Following on from yesterday’s post (also check back there for the full Oldtown line up poster) about the Batov Records takeover on the Oldtown Port, here’s a handful of international acts that will also be performing on the new stage this year. Anyone who enjoyed our Jolly Dodger stage or my Balkan & Beyond mix should fully appreciate these. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, definitely read on in case you discover your new favourite band.
Although these guys do perform their own songs and more traditional Folk songs from their home in Ukraine, it’s their Balkan style covers of bands like Rammstein, MC Hammer, Kate Perry and Iggy Pop that have made them a viral sensation. I’ve been playing a number of their songs in my Balkan sets and they always go down well, so I’m very much looking forwards to seeing them performed live.
Back in the days when I was locked in the music office not seeing any of the festival at all, I managed to break away one night and catch Sonido Vegetal at the Devil Kicks Dancehall. They were the only band I saw that year, so thank f**k they were incredible and had a great crowd.
We have a few of my favourite Spanish bands in this year: Eskorzo on the Town Centre are one of my ‘must see’ acts this year; Trashtucada and Spin Te Kú on Chinatown Courtyard also follow in the footsteps of groups like Eskorzo and Mano Negra (and of course Manu Chao after), mixing up Ska, Balkan and Latin rhythms with a Punk attitude; and there’s no doubt Sonido Vegetal also fit into that Mestizo scene, having been a Gypsy Punk band that broadened their musical outlook with their 2015 album ‘Verbena Calavera’, produced by Martin Glover aka Youth (who also joins us this year in both the Psychedelic Forest and Lost Tribes, click here for more info on that).
One of the most exciting new Balkan Beat acts to have surfaced over the past couple of years. All from the former Yugoslavia (although they claim extra-terrestrial status), they definitely remind me a little of Dubioza Kolektiv but with a heavier Reggae influence. Their ‘Legal Aliens’ album was one of the stand out releases of last year and featured guests such as Shanti Powa (who will be performing in the Hidden Woods this year), Gypsy Soundsystem and Eastern European reggae acts like Killo Killo, Natanja and Tadiman.
Gypsy Ska Orquestra
Many bands in Oldtown carry a Latin influence but we also have two Balkan influenced bands from Latin America. There’s Los Kamer from Mexico and these guys from Caracas, Venezuela (not to be confused with Gypsy Ska Orchestra from Antwerp who performed with us a couple of years back).
As the name suggests they play an instrumental mixture of Balkan music with Ska and Gypsy Swing plus a touch of Cumbia and Punk for good measure. The video above is a cover of a (legendary Cuban / Jamaican trombone player) Rico Rodriguez track apparently, though I can’t work out which one. Below is a track from their new album Danza Macabra.
Otherwise known as Erik & The Worldly Savages, these guys have been around for a while but with various line-up changes. Fronted by Slavic Canadian singer Erik Mutt and originally formed in Serbia, the band should definitely keep the Gogol Bordello lovers amongst you happy, with their fiery East European leaning ‘Ethno Folk Punk’.
One of 3 Swedish bands we have back with us this year, with both Hoffmaestro and Ska’n’Ska on the Town Centre. These guys started as a Punk band, but slowly started introducing more Folk elements from Eastern Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Scandinavia – taking their cue from the likes of The Levellers, Gogol Bordello and Mano Negra. As you will find out when you go to see them, it’s a style that really works for them!
Of course there are plenty of other acts on our new Oldtown Port stage and I’ll hopefully cover a few more before the festival, but for now have a listen to our Oldtown playlist on the Boomtown Fair Spotify.