10 Acts To Watch... Sziget 2018

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This year’s Sziget Festival located on an island in the beautiful city of Budapest in Hungary is only a few months away and tickets are going fast, We’ve chosen some of the best acts for you to check out at the festival, some are veterans you may have already heard of before, others are new and upcoming bands you may have not but what they all have in common is that they will all put on unmissable sets you can’t miss!

We’re not sure of set times at present, so a small warning in advance that some of these acts may clash.


1. Kendrick Lamar

We described Kendrick’s UK return this year as ‘Simply breathtaking’ and it was without a doubt a career defining moment for the Compton rapper. Finally he has reached a point both critically with his material and magnitude when it comes to his stage show in which he can be considered one of the greatest rappers of all time.

Latest record ‘DAMN’ is his most accessible to date, featuring a multitude of pop hooks and infectious beats mixed with deep poetic lyrics. This is then all packaged into a live show telling the story of Kung Fu Kenny, whose bound to sweep you off your feet. If you want to read more of what an incredible show Kendrick has in store for you then read our review here and check out his live performances below.
 


2. Arctic Monkeys

The most highly anticipated comeback of the year is without a doubt that of the Arctic Monkeys. After taking the longest break between albums of their career, somehow the desire for their return has only grown. Most likely due to the feverous reaction of their fantastic last release ‘AM’. They are at the peak of their career and whatever shape their next era arrives in, it’s sure to be simply unmissable. 

What more can be said about Alex Turner and company, known for their raucous and rampant live shows, you’ll be witness to the mania that surrounds the monkeys as they go through new material alongside millennial classic ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, ‘I Wanna Know’ and ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’. Check out what’s in store below.


3. Dua Lipa

Britain’s new queen of pop has had an incredible year, managing to accomplish a staggering amount in such a short space of time. Dua Lipa performed an unbelievable performance at Glastonbury, dominated the charts with a selection of powerful female anthems such as ‘New Rules’ and ‘IDGAF’ and even sold out Alexandra Palace in London. So it makes complete sense that a headline performance at this years Sziget should crown off another fantastic year.

It’s guaranteed to be a masterclass in pop, she’s only grown as a performer over the past few years and if her Glastonbury performance is anything to go by then Hungary is in for a treat.


4. Gorillaz

With latest epic 20 track album Humanz, Gorillaz first in seven years. The band somehow took their mix of cosmic pop and alternative rock to another level. This has also translated fantastically to the live stage on their recent tour, featuring some enormous new material and cult classics, it’s not hard to see why their latest setup is receiving rave reviews.

With so many guests on their recent releases they’ve adopted something of a circus troop that follows them around the world on their adventures, be on the lookout for the likes of DRAM, Noel Gallagher, Jenny Beth, Little Simz and Vince Staples among many others when they visit Sziget this August. Of course the group would be nothing without their ringmaster Damon Albarn whose charismatic personality engages you vividly in one of the best live shows I’ve seen in years, take a look at this live clip below to see a taste of what you’re in for.


5. Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher’s return to form has been suitably biblical, possibly 2017’s biggest success story. For the first time in over 20 years Liam found himself as the underdog once more, left defeated after a lackluster reception to what was some solid material as Beady Eye, but a lack of that trademark personality and some offbeat live performances left Liam trailing to older brother Noel who was soaring with his High Flying Birds.

Something strange happened though, at the beginning of the year, it all switched. I think it’s fair to say Liam’s comeback has been the longest and most well-run PR campaign of the past few years, starting all the way back in May with a triumphant homecoming gig in Manchester, a tour strongly focused on the road-testing of new material, the majority of which was finished and surprisingly very solid. 

'Wall Of Glass’ was our first taste, it was loud, it was brash and it was the sort of music Oasis fans have been craving for years, it was also Liam back to his vocal best. A strong statement which indicated just what we were in for. ‘As You Were’ feels like an Oasis album at heart, the sort of edge that Noel has just failed to recapture over the past decade, it’s clear they work best as a duo but separately it seems Liam can now fill in that void.

The album itself combines the perfect mix of ‘Lad Rock’ we’ve come to expect, ‘Come Back To Me’ and ‘Greedy Soul’ both move at 100mph as they take aim lyrically at all those that have wronged Liam in the past few years, there the anthems we’ve been waiting for, it’s clear Liam’s got his swagger back and it sounds infectious and after so long, surprisingly fresh.

When he takes to the stage in Sziget be prepared for a selection of Oasis’s biggest hits been bellowed from the heavens in whats sure to be an enormous performance, check out footage of tender ballad ‘Live Forever’ below.


6. Lana Del Rey

The queen of sad-pop is rightfully headlining Sziget, this lustrous lady has cults of young adoring fans following her across the world, these girls and boys idolize her like royalty and sing every single note back to her. Latest record ‘Lust For Life’ was unmistakably a return to form for Lana, it’s brighter outlook on life a refreshing twist.

She’s unfortunately patchy at times during live performances but remains utterly captivating throughout. Every show has that one moment though, where she nails that song, hits that note, the crowd scream and goosebumps rise on your arms. It’s worth witnessing her perform at Sziget just for that.


7. Stormzy

For the mainstream Stormzy may have seemed like an overnight sensation, for Grime fans it’s been a long journey over the past few years that has seen the release of many mixtapes and singles such as ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Know Me From’ which saw Stormzy become such an underground success.

2017 saw the long-awaited release of his debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayers’ and what it contained was a surprise to many, preceded by the massive grime anthem ‘Big For Your Boots’ It however also featured epic gospel ballads such as ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ and a very untraditional love song in ‘Cigarettes and Cush’.

When it comes to the stage he effortlessly blends grime mosh pits and uplifting sing-a-longs, check out our review and see why this British MC is simply unmissable when he comes to Sziget this summer.


8. Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice released one of the best albums of last year, ’Visions Of Cool’ showed that their fantastic debut album was not a one-off. Already a group of powerhouse live performers, their second record has given them even more material to back up an already frantic and fiery set. They also fail to be pinned down to a single genre, in just one live set you’ll hear them go all the way from Heavy Rock to Folk to Prog to 50’s styled Pop.

Ellie is a genuine and enigmatic front-woman, she can bring out a feral state in an audience but also bring them to tears. It’s a rare thing to see a band be captivating at their wildest but also their quietest but Wolf Alice do just that. Check them out at Sziget to see your next favourite band.


9. ZHU

A man of mystery, a silent pioneer, whose always heard but never seen. It’s rare to get to see ZHU live on these shores, a now iconic name on the Californian club scene but it’s worth every effort you have to go to to witness him live.

He’s never made a chart impact since 2014’s ‘Faded’ which can still be heard everywhere to date, his style of tropical house and chilled beats make him a unique DJ in a world full of drops, just listen to his genre crossing collaboration with indie darlings Tame Impala. He’s indescribable live but trust us when we say he is not to be missed.


10. Bastille

British rock band Bastille have grown from mixtapes in the bedrooms to headlining festivals across the world and 2018 is set to be their biggest year yet. Featuring three different projects.  the Re-orchestration tour, a selection of their hits and deep cuts performed live with a live orchestra and backing singers, a very impressive live idea we reviewed back in London last year.

They’ll also release part four to their Other People’s Heartache mixtape series, its first track ‘Intro’, an electro styled version on Cat Stevens ‘Wild World’ which really touches on the spiritual tendencies of the original. Their year will be rounded out by a third studio album which promises a new hopeful direction. 

As mentioned in our many reviews, they’re a vibrant, bold and wonderful live act to witness who only get better with each new project. When they arrive at Sziget in August who knows what they’ll sound like but it’s guaranteed to be groundbreaking.