The acts are confirmed, the grass is cut and the stage is set. (Well nearly). The opening of the ValeFest 2018 gates is just over a week away, and with the juiciest lineup in its history, it promises to be star-studded spectacle of music, comedy and dance. So who will we be seeing this year?
No better place to start than with Main Stage headliners – Fickle Friends. I’m sure no introductions are needed to the Brighton quintet, who have been gigging their silky smooth grooves to UK festivals for the last few years. They released debut record “You Are Someone Else” in March, which boasts 16 of their distinct 80s-injected indie-pop tunes, from early tune “Swim” to feel-good belter “Say No More”. With appearances in BBC Introducing and Radio 1 Piano Sessions, expect plenty of palm trees on stage as Natassja Shiner and co will deliver a history-making close to the festival, I can personally promise you that. You can also check out my gig review of their 2017 Birmingham gig here
http://burnfm.com/music/music-features/valefest-2018-headliners-fickle-friends-gig-review-o2-institute-oct-2017/ (perfect opportunity for some self-promotion).
Preceding them on the Main Stage come subheadliners Little Comets and Leeds outfit Marsicans. The Comets are veterans of the indie scene; with 4 studio albums and 5 EPs under their belt, we are promised to hear their “kitchen sink indie” catalogue which has spanned the last decade. This will include their 2018 singles “M62” and “The Punk is in the Detail”, and last album “Worhead” which encapsulates their dreamy but catchy Tyne-Wear sound. As for “upbeat indie meets dirty pop” Marsicans, this set will accompany that of Little Comets like strawberries and cream, as they share the snappy beats and tickly riffs seen on 2016 EP “Absence” and the mellow February single “Wake Up Freya”. Other acts not to miss on the Main are Only Shadows and Odd Soul.
Accompanying the talent rampant on the Main Stage are Dance Tent headliner Swindle and Lakeside Stage headliner Coffee Breath. London DJ Swindle has an impressive portfolio, boasting a large Spotify following and even a collaboration with grime artist JME on 2015’s “Mad Ting”. Meanwhile, UoB’s very own Coffee Breath close the Lakeside Stage with their dreamy indie sound; having played ValeFest 2017 they return to bring a delectable set including hits “Runaway” and “Marshmallows”.
Now what would ValeFest be without the talent teeming throughout the University of Birmingham? Hanging around all the stages you can catch the likes of alumni DAME, Rylands Heath, Argle Bargle and IsaacO among others. We were given a sneak peek into the variety of genres displayed by these at ValeFest Déjà Vu and Launch Party, a review of which can be found here http://burnfm.com/music/gig-reviews/valefest-launch-party-2018-review/ but the aura that surrounds the British summertime festival season will amplify the spectacular sets given by the rising stars if UoB.
It pains me that I cannot write another 2 pages about the rest of the extraordinary lineup, as the artists mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to check out all of the stages throughout the day to squeeze every drop of music from the day. That being said, it’s no surprise that tickets are on the brink of sell-out (you can pick up final tickets from Joe’s Bar at £14, which WILL GO in the next few days). So slap on your suncream, dust off your shades and prepare for the greatest musical event of the UoB calendar. I’ll see you there, mine’s a Pimm’s with ice.