OnBlackheath, South East London’s premier festival, returns for another dose of the ‘established’ and the ‘non-familiar’. The yearly gathering seems to be growing in popularity and its ability to attract the cream of music royalty seems to have made it one of the ‘must-attend’ events on the UK’s festival calendar.
Famous for it’s ability to merge music with child-friendly events OnBlackheath is a must for those with rug-rats in tow or for those put off by the sometimes overwhelming size of our longer running festivals. This is a chilled-out affair but with enough edge to ensure musso’s from mixed genres come away from the proceedings fully satisfied.
With a week to go until the 2016 incarnation of OnBlackheath GIGsoup take a look at this years Heavenly Recordings stage…
Often described as a national treasure, the London 3-piece have been part of the indie-synthpop scene for almost 25 years now. Creators of masterful anthemic pop the original members Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs originally planned to use different lead singers on their releases. That was until Sarah Cracknell got the gig on a full time basis, in turn adding the topping to the bands unique sound. Previously the darlings of the NME and Melody Maker the trio have to date released 9 albums and 16 top 40 hits
While they’ll be plenty to choose from the back catalogue make sure you look out for classics He’s On The Phone, Nothing Can Stop Us and You’re in a Bad Way
As a member of 80’s band Orange Juice, Edwyn Collins introduced us to the genre ladened top-10 classic ‘Rip It Up’. While the band would never achieve chart success of this level again Collins reinvented himself as a solo artist and as luck, canny song-writing and the ability to create one of the ear-worms of the 90’s gave us ‘A Girl Like You’. In 2005 the singer-songwriter suffered two cerebral haemorrhages but incredibly was at home within 6 months and released ‘Understated’ in 2013 (the album he had been working on in 2005) to critical acclaim.
Expect a large crowd for this incredible artist and look out for ‘In Your Eyes’, ‘The Campaign For Real Rock’ and obviously the aforementioned ‘A Girl Like You’
Pure psychedelic R&B that comes straight out of Seattle, a city steeped in rock history and that looks to be in pretty safe hands with the impressive Night Beats.
2013’s ‘Sonic Bloom’ placed the band on the map and brought this psych experience to the attention of rock fans this side of the pond. ‘Who Sold My Generation’ is the latest LP and has a slightly more polished feel than its predecessor but is still as engaging. Expect a loud, energetic set with glorious guitars and lead vocals that impress throughout.
Look out for the brilliant ‘No Cops’, ‘Love Ain’t Strange’ and ‘Puppet On A String’
The Parrots came straight out of Madrid and directly into the hearts of the UK’s music press. This garage-rock trio have followed hot on the heals of fellow Spanish exports Hinds and brought a fresh, yet incredibly raw, sound to our shores.
The trio’s debut LP ‘Los Ninos Sin Miedo’ dropped last week and received encouraging feedback from most of the music press. However, it was the bands 2015 EP ‘Weed For The Parrots’ that really put the band on the map .. check out the excellent ‘White Fang’ from the release for a real insight into this bands ability to offer up something a little different from the norm.
OnBlackheath marks the end of the bands current UK tour so make sure you catch them before they return to warmer climates.
Watch out for ‘Let’s Do It Again’, ‘A thousand ways’ and ‘I Did Something Wrong’
Amber Arcades is the moniker of Dutch-born musician Annelotte de Graaf. She recently released her debut album ‘Fading Lines’ which has been touted by many as one of the strongest releases of 2016.
But the music is only part of this incredible artists story. De Graaf has a bachelor’s and master’s law degree, and her previous job was as an aide at the international war crimes tribunal. Currently she helps assess the claims of refugees granted asylum in Holland who are seeking to have their families brought over.
Under her Amber Arcades alias the artist offers a plethora of unique and thoughtful music that demands constant revisits. Catch her at OnBlackheath before the artist jets off for a large US tour, before returning to Europe for what appears to be a mammoth tour in October and November.
Look out for tracks ‘Fading Lines’, ‘Turning Light’ and ‘Come With Me’ from her set
This years OnBlackheath takes place on the 10th and 11th September. Day and weekend tickets can be purchased at www.onblackheath.com