With Upon A Burning Body unfortunately absent, mid afternoon in the Pepsi Max stage is devoted to three British bands with designs upon the title of Best British Newcomers.
Marmozets are a brilliant, and intriguing, band, shaping up as one of our finest prospects. That the crowd for their 2:45pm set spills beyond the perimeters of the Pepsi Max stage illustrates just how much buzz there is on the Yorkshire quintet right now, and, on the strength of performances such as this, it’s hard to imagine anyone failing to be caught up in the excitement. From Why Do You Hate Me through to Move Shake Hide the band don’t miss a beat, and the constant wave of stage divers hurtling towards Becca MacIntyre tells its own story. MacIntyre is a star, a captivating presence at centre stage, and her range and versatility as a vocalist ensures that the band can switch from twitchy pop-rock to off-kilter math-metal with equal impact. “Oh my God, this is incredible,” the singer gushes at one point, and it’s hard to disagree. This feels like the start of something very special indeed. (9)
Lonely The Brave’s uniform all black attire marks them out as Serious Young Men, and the contrast between their audience (late twenties, thoughtful, focussed) and the crowd which spills out of the tent following Marmozets performance (youthful, excitable, sweat-drenched) is noticeable. Recently snapped up for a worldwide deal by Columbia Records, it’s easy to imagine the quintet on a stadium tour supporting U2 or Pearl Jam, but the Cambridge band have a few steps to negotiate before then. Their secret - soon to be not-so-secret - weapon is vocalist David Jakes, whose rich, emotional voice lights up every song, but there’s an overall confidence and maturity in their presentation and songwriting which hints at a long-haul future. Backwoods remains their trump card, but there’s enough variety and colour on the forthcoming The Day’s War album to suggest that one day they’ll be genuine main stage contenders. (7)
Arcane Roots have had the ‘Ones to Watch’ tag attached to their name for a couple of years now, but remain in the ‘promising’ rather than ‘essential’ file. Their audience is noticeably smaller than that faced by the two bands preceding them on the Pepsi Max stage, and one can’t help but wonder whether they have sufficient momentum at this point to out-pace their younger contemporaries. As with Biffy Clyro a decade ago - and that’s a comparison they must surely be tiring of - the three piece’s clever, technical songs demand time and attention, but pay out rich dividends: Million Dollar Question being particularly well received today. The question remains as to whether there’s the will here to take things beyond cult status. (6)