By Sam Cleeve
Next month sees the eagerly awaited return of Rob Da Bank’s annual shebang—the ninth instalment of his four-day festival, nestled away on the UK’s favourite holiday-making annex, the Isle of Wight. Across the water, festival-goers will be privy to one of the summer’s most thoughtful and eclectic line-ups. Exclusive live performances and an unparalleled selection of DJ sets are all present and correct—hell, that poster below even promises ‘wildlife antics’ (exactly what sinful hijinks this quite entails I’m not sure—check back after the festival; maybe I’ll have some reprehensible goat anecdote). In the meantime, find my personal highlights form the weekend’s musical offerings after the jump…
So it’s not all about Stevie Wonder’s Sunday night headlining slot this year. I mean—okay, it’s mostly about Stevie Wonder. But there’s plentiful else hidden amongst the weekend’s 350+ bands and DJs. Early arrivals on the Thursday (hej, students) can look forward to sets not only from dancefloor nerds Hot Chip but also member Joe Goddard’s side project The 2 Bears. Not a fan? No good at the robot? Not to worry, electro pop deity Gary Numan and John Foxx and the Maths also put in performances.
— Photo by Derek Bremner. You’ll have to ask him what it’s of.
Once the festival’s underway good and proper there’s no end to the list of highlights. UK exclusives from adored London gloom-mongers The xx and one of Iceland’s most celebrated musical exports Sigur Rós (the live rendering of their gorgeous, slowly cascading record Valtari is sure to subdue even the most feverish of revellers) both take to the main stage of the course of the weekend. Olympic ceremony compère Emeli Sandé also performs, as does masked London producer SBTRKT. That’s not to mention appearances from: Gold Panda; Chairlift; Bat For Lashes; Zulu Winter; Willis Earl Beal; Alt-J; Four Tet B2B Caribou; Spiritualized; Daughter; Errors and Jessie Ware. And I haven’t even mentioned the Earth Wind and Fire Experience. Experience!
Let’s be honest, all I’ve really had to do here is rack off a list of names from the line-up poster, and already I know you’re excited. Aren’t you? Thought so. I mean maybe the above picture of what looks like a futuristic revival of ITV’s Gladiators had something to do with it, but I’ll bet it was mainly the music. I’ll just see you on the ferry.