Secret Garden Party - 10 to watch
- By Sam Herbert -
- Jul 18, 2012
A celebration is in order as this weekend welcomes back the downright barmy goings on at Secret Garden Party. To guarantee an extra glug of revelry it’s also the 10th birthday of the festival that brings an eclectic mix of music, art, theatre and other madness to the idyllic Cambridgeshire countryside. Last year’s event was one of the highlights of the festival calendar, rivalling Glastonbury for pure unadulterated fun. Amongst the madness and debauchery there’s also a great line-up of bands, here’s who we’re looking forward to seeing.
10/ Caravan Palace
SGP welcomes back the Parisian seven-piece Electro-swing band who’s second album, Panic, was released earlier this year. Their unique fusion of the Gypsy Jazz style pioneered by Django Reinhardt and the fuzzy beats and bleeps of French electronica launched by the likes of Daft Punk make Caravan Palace the ideal band to close proceedings at this year’s festival.
9/ Laurel Collective
You’re standing in a field, wet, muddy and hungover looking up at the grey sky and wondering if it will clear. Fear not, Laurel Collective will be the perfect antidote to warm your spirits and lighten your mood with their brand of infectious pop to put a skip back in your step. The London-based five-piece have been busy creating a buzz in the indie-scene since the release of their debut album, Heartbeat Underground and are not to be missed at the Great Stage.
Nestled in a corner between the verdant foliage and rippling lake is the Where the Wild Things Are stage, which is where you’ll find the not so wild Daughter wooing the addled audience of SGP with their brooding melancholic folk. Sit back and get swept away by the ambient sounds created by Elena Tonra and Igor Haefeli.
7/ Tim Minchin
Having recently ruffled a few festival goers’ feathers in Henley for his ‘blasphemous’ act, Tim Minchin will surely go down a treat in the more relaxed confines of SGP. The Australian musician/comedian has won pretty much every award going, written the music and lyrics for the smash West End musical, Matilda, and toured extensively with a whopping 55-piece Heritage Orchestra. Throw the fact that he’s very, very funny into the mix and you have a gig not to be missed.
6/ Little Roy
Take a soupcon of the Seattle grunge scene, a dollop of steel drums and a large dose of reggae and you have the chilled vibes of Little Roy. The soothing reggae renditions of Nirvana classics 'Come As You Are' and 'Lithium' will no doubt be lapped up by the SGP crowd as Little Roy transforms the Huntingdon countryside into shores of Kingston, Jamaica.
The story goes that Alex Kapranos, of Franz Ferdinand fame, was so hooked when hearing an early demo by CITIZENS! that he demanded to produce their first LP, 'Here We Are'. With their catchy hooks and spritely funk-punk melodies these London lads will have your toes tapping, knees jerking and arms pulsing as if Ian Curtis were to possess the entire crowd for the entire set.
4/ KT Tunstall
If nothing else I’m hoping the mystical confines of SGP can conjure a mass sing-a-long to 'Suddenly I See', creating one of those rare festival moments, faces beaming, arms held aloft in exaltation, a mass wave of euphoria sweeping through the crowd. A moment where you can say, ‘I was there,’ to your grand-children. If this doesn’t happen then you can still recline next to the splendour of a beautiful lake and watch a charming Scottish songstress launch a plethora of hits.
3/ Summer Camp
Oh! If only summer actually felt like summer did long ago when flowery jumpsuits, sweatshirts with Wyoming boldly written on the front and denim shorts hitched up to your shoulders were fashionable. Hang about, it is in fashion. Still at least we don’t have a Tory government leading a country in a recession piling misery onto everyone. Oh, wait. Allow Summer Camp, whose sepia tinted melodies and blissful harmonies will further help transport the crowd at the Where the Wild Things Are stage back to the 80s – it’ll be like stepping into Doc Brown’s time machine and hitting 88. Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads (we just need SGP).
2/ Alabama Shakes
Should you get the blues at SGP (this is very unlikely given the ridiculous amount of fun that you will have. And you will have fun.) then head down to see Alabama Shakes. If you don’t have the blues but just want to listen to some gritty old-fashioned rock & soul then head down to see Alabama Shakes. Just go and watch them, preferably whilst drinking whiskey from the jar and chewing on some straw. Then you can tell all your friends, ‘I saw Alabama Shakes and they were fucking great.’ Agreed? Agreed.
It’s a festival. You want to dance. You want a euphoric release. You want that ringing in your ears after hearing something very loud. You need to see Orbital. The Hartnoll brothers (Phil & Paul) have been blowing festival goers away since the very beginnings of the acid house scene. Their Glastonbury set in 1994 is widely regarded as one of the best gigs of all time, they’re one of the best live acts around and they’ve just released a belter of a new album in 'Wonky'. Whatever you do, don’t miss them.
Aside from the music there’s plenty of other treats in store at this year’s SGP. Visit the Be Ready Playpen to get in touch with your inner-child, indulge in the healing powers of the Sanctuary or get mucky at the infamous SGP Paint Fight at the Great Stage. In terms of fun, frivolity and outrageous behaviour SGP can’t be beaten. Leave your morals at the gate, open your mind and dive in for what will be one of the weekends of the summer.
This guest blog complies to Virgin.com terms & conditions.