Preview: Stag & Dagger, Shoreditch. May 21st

Stag & Dagger

Stag & Dagger festival is about discovering new music. One wristband gets you into around 20 venues but be prepared to get there in good time or queue for the more popular shows. You can still get tickets here or pay on the door for individual shows. Here is my festival preview of acts I reckon are worth seeing. There are plenty more bands that I don’t know and after all this sort of festival is about discovery so go see some acts you haven’t seen or even heard of as well as your favourites and those on my hit list.

Will Kill For

The Temper Trap are an Australian band with big riffs, lots of percussion and one of the most soulful new front men about. For Fans Of: TV On The Radio, Radiohead, U2, The Rapture. Bar Music Hall 10.50-11.30

White Denim are a power blues/garge rock trio from Austin, Texas and are about one of the hottest bands in the world right now. A ferocious live jamming experience from 3 great musicians. Expect queues. For Fans Of: Jimi Hendrix, Sky Larkin. Hoxton Bar & Kitch 10.30-11.10

Beth Jeans Houghton is an up n coming psych folk princess with a stunning voice and musical prowess and all at the age of 19. Has shared a stage with Devendra Banhart and recorded with Tunng and Adem. For Fans Of: Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan, Tunng.  The Spread Eagle, 9.40-10.10

Evan Dando of The Lemonheads fame is one of my favourite ever songwriters. Simple chords used to pop/rock perfection with Evan’s trademark warm vocals. He’s dubbed as a grunge king but there’s just as much pop to him under it all. For Fans Of: The Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jnr, Teenage Fanclub. Cargo 12.15-1

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is a 25 year old troubadour from New York who is turning all kinds of head, He’s even got members of TV On The Radio and Grizzly Bear on his debut album. For Fans Of: Bright Eyes, Elliot Smith, Micah P Hinson. The Legion, 8-8.30

We Have Band are becoming a regular fixture for me. A London 3-piece playing 80s tinged, percussive dancefloor fillers with a bit of an indie spin. For Fans Of: Hot Chip, New Order, Friendly Fires. Vibe Bar – Kill Em All, 9.30-10.00

The Mae Shi from LA were the first band I saw at SXSW and very nearly the best. Raw punk energy, playful electro tinged power pop tunes with shouty sing-along vocals aplenty. They even covered the crowd in a parachute and came underneath to perform.For Fans Of: Trail Of Dead, Future Of The Left, Titus Andronicus.Vibe Bar – No Pain In Pop, 9.20-10

Marina And The Diamonds – A girl from Wales with a big voice and a psych style of her own. For Fans Of:Florence and The Machine, Bat For Lashes. Bar Music Hall 9.50-10.20

Ex Lovers are a London 5-piece playing beautiful, melodious indie pop gems. For Fans Of: Belle & Sebastian, The Rosebuds, Joy Zipper. Bar Music Hall 8.50-9.20

Will Queue For

Micachu & The Shapes are cheeky South London prodigy Mica who’s barely out of her teens and has already fronted a grime band and played with anorchestra for BBCs electric proms. She also writes gloriously wonky DIY indie songs with beats and a strange array of small instruments and household items. Expect this to be busy. For Fans Of: The Beta Band, Kid Carpet, Metronomy. Favela Chic 11.50-12.30

Blue Roses is Laura Groves from Shipley with a wonderful voice and a modern pscyh’ spin on the classic female singer-songwriter mould. She is attracting fans and support slots like they are going out of fashion. For Fans Of: Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins. The Spread Eagle, 8.35-9.15

Casio Kids are from Norway, they sing in both Norwegian and English and play wonderful psychedelic disco pop jams. For Fans Of: Paul Simon, Cornelius, New Order. Hoxton Bar & Kitch 11.40-12.20

Lemonade are an exciting electronic 3-piece from San Fransisco who play gorgeous 80s and 90s tinged electronica with vocals, bass and percussion. For Fans Of: Crystal Castles, Vega, Max Tundra.  Hoxton Bar & Kitch 9.30-10.10

An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump – Gothic post punk form 3-curvaceous London based girls. Big riffs, big vocals and a lot of black. For Fans Of: The Kills, The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Shangri-Las. Vibe Bar – No Pain In Pop, 8.30-9

Abe Vigoda – L.A. punk rock meets art rock with a big sunny sound like only Californian bands know how to make. For Fans Of: Here We Go Magic, Animal Collective, Cause Co-Motion. Vibe Bar – No Pain In Pop, 10.20-11

Ark People are a London based group playing dark, orchestral rock and playing it well. They’re fans of Music Mule too which is always a plus! For Fans Of: White Lies, Joy Division, Arcade Fire. The Macbeth, 6.30-7

Baby Venom are from Baltimore and have just supported the mighty Deerhunter days earlier. They play trippy, psychedelic, electronic pop. For Fans Of: Animal Collective, The Ruby Suns, Flaming Lips. Vibe Bar – No Pain In Pop, 7.10-7.30

Wild Beasts I saw play a great set in East London a few months back. Falsettos and Baritones set over big jangly and ultimately danceable guitar lines and drumming. For Fans Of: Antony and The Johnsons, The Smiths, Bloc Party. Cargo 9.30-10.00

Ungdomskulen sound like a death metal band but I assure you they are not. They are from Norway and are a new prospect for me but their take on the math rock equation sounds like fun. For Fans Of: Foals, Holy Fuck, Three Trapped Tigers. Cargo 8.30-9

The XX are a South London band who play gorgeously dark electro tinged guitar pop gems with boy-girl vocals. They supported The Big Pink recently. For Fans Of: The Velvet Underground, The Cure.   Cafe 1001 11-11.30

The Phantom Band are rising Glasgow stars, their sound is pretty hard to pin down – part folk, part off kilter synth driven art rock. Then their instrumentals have a bit of a math rock vibe to them too. Supposedly a treat live.
For Fans of: Beta Band, Frightened Rabbit, Holy Fuck. Vibe Bar – Kill Em All 8.30-9

Will Quicken Pace For

Die!Die!Die! are a New Zealand 3-piece who make infectious, dare I say it edgy guitar rock. For Fans Of: The Ramones, Nirvana, At-The Drive In. Last Days Of Decadence, 1.30-2.00

Battant are a London power pop trio with guitar/synth, bass, vocals and presumably a drum machine in their somewhere fromwhat I’ve heard. Bouncy, energetic tunes delivered with a brash female vocal lead. For Fans Of: The Long Blondes, Chew Lips, New Order. Favela Chic 8.20-8.50

Plugs are an electronic 3-piece form London leaning heavily towards an 80s sound with big vocals. For Fans of: Friendly Fires, Daft Punk, Neon Neon.Vibe Bar – Kill Em All 7.30-8

Animal Kingdom features the startling high voice of Richard Sauberlich. The band plays emotive rock, For Fans Of: Neil Young, Coldplay, Red Light Company. Bar Music Hall, 7.50-8.20

Arthur Delaney is another young folk whizz kid with songwriting skils far past his years. For Fans Of: Bob Dylan, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Bright Eyes.  The Spread Eagle, 7.45-8.15


mp3: AEOABITAP – 100 Percent

mp3: The Mae Shi – Lamb & Lion

mp3: Abe Vigoda – Don’t Lie

mp3: Die!Die!Die! – People Talk

mp3: The Lemonheads – Confetti

mp3: The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

mp3: Ex Lovers – Photobooth

mp3: Beth Jeans Houghton – Sweet Tooth Bird

mp3: We Have Band – Oh

mp3: Baby Venom – flw rvlly

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