Hands down one of our favourite day-festivals of the year, Visions once again returns to East London next Saturday 4th August.
A festival that prides itself on its eclecticism and commitment to developing acts, this year’s line up yet again boasts an array of great artists and various quirky side-shows.
So, without further ado, we thought we’d try to guide you through the super-diverse line up with some of our must-sees for the day.
The Dog Show
Here it is. The undisputed event of the year. It’s the return of the Visions Dog Show. Free to all members of the public (ticket holders or not), Visions Festival welcomes back the dogs of East London (and their owners) for what is SURELY the most prestigious Dog Show in the country. With categories such as Best Fancy Dress (World Leaders Past & Present), Cutest Pup, Best Trick and Waggiest Tale, the show will exhibit Hackney’s finest dogs going head to head in the battle for the ultimate crown, the award for Best Dog. Luckily, no artists are on at this time. Let’s be honest, if they were they’d get an embarrassingly small crowd.
“The Paddock” behind St John at Hackney Church, 12-1pm
Probably THE must see band at any festival they’re performing at, IDLES are currently leaving a trail of furious joy wherever they play. With the follow up to the majestically explosive Brutalism coming up at the end of August (entitled Joy as an Act of Resistance), the Bristol five-piece are getting better and better every time we see them. Latest singles ‘Samaritans’, ‘Danny Nedelko’ and ‘Colossus’ are visceral, infectiously empowering assaults of toxic masculinity, nationalism and xenophobia – and they sound brilliant live. Seriously. Do. Not. Miss. IDLES.
Just above we told you not to miss IDLES. That is unless you prefer HMLTD, who are going to be just as rousing. We’re genuinely considering running between venues song-by-song (we reckon this is actually very much doable if you’re happy to end up really sweaty). Described by NME last year as the UK’s most thrilling new band, it is truly impossible to categorise HMLTD. Referred to by many as art-rock, their songs are as brash and dramatic as their electrifying live shows. All about showmanship and genuinely exciting performance, HMLTD are guaranteed to blow your socks off.
Oval Space, 9:45-11pm
One of our favourite albums of 2017, Marika Hackman’s I’m Not Your Man was a brilliant, melodically diverse sojourn through multiple-genres and styles. Varied and unpredictable, the album signalled a newfound maturity, boldness and character in Hackman’s music. Now cemented as one the UK’s most exciting young musical forces, expect an hour of wonky jams, intimate heart-melters, folk verses and Britpop courses. We can’t wait for this one.
Oval Space, 8-9pm
One of our Ones to Watch for 2018, Nilüfer Yanya has so far carried on her trajectory to stardom this year with her third EP Do You Like Pain?. Adding ‘Baby Luv’ and ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’ to her fast growing haul of understated but captivating bangers, Nilüfer Yanya continues to exhibit some of the strongest guitar-soul tracks of her generation.
Oval Space, 6:30-7:15pm
At the forefront of a re-emerging grunge scene in London, Sorry are undoubtedly one of Domino’s most exciting signings in recent years. Moody and melancholic riffs are accompanied by Asha Lorenz’s sometimes deadpan, sometimes sweetly melodic vocals to form some of the genre’s finest single releases in years. And yeah, they play them really fucking loud live.
ALASKALASKA burst onto the scene last year with what was one of the strongest EPs of 2017. The self-titled debut was an exquisite foray into their versatile brand of swooping, jazzy funk-pop. Returning this year with the intoxicating ‘Meateater’ single, we can’t think of anyone better than the six-piece South London band to open this year’s festival.
Oval Space, 2:15-2:45pm
Carla dal Forno
Ghostly and hauntingly beautiful, Carla dal Forno’s 2016 debut album You Know What It’s Like shone for its drifting melodies and meticulous arrangements. Expect to be engulfed in a hypnotising haze by an artist who sculpts her music with an almost ethereal delicately. It might be just what you need right after Sorry.
LFB The Arches, 5:45-6:30pm
West-London six-piece Sports Team might just be a dark horse for set of the weekend. Their instantly recognisable sound is characterised by slurry, drunken vocals drenched in sharp realism and slack, lackadaisical riffs reminiscent of Pavement. It’s a match made in heaven. Their live shows are notoriously unhinged and incredibly fun, so expect to laugh, dance and have an absolute blast.
Sebright Arms, 8-8:45pm
One of those artists you’ll watch and get slightly jealous of, Laura Misch has to be on your list quite simply for the talent on display. Singer-songwriter, saxophonist and producer, Laura fuses rich sax, electronics and warm vocals to form a captivating live set. She’s sandwiched nicely between the brutal double-header clash of Marika Hackman/Sports Team and HMLTD/IDLES, so get yourself down to NT’s before and after having to make a very difficult decision.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, you can start your Visions experience off on the night of Friday 3rd with a special Fucked Up show at Hangar. Their first London show in three years, the hardcore band return ahead of their upcoming album Dose Your Dreams with support from Bad Breeding and Sauna Youth.
Fucked Up, Bad Breeding & Sauna Youth
Hangar, Friday 3rd August – 7:30-11pm
As ever, Visions will host a range of after parties in and around the area as detailed below:
Punk Rock Karaoke – Sebright Arms, 11pm-12am
WU-LU Live: Stranger Than Paradise DJs – NT’s 11:15pm-2am
Milk. Rough Trade DJs – LFB The Arches – 11pm-2am