Ones to Watch at Beautiful Days 2015

beautiful days 2015Beautiful Days 2015. The postcard-image of British festivals. Set in the grounds of Escot Park in Ottery St. Mary, the brainchild of Brighton folk-rock band Levellers is now into its 13th year and has once again sold out months in advance. The award-winning family friendly festival has no corporate sponsorship, giving its attendees a true festival vibe for three (hopefully) beautiful summer days. This event is a time warp back to the festivals of the 1960s, with hippy culture as far as the eye can see and people to match.

With six main areas including the main stage and a big top, the music bases itself around folk and indie rock, with a healthy dose of punk, ska, reggae and experimental thrown in for good measure. With additional features including fairground rides and craft workshops for the kids, this is a truly family event set in the stunning Devon countryside.

With all that in mind, here is our list of 10 ones to watch at Beautiful Days 2015, which takes place from 21-23 August 2015.

1// Dropkick Murphys

The kings of celtic-punk finally make it to Escot to headline Beautiful Days, following in the footsteps of compatriots Flogging Molly. The Boston boys leave it all on the stage wherever they play, and this is sure to be no different. One of the must-see live bands on this planet, the main stage will be in for a treat on Saturday night.

2// Gaz Brookfield

A former winner of Acoustic magazine's singer songwriter of the year, Bristol based Brookfield has been playing the scene for many a year now and has supported the likes of Newton Faulkner, Frank Turner and Levellers on the road. He remains the only unsigned solo artist to sell out The Fleece, something he has now done four times. An early performance in The Big Top on the Saturday, this will be a busy tent.

3// House of Pain

The 90s hip hop pioneers are playing sub-headliner to Happy Mondays, and are bound to see the place explode when they drop "Jump Around". Winning rave reviews since their reformation in 2010, the early evening crowd can expect a scattering of tracks from their three albums and of course, that track at the end of the set.

4// The Skints

The hottest thing in UK reggae, the East London four-piece are an electric live outfit who have mastered their stagecraft while on tour with the likes of Less Than Jake, You Me at Six, Goldfinger and The King Blues. Fusing reggae with dub, ska, punk and rock, their three albums have been an evolution of music from their punky beginnings to the polished summertime jams on recent release FM. The perfect band for a mid-afternoon main stage slot.

5// She Makes War

Laura Kidd is a multi-instrumentalist and visual artist from Bristol, goes by the name She Makes War, and is someone who has to be seen to be believed. A psychedelic mix of guitars, harps, violins, ukuleles, saxophones to name but a few; Laura is a consummate live performer who never fails to impress. An early slot on The Big Top on Sunday suits her perfectly, someone to awaken folk from their hungover stupors and bound to make an impression.

6// Idlewild

Scottish indie-rockers Idlewild are now 8 studio albums into their career, with 2015's Everything Ever Written their first release in 6 years. Roddy Woomble and his compatriots mix the gritty with the classy, and their influence on the British scene is undeniable. Bold and independent, this is going to be a sub-headline slot to cherish.

7// The Beat

The legendary 2-tone outfit are another act perfect for a sunny afternoon on the main stage, and as the band take the stage to chants of "ruuuude boy, ruuuude boy" on the Sunday they're bound to roll back the years for many in attendance.

8// Mad Caddies

Signed to Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords in California, this third wave ska punk band are playing just before The Beat. When the Caddies are in town, you can expect pits, crowd surfing and a whole lot of fun. With a 6 record back catalogue, they've got plenty of material to keep everyone entertained.

9// Gogol Bordello

When I first stumbled across this band, they were marching onto the main stage at Reading Festival in 2010 and I was stood there thinking, "How many people are in this band??", and not expecting much. One of the best live performances I've ever seen was to follow, and the Manhatten gypsy-punks are returning to Escot Park for the third time as firm festival favourites.

10//  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

An interesting booking and selection, this (usually) 8 piece group features different registers of ukulele playing famous hits from all different genres, from "The Good, The Band and The Ugly" to "Pinball Wizard", from "Wuthering Heights" to "Teenage Dirtbag". Insanely cool.


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