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6 must-see new acts from Festival No 6

27th September 2013

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Festival No 6 is a place full of surprises and discovery. With acts popping up in unexpected places, like the magnificent Town Hall, or in a Woodland hide filled with stuffed creatures it is the place for surreal new music discoveries and discover we did.

Festival No 6Here are 6 of our favourite new music finds from Festival No 6:

  • Melt Yourself Down
Supergroup of sorts (featuring members of Acoustic Ladyland, Transglobal Underground, Heliocentrics, Polar Bear and Zun Zun Egui) Melt Yourself Down are an exploding ball of pure funky energy. In a dark tent, with the midday sun blaring outside, they instigate a Death Disco, channelling the funky, post-punk, dark global-funk of the likes of Shriekback and Pigbag. Spurred on by a dual saxophone onslaught, and an exceptionally tight rhythm section the groove is infectious. With a sweating, crazed front-man uttering stuff in some African dialect (or is he speaking in tongues), occasional English and lots of yelps – it is the sound of pure abandon. ‘We Are Enough’ has Can’s metronomic funk, fused with the sound of Afro-funk. ‘Fix My Life’ is hypnotic and exhilarating. Melt Yourself Down beats the crap out of world music, for fun.

  • Rhodes
Festival No 6 is all about the special little moments, and sheltering from the rain in Portmeirion’s Town Hall, singer-songwriter Rhodes provides one of those ‘special little moments’. With specially composed strings from the festival’s own orchestra (at this point reduced to a string quartet) his subtle guitar picking and silky, moving voice, stops hearts and brings tears to several eyes. Hitchin’s answer to Jeff Buckley effortless floats through a set of emotionally driven wonder. ‘Run’ has the potential to soundtrack every emotional event on TV and film for a long time to come. This guy is a pure, unadulterated talent.

  • Temples
Some bands are a complete package, Temples are that kind of band. They look like rock stars, act like rock stars and play quality rock music. They have the image down, the swagger down, the effortless cool. James Edward Bagshaw is an instant star, and the band are exceptionally tight. They might be 40 years to late to be a ‘new’ band, being a carbon copy of the best bits of psych, but their take on the freak beat sound is so note perfect it’s hard not to fall for it. Live the tracks take on a life of their own, ‘Ankh’ is heavier, groovier and harder than the single cut. This amount of cool backed by tunes this good never goes out of fashion.

  •  Georgia Ruth
Watching some acts just gives you a warm glow inside, and contentment with the world. This is the feeling stood watching Welsh folk-siren Georgia Rose during her mid-day set. Her haunting voice manages to portray both joy and pain at the same time, with intricate folk songs that have a timeless quality. There’s something of the melancholy beauty of her west Wales coastal home in her music. Live a talented full band act as the foundation for Ruth’s voice to build on, and the final music structure is as impressive as folk music gets.

  • Bird
Liverpudlians Bird make music that can be described as ‘atmospheric’, ‘moody’, ‘haunting’ etc etc. There is something ethereal and beguiling about their dream-pop meanderings. They’re not much to look at, being largely static on stage but their Cocteau Twins schtick works nicely in the woodland arena amongst the trees and stuff woodland creatures. Half an hour is enough, but this is a band that has the potential to build on their linear sound into something truly special.

  • Outfit
One of those ‘hotly tipped’ acts, another Liverpool lot, Outfit are another must-see. Taking cues from the dark 80s sounds from the city rather than those of the Fab Four, Outfit have an unsettling but largely infectious sound. Where many ‘hype’ bands have the look and the style but lack in the tunes department this is not a problem from Outfit. They play a dark, infectious indie glossed in pop that should be destined for pop success. ‘I want what’s best’ is an instant pop classic as an updated take on the early 80s electro-pop sound and in the vein of Django Django, and played to perfection in the live arena.

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