You’re here. You’ve sold your soul to another 9am, but this time the rewards were palpable; not quotes on a lecture slide you might skim once for revision purposes, but in the form of a wristband to Europe’s biggest free festival. You’ve been guided through the best of Saturday’s line-up at Big Weekend, but the big debate now is whether Sunday tops it. Now you’ve heard the gold-threaded mythology of the Tame Impala and CHVRCHES live set, and realise Coldplay haven’t released a good album since A Rush of Blood to the Head, but Sunday holds some hidden gems between the underwhelming picks of Iggy Azalea and OneRepublic. And this is where we come in to help. Here is our entirely objective list of the five artists you simply can’t afford to miss on the Sunday of Big Weekend.
- Jack Garratt
I know… I said “hidden” gems. Jack’s not exactly been hidden lately, has he? But there’s more to this than that. More to Mr Garratt than the artist who was deservingly crowned the Critics’ Choice at this year’s Brit Awards. Coming to the Big Weekend off the back of headlining Lost Village Festival, Garratt’s set on the New Music stage at Powderham is likely to be the last time you’ll catch him at an event where he’s not one of the main spectacles. What’s more, he started his career with a few acoustic uploads to BBC Introducing in Devon. Nothing says homecoming quite like this.
Blossoms have made almost every “Ones to watch of 2016” list possible, including our own. Gaining a vast amount of recognition following their breakthrough onto the BBC Sound of 2016 shortlist, their careful collaboration of catchy pop-rock riffs with psychedelic synth lines create the most lysergic of indie music. The four-piece are regularly selling out tour dates, despite not having released their debut album yet, and this performance is sure to show you why.
No stranger to any regular listener to BBC Radio Devon; Emmi’s songs have been endorsed by everyone from James Santer to Taylor Swift as “music that will make your life more awesome.” How can you argue with that? She is somewhat a nomad in all respects, constantly between places both geographically and musically. With a musical heritage of classical and jazz, bebop, and literate influences blend into incredibly well thought-out music. Emmi’s show is another local success, being born in Torquay – we can’t wait.
Yonaka deal in bold, unabashed indie rock. Having first heard them through Flying Vinyl, a subscription service seeking to promote the best new music, they became an instant standout. The female-fronted rock serves as a big middle finger to the institutional repression of women in music; not every girl making music stands innocently and meek with an acoustic guitar singing sweet lullabies. Yonaka yell “ignorance is not bliss to me” as a vocal hook, where Theresa Jarvis’s voice becomes as much a leading riff as the powerful guitar work. Imagine Wolf Alice stripped raw, with the tongue-in-cheek slogan: “we are not cool, we are real.” Having stormed a gig at Exeter’s Cavern, their local fan-base is slowly picking up, and the Brighton rabble will be very, very welcome here.
- Alice Jemima
The final jewel in the crown of the crown of the BBC Introducing Stage is the curiously sweet and sultry pop of Alice Jemima. Having recently signed to Rob da Bank’s independent record label Sunday Best, with her debut single ‘Liquorice’ premiered on The Fader, the Exeter local is onto big things. Combining peculiarly abstract music videos with an endearingly awkward stage persona makes Alice Jemima stick in your mind somehow, I’m not quite sure how, but every bit of her act works. Her meticulously crafted electronic pop fits every occasion, and while the bubble of local confusion pops, still asking why on earth this festival chose to come to the lowly-depths of Exeter and its sometimes sketchy music scene, she remains one of the best reminders of the great talent coming out of our city every day.
I also think you should see Wolf Alice. Don’t forget them.