Brucie Bonus: Hop Farm Festival 2012 preview
It's time for Play Your Hop Farm Cards Right!
Chris Eustace - 25 June 2012
All of our recommendations are based on a poll of 100 people (Ed. not really).
Let’s begin with Friday, shall we?
Ah, we start with a 9! Cashier No. 9, that is.
The Belfast five-piece will play the Bread And Roses stage, and with a debut album ‘To The Death OfFun’ produced by dance luminary David Holmes, they specialise in atmospheric, hook-laden jangle-pop, with Byrds-ian West Coast harmonies melded to early Stone Roses/pre-‘Screamadelica’ Primal Scream psychedelic dreaminess. If the weather’s as good as initial forecasts are promising, they’ll be a perfectly laid-back soundtrack.
Lower! Lower! Well, we’ll getting down just for the funk of it with George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic on the Main Stage, with the collective combining the best of all of P-Funk innovator Clinton’s various incarnations. Modern R&B, soul and rock would sound completely different without his influence, so go and pay homage, and more importantly, dance.
Higher! Ray Davies is one place higher on the bill, and the legendary Kinks frontman is sure to play tracks from his hit-packed back catalogue. Playing before headliner Peter Gabriel, he’ll be on just as the sun’s going down. Hmmm…does anyone know if he has any songs that might fit that time of the day?
Looks like you’ve pulled an Ace…
Peter Gabriel And The New Blood Orchestra
The first in a trio of legendary headliners, Gabriel’s never been afraid to push boundaries, and after last year’s album ‘New Blood’ featured orchestral reworkings of some of his most famous songs, he’ll be laying them bare when he tops the bill here.
"You can change the card, if you want to." Let’s just change the day if it’s all the same to you…
“You get nothing for a pair, not in this game.” That’s where you’re wrong Brucie, we’ve got Slow Club. Rebecca and Charles started off as indie-folk, but go a bit harder these days, with driving drums and biting guitars bringing something altogether darker to proceedings. That’s not to say their pop smarts have been neglected, there’s plenty of wistful melodies and even a bit of Motown in there. A must-see in the Big Tent.
Higher up on the Big Tent bill, we have a four! Maximo Park have just released their fourth album ‘The National Health’, and it’s the sound of a band reinvigorated, with ‘The National Health’ and ‘Hips And Lips’ evidence of the fire back in their bellies. Watch out for some trademark Paul Smith scissor kicks.
Queen Of Hearts! Poetic punk pioneer Patti Smith will be bringing her band to Hop Farm, and while there’ll no doubt be some songs from the seminal ‘Horses’ in the set, with new record ‘Banga’ just out it won’t just be an exercise in nostalgia.
The leader of the Pack! Bob Dylan will headline the Saturday night – what more can be said about him? One of the godfathers of modern music, the man just never stops. It’s a no-brainer to go and watch him on the Main Stage.
And your Brucie Bonus…
Sir Bruce Forsyth will be bringing his Big Band to serenade the crowd on Saturday afternoon – expect some crooner-style classics. Maybe he’ll have time for a quick game of Play Your Cards Right for real?
King of Clubs…well actually, it’s King Charles. The Mumford-approved folk-pop dandy will be on in the Big Tent on Sunday afternoon, ready to blow your hangover away with upbeat tunes like ‘Lady Percy’ and ‘The Brightest Lights’
Higher! If that doesn’t perk you up, Kool & The Gang surely will, otherwise there’s no hope for you. ‘Get Down On it’, ‘Celebration’, ‘Ladies Night’, ‘Jungle Boogie’….the list goes on. Let’s all have a disco!
And your final Ace…Suede will close things out on Sunday night, with Brett Anderson’s reactivated indie-rockers showing off the old hits like ‘Trash’ and ‘Animal Nitrate’ whilst leaving room for fan favourites like ‘Killing Of A Flashboy for a glam-tinged finish.
Let’s not forget the festival’s Comedy Stage, which looks pretty strong this year. Stephen K Amos, Russell Kane, Patrick Monahan, Phil Nichol and Mark Little are among the performers across the weekend.
We’ll leave you with some sound festival advice in the form of another Brucie catchphrase – “It could still be a big night, if you Play Your Cards Right!” Make that three.
There's another Brucie Bonus waiting for you here - The VF Hop Farm Festival Spotify Playlist!
Weekend tickets with 4 days camping are priced at £162 (no booking fee).
Click here to buy Hop Farm tickets.