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Festival Preview: End of the Road 2015

  • Published in Live

Now celebrating its 10th year, End Of The Road is a folksier alternative to more prominent names. It offers a mecca for foodies (all organic, all local) and lovers of folk and dreamy rock tunes can expect a perfect blend of the tranquil and the lively.

The real-ale soaked Dorset gathering has attracted big names this year, with headliners including shoegazers The War On Drugs who arguably released 2014’s finest record, Lost In The Dream and Sufjan Stevens, who has penned Carrie And Lowell, a contender for 2015’s. They’re joined by Australian psychedelics Tame Impala, who have their hotly anticipated 3rd release coming in July.

There’s a refreshing vibe to the festival and campers are given the space and freedom that the range of music merits. There are no VIP areas so performers are often seen wandering the site. My visit to the festival in 2013 involved a conversation with members of Parquet Courts about the best beer on offer. They were just chilling by the Cider Bus. Yes, there’s a Cider Bus.

The range of performers is staggering but the must-see acts at 2015’s festival include Future Islands, who you’ll know and most-likely love from that Letterman performance. There’s Laura Marling whose soft acoustic tunes are accompanied by a beautifully chilling voice. Superstar slacker Mac DeMarco and afrobeat outfit Django Django bring the perfect hazy summer soundtrack. Alvvays create fuzzy indie-pop in abandon while the legendary Mark Lanegan offers a darker touch.

Torres has a spell-binding rawness in her craft of moody indie-rock tunes. Ought are an exhilarating art-punk band from Montreal, Canada. Wistful folk from Jessica Pratt sounds as if it is lifted straight of the mid-'60s and Happyness’ dreamy lo-fi sound is a mesmeric treat.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg in the range of sun-soaked up-and-coming gems on offer and with wild Peacocks roaming the festival site without a care in the world, End Of The Road 2015 is a truly unique festival. V-Festival it’s not.


Alvvays, Think Tank, Newcastle

  • Published in Live


The venue is rammed this evening, even before support band Moon King have taken to the stage. Also Canadian, Moon King are currently tearing up stages and tonight is no different. It’s a fairly sedate start; however this doesn’t last long as lead singer Daniel hits the lights quite literally.

As the stage lights up so do the band, as Daniel feeds on the crowd’s energy he bounds around the stage. As Maddie and the rest of the band keep time in their own flamboyant style, they indulge us with many tracks from their new LP. However, tracks like ‘Roswell’ stand out.

To say we really enjoyed these guys is something of an understatement, their energy and playful excitement lights up the room this evening. With our expectations heightened Alvvays take to the stage, last time we encountered these Canadian popsters was when they blew Real Estate off the stage.

They burst out of the blocks and despite the darkened stage they light up the room with their positivity and whimsical indie pop music. The room is bursting at the seams, as Alvvays regale us with all of the tracks from their brilliant debut album.

A song which featured in many top 10s of 2014, and rightly so, ‘Archie, Marry Me’ rings out throughout the venue invoking a mass crowd singalong. The only thing, which is disappointing, is the level of disrespect shown by this evening’s crowd who can’t keep their conversations to themselves.

Not wanting this to mar our experience of the evening we persevere. However, the band seem to be distinctly quieter than Moon King, it’s a shame as on record they’re an excellent band, but live they seem to fall short of the mark when compared to their support band.

This could be attributed to a number of things; there were technical difficulties prior to their set. The rooms heaving but there are also a lot of people who have wholeheartedly entered into the Friday night spirit. Moon King on the other hand embraced the Friday night party spirit and used it to their advantage.

Overall Alvvays set was enjoyable if not a bit too quiet for our liking, but we did get the opportunity to discover a band that really have impressed us and we cannot wait for their second record. This evening just seemed like an unfortunate set of circumstances, last time Alvvays blew Real Estate off the stage and this time it seems like the shoe was on the other foot.

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