Sugar Horse – Wednesday, Elephant in the Bar Room
One of the bands I discovered at a previous ArcTanGent, Sugar Horse are a loud mix of riffs and delay-laden post-rock moments. They’ve released a lot of music since then so will no doubt be bringing plenty of new material to play at the festival. Wear ear plugs.
Castrovalva – Saturday, PX3
A welcome return to the Leeds three piece, blending multiple genres together to create something that’s energetic and unique. With ridiculous drumming, some incredible bass lines and the incredible vocal talents of Leemun Smith they’re an incredibly enjoyable band to watch live.
FES – Thursday, Bixler
Not often do you hear of math-rock bands coming out of Peterborough (one of the two cities that provided me with live music to watch growing up) – I wish a band this good had been on the local scene when I was a teenager. They recently released their debut full length, With Regards From Home and it’s an excellent listen. I’m looking forward to hearing it live.
The Armed – Saturday, Arc Stage
The Armed’s biography reads “Earth’s Greatest Band” which is setting a fairly high bar to measure them against. They’re pulling no punches in trying to prove themselves though a band who blend hardcore with elements of pop music and who’s live show looks like pure chaos. Recent album Ultrapop is a truly incredible piece of art but they’ve got a discography of hard hitting, fast paced, tracks to push the energy up at the Arc Stage.
Ithaca – Saturday, Bixler
Fresh from releasing what will surely be one of the best albums of the year, They Fear Us, Ithaca grace the Bixler stage at lunch time with what will surely be thirty minutes of the best metalcore you’ll hear all weekend.
Årabrot – Friday, PX3
I recently caught Årabrot over at Colchester Arts Centre supporting Nordic Giants and was blown away by their performance. It was dark, haunting and just incredibly interesting to listen to. Their bio says they live in a church in the Swedish country side; I don’t know how but that one line sums up the band perfectly.
Frontierer – Saturday, Yohkai
Frontierer are a band I’d never heard of until last ArcTanGent, they were a band I was assigned to photograph and, even waiting for them to start, I had no idea what they sound like. It took seconds before I was assaulted by their sound; the low chugging riffs with a sudden hit of the high pitched squeal of a whammy pedal. Many whammy pedals. The lights strobed, the music hit over and over again. A truly incredible band.
Beige Palace – Saturday, Elephant in the Bar Room
The standout act from the ArcTanGent Spotify playlist, Beige Palace sound like they’re going to be a lot of fun – I like the harsh guitar tones over gritty synths of Dr. Thingy and the vocals that come in half way through. There’s something really interesting about this band, they don’t really sound like anything else on the lineup and variety is always good.
A.A Williams – Thursday, Arc Stage
A.A. Williams’ Arc Stage opening set at 2019 was a real triumph, provoking a strong emotional response from pretty much everyone in the tent. The dark, haunting, chords delivered at a slower pace complete with Williams’ incredible voice makes for a moving performance. The songwriting is incredible but the dynamics when performing them is second to none.
The Silent Disco – Every Night, Arc Stage
Outside of ArcTanGent, I personally feel Silent Discos are a bit overdone. Here, however, it’s a real journey. Some people seem to love the Mars Volta channel, playing nothing but tracks by the band all night. I personally like the weird variety that comes from some of the DJs. When you’ve spent all day listening to the weird and wonderful nothing wraps up the day better than everyone singing the Jurassic Park theme or losing it to Beyonce. Some of the DJs will likely also play music fitting the theme of the festival. Some of the crowdfunders from 2020 will get to pick full album play-throughs too.