August is generally considered the “end” of the festival season, a season which starts as early as April with the likes of Motel Mozaique and London Calling. With so many fantastic festivals taking place across the summer, it seems only fair that the best line-up is saved for last. In Holland, the massive Lowlands Festival is generally seen as the curtain call for major Dutch festivals, usually pulling a killer line-up out of the ever expanding festival bag. With over 30 names now known, we take a look at the six things we can’t wait to see at Lowlands
Australian psych-revivalists Tame Impala have built a massive cult following in the last few years, even if they only have two albums to their name. 2012’s stellar Lonerism, which featured killer tracks Elephant and Mind Mischief, sent them rocketing into the upper echelons of alternative rock. It signalled the start of a revival for psychedelic music, with the likes of Temples, Pond and Jacco Gardner continuing the trend last year in anticipation of Tame Impala’s return. What started out as Kevin Parker’s bedroom project has spiralled into a project which will definitely take over the world, one way or another. Once the Australian quintet releases their hotly anticipated third studio album, we’ll be able to see for ourselves whether or not they go in the direction that everyone expects them to go in. Onwards and upwards, that is. You shouldn’t miss them whatsoever once they take to the stage at Lowlands in August; prepare to have your mind blown.
It’s not a festival season until St Albans quartet Enter Shikari are part of the party. If they’re not busy breaking the world record for amount of crowdsurfers, you’ll find frontman Rou Reynolds and his band tearing up tents and open air stages the world over. You see, the thing with Enter Shikari is that they’re an absolutely unstoppable bunch of musicians. Fourth studio album The Mindsweep proved just that, with an ethereal mix of post-hardcore, electronica and stadium anthems intertwining seamlessly to create one of the finest albums of the year. Their live show is absolutely impeccable, with everything from the iris-shattering light show to human pyramids proving their live worth. If you don’t see Enter Shikari absolutely destroy Lowlands this year, we hope that you have a terribly good reason.
Australian psychedelics Pond consist of Tame Impala’s early remnants and an extremely huge amount of drugs. When experiencing Pond live, you’ll tend to be caught in the middle of a batshit crazy moshpit, even if the music is light, psychedelic and dreamy. 2015’s Man It Feels Like Space Again is a magnificent album from the moment Waiting Around For Grace’s catchy guitar riff kicks in to the moment its title track slowly dies down. Expect them to pull older cuts out of the bag, too, such as the slacker anthem You Broke My Cool, blues rocker Moth Wings and the garage-y Xanman. They might not be the first name to jump out at you when looking at the Lowlands line-up, but they don’t need to be a massive name to leave you feeling gobsmacked.
As with Tame Impala and Pond, Courtney Barnett also hails from the musical wonderland that is Australia. The Melbourne resident is currently gearing up to release her debut album proper, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit, slated for a March release. Breakthrough solo track Avant Gardener attracted the attention of music websites such as NME and Pitchfork, with her dreamy, lazy slacker rock slowly catching on the world over as she proceeded to play for sold out crowds around the world. Accompanied by a three-piece backing band, Barnett’s main aim in life is to just be herself and make music which the ordinary person can completely resonate with. Her lyrics are so down to earth that it’s almost like she’s living the exact same life as you. Barnett’s live show will leave you in a haze, something which we promise is a good thing.
Potentially the smallest name on the line-up, Skinny Lister is a folk group who pack a punch. Leaning more towards the Dropkick Murphy’s/Flogging Molly side of folk rock, they ensure that every show they play is nothing short of a celebration. Skinny Lister are the kind of band who’d fit in on any festival bill, something they’ve proven before by hitting up the likes of Glastonbury and contemporary folk festivals before spending a whole summer on the Vans Warped Tour. Back in June we spoke to them at Glastonbury ahead of their headline set in one of the smaller tents. At the end of our chat, we gave them five minutes to prepare a cover of an unknown song which they picked from one of our envelopes. If you’re at all in any doubt about watching Skinny Lister, then check out their cover of Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s classic Come on Eileen below, recorded at Glastonbury Festival for the All Things Loud Acoustic Guitar Challenge.
The final act on our short list are New York City’s finest indie rock legends, namely Interpol. The Paul Banks-fronted group released the critically acclaimed El Pintor back in the autumn of 2014, with it being all systems go from that point onwards. In fact, they’ve been busy touring since before the record was even released. This summer is no different, with the band set to be appearing at festivals the world over as early as June and as late as August. It’ll be a busy summer for the New Yorkers, and Lowlands is set to be one of the last shows of the El Pintor campaign. Expect them to bring New Yorker grandeur to the fields of Biddinghuizen, because we can all admit that Interpol are just legends who you have to admire. All the Rage Back Home and Tidal Wave were two of the best songs of 2014, and both are currently live highlights in their exciting live set. Go and watch Interpol, you won’t regret it whatsoever.
We’ll be back in a few months with another six Lowlands acts who we can’t wait to see. Lowlands Festival takes place from the 21st to the 23rd of August at Evenemententerrein Walibi World in Biddinghuizen, Holland.