Ever since its inception in 2001, Scotland’s Wickerman festival has drawn parallels with festival Godfather, Glastonbury, both for its free-flowing, reclined atmosphere, and ethos of musical diversity, ensuring that there’s a little something for everyone in attendance. A glance at the line-up for 2010 confirms that this year will be no different, with its musical pendulum swinging between the extremes of 808 State’s frenetic in-your-face techno, and the likes of Chris Bradley’s gentle folk musings, with a plethora of varied acts packed in between.
High-profile highlights include a double-barrelled retrospective from punk legends the Undertones and The Buzzcocks, and an appearance from Scotland’s irrepressible sons, Teenage Fanclub. However it’s under the awning of the Solus tent where Wickerman’s finest offerings can be found. Here are just a few of the anticipated highlights.
Dan Willson may use his guise as Withered Hand to indulge his badly bruised soul, however his ironically titled 2009 debut LP Good News showcased not only his fine-tuned songwriting skills, but also an endearingly dark humour which offset his doomsday-isms. He’s worth catching based on the brilliance of standout track, Religious Songs, alone.
Their name itself will undoubtedly prove divisive, however the fanfare of Glasgow’s Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers should unify Wickerman come July, as whilst their 2010 album Home And The Wildhunt has provided one of this year’s surest homegrown offerings, it’s when translated to the live arena that the sextet’s full-bodied, Morricone-flavoured folk truly shines.
Behind the colourful quirk and gimmickry of Mitchell Museum, this vibrant four-piece have spent the last few years building a loyal fan base with their eccentric and innovative indie pop, at times invoking the spirit of Brooklyn’s experimental forerunners Yeasayer. With debut album, The Peters Port Memorial Service, released this month, Wickerman provides a perfect opportunity to catch a band truly hitting their stride.
From behind her mask of black and white makeup, Fifer Suzanne Shaw has been quietly crafting a collection of electro-inflected folk under her Panda Su misnomer. And whilst her only release to date has been the Steve Mason-produced Sticks and Bricks EP, few could fail to be captured by its understated brilliance.
Leith based producer, DJ and knackered GameBoy operator, Unicorn Kid has been described as an internet phenomenon. It’s a tag which seems justified, given that his MySpace page has amassed over one million hits. Factor in that Oli Saban has only recently left school, and that feat seems all the more impressive. Wait till he gets on FaceBook.
Published on 27 July 2010 by PaulNeeson