This year’s Hit The North is once again, a huge celebration of classic and fresh new music taking place on Sunday 5th May. We’ve had the pleasure of listening to every artist and checking out the venues announced so far and have chosen our top three reasons you cannot afford to miss this year’s instalment of this growing festival.
Alternative, heavy punk rock dominates the agenda
The last 18 months has seen a major resurgence in the heavier side of alternative-rock music and this year’s major festival lineups certainly reflect that. This year’s Hit The North is a festival where you can sample some of the UK’s finest alt-rock artists and we can guarantee it’s these bands where you’ll find us most of the day! Black Futures are a band we only saw for the first time this week and they blew us away. Described as
“A no-holds-barred aural assault of Anarchic Electro Psych Punk Noise that is something like Death From Above and the Chemical Brothers’ bastard offspring”, they were simply incredible live and I for one can’t wait to see them again.
If there’s one band right now I struggle to pinpoint a genre for, it’s SHEAFS; one of the most exciting bands to establish themselves from Yorkshire in 2018. With a few solid releases behind them now, the five-piece seem to reinvent with every track and are already proving to be a real force so early in their careers. Whilst on the face of it, their a straight up alt-punk band, SHEAFS actually have a lot more to them and can be incredibly musical. This band are a real “one to watch” and are not to be missed!
The Blinders released their debut record in 2018 to critical acclaim and are sure to pull one of the biggest bands of the day on the 4th May. Colombia is a rollercoaster of an album featuring some of the bands most well known tracks that are already crowd favourites. There are few live shows that compare to a Blinders gig and you’ll kick yourselves if you miss this huge Newcastle show.
The North West lands in the North East
It’s pretty difficult to argue that in the battle of the regions, it is often the north-west dominates the musical mainstream when compared to their north-east counterparts. It isn’t surprising, then, to see a strong cohort of Manchester, Liverpool and the wider region including these three artists tipped to be the next big things in music.
Zuzu is seriously making it hard to continue to produce superlatives when we talk about her and the music she’s putting out at the moment. She is likely to feature heavily in all of our festival previews this year and it is more than deserved. In 2018, the Liverpool based singer released some of the finest indie-rock tunes that sounded like she was dragging the sound of the 90s right into this decade. From Beauty Queen to Dark Blue every raucous release was more and more fine-tuned, putting Zuzu on every indie-fan’s radar. Topping the year off with a Courteeners support run, she is likely to draw the “dark fruit” crowd through her reputation as well as a great following through her quality tunes. Exciting times are ahead!
Our next band grew up right in the middle of both of Britain’s finest musical cities making them a hot prospect for 2019 and beyond. The K’s, from
Earlestown, St Helens are, for me, the indie rock band to watch this year. Featuring high on our Top 40 tracks in 2018, Glass Towns put them officially on the musical map after their major hit Sarajevo, and resulted in some huge shows for them. This year they’re looking to break out of the north-west and make a real name for themselves nationwide – a string of festival dates including this will certainly go some way to doing so.
The final standout band from the north-west, Merseyside to be specific, it the highly tipped This Feeling artist, Red Rum Club. Having released debut record Matador earlier in the year, the Liverpool based band are currently on a massive UK tour, building their fan base right in time for festival season. With a successful 2018 and three huge releases (Honey, Calexico and Would You Rather Be Lonely) behind them – Red Rum Club seem set on the path to the top. Balancing rock ‘n’ roll, with 70s vibes and a solitary trumpet – the band are at the cutting edge of what 2020s rock might, and maybe should, sound like.
One of the fundamental, insitutionalised issues with UK music festivals is the lack of equality across male and female driven artists. One things that has become very apparent in the last two years for me, is that this is not due to the lack of acts out there, and certainly not for a lack of talent. Since Hit The North Festival first landed in 2017, it has championed female artists much more than others out there and once again has produced a killer lineup of women and girls making awesome music from across the UK! Here are our top 3 to check out.
What a talent Emily Capell is! The singer songwriter from London has come out of nowhere for us and it took this festival lineup to introduce us to her music. Having read into her background and history, it’s very clear she’s one of the most hardworking people in music, having travelled the world to get her honed folk pop sound out to the masses. She has a style that isn’t unique to the music world but adds depth to the genre, much the same way legends like Billy Bragg too. She has a way with lyrics an the voice to match and we’ll be the first in the room for her show this Hit The North
Another artist I have only come across in the last six months is Glasgow based LUCIA. Like all of the artists in this list, Lucia Fontaine, is a lyricist first and foremost and it’s evident on Summertime and new hit Blueheart that the words and meanings of her songs drive the overarching sound. With a background in singer-songwriting, LUCIA is a band that benefits from Lucia’s quality songwriting but is backed up by a talented band. With Scottish influences rife in her sound – LUCIA is in a wonderful place to kick on in 2019 and become a real household name.
One of the most intriguing bands in the UK right now are without doubt, Liverpool’s The Mysterines. Their tagline, “Who Are The Mysterines?” is central to all of their social media pages and their internet presence is largely untouched. They’ve instead, made a name and a reputation for themselves based on their music and live performances – old school! New single Bet Your Pretty Face builds on their 2018 release Hormone. It has a Blondie meets Wolf Alice feel about it that defines the band as a niche product that is sitting right in a major musical gap we didn’t even know existed. At present I cant see how the band will achieve commercial success because their music is just too good (how ironic) but I hope this year, they show the world what they’re about and make a real name for themselves.
Hit The North takes place on Sunday 5th May, with opening parties on Friday 3rd May. Tickets are available here https://hitthenorthfestival.ticketline.co.uk/.