Blissfields: Whipping the majors into shape
By ross.purdie on 20 March 2008
Blissfields have taken the plunge and announced a headliner who haven't even sold an album…
It has been littleover a week since Kings Of Leon and The Verve picked up and (if they're to be considered real rock n roll royalty) smashed up their Golden Guitar awards for most Headline Slots Of The Summer and already we've been treated to two more bill-toppers for 2008: The Whip and Roni Size. The pair take the Saturday and Sunday night top spots respectively, joining Friday's headliners The Wonder Stuff (those of 'Dizzy' fame with Vic Reeves) at 2007's Best Small Festival – Blissfields.
It's likely that you've heard of the seminal drum n bass Bristolian Roni Size and by now The Wonder Stuff’s 'Dizzy' should be in your head just "spinnin'. Like a whirlpool, it never ends." But how many of you have heard of The Whip? And not just heard of them, but actually heard them? The Manchester four-piece play heavy The Cure-bass electronica which has sealed them a deal on Fatboy Slim's Southern Fried label who are releasing their debut album 'X Marks Generation' later this month. Visit their MySpace HERE .
At first glance The Whip are the headline anomaly on the bill, but rather than getting hepped up that you may not have heard of them, revellers should admire the admiral decision of backing a new band because when it all boils down to it: this is what they do. They would have spent months up at Blissfields HQ listening, pondering and catching the band live until they came to the final decision that'll they're the ideal group to rock the party on Saturday night; it's just a shame the larger festivals are yet to follow suit.
Does running a small festival mean you to stick your neck out more? Or does running a major mean you can’t stick yours out at all? Take Glastonbury for example: the Eavis' have been riled with aggravation from fans about booking Jay-Z, but for me, it's the best headline act the festival has had it a long time. Why should the Pyramid Stage be shackled by "Anglo-Saxon, white, rock'n'roll superstar types," if there simply isn't enough of them to go around? Glastonbury should be merited on its diversity, with an abundance of jazz, reggae, folk, dance, rock and rap evident in previous line-ups and if Jay-Z were to top the Jazz World Stage, would there be nearly as much press attention? I seriously doubt it, plus the rapper has released a mammoth ten albums, four more than The Verve and Kings Of Leon's efforts combined.
But with smaller events it's not about the album sales. The Whip may be buzzing with eager anticipation for their impending release, but there are a number of names at the same festival who could easily replace them at top slot. The Rumble Strips, Subgiant, Jim Bob from Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine and Subsource could've all grabbed the converted spot, but where's the fun in that? It's good to see a festival finally taking a gamble this year; maybe 50-Cent should try and make a comeback at Reading?