This weekend, Amsterdam’s Paradiso will once again play host to the best music coming out of the UK, US and Australia right now as the annual London Calling Festival takes place for the first of two yearly instalments. With the likes of The Districts, Drenge and Slaves all appearing across two days and two stages, All Things Loud takes a look at the five hottest prospects of the weekend.
Brotherly duo Drenge is one of very few bands around today who are able to rattle thousands of eardrums effortlessly, raging their way through raw alt rock and occasional glimpses of heaviness. With all the music coming from just two brothers, it’s quite hard to comprehend how much of a noise Eoin and Rory Loveless can really make, particularly on the raw and furious likes of Bloodsports and We Can Do What We Want. New album Undertow may see the introduction of an extra bassist on three of its tracks, yet the Loveless brothers are still the core focus of what makes Drenge the incendiary force to be reckoned with that they are. Don’t let their 1am set time deter you from going mental in the pit as they gear up for a massive 2015.
Alongside Drenge, Kent duo Slaves are another force to be reckoned with who definitely know how to pack a fierce punch. Co-fronted by drummer Isaac Holman and guitarist Laurie Vincent, Slaves know no boundaries as they effortlessly mix raw, heavy rock with sarcastic lyrics and a charming flair which would let them off the hook anywhere, anytime. With debut album Are You Satisfied? just around the corner, expect the duo to rip the Paradiso to absolute shreds as the likes of Hey, The Hunter and Where’s Your Car Debbie? tear through the sound system. “Hey, watch out for those kids, they’ll tear you apart” sings Holman on Hey, quite possibly describing Slaves’ own music in the process.
Musical wonderkid Cosmo Sheldrake is a multi-instrumentalist with not a single boundary in sight. Outstanding debut single The Moss, presumably lifted from his ‘upcoming’ debut album (a release date hasn’t been set yet), encompassed wispy electronic bleeps in and amongst handmade guitars and Sheldrake’s extremely distinct voice. All three, and more, combine on the track to create an attractive end product which makes you want to hear more. With his career only just on the go, be sure to catch Sheldrake live to see what all the fuss is about.
Indie folk quartet The Districts are no stranger to hype. The Pennsylvanian group’s most recent release, A Flourish and a Spoil, received critical acclaim the world over thanks to its powerful, heartstring-shredding folk rock. Standout track Funeral Beds features a harmonica which accompanies frontman Rob Grote as his voice builds up in emotional intensity throughout. As it powers through to a raucous end, you come to realization that The Districts are special. They’re a band who you can’t miss at London Calling this weekend.
The final act on our Top 5 comes in the form of London trio Happyness, who are slowly but surely rising to prominence on the back of their well-received debut album Weird Little Birthday, which featured the fantastic, Arcade Fire-referencing Montreal Rock Band Somewhere. Their music edges towards the slacker end of indie rock, still encompassing sun-drenched guitar melodies and woozy vocals courtesy of Ash Cooper. The summer will see them appear at festivals far and wide across Europe, including June’s Down the Rabbit Hole. Consider their set at London Calling as your last chance to see Happyness before they, slowly but surely, edge their way up festival bills and into your head like an addicting virus you can’t seem to get rid of.
London Calling takes place on 24 & 25 April in Amsterdam’s Paradiso, with further performances coming from SOAK, Moon Duo, The Slow Show and Of Montreal.