Common People Fest is back, ready to fill the acres of greenery that make up Southampton Common with lots and lots of beautiful noise. Among the biggest, and inevitably most fun sets promised are Public Enemy, Primal Scream and Duran Duran. Nestled in the line up though, is some gems of small bands you really need to check out. Festivals aren't just about the big names, so here's some smaller gems you could and should stumble across next weekend. They're all on the Uncommon Stage, which is hand picked by local legendary St Mary's music venue The Joiners.
Arid Wave (Uncommon Stage, Sunday)
Riff-fuelled stoner rock, this fiery local three-piece are the most intense thrill you'll find all festival. Their debut record Mongrel came out last year, and it's an hourlong clusterfuck of primal rock riffing, which will sound great opening up The Joiners' Uncommon stage.
Bel Esprit (Uncommon Stage, Saturday)
Bel Esprit are a Southampton four piece indie rock band that have rose to notoriety recently with some of the most incredible indie rock on the south coast. Combining perfectly structured pop songs, with deeply emotive and energetic playing, their hometown shows are always the best there is. You can read up on them here, in our Independence fest review.
The Science Of Eight Limbs (Uncommon Stage, Sunday)
This band kinda sound like their name, with their spindly, arachnid prog-rock for the jilted generation. Again, they're local lads, and they're prone to jamming out colossal psych jams that combine elements of weirdo Zappa-like jazz with elements of harder rock with elements of disjointed prog. If you wanna see a band that will blow you away, it's most likely to be The Science Of Eight Limbs.
The New Desert Blues (Uncommon Stage, Saturday)
From the Southampton/Portsmouth area, this band are a guitar pop outfit that feel constantly on the verge of success. Their debut record To Be My Own came out this year, and well, it's a stark change from the spaghetti western allegories that they started their career with, but it's still a nugget of brilliant pop, with beautiful, forlorn melodies all over the shop and massive choruses that will sound brilliant after a few drinks in a festival crowd.
Sean McGowan (Uncommon Stage, Saturday)
Tourmate of the likes of Frank Turner, Sean McGowan is a really brilliant singer-songwriter that embodies the city of Southampton like no other, so it's fitting that he's got a high billing slot. With lyrics that refer to local landmarks and a strong accent that could only possibly be from 'round 'ere, Sean McGowan's charismatic sets are a must see.
catch all these and more at Common People THIS WEEKEND
Words: Calum Cashin