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PREVIEW: Visions Festival 2014
The Quietus , July 29th, 2014 16:53

Ahead of this weekend's East London one-dayer, Suzie McCracken and Laurie Tuffrey pick out six must-see acts on the line-up

This Saturday, August 2, will see the second edition of the Visions festival taking place. Running across four venues in East London - Brewhouse, New Empowering Church, The Laundry and Oval Space - it follows an excellent inaugural event last year, and packs a very fine line-up. On there are a number of names we've been going on about recently - namely Fat White Family, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Flamingods and Kiran Leonard, while Andrew W.K.'s fondness for a good blowout chimes with our own penchant for consuming tea and toast with free abandon. There'll also be an ace selection of food and drink, and a market featuring an exhibition from tattoo artist Liam Sparkes, Breakdown Press, Babak Ganjei's Road House and Flashback's record fair, as well as a pre-party featuring XXYYXX, Dâm-Funk and Young Magic the night before at The Laundry. First, though, take a look at our six picks for who to see on Saturday and head to Visions' website for full details, tickets and stage times.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Oval Space, 3.15-4 pm

He's a part-time tram driver. He's a T-shirt-wearing patron of local food establishments. He once fought, successfully, a lynx. There are many reasons to go and see Finnish maestro Jaakko Eino Kalevi, and only one of those is untrue. Primarily, though, he's producing some very fine pop music, which taps the sheeny spirit of 80s electronics, nowhere more so than on the Human League synth arpeggios and drum machines of 'Flexible Heart' from 2010's Modern Life or the hazy shuffle of 'No End', from the Dreamzone EP he released last year. Laurie Tuffrey

Alvvays - Oval Space, 4.30-5.15 pm

Yes, we're suspicious of the fact it's nearly a sanitary pad brand too. But Alvvays have spiked our interest. Are they the Canadian Camera Obscura, as track 'Archie, Marry Me' suggests? Or are they pedalling some brand of plimsoll-gaze, hinted at by 'Underneath Us'? Either way, they'll be ideal for the glorious summer's day we hope August 2 will be. Suzie McCracken

Songhoy Blues - New Empowering Church, 4.30-5.30 pm

One of the many groups of Malian musicians forced from their homes by the Islamist insurgency in 2012, Songhoy Blues formed in that year as a lifeline response to their sudden displacement to the country's capital, Bamako. The four-piece, led by guitarist Garba Touré, whose father Oumar was a conga player in Ali Farka Touré's band, are founded on his and second guitarist Oumar Touré's dextrous guitar playing, with a nod, as their name suggests, to blues greats, both Malian and American. Visions will be a good chance to hear the band running through songs new and old, with 'Soubour', above, their collaboration with Yeah Yeah Yeah's Nick Zinner from the Africa Express album, acting as a fine appetite-whetter. Laurie Tuffrey

Perfect Pussy - The Laundry, 4.45-5.15 pm

We'd be the first to admit that rapidfire, scratchy punk isn't always a boat-floater for us, but Syracuse, New York five-piece Perfect Pussy deal in a particularly satisfying, noise-strafed brand of two-minute guitar grind. They released their debut album, titled, with a zero tolerance policy for frills, Say Yes To Love (following last year's debut EP, which trumps it in the name stakes: I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling) this year, and it finds moments of glorious melody in-between Meredith Graves' furiously unfurled lyrics and an almost permanently feeding-back guitar. With a run-time of just over 20 minutes, too, you're likely to get it in its entirety, presented with fearsome conviction, at the band's set on Saturday. Laurie Tuffrey

Dirty Beaches - Oval Space, 6-6.45 pm

Rockabilly manhandler Dirty Beaches will undoubtedly be presenting 2013's Drifters/Love Is The Devil in full force come Visions, where we imagine his songs, already in the lowest of fi's, will take on a borderline brown noise quality. We're hoping for our innards to haemorrhage and our coiffures to be sweated limp. Suzie McCracken

Eleanor Friedberger - New Empowering Church, 7.15-8 pm

Look, we don't need to tell you that much about Eleanor. Previously of The Fiery Furnaces and Alex Kapranos' crap lyrics, you've had 14 years of her askew glory to absorb. And, even if you weren't a fan of the big hug that was 2013's Personal Record, it's surely worth wedging yourself a few rows back from the stage to examine how her once out-and-out lunacy has mellowed in the absence of her brother and the presence of her own, more inviting brand of songwriting. Suzie McCracken

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