ARAB STRAP / KING CREOSOTE / HONEYBLOOD / CABBAGE / JESCA HOOP / WARHAUS / MERCHANDISE / LET’S EAT GRANDMA / HANNAH LOU CLARK / THE LAKE POETS / SHELLS
Following the announcement in December of their 2017 headliners – Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest and The Divine Comedy, who many believe to be the most exceptional mix of acts at the top of the festival’s bill in its history – the team at Deer Shed Festival have continued to reveal artists in their line-up. The nation’s favourite family friendly festival prides itself on offering something to satisfy the musical tastes of everyone, with this wave of artists covering everything from new age punk to soul, via folk rock and experimental electronic music.
On the back of Deer Shed Festival 7’s At the Movies themed arena being crowned the most ‘Unique festival arena’ at the AIF’s 2016 Festival Congress Awards, this year’s event appears set to once again wow its happy campers with a new theme. The Wilderwild is a place shrouded in mystery and magic on the fringes of Baldersby Park; a place where nature has been left to its own devices for many years to create a wilderness filled with adventure, craft and creativity for Deer Shedders to explore.
Second wave of artists
In 2006, Arab Strap broke our hearts when Malcolm Middleton said, “I don’t think we should ever get back together”. Luckily, the duo from Falkirk reformed in the summer of 2016 to mark their twentieth anniversary as a band. Remaining together for at least another summer, the Scots have agreed to grace the green fields of Baldersby Park with their eclectic mix of indie guitar rock, wonderful spoken word and, since their reunion, driven electronic beats.
Continuing the theme of Scottish acts in the Deer Shed Festival 8 line up is Mercury-nominated King Creosote, also known as singer-songwriter Kenny Anderson. His latest release in a repertoire of over forty albums, ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman’, has received widespread critical acclaim, with The Guardian claiming its ‘audacious musicality is masked by an understated charm and wit’.
Returning to the festival after previously playing at Deer Shed 6, Honeyblood is an alt-rock guitar and drum duo. The band name is apt, suggesting sweetness and rage all mixed into one pot; stirred up by Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale’s distorted ringing guitar and vocal performance, and Cat Myers’s Meg White-esque minimalistic drum beats that constantly drive the songs forward in their simplicity.
The Deer Shed team have booked a band in CABBAGE whose music and off-stage antics are both venomous. After The Sun newspaper tipped them as “the next big thing” for 2017, the band went viral for their response, telling the tabloid, with whom they disagree politically and morally, where to stick their flattery. Manchester’s latest musical export are characterised by punk guitar riffs that will induce reminiscence of Joy Division, and satirical – but often bleak – politically driven lyrics that could make any passive abstainer at least a little red in the face at the country’s current state.
In November of last year, Jesca Hoop released a new single, ‘The Lost Sky’, alongside an announcement that her new album would be released in February of this year. We’ve heard that the release, Memories Are Now, covers a great deal of ground, showcasing every edge and curve of Hoop’s captivating voice, with sounds and themes ranging from the mythic to the deeply intimate. It’s scheduled to drop on 17th February, meaning Deer Shedders will be treated to some new material in the summer!
Warhaus released his debut solo album, We F*cked a Flame into Being, away from the band Balthazar in the autumn of 2016. Complementing his rich baritone vocals, Warhaus’s song-writing is steeped in cynicism and fatalism recognisable from noir fiction. His dark explorations of love and desire are enhanced by the soft voice of Sylvie Kreusch, and the two together create harmonies on this record that would make the greatest fans of The XX swoon.
Merchandise is a band that refuse to be pigeon holed into one or two genres. They float seamlessly from track to track between classic indie rock, synth pop reminiscent of the ‘70s and ‘80s, shoegaze ambience, and post punk doom and gloom. It sounds eclectic to the max, but boy does it work.
Next on the bill, Let's Eat Grandma is made up of childhood pals Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth from Norwich, both of whom are yet to turn 18. The two are so diverse in their style, with their 2016 debut album I, Gemini featuring tunes that range from electronic dance with up-tempo beats and humorous raps, to a far more ambient and atmospheric shoegaze-y sound.
Previously of the band FOE, Hannah Lou Clark combines the restrained crunch of her guitar with a dulcet voice that soars above the fuzz, reminiscent of Karen O’s vocals for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The honeyed voice of The Lake Poets glides beautifully over intricate guitar riffs to create a truly soothing sound. This sound, coupled with lyrics of love and heartbreak that rival Damien Rice’s as a laureate of loss and despair, has situated him as a jewel in the crown of northern song writing.
In the hope that it might allay the January and February blues for Deer Shedders, Shells have been announced as on the bill for 2017. As the name might suggest, listening to this artist’s stunning anthemic choruses feels like being transported to a warm beach in the midst of a tropical summer.
EAT FAST, a Popgaze quartet from Newcastle, are putting everything into creating their adrenaline filled music, an attitude exemplified by Adam Pearson who dropped out of his PhD to write songs. In addition to featuring at Deer Shed 8, the band have much in the pipeline for 2017, including a SIXTEEN-track LP.
Hailing from South London, Goat Girl are a teenage rock band who have just signed to Rough Trade Records. Their debut release, ‘Country Sleaze / Scum’, is a wonderful introduction to the band, which packs Seattle-sound guitars and lethal lyrics commenting on the state of England into a record that leaves you dying to hear more.
The shimmering guitar tone produced by Nilüfer Yanya is actually beginning to become a bit of a trademark, and we’re looking forward to hearing it at Deer Shed 8. It is most notably featured on her debut single, released in September 2016, called ‘Small Crimes’.
If you see yourself as a bit of a musical traditionalist, the Deer Shed team can’t recommend watching Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker enough. Even if you take your music without a hint of analogue or acoustic, we implore you not to fall for the timeless folk sound of Ben’s masterful guitar and Josienne’s angelic voice.
The duo Xylaroo consists of sisters Holly and Coco Chant, who travelled across the world for their father’s career when growing up, and their latest stop will be North Yorkshire! Their debut single, ‘Sunshine’, really is a ray of sunshine, with its delightful harmonies and country-inspired guitar strumming.
Maia are perhaps the most unique band on the Deer Shed roster for 2017. They have labelled themselves as pioneers of a wholly new genre, psychedelic sci-fi folk, which blew Deer Shedders away back in 2015.
One of the latest sensations out of LIPA, Jalen N’Gonda is set to wow Deer Shed 8 with his fusion of soul and rock ‘n’ roll. The sheer power of his vocals might actually befit the title of a once in a generation voice, akin to James Brown.
Perhaps a contender to be the heaviest band on the bill for Deer Shed 8, October Drift produce alternative-rock and noise pop, emanating a sound that seems to have been schooled by the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine.
Originating from Middlesbrough, Tom Joshua is a shining example of the depth of music talent hidden within the cities surrounding the Deer Shed Festival gate, with his unique mix of traditional folk, modern indie, cello-heavy soundscapes, lullabies, and nursery rhyme trumpet fanfares.
Presenting beautifully crafted acoustic folk, jazz and bluegrass original songs as well as meticulously arranged instrumental material, Stillhouse are ready to bring the real joy to Baldersby Park this July.
The Obelisk stage has always been the place to be for Deer Shedders who want to boogie! For 2017, the festival are hoping to raise the jiving another level to even dizzier heights, meaning they were desperate to book 6-piece, high-octane folk rock band, Aelfen.
Agbkeo are an 11-piece, afro-rock-funk-psych band from Manchester making waves in the UK live music scene with their modern world music. The band are largely influenced by African music, clear from the energy and ecstasy they appear to bring to every single live performance.
After forming in their student accommodation at the University of Leeds, Jolly and the Lightweight developed their clear roots in traditional folk music with the welcome bonus of beautifully poetic lyrics sung through soaring vocal harmonies.
Deer Shed Festival credit BBC Radio 6 DJ Mark Riley with introducing them to many under the radar artists they have fallen in love and subsequently booked. He’s like a musical Cupid! No wonder they’re delighted to have booked him for a set.
Now officially part of the Deer Shed Festival furniture, the festival cannot wait to welcome back Global Dance Party, aka DJ Andy Kershaw, and his magic mediocrity slaying DJ box.
Published on 24 January 2017 by Ben Robinson