I’ve already covered some of the Windmill Stage artists for this year, but I wanted to come back to Whistler’s Green and just give a little time to the Floating Lotus stage. As it’s one of the smaller main stages at the festival it can often get overlooked, however not to give it your attention would be a mistake. Hidden within this geodesic dome there are some incredible bands, and for many it will be the only chance you’ll get to see them in such an intimate setting. I’ve got a whole video playlist over on my YouTube channel, but here’s just a few that you really need to listen to.
Since these ladies first took to the Floating Lotus stage nearly 4 years ago, many doors have opened for them and they’ve been a Band Of The Day in The Guardian, Artist of the Week on BBC Radio 1 and toured all over the country as part of the Horizons showcase. They’re now produced by Cian from Super Furry Animals and have an album out of stunning soulful RNB, which has had them compared to the likes of TLC, Massive Attack, En Vogue and SWV. They’ve certainly come a long way since I used to listen to their jam sessions in Splott, Cardiff whilst living briefly on Cara and Estelle’s sofa (come to think of it, haven’t we all).
Such a joyful song from this six piece from Bolzano/Southtyrol in Italy who play a mixture of folk, country and reggae music. To be honest I don’t know that much about them, but they’re connected to the Shanti Powa crew who will also be at the festival this year, down in the Hidden Woods.
I’m a sucker for a good Reggae cover and this version of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ is a winner I reckon. Si from Chai Wallahs first introduced me to these guys whose members come from London, Paris, Nigeria, and Lebanon. They are signed to BBE Records, which has been home to such luminaries as 4Hero, J Dilla, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Vadim and Masters At Work, to name but a few. Their album ‘Gaia’ is due out next month and they shall be playing up at Floating Lotus on Saturday night so you should definitely check them out if you’re in that part of town…. actually you should check ALL of these guys out if you get the chance.
The Barefoot Bandit
Sticking with the Reggae vibes, with a touch of Ska and Punk for good measure. I love that there’s a whole new generation of Reggae band such as By The Rivers or Smiley & The Underclass, who are overtly political with their music. These guys played at the Crazy Calamities stage last year and the crew there had many a good thing to say about them.
Although this is some pretty straight up badass guitar playing, Kenta is also a ‘loop pedal ninja’ of the highest order, building up some hypnotising soundscapes using various instruments and vocals. He is on an extended world tour from his native Japan that has taken in at least 24 countries so far.
I might have actually posted this up on the blog already, but who cares?! The 17 year old soul singer is currently in his last year of Brit School and he deserves to graduate into a fine future in music.
From right here in Bristol, these guys first made a name for themselves when Majestic Casual picked up their track ‘The Big Unknown’ but they have also had radio play from the likes of Gilles Peterson and are getting their name in a lot of the right places at the moment. As with a lot of these acts, they don’t play the sort of music that is generally associated with Boomtown, but that’s all the more reason to go and discover something new.