All Points East may not have the cultural clout of Glastonbury or the deep history of Reading festival, but the six events being staged at London's Victoria Park from August 19 through to August 28 can boast a line-up as high-profile, eclectic and cutting edge as any of Europe's A-List weekenders.
Kicking off with a rare festival headline set from Gorillaz on August 19, and climaxing with a much-anticipated set from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, APE is set to bring summer 2022 to a spectacular close.
Beyond the big-name headliners, here are nine acts on this year's schedule that you won't want to miss.
From hit collaborations with the likes of Icona Pop, Iggy Azalea, BTS and Rina Sawayama, through to her own visionary, genre-hopping solo albums, Charlotte Emma Aitchison's imprint on modern pop is second to none, to the point where the 30-year-old singer/songwriter's influence can be detected right across the APE schedules, from Self Esteem to Caroline Polachek. One of the few artists equally at home in the underground and mainstream music worlds, as comfortable with punk rock as club bangers, it's hard to predict exactly which Charli XCX will show up on APE's East Stage at 7:20 on August 27, but expect fireworks and irresistible party vibes.
Building on the promise shown by 2020 EPs Sweet Princess and Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks, Dry Cleaning's debut album, New Long Leg, was arguably last year's best rock release. While much of the focus on the South London quartet has (understandably) centred around Florence Shaw's fabulously deadpan vocal delivery and her brilliantly imaginative, often surreal lyrics, respect is also due to her three bandmates - Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse and Nick Buxton - whose years in hardcore bands now serve as a foundation for their wiry, inventive post-punk riffing. The band's second album, Stumpwork, is due in October, and teaser singles Don't Press Me and Anna Calls From The Arctic are evidence that their brilliant debut was no one-off. See them on the site's East Stage from 5:40pm on August 25.
Ten years on from the release of their debut album, World Music, Sweden's masked psych-rock fusion collective Goat remain as fabulously enigmatic and unknowable as ever. Claiming to have existed for two centuries, and insisting that their band features 2,500 members, Goat aren't ever going to pitch for mainstream acceptance, but their powerful, hypnotic, ritualistic grooves, drawing upon everything from Afro-beat to Anatolian funk, make for one hell of an experience live. Let them blow your mind on the Ray-Ban West Stage on August 25 from 17:20 to 18:00.
Drafted onto the APE bill as an 11th hour replacement for King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Mogwai should need little introduction: Stuart Braithwaite's band have recorded 10 superlative studio albums, and continue to find new ways to push the post-rock envelope 27 years into their career. Having scored their first ever UK number one album with last year's As The Love Continues, their APE set - scheduled from 7 to 8pm on the festival's East Stage on August 26 - promises to be a gloriously intense and utterly compelling victory lap.
One of the brightest new noises on a resurgent Irish rock scene - see also Sprints, Thumper, Sinead O'Brien - Galway quartet NewDad play lo-fi dream pop which nods towards alt. rock icons My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth as well as newer artists such as Beabadoobee and Dundalk's Just Mustard. Fellow countryman Chris 'The IT Crowd' O'Dowd showed up at the band's London show last year: they'll be making a lot more friends when their debut album arrives. Check them out today, August 19, on the Ray-Ban West Stage at 3:50pm.
Earlier this year, Classic Rock hailed The Smile's debut album, A Light for Attracting Attention, as "the best Radiohead album in over a decade." Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood might not be thrilled to see their new jazz-rock trio - completed by Tom Skinner from London's brilliant free-jazz collective Sons of Kemet - referenced in connection to their day job, but the opportunity to see the the duo up close and personal at 5:55pm on August 28 on APE's East Stage will be an undoubted thrill for those in attendance. Just don't go shouting out requests for Creep... no-one likes a smart-arse.
Along with Warp Records labelmates Aphex Twin and Autechre, Essex-born DJ/producer/musician Tom Jenkinson aka Squarepusher has been at the forefront of cutting edge electronica for over 25 years. Drawing upon influences as varied as Herbie Hancock, Lightning Bolt, musique concrète and Metallica, Squarepusher's music isn't always an easy listen, so his Field Day performance (August 20, North Stage, 5:30 to 6:30pm) should be deliciously jarring.
With The Smile, Spiritualized, Sleaford Mods, Michael Kiwanuka, Savages' Jehnny Beth and Starcrawler among the supporting cast beneath Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on August 28, APE's closing day promises to be the festival's high point. And Tinariwen, a Tuareg musicians' collective from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali, might just steal the end-of-summer show with their heady desert blues. See them on the Ray-Ban West Stage from 4pm.
The news, delivered last week via the band's Instagram page, that Turnstile have parted company with guitarist Brady Ebert, will have saddened anyone who still retains a soft spot for the 'band as gang' mythos. The Baltimore band's stunning Glastonbury set was yet another indication of their capacity to transcend their hardcore punk origins, and playing directly before Gorillaz this evening (August 19) on the East Stage (6:45 - 7:45pm) will be another opportunity to steal hearts and blow minds.