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PREVIEW: Bestival
Jack Pudwell , August 31st, 2012 04:20

We pick out five top-drawer acts for those heading to the Isle of Wight next week

Originally founded in 2004 by Radio One’s Rob Da Bank, Bestival has risen from a meagre rave with humble aspirations to a 50,000 capacity behemoth in just under eight years. Having played host to headline sets from the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Kraftwerk, The Beastie Boys and Björk in the past, 2012’s edition features exclusive performances from Stevie Wonder, New Order and Sigur Rós, among others.

If the stadium-bothering headliners don’t grab your interest, the line-up’s undercard is suitably brimming with enough cinematic and musical curios to keep even the most discerning of attendees stimulated. Should you choose to seek refuge from Florence Welch’s piercing, seemingly inescapable warbling, for example, you could instead attend a screening of the cult acid-animation flick Cat Soup (accompanied by a live score from garage rockers Bo Ningen), or perhaps a distinctly 1920s-ish decadently luxurious screening over at The Lost Picture Show. There’s a truly bizarre, almost unending array of options available to you, but sadly only four days to plough through them all.

At the tail-end of a festival season that’s seen a plethora of open air monoliths continue to tarnish their legacies with desperate cash-grab reunions, interminable lad rock and the ever-ominous swill of warm Tuborg, it’s a genuine delight to see Bestival so gleefully reject such tired staples in favour of pure, unabashed eclecticism. Now, let’s all go and watch Adam Ant followed directly followed by Gallows. Except you in the morphsuit. You stay behind and think about what you’ve done, because you’re probably a dreadful person.

Here are five of our absolute must-sees for this year:


With their sultry, glitch-laden R&B garnering a much-deserved wave of hype within recent months, the amalgamated talents of Aluna Francis and George Reid could well prove one of the weekend’s highlights if the pop delights of 'Your Drums, Your Love' and 'You Know You Like It' are anything to go by.


Provided that DOOM doesn’t choose to send another “villainous” impersonator to perform in his place, his lurching, low-key collaboration with Jneiro Jarel is certain to pique the interest of any discerning hip-hop fans onsite, particularly those who found themselves enamoured with his work in Madvillain.

John Talabot

Since his debut album Fin ended up becoming a Quietus favourite earlier this year, there’s absolutely no chance of us passing on a delightful slab of deep house from this man. After all, only the most sonically challenged of souls would shun the opportunity to immerse themselves within Mr. Talabot’s blanket of blissful, Balearic haze.


Despite a thoroughly enjoyable debut effort, Kindness may only be worth a watch if Adam Bainbridge can promise to avoid his cover of Anita Baker’s ‘Anyone Can Fall In Love’ like the plague - for his sake and ours. No amount of lukewarm festival cider would wash away those inevitably horrendous memories.

Little Dragon

Their combination of soulful vocal hooks and intricately crafted synth-pop is a sound one could easily envisage becoming engulfed by Bestival’s towering main stage, but it’s hard to imagine their impenetrable, serene cool struggling too greatly.

Bestival takes place at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight from September 6-9