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Southsea Fest – The Only Music Festival You Need This Autumn

With over 120 live acts playing in a dozen venues this September 20th, Southsea Fest is just about the only new music event you need to be worrying about this side of summer. Now on its eighth voyage, the freshers favorite has seen the ilk of Bastille, Django Django, Dry The River, Drenge, Thumpers, Marika Hackman, and Future Of The Left tread its sweaty ol’ planks over the past few years, fathoms ahead of their breaking into modern pop or rock conscious – depending on your poison.

But what of this year? What of it indeed. The one-day event, which happens along Albert Road in Southsea, near Portsmouth, is once again showing off a bit. Not only have they booked one of the most aggressively ambitious guitar bands of 2014, Pulled Apart By Horses, but they’ve complimented it with bona fide modern day symbol of intelligence and song-smithery, Ed Harcourt. While one plays to the sweat and disgrace of The Wedgewood Rooms, the other will draw a sit-down crowd into the lavish, historic Kings Theatre venue. It’s an apposition that the event has now become synonymous with; kicking up dust with one boot, while playing footsy under the table with the other. Part tease, part sex. Utter filth, either way.

One quite hyped showcase to visit is that of Hampshire native and local lass Laurel who recently signed with Turn First (see Iggy Azalea) and whose charming Britney Spears style of folk has already grabbed the blogosphere by the shaft. Here’s a little taste of that shaft:

Another local bunch to catch would be Rex Domino, somebody we’re always quite eager to champion. We first featured a young Huw Olesker in Notion a few summer’s ago when he was only 15 years old. Now he’s part of DJ Joda’s live band and crafting some rather leftfield noises with Portsmouth arty types under the Rex banner. Here’s one:

The misleadingly feel-good Fickle Friends make the short drive from Brighton to celebrate the arrival of ‘Swim’, their pretty undeniably monstrous pop gem, unto the Southsea crowd. Not heard it? Shit, better had:

There’s no filler to this event, no bullshit. What Southsea Fest does exceptionally well is finding the real strong swimmers amid the raw throat-fulls of guitar backwash that most festivals with a supposed love of alternative music seem to be content with. Take a look at Beautiful Boy, DZ Deathrays and FURS for instance:

Then there’s Dinosaur Pile Up, Blessa, Castles, Fear Of Men, Mazes, Brontide, and the list goes on. There’s a real fleet setting sail.

There’s delightfully little “industry” to this event right now which means that every booking is made out of fandom by its DIY, independent team, and it means there’s no VIPs, queue jumpers, old blokes with plaid shirts rolling past with a lanyard thinking he’s the shit while eyeing up 16-year-olds. It’s rather honest in that respect; kind of a new music festival purely for new music fans… insiders and outsiders alike, without a hierarchy, and for less than £20 a ticket it would actually be rather weird if you didn’t go this year to check that out for yourself.

Pick one up from here: www.southseafest.com.


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