By Camilla Whitfield
The beginning of May was heralded in by Live At Leeds and it is fitting that it shall wave goodbye to May with pinky and index fingers raised, to an equally exciting Metropolitan festival. However, this time we have the pleasure of welcoming it to our backyard on the 24th of May. The festival season may already be in full swing, but Dot To Dot is one not to be overlooked. It’s set to follow its successful predecessors in full force and judging by the line-up, it easily contains the potential to be the best year yet.
The three-day festival celebrates new and upcoming talent, however, it’s unique selling point is that it boxes up these new faces in three wide-spread locations; ranging from Manchester which represents the north, Bristol representing the South-West, and Nottingham which supports the Midlands area. By celebrating such a large diverse array of artists, it ensures that potential under-the-radar artists don’t simply fall through the cracks, and receive a well-deserved platform to showcase their talent.
Indie favourites, Bloxx, will doubtless be expecting Dot To Dot to be another successful effort to add to their evergrowing resume generated over the last couple of years. Following quickly along from their largest headline tour to date, as well as their latest EP ‘Headspace’ receiving widespread critical acclaim, this Uxbridge-based band has more than given reason to be described as ‘ones to watch’. With a range of tracks from bubblegum alt-pop ‘Sea-Blue’ to grungy yet catchy hit ‘Curtains’, the band have consistently showcased a refined ability to blend genres and let their vocalist and guitarist Ophelia Booth’s voice shine.
Catch them at the 02 Ritz between 16:15 and 16:45.
2. The Night Cafe
The Night Cafe may have been around the circuit a couple of times, yet as with other growing talents, this hasn’t tarnished their performance, but rather polished and enhanced it as they move closer to reaching their stadium potential. A bold claim to make, perhaps, but from their catchy tunes from their 2015 release, Addicted, to their latest offering, Please, they have produced an array of glittering melodies accompanied by an increasingly mature lyrical edge, putting them in very good stead. After touring with fellow indie heavy-hitters from The Wombats to Circa Waves, it’s certain they’ve picked up a few tricks. They’ve quickly become favourites of DIY magazine, who described their tunes as “bathed in sunshine… poppier than a fizzed up Fanta”. If this doesn’t sound like a perfect recipe for the summer festival season, we don’t know what does.
Catch them at the Albert Hall between 18:45 and 19:00.
Rews is the ‘slap in the face’ brainchild of Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams. Defying every preconception about needing more people to man more instruments to create a bigger sound, it is something which they take great delight in. From playing Glastonbury 2017 on the John Peel Stage to being championed by Radio 1 legend Huw Stephens, it’s already evident that they’re off to a flying start. From their successful debut album, Pyro, leading tracks ‘Let It Roll’ and ‘Shine’ are the perfect introduction to their world. The London/Belfast duo’s core message is to inspire others to be themselves and make the dreariness of the mundane seem that little bit brighter. If the idea of escapism and heavy rock tracks fuelled by drums and power vocals are to your liking then they are not to be missed.
Catch them at Gullivers between 21:30-22:00.
4. Sly Antics
Two-piece talent Sly Antics is the homegrown project of cousins Lee and Sam Hudson from Hebden Bridge. Named ‘ones to watch’ by Radio 1, they’ve exploded onto the music scene. After each spending time performing in different bands, they combined forces to create a self-described sound of “being slapped in the face with a box of stale cereal”. If that statement doesn’t catch your attention, Sam’s gritty vocals mixed with the duo’s daring drums and crashing guitar certainly will. They are more than prepared to do their best after already having Kendal Calling and Neighbourhood Weekender under their belt as of last year. ‘Bin Juice’ shows the duo’s ability to put a new spin on an attention-grabbing intro, with an unexpected kick in the teeth at the chorus fuelled with drums and a consistent melody. Their powerful anthem ‘Reality’ may have been their first effort as a duo, but they’ve clearly got so much more to give as they take their energy to the stage.
Catch them at The Venue between 21:00 and 21:30.
5. Crystal Fighters
Adding an exotic flair to the festival are English-Spanish fusion trio Crystal Fighters. Primarily fuelled by a disco-dance core, their tracks have been lapped up internationally since their first offering in 2010. Usually clad in glitter to match the sparkliness of their dreamy hits, they are the quintessential festival headliner, skilfully combining Basque instruments with drum loops, heavy synths and power vocals to create their unique sound. The band formed in the process of attempting to complete lead singer Laure Stockley’s deceased grandfather’s unfinished opera, which they then named ‘Crystal Fighters’ and adopted the name for their band.
With feel-good tracks such as ‘Boomin In Your Jeep’ and ‘Wild Ones’, they’re bringing sunshine-soaked atmosphere to the festival, no matter what the typical Mancunian weather has planned.
Catch them at the Albert Hall between 21:45 and 23:00.
Make sure to get your tickets quick as for only £14 (+bf) they’re a real steal. Besides, if you’re searching for a reason to stop waiting and start buying, just tell yourself it’ll be much more economical to buy now than to be kicking yourself later when these headliners gain stadium status with prices to match. You heard it here first – don’t say we didn’t warn you.