In the last couple of years it’s become very trendy for every county, borough, neighbourhood and street to have their own festival. Obviously these range from the eye-wateringly awesome festivals right the way down to the why-are-we-here festivals, and thankfully Citadel Festival is most definitely awesome. The one day festival is running all day on Sunday 19th July and will have artists set across 3 stages as well as boutique fashion shops, dancing, arts and culture experiences and even a sports day. Check the link to the festival homepage for info on tickets.
Situated in London’s Victoria Park, Citadel is being partly put together by indie label super-heroes Communion, who have given us some of the greatest young artists of modern times (we’ll get to a few of them in this list) and Soundcrash, and will be a staging area for some of today’s hottest up and coming artists. Here’s our list of a few of the best artists playing, and why you really need to get along and see them.
Staffordshire lad Dan Croll broke the hearts of everyone in the music scene with the release of his electro-tinged folksy debut album Sweet Disarray. The multi-instrumentalist has garnered support from all corners of the creative world including former Beatles stars and high ups in the world of fashion and design. Dan’s sweet Summer songs will blend perfectly with the atmosphere at Citadel providing upbeat pop to the sunshine.
Listen to: “Home”, “Compliment Your Soul”, “In/ Out”
Nathanial Rateliff and The Night Sweats
As a mainstay on the American folk scene, Nathanial Rateliff has been making a name for himself over in the UK with his gritty up-tempo Denver soul. Conjuring up images of hot nights, muddy days and heartbreak, Rateliff’s melting pot of folk, soul and R&B is brought to life with his full backing band The Night Sweats. If you like your blues dirtier than your work boots, Nathanial Rateliff and The Night Sweats have got you covered.
Listen to: “You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy”, “Still Trying”, “Early Spring Till”
Mixing beautiful fingerpicked guitar with his interwoven storytelling style vocal, Nick Mulvey was one of the breakout acts of 2014. Since splitting from Portico Quartet to pursue a solo career, Mulvey made the shortlist for Radio 1’s Sound of 2015 and Mercury’s album of the year for his debut First Mind. Having already appeared on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last year and sell out tours of the country, Mulvey’s heartstring plucking vocals are a must hear.
Listen to: “Cucurucu”, “Fever To The Form”, “Nitrous”
Roots Manuva is an artist that almost needs no introduction. Described as the “voice of urban Britain”, nearly two decades in the music industry has made the hip hop sound of Manuva urban-legendary. Soulful, warm and when necessary cutting, the experimental rhythms make every listen an expedition of discovery. Absolutely unmissable.
Listen to: “Witness”, “Stolen Youth”, Strange Behaviour”
It’s no lie to call singer-songwriter Rhodes one of the fastest rising talents in the country. His brooding melodies coupled with spine tingling falsetto’s set him apart from just about every other artist currently on the scene. First coming to prominence with his 2013 track “Always”, Rhodes has gone on to support some of the biggest names in folk and soul with Laura Marling, Nick Mulvey and Sam Smith among his tour-buddies. IF you ever get a chance to see him live, it’s an absolute must; he only writes classics.
Listen to: “Raise Your Love”, “Always”, “Run”
Hailing from the year of the duo (2014), Honeyblood are possibly the most exciting band to come of the Glaswegian music scene since Chvrches. Drummer Shona McVicar and guitarist/ vocalist Stina Tweeddale’s deep melodic hooks have seen them support the likes of Real Estate and Coutney Barnett alongside the release of their self-titled debut album Honeyblood .
Listen to: “Bud”, “Super Rat”, “Fall Forever”
Anna Calvi and the Heritage Orchestra
Anna Calvi is without doubt one of the best female artists in the UK. Mixing her unrivalled powerhouse vocals and face-melting guitar prowess, Calvi has earnt her status and massive fanbase. Her self-titled debut album saw her picking up nominations for a Mercury Prize and a BRIT award, whilst her follow up One Breath saw her harnessing a range of powerful emotions and securing her place in recording artist royalty.
Listen to: “Desire”, “Suzanne & I”, “Jexebel”
Bear’s Den are a band that feel like they’ve been around for much longer than they actually have been, purely because it’s difficult to image modern folk music without them. The London based three piece have skyrocketed to success with the release of their debut album Islands and show absolutely no signs of slowing down. Soaring harmonies lift themselves above a cascade of guitars and banjos in soul searching tracks built for hazy summer evenings.
Listen to: “Above the Clouds of Pompeii”, “Elysium” “Agape”
Bombay Bicycle Club
Since 2009, Bombay Bicycle Club have been relentlessly inspiring the musical world with their seemingly endless run of hits, that has seen their hard fought rise to prominence crowned with 2014’s So Long, See You Tomorrow. Proving that they are never satisfied with their success, each album has been a chance for the quartet to redefine themselves and to find new ways of surprising their legions of fans across the globe. If Citadel Festival was made for anything, it was made for good friends, good drinks and deep sunsets with Bombay Bicycle Club playing you out.
Listen to: “Luna”, “Shuffle”, “Lights Out, Words Gone”
An artist that hardly needs any introduction in 2015, as he has categorically dominated modern music with his unforgettable troubadour style. Hard to believe that his debut album Very Kingdom only came in 2011 as singer-songwriter Ben Howard has commanded folk music since his arrival. 2014’s I Forget Where We Were saw Ben become a global household name with his rootsy wisdom and authentic style, and proving that the 28 year old has serious staying power. Playing with his 6 piece live band Ben Howard will not only be the highlight of Citadel Festival, but likely the highlight of any festival this Summer.
Listen to: “Only Love”, “I Forget Where We Were”, “Keep Your Head Up”