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PennFest Preview

By | Published July 10, 2017

PennFest returns for its seventh year and appears ready to rock our socks off with a diverse line-up offering something for everyone.

Primal Scream are set to headline Friday night on the main stage, and appear to have shaken their setlist up since the release of their album ‘Chaosmosis’ last year, promising some fan favourites like ‘Dolls’ and their cover of ‘Slip Inside This House’ (originally by the 13th Floor Elevators), as well as the now well-known ‘Rocks’. Fresh from supporting The Stone Roses last month in Glasgow, Primal Scream seem set to rock PennFest and close the main stage on the first night in their usual way, with some excellently swaggering rock ‘n’ roll.

Preceding Primal Scream on the main stage Friday are the Manchester group The Charlatans, whose most recent album, ‘Different Days’, was released in May. Lead singles ‘Plastic Machinery’ and ‘Different Days’ have delivered the goods and it will be interesting to see how they sound live, given their featuring of string parts and guest vocalists. Like Primal Scream, The Charlatans reputation as a great live band, and to have both bands on stage one after the other promises to be a perfect cocktail of 90s indie rock.

Other main stage artists for Friday night are of the alternative dance persuasion with EMF and Maverick Sabre promising to get the party started on the first night.

If those acts aren’t your thing, Friday is also offering up singer songwriters galore on the Big Top stage, with Kate Nash headlining, along with Becky Hill and Alex Francis. Parts of Nash’s most recent release ‘Agenda’ are a move away from the piano pop she is most famous for and are bound to carry well on a large festival stage, while her most famous tune ‘Foundations’ is sure to have us all singing about eating lemons as it did back in 2007. Support earlier in the day on the Big Top stage comes from Oasis tribute band Noasis, who promise to have us all singing along to all our favourites from the Gallagher brothers.

Saturday promises to be just as good for fans of indie rock, with both the Main and Big Top stage playing host to a number of great and iconic acts, whilst Saturday’s headline act comes in the shape of drum ‘n’ bass DJ duo Sigma, whose hit tunes are never off the radio and are a sure fire way to enjoy a great summer festival such as this one.

Other main stage acts on the Saturday include James and The Coral, both of whom offer the promise of indie guitar based singalong goodness, while earlier in the day Newcastle based Maxïmo Park should not be missed, as their setlist is full of catchy earworms, including their most recent release “Risk To Exist”, and their arguably seminal work “Our Earthly Pleasures” turned 10 this year and is still mightily fine to sing along to.

The Big Top throughout Saturday almost feels like a throwback to 2007 alternative rock and indie, but in the best way possible. Reverend and the Makers are back on the festival circuit in support of their upcoming release ‘Death of a King’ and accompanying dates later on in the year. Their 2007 release ‘The State of Things’ was iconic, and Rev’s lyrics never fail to accurately portray life in clubs, pubs and homes up and down the country. From the sounds of their lead single from the upcoming release, ‘Too Tough To Die’ however, Rev and the Makers have turned the volume up and the promise of being delightfully deafened may be too good to pass up. The Pigeon Detectives have the headline slot in Big Top, celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Wait For Me’ featuring perhaps their best known songs ‘Take Her Back’ and ‘I Found Out’, perfect songs for swaying to on a summery Saturday night.


Elsewhere around the festival there will be an array of other venues, including the DJ and dance tents which offer a great looking line-up with all musical bases covered, from reggae to acid house, and even boasting the famous 90s club DJ Brandon Block. With the array of talent on show at PennFest across the 21st and 22nd of July you will struggle to find a better way to spend 48 hours.