Barn on the Farm 2018: Top Picks
Barn on the Farm is the ultimate festival of new music. Boasting a past line up of every Brit star from Ed Sheeran to James Bay to Hozier, this is the place to be to discover the UK's next stars. We picked our top favourites from this weekend:
If you haven’t seen Tom Grennan’s face plastered all over the London Underground yet, then you’ve definitely heard him on the radio and on playlists. As Barn on the Farm’s first headliner on Saturday, Grennan certainly gave the crowd the set they were looking for. With an apt and welcome football theme running through his set, including a rendition of the classic chant of the now ‘It’s Coming Home’ and wearing an England jersey. However, he also delivered a top class collection of his greatest songs, particularly those from his brand new album ‘Lighting Matches.’ With a huge band behind him to really bring out the best in his songs, he really made his festival headline a night to remember – for him and the crowd.
Dermot Kennedy is the newest one to watch from Ireland’s buzzing new music scene. With debut releases that have spread across the globe like wildfire in the last year, he became one of the most anticipated name on the bill as this year’s Barn on the Farm and closed the Outdoor Stage on the Sunday night, ringing out the festival in true style. He is the kind of artist where a deep, heavy voice comes out of nowhere with his laid back demeanour, unfailingly stunning each member of the audience. His latest release ‘Moments Passed’ was a personal favourite, as the song is a perfect representation of what he represents. His folk inspired pop sounds with a touch of hip hop make Dermot one of the most innovative artists at Barn on the Farm, and in the live circuit, this year.
As the crowds bid their final farewells to Barn on the Farm on Sunday, Tom Misch took the festival home as the festival’s second headline. Misch leads the way in the UK’s contemporary jazz scene, bringing the funk infused approach to the genre to the forefront of the commercial scene. He has been able to mould his music in a way he appeals to a wide demographic of musical fans, finding mainstream chart success, and a sold out Roundhouse show earlier in the year. He released his debut album ‘Geography’ just a couple of months ago, giving the festival goers, for many of whom it was their first time seeing Tom Misch live, a true showcase of what he is capable of, both in terms of talent and creativity. It’s certain than Misch will only go on to perform larger and larger stages in years to come.
Jade Bird has taken everyone by storm since her signing to Glassnote Records in 2017. Since then, she has gone on to sell out tours in US, including an impressive 13 shows at this year’s SXSW, as well as bring it home with a string of sold out shows across the UK. She is always touring, and we were incredibly lucky to watch her up close and personal in the Wooden Barn Stage, as this will be one of the last times we can watch her in an intimate space. Her personable charm makes her endearing to watch, and her radio friendly hits have made everyone able to sign along to at least one of her songs. Her latest hit ‘Lottery’ is always a favourite, as well as newer unreleased hits ‘Anniversary’ and newest song ‘Uh-Huh’. The sass and the emotion combined leaves you just wanting to be Jade’s best friend, whilst also of course massively fan girling over her. As the crowd overflowed in to and outside the stage area, Jade is definitely a favourite to watch the summer. The Wooden Farm saw the likes of Ed Sheeran and James Bay just before their world domination, and we have no doubts Bird will be following in their footsteps.
Sea Girls have turned out to be one of the leading emerging artists of 2018, accumulating a huge crowd at Barn on the Farm’s outdoor stage – an achievement for the level heat the audience endured! The group already have a sold out Omeara show under their belt from earlier in the year. They hail from a variety of small towns in England, but still deliver a Southern Californian vibe. Delivering tunes filled with upbeat rhythms and uplifting top line melodies, Sea Girls certainly have a talent to get the crowd going. Lead singer Henry Camamile climbed off the stage and came in to the crowd during the set too, bringing an entirely new level of excitement to the crowd, many of which were no doubt hard-core fans. Sea Girls truly encapsulated the meaning of Barn on the Farm – a festival which aims to break the barriers between artist and audience and join everyone as one.
Anteros have been releasing slowly and steadily since their debut EP in 2017, however through their number of sets on the live circuit over the last couple of years, the group have still amassed a huge following. Lead singer Laura Hayden delivered a vivacious performance, as her entire stage presence from her melodies to her dance moves and facial expressions make for a visually dynamic set, only augmented by the incredibly style the members share. Anteros’ set list featured tracks from their EP ‘Breakfast,’ as well as latest singles ‘Bonnie’ and ‘Breakfast.’ The group also included a performance of 60s classic ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,’ adding a throwback vibe to the set where each audience member were sure to sing along. If you want to see something different at this summer’s festivals, make sure to check Anteros.
Marsicans opened up the Sunday morning at Barn on the Farm. The dreaded hungover 11am Sunday slots are always tricky ones to grapple with for bands, but Marsicans were unphased as they ram packed Barn on the Farm’s main stage regardless – a testimony to their talent, as one of the most exciting indie bands on the scene right now. They performed their brand new single ‘Pop Ups (Sunny at the Weekend),’ which was the first time many of their fans – both old and new – were seeing the song live, released just the week before. Their classic hits such as ‘Too Good’ which brought them on the scene in 2016. Marsicans feature two lead singers- James, who takes centre stage with lead guitar, and Oli, who is also the multi-instrumentalist of the group on the bass and keys too. Make sure to check them out at Reading and Leeds’ Radio 1 Stage!
Catherine is an intriguing artist. At first glance, you would think she was a musician from American’s deep south, full of country twangs and perky guitar music resembling Nashville’s country stars. However, she is in fact one from Northern Ireland who has merged a number of global influences to create a sound exclusive to herself. An act so poised on stage, you’d think Catherine had been on the stage for decades. But in fact she is just about arriving at the very first major milestone of her career. Her brand new debut album ‘Talk This Town’ is to be released later this month itself, and the Barn on the Farm audience were lucky enough to get a first glimpse of it on the festival’s Main Stage.
For a full interview with Barn on the Farm founder and director Josh Sanger, make sure to grab a copy of our magazine here to hear all about the routes of Barn on the Farm!
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