Aylesbury bred chart botherer Martin Grech will be headlining this year’s DiS acoustic stage at the TMF festival on August 6, performing a solo set. In an early interview he described himself as 'a combination of Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke and Peter Gabriel.'. His 'Open Heart Zoo' album caused a flutter in many hearts whilst having tracks used in multi-national TV ads all at the tender age of 19. Now in his very early twenties, Martin is back and out to carry on where he left off and will no doubt leave the crowd spell bound on the day.
After hours/days/weeks of talks, counter talks and back handed sweetie bribes we have managed to rope in the irrepressible Chris TT. For those of you who don't know him (and shame on you!), he is an English singer-songwriter who is capable of Rabble-rousing sarcastic rants ('Eminem Is Gay' being one fine example) as well as more serious, darkly inventive stuff. Does he have the credentials? I would say supporting Ben Folds, British Sea Power, Divine Comedy, Elbow, Electric Soft Parade & Ed Harcourt as well as already performing at the Glasto and Truck festivals this year... that should just about cut it!
As well as the bearded wonder of Chris, we have secured the ever divine talents of Ms. Piney Gir. With her debut album 'Peekahokahoo' receiving plaudits left, right and centre, when the chance arose to secure the services of this country-pop-rock chick for the day, we took it with open arms. Fresh off a support tour around Europe with Erasure, and one of our tips for 2005, she could be more than just the belle of the ball, she could be one of the musical highlights of the whole day!
Coming out of Kingston we have the amazingly talented Dave House who is travelling in to Essex for the day to perform just for us. Think you have heard the name before? You may well have if you are a fan of Lucky Thirteen as he was a member of them but you won't be hearing any of that emo-pop goodness on this stage, oh no! Instead you will hear 'beautiful, heart-felt, acoustic rock songs which range from piano ballads, to angst fuelled sing-a-longs...' and we promise you will love every second of it.
Coming from Llanelli in Wales we have managed to land Christopher Rees to perform just for you! Fresh from landing the Best Male Solo Artist mantlepiece ornament at this year's Welsh Music Awards (an award he has been nominated for in past, but lost out to some fella called Tom Jones), Chris has agreed to travel to Essex for the day to treat us all to some of his 'ambitious, profoundly passionate, bombastic and sophisticated' music which we are sure will turn more than a few heads on the day!
Causing a flutter in my neck of the woods, Ipswich boys Fly 66 have also agreed to perform. Having been around for about a decade it’s only in the last two years that the band has been making their mark on the acoustic scene. With a wide range of influences from Tom McRae to Led Zeppelin right through to Catherine Wheel, these guys are a real touch of class and will turn more than a few heads on the day.
Manchester starlets Lisa Brown are going to infect everyone with their pop-tastic tunes. Highly rated on the Manchester music scene, these guys will appeal to fans of Doves, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Ros and Spiritualized. With their new demo being hawked around at the moment, it would not surprise me if things were really starting to happen come the time of the festival, so keep your eyes peeled!
In what many will consider a strange choice, coming out of Wales we have got Locus of Control. "Why have you got a hard rock band on the acoustic stage?" I hear you ask. The answer to this is very simple: their acoustic stuff is great! Sounding a bit like the Chili Peppers in places, in an acoustic setting they really are a whole new beast and are most certainly out to impress.
We also have local talent Stuart Masters. The only returning act from last year, Stuart opened the stage in 2004 and impressed all with his Ben Kweller-esque stylings. His solo material is very different from what he does in his band Lizard Called Me, but still of a very high quality.
Traveling from Hastings we have the 20 year old acoustic dynamo that is Zoe Konez. Described as the middle ground between PJ Harvey & Ani DiFranco this one woman mission is out to show all why she works so hard in what she believes in (supported by the fact that straight after her set she has to leg it back to Brighton to play at another festival that afternoon!)
From Leeds we have managed to talk Vib Gyor in to playing a set. About a year ago following a lot of favourable press (including our own!) the band were clambered on by labels left, right and centre trying to tie them down. Sensibly the band took time out to take stock of the situation and are now back and ready to hit the world with their Elbow-esque stylings and we can't wait!
Now, while we could not get David Holmes to make an appearance we did manage to get another member of The Free Association in the form of the divine Petra Jean Phillipson (pictured). Fresh on the heels of the release of her debut album ('Notes On Love') and confirmation of her forthcoming Turin Brakes support tour, we were quick to snap her up to perform for you guys! Described by the NME as “…a chanteuse who purrs like Billie Holiday back from the grave that should have a green eyed Shirley Bassey growling jealously.”
And don't forget Sweet Billy Pilgrim. Moving quietly in the musical underworld but that could all be set to change very soon. Their split release with Spoilt Victorian Child has set a lot of tongues wagging and quite rightly too!
Just released his debut single 'I Believe
in the Way You Move' and his next single is on Transgressive
Records (Subways, Mystery Jets, etc..).
Jeremy Warmsley is a very promising Londoner being tipped to continue to stumble into
some of the same Beck-shaped
foot-steps as Tom Vek.
He's been building a name for himself gigging in
And finally, at stupidly late notice, we have persuaded Emmy The Great to perform just for you. Emmy writes sweet'n'wee-soured folk ditties with hints of Adam Green and the shambles of Cat Power. She's a very special and very sweet luminary in waiting who will charm you to the floor, only to flutter her eyelids and restore your faith in all that is beautiful.
Still not convinced? Have you not heard some of the bands we are putting on? Well fear not as we have a free 10 track sampler for you to download by clicking here.
So thats 15 bands in just one afternoon! Add to that the fact that Art Brut, The Others, Days of Worth, The Metro Riots, The Duke Spirit, Smother, Engerica, Electric Eel Shock, Queen Adreena, Raging Speedhorn, Septembre, Sikth and a shedload more bands are on the other stages. So how much does all this joy cost? Just £10 if you buy your ticket in advance from here.
See you there!
Image courtesy of Josh Hall