Festival Preview: Eight Of The Best Acts To See At Rockaway Beach 2018

on Thursday, January 11, 2018
Rockaway Beach (12-14 Jan '18, Butlin's Bognor Regis) // Words: Saam Das

Few music festivals can claim to offer top bands, a roof over your head, and a water-based adventure park all included in the (very reasonable) ticket price, but Rockaway Beach has stepped up to meet these unique needs. Now entering its third year, the first major UK festival of the year kicks off this weekend, featuring the likes of Gang Of Four, Alabama 3, and one of the final performances of the departing Wild Beasts. We've picked out some potential festival highlights across the 2018 edition of Rockaway Beach:

The Horrors (Fri, 21.30, Centre Stage)

There was a time when The Horrors were better known for their haircuts than their music. That time being a decade ago. Since then, The Horrors have transformed from garage punk upstarts into critical darlings, with their Paul Epworth-produced 2017 album 'V' being their latest acclaimed effort.

Desperate Journalist (Sat, 15.45, Reds)

I first stumbled upon Desperate Journalist when I was asked to help judge the 2014 Emerging Talent Competition run by Glastonbury Festival - they might have just missed the cut then but the North London post-punkers don't miss out this time round. Last year's 'Grow Up' was their second album to come out on the celebrated Fierce Panda label, whose alumni include Ash, Coldplay, and The Polyphonic Spree.

Soccer Mommy (Sat, 17.00, Reds)

Arguably one of the few "blog buzz" (if that is indeed still a thing) acts on the Rockaway Beach line up but one that is starting to look like its ready to fulfil the promise. Nashville's Sophie Allison's earlier bedroom recordings as Soccer Mommy could be accused of being a tad on the undercooked side but as outspoken new track 'Your Dog' shows, she's hit the ground running in 2018.

Pulled Apart By Horses (Sat, 20.45, Reds)

Firmly established as one of the fiercest live bands in the UK, with Muse having handpicked them as tour supports way back in 2010. Is Butlin's/Bognor ready for a mosh pit? Fingers crossed for all that and more.

British Sea Power (Sat, 21.30, Centre Stage)

Perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me when I found lyrics to British Sea Power's 2003 single 'Carrion' included in an exhibition in Greenwich's National Maritime Museum - a considerable demonstration of the respect and reach of the band. Their sixth studio album was released early last year, and with a healthy back catalogue, we're sure they'll be a delight.

Wild Beasts (Sat, 23.15, Centre Stage)

With the announcement that they will be disbanding in 2018, it appears that these Wild Beasts have been tamed but we hope that they will be going out with a bang in their final scheduled UK festival performance. Hayden Thorpe will also be part of a live Q&A on Saturday afternoon, undoubtedly discussing many highlights of his time in the band, including the Mercury Prize-nominated 'Two Dancers'.

YONAKA (Sun, 17.00, Reds)

2016's arresting 'Ignorance' brought this Brighton quartet to my attention, following up the strength of that single with 2017 EP 'HEAVY'. Not afraid to mix up spiky sounds with more melodic elements, YONAKA are well set to reinvigorate festival goers in the late afternoon of Sunday.

Peter Hook & The Light (Sun, 23.15, Centre Stage)

Having played integral roles in Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook needs little introduction. His band is well known for performing their own versions of iconic tracks from Hook's back catalogue, and it's hard to imagine few better ways to conclude a festival.

Find more info and purchase last minute tickets (code RB10 also gets you a tenner off - we do not make any money from this) from rockawaybeach.co.uk.

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