Situated in a scenic Cornish valley, the eleventh iteration of the Leopallooza Festival takes place near Bude in Cornwall from July 28th to July 30th.
There are seven stages at Leopallooza, including The Temple of Boom, where you can have a spiritual experience to the beats, breaks and bass curated by Cornish DJ collective, Hong Kong Ping Pong. Falmouth's esteemed bar, Mono, curates and lends its name to the alternative stage. They've got dance wrapped up at The Treeline, laughter at the Punkomedy Stage and new talent at the BBC Introducing Cornwall Stage. The Main Arena has two stages, so that the music can alternate from one to the other, forgoing the need for lengthy changeovers. Throw in over 100 new and established acts, plenty of kids' activities, camping, plus excellent food and drink and you've got every reason to make the pilgrimage.
Ten Must-See Acts At Leopallooza.
Clean Cut Kid
This Liverpool-based quartet will give you a kick up the Eighties with their perky fuzz pop. Mike and Evelyn Halls' vocals harmonise joyously. Their recent album, "Felt" documents the couple's transition from a blind date in 2012, to a wedding and finally to assembling a crack squad of bandmates, leading to the acclaimed position they find themselves in today. They supported Michael Kiwanuka in May, then sang at his wedding. Mike's epic beard provoked a hilarious tabloid food safety furore on Channel 4's Saturday Kitchen recently. It's worth the journey to the South-West for his resplendent chin-thicket alone, but their tunes will also delight.
Flamingods mark the musical co-ordinates where East meets West, but whether that's West Africa or Western Europe (or both) depends on the song. Intercontinental psychedelia is the least hapless way to try to pigeonhole them. Hypnotic and seductive, Flamingods have wooed many a music luminary and blissed-out festival crowd, especially with their recent album, "Majesty" and EP "Kewali". Imagine the most unlikely but delicious food combination that you've ever put together, having been entirely doubtful it'd taste alright. That's Flamingods!
Francobollo is Italian for postage stamp. They're so good that, by the end of their set, you usually do want to lick them and send them to your friends. With their tunefully-raucous rabble rock, they arrive at Leopallooza with their freshly-released debut album, "Long Live Life". It was recorded in front of a live audience, so you can expect tunes purpose-built for a festival arena. If only they could screen their mad videos along with their songs at a festival, especially the 'WTF' ante-natal class video to "Worried Times".
Inviting someone who released "English Rain" to headline the final night is possibly not the act of a superstitious festival booker. Gabrielle Aplin also soundtracked the world's most devoted and industrious snowman's shopping quest on the beautiful John Lewis ad in 2012. From stripped-back beginnings, her second album "Light Up The Dark" and subsequent "Miss You" EP have taken a feistier, often poppier direction. Whatever the arrangement, the voice is unvaryingly, intoxicatingly rich. Just back from a vibrant Japanese tour, she's more than ready for the Arena Stage.
Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind
"Mummy, is that Shakin' Stevens on hallucinogens?" "It's alright, darling, that's Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind". "But why is my face melting, mummy?" "Your face isn't actually melting, dear, it's just the thermonuclear qualities of their irresistible rock 'n' roll sexytunes. You'll be fine in a couple of months." "Are they a cult, mummy?" "Kind of." "What do they worship, mummy?" "Riffs and howls, love". "Like the Bad Seeds, or maybe the Stooges?" "That's close enough, sweetness." "Cool. Let's go and get daddy from the beer tent. This band's the mutt's nuts".
If you took the effort to harvest the DNA of Prince, Elvis, Rag'n'Bone Man and Michael Hutchence, you'd be arrested for all manner of things, but if you got away with it, you could make Keir. It'd be like Jurassic Park, but with better teeth. A graduate in songwriting from Bristol's BIMM, he's been rightly championed by BBC Introducing in The West, leading to a fine set on the Introducing Stage at Glastonbury and a support slot with Craig David on Bristol Harbourside. If you don't know his breakthrough hit, "Probably", then there's no probably about it - you should.
Paradisia's haunting, harmonic vocals ought to sound lush reverberating around a Cornish valley. Indeed, their name is meant to represent an ideal space, temporarily away from reality, like a festival ought to be. They rose to prominence this year with their debut album, "Sound of Freedom" and a cover of Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark". The three-piece only formed in 2015, yet have already supported Laura Mvula, Michael Kiwanuka, Birdy and Carole King. Oh, and there's a harp as well. Could it sound any more ethereal?
Leading the way at The Treeline, the house of electronic arts and dance, UK DJ, composer and mixer Redlight will get the sweat and adrenalin flowing with his infusion of house, bass and garage. It's forecast that with bangers such as 2012's Top Ten hit, "Lost in Your Love", an unseasonable amount of moisture (in the form of perspiration) will fall over the weekend. Don't tell Rick Stein that Redlight has an alias of Lobster Boy, or he'll be over from Padstow pretty darn pronto with a pot of boiling water.
They've played the main stage at Lollapalooza, now they're headlining Friday night at Leopallooza. With existence in such fine equilibrium, what could the brothers Jarman possibly have left to achieve? Anyone with an ounce of Cribs nous will know that their restless, boundless energy is part of their charm, so they'll not be resting on their laurels. They'll no doubt be bristling with tracks from forthcoming Steve-Albini-produced album "24-7 Rock Star Sh*t" to the festival (due out August 11th), as well as reprising their third album, "Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever" in its entirety as part of the current ten-year anniversary.
Vant's socially-aware punk pop ought to turn you into a lover and a fighter in equal measures. Not that they're going to provoke mass making out or fisticuffs with their festival appearance. The music of their first album, "Dumb Blood" ought to make you appreciate life more and motivate you to be active and vocal in your opposition to those who denigrate life. Lead man, Mattie Vant doesn't shirk the serious stuff. He belts out songs about warmongering, gun ownership, cynical news media and the sentience sapping online habits of the smartphone generation, yet he does it with charisma, humour and complete conviction.
Check out the full line-up on the official website.
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