10 Unmissable acts at Parklife 2018
This year’s Parklife located in Heaton Park, Manchester is only a few weeks away and tickets are going fast, We’ve chosen 10 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 time of printing, so a small warning in advance that some of these acts may clash.
1. 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 less than friendly reception to what was some solid material as Beady Eye, but a lack of that trademark personality and lackluster 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 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 his hometown’s Heaton Park be prepared for a selection of Oasis’s biggest hits being bellowed from the heavens in whats sure to be an enormous performance, check out footage of tender ballad ‘Live Forever’ below;
After releasing one of the last years best albums with Melodrama, Lorde makes a very rare return to the UK, especially Manchester in which Parklife will be the young songstress only second ever appearance.
And what an appearance she will make, if you’ve seen clips from her show-stealing Glastonbury performance last year you’ll understand the bewitching New Zealander goes all out, like her idol Kate Bush she effortlessly blends her complex pop with beautiful stage routines, it’s performance art you can sing along to. Which mirrors our comments when we saw her magical Alexandra Palace production;
“Watching Lorde grow from shy teenager to a crowd conquering confident woman has been a fantastic journey to witness but no matter how much her live show continues to change, the added costume changes, the extra designs and larger budget, one thing still remains and that’s the connection she consistently makes with her audience, she never sacrifices her artistic vision and feels utterly grateful to be in her position and that’s what makes her and her performances so compelling.”
Make sure you see why she is loved by critics and fans alike when she comes to Heaton Park, in the meantime heres a short clip of that Glastonbury performance
She’s the next big thing and she’s making a rare UK festival appearance at this years Parklife. The next step on her unstoppable rise through the ranks, following on from a sold out UK tour earlier this year and a top 5 single with the smash hit Strangers.
In our 5 star review of Sigrid’s live show earlier this year we were simply blown away by her energy saying “Her energy is infectious, seemingly powered by the crowd, the more they sing, the more she moves, like a Scandinavian version of Tigger she just never stops bouncing.”
Since then she’s continued to release some brilliant new music as part of her ‘Raw’ EP including the remarkable ‘High Five’ an underrated stellar pop song and the heartbreakingly beautiful ‘Don’t Want To Know’ which shows the more delicate side to the young popstar. Make sure you catch Sigrid or risk missing out on the next big thing.
4. The XX
A headlining spot at Parklife is more than deserving for the hardworking indie band whose 2009 debut album genuinely felt like a game changer since then they’ve evolved their sound considerably. That’s partly down to Jaime whose production and DJ skills have evolved tenfold since the bands' formation, his understanding of classic 80’s samples led to the brilliant new sound on latest album ‘I See You’ in which Hall & Oates were expertly incorporated into the stellar single ‘On Hold’
Their live shows are utterly captivating, their music draws you in and you can literally feel your feelings flood out of your body. They’re able to make you nostalgic, introspective and even euphoric and the single drop of a beat. There seven night sold out Brixton residency and Bestival headline performance shows theres a clear demand for this very unique band. Make sure you see what I’m sure will be one of the most talked about sets of the weekend.
CHVRCHES will always have a special place in our hearts, we’ve followed them across the world and witnessed performances everywhere from their hometown of Glasgow to sunny California and each time they’ve left us feeling both overwhelmed and enamored. They take to Heaton Park only weeks after they’re third album ‘Love Is Dead’ will be released.
Their material always takes on a completely different energy on stage, ever since those early shows they’ve continued to grow into a truly spectacular live band whose crowd control is now unmatched. You’ll witness thousands of fans and festival-goers alike throwing their arms into the air and singing along to every word.
It’s their first UK Festival appearance since Reading back in 2016 (check that out below) and it’ll be interesting to see how latest singles tailor made for big crowds like ‘Get Out’ and ‘Miracle’ perform, so whatever you do, don’t miss out on what’s sure to be Parklife’s biggest party.
6. The Valley Stage (ASAP Rocky, Giggs, Stefflon Don, Annie Mac, Carls Cox)
How can a stage be a standout act I hear you ask? the recently announced Valley Stage at Parklife, however, it's like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Incorporating Tokyo alongside classic futuristic films such as Blade Runner, Parklife have created a stunning masterpiece that is sure to define this years event.
From the looks of the preview video embedded below, you’re in for a sensory overload and we can’t wait to see what sort of high level production the acts put on. Speaking of acts you’re in for a treat, Saturday see’s one of raps biggest superstars ASAP Rocky take to the stage to showcase songs of his latest album, he’ll be preceded by some of the UK’s hottest talents such as Giggs who stole the headlines at last years Reading when he brought out Drake and Stefflon Don who is not just taking London by storm but becoming the most talked about newest talent in the game.
If dance is more your style make sure to head down on the Sunday in which world class DJ Carls Cox takes to the stage alongside household names like Annie Mac. Parklife’s biggest and newest attraction is going to be the talk of the festival, make sure you stop by and catch a set or two.
One of the most surprise returns of last year was Pharrell’s old crew N.E.R.D, they took over the airwaves when they released the infectious and brilliant Rihanna featuring lead single ‘Lemon’. first glimpses of the live shows have seen highly choreographed and captivating performances featuring lots of very talented dancers. It’s like a modern-day circus troupe as they invade the stage and at times the crowds with their empowering and very present music.
At times it’s incredibly hard to describe exactly what it’s like to witness N.E.R.D but trust us when we say you're in for a completely unforgettable experience, so when they make their first UK appearance in 8 years! at Heaton Park make sure you not left waiting another decade to see the boys.
I haven’t mentioned any proper dance music of yet but if you want a set that’s going to blow your mind then look no further than Justice. The French duo’s festival sets so far have been defining moments. they make true and pure dance music like ‘Genesis’ and remixes like ‘Electric Feel’.
When they take to Parklife prepare to be transported back in time with their modern disco sounds. It’s an inspired booking and will beautifully merge with Manchester's world-renowned dance culture and scene.
There's not much to say about Justice other than to leave you to witness a slice of the beautiful sounds awaiting you next month.
9. Vince Staples
Perhaps the most outspoken rapper at the moment after his now legendary comments about R.Kelly at this year's Coachella Festival. Unfortunately, that one interview took away what should have been the main topic of conversation, his conquering set that proved why he should be one of the new kings of hip-hop.
His latest album ‘Big Fish Theory’ is one of the best releases in the game, his flow is unparalleled and the album is a fantastic throwback to the genres origins and heyday when it was all about breaking the rules and standing out amongst the crowd. At Parklife, you can expect just that and much more, don’t miss out on Americas brightest rap star, whose just going to glow brighter and brighter in years to come.
10. Jessie Ware
Britains most beautiful voice comes to Heaton in the guise of the majestic and soulful Jessie Ware. The songstress has created some of the most emotive and powerful ballads of the past five years with the absolutely perfect ‘Say You Love Me’ and the seductive ‘Alone’ taken from last years stellar third album ‘Domino’
What makes Jessie Ware just so special is her ability to transcend genres and festivals, she has a personality and stage presence that rivals Adele, a grace and beauty in her voice to rival Sade but also a modern take on soul in her music that matches her dear friend Sampha (who’s also appearing at this year’s event).
When you visit this year's Parklife, make sure to witness and fall in love with Britains most sensational vocalist Jessie Ware.