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 just under a week to go until the 2016 incarnation of OnBlackheath GIGsoup take a look at this years main stage line-up for the Sunday…
Belle & Sebastian
It’s quite incredible to think that Glasgow darlings Belle & Sebastian have been gracing us with their anthemic pop for 20 years now. With hints at re-invention throughout their 9 albums it was 2015’s ‘Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’ that really threw us a curveball with it’s attention to dance music.
Like so many acts at this years OnBlackheath we’re dealing with a band whose back-catalogue is dripping with classics. And while Belle & Sebastian have never been mainstream they have the sort of following that borders on the obsessive. Lofty chart positions have never been the objective, instead being replaced by timeless music that resonates to an audience who crave clever lyrics, story telling and beautiful melodies.
Such is the bands back-catalogue it’s almost impossible to point out tracks to watch for .. however, ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’, ‘The Boy With the Arab Strap’ and ‘Another Sunny Say’ stand out
Much like the aforementioned Belle & Sebastian Manchester band James have never been about record sales. Their ability to write melodic, and in some cases anthemic music (Sit Down, She’s a Star to name but a few) has always been the bands main point of focus.
In a career that spans four decades the band have done just that. Fourteen studio albums, a ‘whose-who’ of singles and as fresh live as they were back in 1982.
2016’s ‘Girl At The End Of The World’ showcases the bands current wares and is probably their strongest album since 1998’s ‘Millionaires’.
Look out for ‘Sometimes‘, ‘Laid‘ and the quite brilliant ‘Born of Frustration‘
Local boys Squeeze return to the Greenwich area, where it all started for them, for what promises to be a real celebration. Difford and Tilbrook still have a music style that has never been replicated and releases from the 70’s are as fresh today as they were then.
2015’s ‘Cradle To The Grave’ is proof, if needed, that the band are as relevant to the current music scene as the Stones and Beatles. Simply put Squeeze tell stories that are tightly knit into beautiful melodies and addictive chorus’s. This is writing on a different level and the duo’s ability to paint pictures with music still leaves many jaw-dropped to this day.
Whether you are a local SE resident or not this is a ‘must see’ set from a local band who continue to inspire songwriters of this generation.
Sunday at OnBlackheath is a day of quite incredible back-catalogues but and Squeeze may just take the award for over-all classics. Way too many to choose from but looks out for ‘Cool For Cats‘, ‘Tempted‘ and ‘Up The Junction‘
With so many established acts on the main stage it’s nice to see some young-blood kicking off proceedings on the Sunday at OnBlackheath.
Irish singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson (aka SOAK) was recently awarded the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year for beautiful debut album ‘Before We Forgot How to Dream’. Having been shortlisted for the 2015 Mercury Prize – the youngest female nominee for seven years – the 20-year-old Derry songwriter has also been nominated for a Q Award.
The debut LP was critically acclaimed by the music press and a series of gigs towards the end of 2015 brought the artist to the attention of a young audience looking for something a little different from a stale pop scene.
Look out for ‘B a noBody‘, ‘Sea Creatures‘ and ‘Blud‘
This years OnBlackheath takes place on the 10th and 11th September. Day and weekend tickets can be purchased at www.onblackheath.com