Previews

Festival Preview: Wireless 2010

01 June 2010


We’re safely into festival season, but what do you do if you want to see some of the super-heavyweight acts playing in fields and farms across the land, but you don’t have the time, the means or the inclination to leave London for muddier, less comfortable climes? Get your dose of superstar talent at the city centre Wireless Festival, that’s what you do.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to know what to predict from a Wireless Festival. Sometimes it’s four days long, last year it was two days, this time round it’s a three day event. Its home in Hyde Park seems settled but the satellite event in Leeds has been discarded.

A prime example of the effects of targeted sponsorship, the event is these days sponsored by Barclaycard and this year has pulled in some pretty huge names. With all three headliners coming from the land of Coke and Stetsons, there’s a definite American feel to the 2010 incarnation. But who else is worth checking out? Here are a few tips:

FRIDAY

Headliner:

Friday is P!nk Day. Over the last few years Alecia Moore has built a fierce and fearsome reputation as a live artist, increasingly bringing acrobatics and trapeze artistry into her set. Having showered the VIP area at the Grammy Awards with water while performing aerial silks above their heads, you can be sure that aside from being one of the most reliable sources of pure pop songs in the business, she’ll be giving everyone the “wow” treatment.

One To Catch:

Despite the odd piece of strange scheduling (yes, The Ting Tings, we’re looking at you) there’s a bit of a rock element to P!nk Day. So for those wanting a slab of modern American rock, some time Foo Fighter, Taylor Hawkins will be peeping up from behind his drumkit to play with his other band The Coattail Riders. With their second album due for release, expect a loud noise with a melodic flair.

One To Discover:

Sunday Girl is 21-year old Jade Williams. Slipping in neatly into the current trend of pretty girls fronting electro songs, expect some fizzing synthed-up pop songs from her set over at the Bandstand Stage. Keep an ear out for debut single Four Floors with its Ellie Goulding-like ethereal soundscape.

SATURDAY

Headliner:

LCD Soundsystem will be bringing their brand of disco funk to Saturday in support of their third album This Is Happening. With a back catalogue that doesn’t contain much in the way of a dud song, they’ll be dancing in the Selfridges aisles when James Murphy and the rest of the Soundsystem get stuck into Tribulations or Drunk Girls.

One To Catch:

Not quite as clear-cut as “Dance Day” would seem to indicate, there’s a mouth-watering double bill of rap legends Snoop Dogg and Missy Elliot taking up residence on the main stage. It’s Elliot that’s getting our juices going as she’s been out of the public eye for a while. At one stage the undisputed queen of hip hop, her classic tune Get Yr Freak On busted frontiers and paved the way for much of the distorted production values that her long-time collaborator Timbaland became known for. While the two of them found the spotlight together, it’s taken a few years to get her Block Party album ready for release. But with it due out later this year, this’ll be an early chance to check out what she’s offering.

One To Discover:

Jamie Lidell‘s been around for a while, but every time he puts out an album he seems to recreate himself. And he’s done it again. Borrowing from the likes of Prince and Stevie Wonder, this year’s release, Compass, has found him embracing a glitchy experimental funk sound that has left his sweet soul crooning in its wake. With a great album to promote, look forward to discovering one of the year’s best kept secrets.

SUNDAY

Headliner:

Completing the trilogy of USA headliners, Jay-Z has been given the task of ending the weekend having earned his colours on the outdoor UK festival scene following the legendary status afforded to his 2008 Glastonbury set. He’s worked with a lot of big name collaborators in recent years, so fingers crossed for a few special, surprise guests.

One To Catch:

Doesn’t it feel like Lily Allen‘s been around forever? It’s strange to think that she’s only release two albums and that five years ago she could still pop down to her local branch of Asda unnoticed and untouched by the masses. Having won her BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist this year, she’s maintained that she’ll be on some kind of hiatus from performing. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen – it’s hard to imagine her staying out of the spotlight forever. But if she’s true to her word, this could be the last chance you get to see her on stage.

One To Discover:

Described by the New York Times as “M.I.A and Miike Snow‘s lovechild” Brooklyn’s Hesta Prynn has been carving out a name for herself on that there other side of the pond. Formerly a member of all-girl hip-hop trio Northern State, the girl known to her mum as Julie Potash has replaced rapping with singing and has some intriguing pieces of lo-fi experimental pop that offer something a little different.

Wireless takes place from 2-4 July 2010 at Hyde Park, London. Tickets are available from the wirelessfestival.co.uk



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