The London in Stereo editorial staff have picked their favourite acts of Visions Festival 2014, here’s what were looking forward to. To listen to our mixtape of all the bands playing head here…
Perfume Genius: 10.15pm New Empowering Church
The last time I saw Perfume Genius was in St Mary’s Church for the Great Escape in 2012. It was a spellbinding performance of delicate but direct ballads; their very fragility and stillness (together with a potent emotional punch) filling the whole of the church up.
Now he’s released ‘Queen’, his most forthright and direct song yet I’m intrigued to see where he goes live. Bigger drums, bigger keyboards, less reverb? Whatever direction he goes in I’m pretty sure when Mike Hadreas plays Visions he’s going to have us mesmerised again. How apt that he’s playing the New Empowering Church. Danny Wright
Andrew WK: 8.30pm The Laundry
Bloody-faced, white-trousered, hard-partying, fun-wanting, wet-getting, beer-drinking, meat-eating, motivational-speaking, advice-columnising, ever-smiling, perpetual-rocking, cheer-inducing, total fucking badass. Is there anyone alive with a CV more impressive or enviable than that of Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier? Bill Gates? Sure, in a parallel universe where Bill Gates taught the entire world to party again; where Bill Gates reminds us on a daily basis the joy that is being alive. We won’t recommend seeing Andrew WK at Visions, for that would be as redundant and pointless as an existence without Andrew WK. At Visions, choice exists for no man. You’ll see Andrew WK. You’ll party hard. You’ll have the greatest night of your god damn life and for the rest of your years, mere mortal, you’ll remember this and this alone: one cannot spell RAWK without A-W-K. Jack Urwin
Alvvays: 4.30pm Oval Space
Even if our English summer doesn’t grace the festival with glorious balmy breezes, the summer pop vibe from Toronto based Alvvays will make it feel like a holiday. The five piece make bouncy bittersweet jangly pop that makes sunny evenings tingle. Wistful vocals from Molly Rankin might be plaintive but underpinned with hazy surf pop filtered through a C86 stretch, the effect is playful and chiming. A perfect balance of self-effacing lyrics and effervescent melodies make for an intoxicating assault of songs. Whatever the weather. Francesca Baker
Eleanor Friedberger: 7.15pm New Empowering Church
Years ago Eleanor Friedberger won me over with the line “Watching Footloose, with the biggest bottle of vodka in the world” but opportunities to see her spin those tales live have been horribly rare, so spying that name on the Visions line-up was a genuine run down the street high-fiving friends and strangers alike moment. Friedberger is peerless in her ability to sculpt immersive songs from fleeting moments of life’s minutiae, coating them in a shimmering FM sheen, and casting you right there, on the F train, in the middle of her Autumnal-coloured New York. So whilst we might not actually end up in Coney Island, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun not getting there. Dave Rowlinson
Perfect Pussy: 4.45pm The Laundry
You get the feeling Perfect Pussy make music because it provides an outlet, a place for their words and ideas to manifest, it feels like a place they need. And it sounds like music we need. With that, their debut album Say Yes To Love is a burst of energy, 23 minutes of feedback, buzz and Meredith Graves fast paced lyrical pummeling. Hailing from Syracuse, they’ve bought one of the most refreshing enjoyable sounds to our ears so far this year, if you need an afternoon pick-me-up at the festival, this is the band to watch. Jess Partridge
Dirty Beaches: 6.00pm Oval Space
First and foremost, Dirty Beaches is a globetrotter, and one with a colossal stride. Drifting from Honolulu, Montreal and beyond, much of Alex Zhang Hungtai’s material, a delirious combination of claustrophobic beats and towering experimentation, is smudged by the fingerprints of someone fascinated by raw, human emotion, regardless of the distance between us.
Whether it be the sharp sting of thick smog against the back of your throat, framed by a hazy cityscape, or the slow-burning euphoria of a blazing sunrise, each track conjures up imagery as striking as the last. Expect Dirty Beaches to ease you away from Hackney’s underbelly to somewhere far more enticing.