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Scruff of the Neck Presents: Ones To Watch


As a precursor to our new weekly column in conjunction with Scruff of the Neck Records, Dave Beech has picked out ten acts that the label are tipping for success in the coming 12 months.


With only a single track available online at the moment, it might seem like we're jumping the gun a little with Manchester's Blooms. We have it on good authority however that there's new tracks imminent as well as a mini-tour that kicks off next month. Get in before the bandwagon arrives.



Everyone knows the Leeds scene is killing it at the moment, and frontwards are a prime example of the city's DIY spirit. Creating a kind of fuzzy indie-pop that could only really have come from Leeds, the band might not be the most commercially viable on the list, but there's enough pop polish present to appeal to more than DIY purists.


Dusty Buttons

Hailing from Coventry, Dusty Buttons channel the spirit of '00s indie without the arrogance and lack of talent that was so often synonymous with the genre. Having recorded some new material over the Christmas period, it seems the band are all set to go in to 2016 with a bang.


City Of Lights

Another Leeds band now, City of Lights' knack for huge songs and melodies provides the band with plenty of cross-over appeal. Occupying the murky genre most would consider alt-rock, the band blend pop and rock with impressive technical ability that sets them apart from their peers.



Though Chesterfield might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of emotive slacker pop, but that's indeed where TRASH call home. Having signed to Clue Records last year, under which they released their fantastic Urban Glow EP, it's easy to see TRASH making 2016 theirs.


Brothers Water

With an ear for a melody and buckets of pop sensibility, Brothers Water are the third band from Leeds to make the list. Eschewing the city's usual rough and ready fare in favour of a more polished but no less emotive output, Brothers Water are already making waves, this year could see them become tsunamis.



Having only formed last year, but already making the BBC's own equivalent list, Afterbloom are certainly a hot prospect for the next 12 months. Perfectly encapsulating that baggy post-grunge aesthetic, the band have new material in the pipeline as well as a handful of shows on the horizon.


Viola Beach

Already earning themselves support slots with the likes of The Courteeners, Viola Beach have entered 2016 already in good shape. It doesn't look like the band are showing any signs of slowing down however, and with new material on the way, could quite easily be one of this year's buzz bands.



With the UK enjoying something of a grunge resurgence of late, Manchester's DARMA are a band embracing the genre's aesthetics whilst maintaining a contemporary British twist. Snotty and scuzzy, but not without melody, DARMA are a band worth keeping an eye on.


Broken Flags

Stoke-based four-piece Broken Flags are one of a handful of acts from the city that are working tirelessly to prove you don't have to be from a big city to get noticed. With a massive sound to match their huge ambitions, Broken Flags released a couple of tracks late last year so expect them to be plugging them live over the coming months.



Festival Coverage: Y-Not 2015 - Saturday

  • Published in Live

With Saturday comes the only threat of bad weather of the entire weekend; a thick fog enveloping the hills that surround the site bringing with it sporadic pockets of light rain. For some, there's no such thing as bad weather however, just the wrong clothes, so with last year's thunderstorms playing at the back of our mind, and making sure we're dressed accordingly, we venture to the Giant Squid stage for some early afternoon technical wizardry in the form of Alright the Captain.

Whether it's the threat of rain bringing people in to the tent, or whether the people of Derbyshire and Staffordshire just love a good bit of musical complexity to ease their hangovers away, the fact remains that the tent is impressively full for the first act of the day. From breakneck to breakdowns, Alright the Captain's refusal to be bound by the constrictions of standard time signatures clearly is a little too much for some of those who have wandered in to escape the light drizzle outside. For those of us who have made a concentrated effort to catch the trio though, we couldn't have been more impressed.

Some Main Stage poppiness next in the form of four-piece Brightonians High Tyde. Whilst the band are clearly musically proficient, it unfortunately comes at the expense of also being musically boring. They're tight but not attention grabbing, and though there's a reasonably large crowd present most are families sprawled on picnic blankets and are clearly here for the day's duration. There are small pockets of excitable teenage girls though, something evidenced by the throng of denim shorts and Hunter wellies that crowd around the entrance to the backstage area when their set finishes. The band might not be to our personal tastes, but they're clearly doing something right!

Back to the Giant Squid now to catch West Yorkshire's Allusondrugs, whose sole intention seems to be to eviscerate any lingering collective headache the audience might possess. Fortunately, a steady stream of festival food and gin seems to have rendered us immune to such issues, and their blend of light grunge, neo-psych and even emo makes for an eclectic but otherwise impressive show; their energy and antics onstage making it clear why there's such a buzz about them at the moment. Front-man Jason Moules might well have earned early comparisons with Kurt Cobain but his complete lack of stoicism this afternoon renders any such comparisons moot; the chemistry between him and his band-mates is palpable and infectious - the crowd turning in to a flailing mass of limbs before even the first track is over.

Following a liquid lunch of some of the best, and most reasonably priced craft ales around, we take our place at The Allotment stage. The smallest of the site's four main stages, The Allotment plays host to some country's best unsigned (and independent) acts around. For us, it's the pull of Manchester tropi-poppers Pale Waves, whose shimmering synth-pop is the perfect antithesis for the Peak District's trademark weather. Deserving of a bigger crowd than is in attendance the band still play a quality set, and though it's their first festival experience they take it their stride.

Remaining at the Allotment, next up is almost home-town heroes TRASH who manage what is arguably the most impressive pull of the weekend. Having just signed to Clue Records (also home to Allusondrugs) the band offer a brand of fuzz-laden slacker rock which, whilst not as heavy as other Clue exports, keeps a constant stream of punters flowing stagewards. By the set's conclusion, we've been forced to the back of the tent in fear of a beer soaking, such is the amount of it sent skywards by lairy crowd members. Not that that's a negative though, not by a long shot, and the sheer buzz that tears through the crowd with each individual track is nothing short of astounding. If there was one band from the weekend to keep both eyes, ears and maybe even your tongue on, should you be that way inclined, then TRASH are definitely it.

From grassroots to glassy-eyed now. Ocean Colour Scene take to the Main Stage in what one would have assumed was a booking to appease anyone old enough to remember TFI Friday on its first iteration, and of those there aren't too many. Thankfully though, what the band actually do is cement themselves as one of brit-pop's most overlooked acts as they tear through a set of classic '90s anthems. The crowning moment of the set, and the first real “festival moment” of the weekend comes in the form of 'The Day We Caught the Train'; anthemic and utterly exceptional, the chorus' hook rings out across the Main Stage and for the several thousand of us in attendance we know we've witnessed something predictable but more importantly, something special.

With an hour to kill before headliners Basement Jaxx, we make the journey to the Quarry stage for the first time that day, in order to catch American's We Are Scientists. Unfortunately though, just about everyone else had the same idea and we're relegated to the tent's periphery for the handful of tracks that we catch. Having seen the band before, we know they're capable of giving a better impression than they do tonight. Giving them the benefit of the doubt however, we put that down to our position outside the tent, and make our way back to the main-stage for the final time that day.

No matter what your opinion on Basement Jaxx, booking them as Saturday night headliners means that the festival's tenth birthday celebrations was always going to be just that, a celebration. Personally there's at least two separate Summer holidays of being unable to escape their music. Hearing the likes of 'Oh My Gosh' and 'Where's Your Head At' pumped out of a festival PA, however more than makes up for those repetitious weeks, and the party vibe they perpetuate seems to defy any age restrictions and make for one of the most emphatic headliners we've seen. Topping it all off with a massive firework display that goes on for the duration of the aforementioned 'Where's Your Head At' surely converting any naysayers.

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