Sandwiched somewhere in between the mellow acoustic acts and the elaborate stage shows of the dance acts this year are the best of the indie scenes hot-property live bands. While there are far too many to cram in here, and some that defy any notion of genre altogether, here are the five to get front and centre for over the weekend.
Returning somewhat to their roots with this years Valtari, Sigur Ros are rarely matched in the creation of lush, visceral audio dreamscapes. Their live shows match this other-worldly ambience to full effect. This being their second appearance after 2008’s amazing headline slot, they never fail to impress with the sheer size of the sound they create and you haven’t heard the heart-breaking beauty of Jonsi’s voice until you have experienced it live.
The shift in thematic approach between 2009’s Hospice and follow up Burst Apart caught many that were watching The Antlers develop off guard. The former clawed at the senses, demanding attention through grim concept and unnerving honesty. With Burst Apart they have created something that creates dramatic wealth, retains the blunt edge of their previous material but sounds all the more elevated from its predecessor’s morbid narrative – it was the external to Hospice’s internal. This duality promises to make their live set one of the highlights of the weekend and with their rapturous performance last November in The Academy as testament, one that will be hard forgotten.
After their UK appearances last weekend, The Horrors bring their hype factory to Irish shores. Having travelled a great stylistic distance since their scattershot debut Strange House, third album Primary Colours proved they are more than sharp dressers with last years Skying cementing their position among the art-rock Illumanati. Perfect fodder for the run up to your Saturday night.
Headlining Reading/Leeds at the weekend signifies that The Maccabees have well and truly arrived. Working their way through two interesting and skilled but somehow lacking albums, this year’s Given to the Wild saw them realise the potential that their many die-hard fans believed they were working towards this past 8 years. Their Friday evening set at this year’s Picnic will no doubt been one of the weekend’s highlights if their Academy show back in March was anything to go by.
After undergoing an Arctic Monkeys style explosion onto the scene last year, The Vaccines’ star has continued to rise. Whether the hype is justified or not will be based on how their Picnic cherry-popping goes as they were a no-show at last year’s event. Sharp, short, catchy songs loaded with foot-moving guitar hooks are the order of the day. Let’s see if the wait was worth it and if their new material – to feature on second album The Vaccines Come Of Age in September – lives up to its predecessor’s skilful accessibility.