Citadel Festival 2018: Top Picks
Tame Impala headlined this year’s Citadel Festival, returning to the UK for the first time since 2015 and giving a whole range of both old and new fans a set to remember. They took on the challenge of performing an engaging electronic set and delivered with results, including opening track ‘Let It Happen,’ setting the tone for the set. However still the group never compromised the live instrumentation and rock roots that initially made them loved far and wide. The group also performed guitar heavy tracks from their first two albums almost ten years ago now, including huge 2013 single ‘Mind Mischief.’
Chvrches saw themselves as headliners at this year’s Citadel Festival in London’s Gunnersbury Park, as their exclusive UK festival appearance. Lauren Mayberry’s crystal clear vocals resonated across the festival field this year, upon the release of their new album ‘Love Is Dead’ in 2018. The new album seems a fiercer side to the group, both thematically and sonically. This intense passion that their new material does not go unnoticed, enthralling each audience member. Old loved tunes of the group including ‘Bury It’ and ‘Empty Threat’ also saw the entire field singing along, consolidating the huge community vibe of music lovers at the festival.
Leon Bridges is at the front of the resurgence of soul-pop music, bringing the classic style back to festival main stages and radio playlists. He delivers a consistently suave live performance, complete in brass instruments and gospel like harmonies, as well as an array of guests on stage to accompany him. His new album ‘Good Thing’ has taken his audiences by storm, accumulating a new range of fans across the globe. The refreshing element of his songs, which are fuelled by emotion and musicality more so than commercialism, allow Bridges to be one of the most respected artists today. His sophisticated performance at Citadel Festival in London this summer was one of the most memorable moments of this summer’s festival season so far.
Honne are a duo who have become highly popular on the live music circuit this year, including a sold out show at Camden’s Roundhouse earlier in the year. There has been a huge widespread buzz for the band this summer upon the anticipated release of their new album ‘Love Me Not’ which is to come out at the end of the summer. Their only UK festival appearance this summer was at Citadel Festival, with crowds overflowing the tent as Honne showcase never before heard songs. This is indicative of the live potential Honne have, and will only continue to grow as they have perform worldwide at festivals this summer, including Jakarta, Bangkok, and South Korea! They are sure to be appearing on major festival bills for many years to come.
Homegrown West London, Citadel must have been familiar grounds for Isaac Gracie. An artist who hit the mainstream so rapidly he even surprised himself, Gracie proved his fans he was truly meant to be there. He has a soulful rock style that is a direct result of his old school influences, his music characterised by guitar strums and deep, smooth vocals, demonstrating an emotional maturity far beyond his years. He has bright, anthemic choruses encapsulate any audience, and even if you are brand new to the Isaac Gracie experience, he delivers an engaging and beautiful set relatable to everyone.
Goat Girl very aptly describe themselves as ‘Sci-Fi Fusion,’ reflected in their spacious hypnotic music, drenched in reverb and guitar riffs carrying a resemblance to the psychedelia of the 60s rock bands. The group are characterized by ambient spacious sounds coming from a combination of everything from synths to the violin. The short and sharp style of many of their songs, many of them just 1-2 minute instrumentals, enables listeners to see a wide range of talents the band have, proving themselves to be more than just any other ‘female fronted indie band,’ but in fact taking the forefront for creativity and originality in the new music scene. Their bold compositional decisions and frank lyrics make an iconic representation of freedom, and is what makes the band so charming at first sight and music so addictive.
Puma Rosa played the Koppaberg stage at this year’s Citadel. A smaller more intimate stage which wasn’t featured on the main line up posters, it was a spot which filled up off word of mouth during the day. And it definitely found itself forming a queue outside for Pumarosa’s set. After a hiatus as frontwoman Isabel suffered (and recovered from) cancer for the first part of the year, the group came back unphased by the setbacks and powered on strongly. The group closed the night just in time for the headliners in this outdoor summer set, allowing their intense guitar heavy energy to resonate across the space.
The Howl & The Hum
York band The Howl & The Hum had their first gander at London town this week. With it also being their first ever festival circuit this summer, their appearance at Citadel Festival on the Communion Stage was all the more special. The group are known for fusing dark themes with uplifting fronts and comedic narrative throughout, enabling the audience to have a good time yet still delivering important messages that the lads wish to. The band deliver anthemic tunes, and their sonic identity is characterised by Sam Griffith’s strong lead vocals. Check out our review of their first ever sold out London show coming this week.
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