10 bands to watch at Dot to Dot 2012
- By Jordan Halford -
- May 29, 2012
Dot To Dot Festival enters its eighth year in 2012 and continues to champion the finest local talent in addition to the UK’s hottest prospects. The three-day festival, spread across Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham, has helped to uncover the likes of Ellie Goulding, Wild Beasts, Friendly Fires, The xx and Mumford & Sons in recent years. So, here are this year’s crop of hopeful luminaries.
Formerly the moniker for Dan Smith, Bastille has now developed into a South London quartet renowned for their Foals-esque rippling melodies. Last year helped to put them on the map after slots at Glastonbury and Isle of White and their cover of City High’s classic has proved to be a big hit.
9. Dog is Dead
West Bridgford-based five-piece Dog Is Dead return home after a rip-roaring 2011, which culminated in appearing at London’s KOKO for NME’s new year celebrations after a hugely successful homecoming gig at Rock City. Highly touted for a place on BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll, the quintet were unfortunate to miss out but after signing for Atlantic Records, appearing at almost every major festival last year and supporting Bombay Bicycle Club, their future is destined to be bright.
Californian surf-pop quartet Wavves is the brainchild of San Diego skater Nathan Williams, who curiously named the group after his irrational fear of the ocean. After having quit his job at Music Trader, Williams began making music using a 1980s Tascam cassette recorder and Garage Band and his eponymous debut LP met with critical acclaim in 2009.
The confusingly named Wavvves followed soon after, but Williams walked off stage at the Primavera Sound Festival citing usage of ecstasy, valium and xanax as the reason for his breakdown. But he returned under the Wavves alias in late 2011 with a new EP entitled, ‘Life Sux’ featuring guest appearances from Best Coast amongst others.
7. Pulled Apart By Horses
Leeds quartet Pulled Apart By Horses formed in 2008 after playing a secret live gig at their local pub The Packhorse and they have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame. Their self-titled debut album was largely well received and quickly gained the attention of Radio One’s Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq, their blend of post-hardcore and alternative rock has given their high energy live shows a blossoming reputation. Make sure you don’t miss Pulled Apart By Horses play top fiddle at Rock City in Sunday evening.
6. Lucy Rose
23-year-old Warwickshire songwriter Lucy Rose Parton is destined to be one of 2012’s biggest success stories. In a similar ilk to the wonderful Laura Marling, Rose recently signed to Columbia Records to begin recording her debut album and has even contributed backing vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club’s acoustic ‘Flaws’ and new album, ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ after befriending front man Jack Steadman at university.
5. The Drums
Brooklyn-based post-punk funsters The Drums arrived on English shores on the crest of a wave after their debut EP, ‘Summertime!’ helped propel them into the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, but their self-titled debut album failed to live up to the hype and subsequently, guitarist Adam Kessler left the band.
Their sophomore effort ‘Portamento’ was again self-produced but received a mixed reception with the press after being heavily influenced by synth pioneers such as Kraftwerk, although opening track ‘Book of Revelation’ is considered to be their best effort to date.
Lead singer Jonathan Pierce recently embarked on his own EP entitled, ‘Headcage’ whilst also producing unsigned band Connie Fucking Francis, which further fuelled to the rumours that The Drums are likely to part ways soon. Make sure you don’t miss out on them altogether, although having seen them countless times you’ll probably catch me in the bar.
4. Summer Camp
London synth-pop duo Jeremey Warmsley and vocalist Elizabeth Sankey burst onto the scene in 2010 courtesy of their debut EP, ‘Young’ after managing to maintain their anonymous identity.
The elusive nature had many believe they were American and some critics even thought they were Swedish in spite of neither of them having long, blonde locks, but with their brand 21st century alternative pop it’s not hard to envisage their music being a hit in Stockholm. Their debut album, ‘Welcome to Condale’ received positive reviews and after having caught them at Summer Sundae a couple of years ago, it’ll be interesting to see how far they have progressed in the last 24 months.
3. Willy Mason
Popular American singer/songwriter Willy Mason returned to England in late 2011 after several years of relative anonymity following the release of his debut album ‘Where the Humans Eat’ (2005) and sophomore effort ‘If the Ocean Gets Rough’ five years ago. The 27-year-old, born in New York has released a string of EPs since and he most recently featured in Lianne Le Havas’ track ‘No Room for Doubt’ from her EP, ‘Lost & Found,’ but his best song still remains early release, ‘Oxygen.’ Even if it does happen to remind you of your ex-girlfriend.
2. Jake Bugg
Nottingham-born songwriter Jake Bugg’s charming folk tenor came to the public’s attention in 2012 after appearing on Greene King’s IPA advert with his delightful ode, ‘Country Song.’ Zane Lowe also made his track, ‘Lightening Bolt’ his ‘Hottest Record in the World’ and with several other impressive tracks already recorded, the anticipation about this youngster’s debut album is palpable. He may have narrowly missed out on top spot, but whatever you do this Sunday, make sure you don’t miss this little treat.
And, finally in at number one is the latest buzz band of 2012 from Brooklyn, Friends.
Named after Brian Wilson’s favourite Beach Boys album, which inconveniently shares the same name as America’s most popular sitcom, you’re not likely to find this quintet lazing their days around Günter’s Central Perk café.
Fronted by the charismatic and sassy Samantha Urbani, they are the quintessential definition of New York coolness as their daytime gig in the heart of the Big Apple perfectly illustrates. Singles ‘Friend Crush’ and ‘I’m His Girl’ have faired well so far, as well as their cover of Ghost Town’s 1996 hit, ‘My Boo’ and with their full-length expected to hit down later next month, make sure you join in the fun with your newest best Friends.
Dot to Dot takes place on Saturday, 2nd June in Bristol, Sunday, 3rd June in Nottingham and Monday, 4th June in Manchester.
By Jordan Halford.
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