Preview: Stag & Dagger 2010

01 May 2010

With the Camden Crawl and The Great Escape already under the urban gig seeker’s belt, it’s now the turn of the Shoreditch take on the multi-venue music festival, Stag & Dagger.

Into its third year, the most exciting progression for most of us is that the one-dayer has moved to the weekend, meaning we can make the most of the 6pm-4am stretch. And while musicOMH will be celebrating in East London, the festival moves north of the border to Glasgow on Saturday, when the likes of The Antlers and Wild Beasts add a bit of extra class to the bill.

Down here though, and in keeping with the nature of these events, the organisers have come up with a mind-boggling number of acts to see. Expanded to take in over 20 venues, we’re all just going to have to hope that we happen to stagger upon the good stuff.

It is of course churlish to moan about being spoilt with riches, and so instead it would be more constructive to perhaps consider what stands out and might be worth making that b-line for.

As you’d expect the line-up is mainly up-and-coming acts, and a great opportunity to uncover gems that you might not have heard of. There’s Icelandic misnomers FM Belfast and their DIY eccentricities playing at the Hobby Horse and the mentalist pop of Brooklynites Javelin at CAMP, for starters.

Head over to the Macbeth’s stage for one of the stronger itineraries on paper with the dream pop of White Hinterland and the scuzzy tunes of Archie Bronson Outfit who’ve both released excellent albums this year. Elsewhere, other bands currently riding on the crest of a media wave and likely to attract crowds include These New Puritans and Pulled Apart By Horses.

For those who want less noise and more tunesmiths, the place to be is the Spread Eagle where you’ll find Bella Union signing Lone Wolf alongside solo songwriters Cate Le Bon, Conil and Sweet Baboo.

And then that hub of London gigs, the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, unsurprisingly pulls in some of the bigger names of the night with Miike Snow set for a DJ spot, plus performances from We Have Band and The Phenomenal Handclub Band – perennial giggers all. Meanwhile Lovers And Gamblers, Little Boots‘s side project, play in another room after Miss Hesketh’s own turn with the decks.

Whether you choose the tactic of finding your favourite itinerary and sticking it out in a comfy spot at the same venue all night, or whether you take Stag & Dagger on at its own game and hop between as many as you can, seeing as much of the local wildlife as you can manage, make sure you do it your way.

For the price of a couple of gigs, the choice that you get is incredible and with those late opening hours depending on the venue, no-one can argue with the cost.

Stag & Dagger 2010 takes place on 21st May at various venues in Shoreditch and Hoxton, London, for which tickets cost 15 advance or 20 on the night. A Glasgow leg takes place on 22nd May. Tickets and further information are available from

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