With the first ever Future Yard festival kicking off in Birkenhead in just a few days time, we’ve been getting pretty excited here at GIGsoup. Created by the team behind Bido Lito! magazine, the festival will open its doors on Friday 23rd for two days of music from a diverse range of local, national and international artists. With over fifty performances taking place across the bank holiday weekend, we’ve selected the five artists that we’re looking forward to seeing the most.

Beija Flo

With her father being among the first to introduce capoeira in Britain (an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music), and her mother also being a cabaret performer and a clown, Beija Flo was always going to have an interesting career ahead of her. Named after the Portuguese for hummingbird, the Essex-born artist arrived on Merseyside via the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and has quickly become one of the most unique talents in the city today. More than just a musician, she’s a performance artist who brings together elements of dance, theatre and activism into the her boundary pushing, immersive and deeply personal live shows. Part of the Eggy Records family, she’s perhaps best known for her stunning second single ‘Mary’ which was released in March last year. If you want to witness something a little bit different at Future Yard then head over to Birkenhead Town Hall on Saturday evening from 20:15.

Black Country, New Road

The London-based six piece came together off the back of an old project in the summer of 2018 and have been blowing minds with their cacophonous, experimental blend of post-punk, noise, jazz and Balkan folk featuring angsty, Black Mirror-esque lyrics. With only one single released thus far in the form of the excellent Speedy Wunderground issued ‘Athen’s, France’, their sets uploaded to YouTube from Brixton’s Windmill have been driving much of the steadily building hype. Full of twists and turns, their performances are incredibly gripping with sax and violin adding to the apocalyptic tension. If you’re into bands such as Swans, Slint, Tortoise and King Crimson then you should definitely to get yourself down to Birkenhead Priory from 19:45 on Friday night.

Lo Five

After releasing a selection of albums on Bandcamp from 2014, the Liverpool-born, Hoylake-based multi-instrumentalist electronic artist Lo Five came to wider attention in 2017 with When It’s Time To Let Go. Issued via Patterned Air, it received positive reviews from a number of publications, including a write up in experimental music magazine The Wire by the one and only Simon Reynolds. In addition to releasing his own material, Lo Five is also the leader of the Emotion Wave crew. Known for putting on regular events which showcase the best local electronic artists, they will be curating Reformat at Future Yard where Lo Five will be joined by Polypores, Foxen Cyn, Bye Louis and DJ Luna. If you love melodic electronic music then get yourself along to Priory Chapel & Green from 18:00 on the Saturday where Lo Five will be opening the Reformat showcase.

Nilüfer Yanya

Twice turned down in her efforts to study a popular music degree, the 23-year old West London-born artist whose parents are of Turkish and Bajan origin began playing at open mic nights and uploading her music to SoundCloud. Louis Tomlinson of One Direction was impressed enough to offer her a place in a girl group he was forming. Thankfully, she rejected the offer to concentrate on her own music and made a breakthrough with the single ‘Baby Luv’ in late 2017. After three EPs in as many years between 2016 and 2018, her full-length debut Miss Universe arrived back in March. A sophisticated blend of art pop, indie rock, soul, R&B and jazz with husky and intelligent vocals, it was met with widespread acclaim and fully justified the hype that has surrounded her since being named on the BBC Sound of 2018 longlist. It’s unfortunate that her set clashes with the likes of Pixx, Polypores and SPQR, but Nilüfer Yanya’s headline performance on the Saturday at Birkenhead Priory from 21:15 should not be missed.

Working Men’s Club

The West Yorkshire via Italy and Poland group started life as a trio after meeting at college in Manchester but have since added a fourth member. We’ve only heard three songs from them thus far but you couldn’t ask for a better introduction from a new band. Blending post-punk and new wave on their first single ‘Bad Blood’ and its b-side ‘Suburban Heights’, their second single ‘Teeth’ shifted their sound in a darker, more electronic direction. Taking cues from late 70’s and early 80’s artists such as Talking Heads, New Order and Suicide, we don’t know which direction they might take on their next release but we’re very excited to hear more from the Heavenly Recordings signed band. Be sure to catch them on Saturday evening in the Bloom Building from 20:45.

The inaugural Future Yard will take place across five performance spaces in Birkenhead on Friday 23rd and 24th August. For more details about the festival, including how to purchase weekend and day tickets, head over to FutureYard.org

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