OnBlackheath, South East London’s premier festival, returns for another dose of the ‘established’ and the ‘non-familiar’. The yearly gathering seems to be growing in popularity and its ability to attract the cream of music royalty seems to have made it one of the ‘must-attend’ events on the UK’s festival calendar.
Famous for it’s ability to merge music with child-friendly events OnBlackheath is a must for those with rug-rats in tow or for those put off by the sometimes overwhelming size of our longer running festivals. This is a chilled-out affair but with enough edge to ensure musso’s from mixed genres come away from the proceedings fully satisfied.
With just under a week to go until the 2016 incarnation of OnBlackheath GIGsoup take a look at this years main stage line-up for the Saturday…
One of the founding members of the current British Indie scene Primal Scream, and in particular the enigmatic Bobby Gillespie, have been entertaining us with their own brand of mixed genre releases for over 30 years.
Not afraid to experiment the band have offered up indie pop and dance fusions in the form of 1991’s Screamadelica, and completely re-inventing themselves for the more aggressive but critically acclaimed 2000 release XTRMNTR. This year the band released Chaosmosis (their 11th album) which saw the band again revisiting more conventional songwriting with a return to a more pop feel – even recruiting indie darlings Haim and Sky Ferreira.
With Mani leaving the band to concentrate on his Stone Roses commitments Gillespie continues to pick up the mantle and offers up a plethora of back catalogue classics for our entertainment.
Look out for ‘Loaded’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Movin’ On Up’
Indie and electronica band Hot Chip have been with us since 2000, releasing 6 albums in that time and producing a sound that continues to be distinctive and fresh.
2015 saw the release of Why Make Sense? for many containing one of the groups strongest tracks to date, Huarache Lights. And again, we have a band who’s back catalogue is hugely impressive – with each album offering elements of re-invention but at the core keeping Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard’s contrasting vocals, and more importantly Hot Chip’s dance music’s origins
A band who easily convert studio produced elements of electronica to a live environment they have graced every major festival and continue to sell out their own tours with ease. Hot Chip are a ‘must see’ band and their debut at this years OnBlackheath is a real coup for the organisers.
Watch out for ‘Huarache Lights’, ‘Ready for the Floor’ and the classic ‘Over and Over’
Roisin Murphy never does anything by the book. The queen of re-invention, the London based artist has delved into the dark disco of European house music, an EP mainly of covers all sung in Italian and more recently brandishes a ho-viz yellow jacket for her current LP ‘Take Her Up To Monto’.
With a nod to the enigmatic Grace Jones she has an ability to combine wonderfully eclectic fashion with breathy vocals and clean electronica. 2015’s ‘Hairless Toys’ was a Mercury Music Prize nomination and her first release for over 8 years, gaining a huge following and leading to a series of sell out dates through-out Europe. Expect a set of wonderfully constructed pop at this years OnBlackheath and a pleasant trip through the cream of over 10 years worth of material.
Look out for ‘Overpowered’, ‘Dear Miami’ and ‘You Know Me Better’
Manchester’s Julie Campbell (aka Lonelady) offers up something completely different for this years OnBlackheath. An artist who creates simple music but with an quite overwhelming atmosphere takes a drum machine, adding delicate layers of synths and addictive rhythm to create a sound unlike anything this corner of Blackheath has seen before. So unique is the sound Lonelady has had a Sky Arts nomination for Best Breakthrough Artist and has been a regular on 6Music since her 2010 release ‘Nerve Up’.
2015 saw the release of ‘Hinterland’ – an album containing four singles reaching the ‘A’ Playlist on BBC 6 Music. It’s at times dark but has elements of the experimental and atmospheric music from the early 80s. It’s a quite fascinating album with a real raw element that should translate well to a live environment
Look out for ‘Groove It Out’, ‘Bunkerpop’ and ‘Hinterland’
Rosie Lowe’s debut album ‘Control’ which was out February, demonstrates exactly why she has gained recognition from the legendary Elton John (who recently signed her to management) as well as pioneering artists including The Invisible, Kwabs, Ady Suleiman and Ghostpoet. It’s an album that breaks loose from the confinement of expected genres – you’ll hear echoes of James Blake, The Weeknd, Laura Mvula and The xx – and Lowe’s personality is also a pivotal part of the experience.
An emerging feminist icon, ‘Control’ finds Lowe baring her soul as she explores a wealth of personal issues with devastating honesty, with the brutal realities of love and relationships being a key recurring theme. Yet as articulate and opinionated as Lowe is, she possesses a warmth and a sharp-wit that immediately allows strangers to feel like old pals.
This years OnBlackheath takes place on the 10th and 11th September. Day and weekend tickets can be purchased at www.onblackheath.com