Astral Coast

Ive always had an infatuation with small festivals; seeing your favourite band headline with a production of gargantuan proportions is incomparable, the underdog festivals better capture the encompassing charm of what makes live music such a communally spiritual affair. 

Having only premièred a few years back in New Brighton, Astral Coast festival is somewhat of an up-and-comer located in an area rich in musical history.

What excites me about festivals in their infancy is the opportunity to see the unturned stones of the emerging scene, local and otherwise. These micro-festivals allow the bands that commercial festivals often overlook to get a chance to unleash their tunes as well as share the stage with some fondly recognisable names, and Astral Coast did not skimp out on either, here are just a few I
m excited about.

Bill Ryder-Jones
As the guitarist of early noughties day-trippers The Coral and successful solo artist in his own right, Ryder-Jones will be a storming headliner. With his record released last year, A Bad Wind Blows in my Heart, he showcases a more delicate and intimate persona than he did on his wiry and charged guitar lines on Coral records. Whether he chooses to incorporate Coral tracks of past into his set or not, this is a headliner that will rustle up an unquestionable atmosphere.

Temple Songs
A band that cemented the reality of the on-coming shift in the guitar-centric soundscape. In the vain of Parquet Courts, Splashh and Cheatahs, their toe-rag and psych-influenced DIY vibes are as infectious as they are visceral. Check out 90s throwback Passed Caringand stately Point of Originif you dont believe me.

Penetrating ambience from Ghostchant, the moniker for atmospheric beatsmith Joe Cornell. With his debut, Sincerely, in the pipeline, Ghostchant weaves the harrowing with the poignant, a great come-down act for a sticky afternoon rife in moshing and empty strongbow cans.

A sauntering duo that channel 70s vibes of crooked alleys, grimy city streets and bitter cynicism. Somewhere between the unsettling lullabies of Warpaint and gnashing guitar crunches of The Kills,  predatory low-fi seldom comes more hazardous than this.

Words Will Butler


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