Glasgow duo have certainly upped the ante and this may be one of the first opportunities to see new songs; not to be missed.
Baby Strange are another one of Glasgow’s success stories with their raucous brand of punk rock set to go down a treat at Electric Fields. Often tipped for great things, the band have amassed quite a loyal following in recent years with a series of brilliant releases such as ‘Pure Evil’, ‘Friend’ and ‘Pleasure City’. Known for their energetic live performances, their impassioned punk rock anthems are ready to incite mayhem in the festival atmosphere and will surely make for thrilling viewing. With their highly anticipated debut album ‘Want It Need It’ coming out on September 2nd via Ignition Records, this is a chance to catch them before they head out on their headline tour around the UK.
Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5
It’s fair to say that Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 have had a very busy summer and thanks to their many bonkers live performances, they’ve become one of the country’s must-see festival acts. With a cult following around Scotland called ‘The Yellow Movement’ that seems to be steadily growing, they made their long awaited debut at T in the Park earlier this year and are ready to bring the madness to Electric Fields. With a number of musical influences giving them a unique, genre-defying sound, you can expect a lot of crowd participation throughout their set; for example, look out for crowd-surfing inflatables and fiercely fought dance-offs. One thing is for sure though; you’ll definitely leave with a smile on your face.
This Electric Fields article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor.