10 Unmissable Acts At Bestival 2018
This year Bestival returns to its new home in the luxurious surroundings of Lulworth Estate in Dorset. It’s now less than a month 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 time of printing, so a small warning in advance that some of these acts may clash.
1. First Aid Kit
We’re massive fans of Swedish sisters First Aid Kit here at The Perfect Tempo. They bring a refreshing amount of genuine emotion to their music, not to mention they’ve released our favourite album of the year so far with latest release ‘Ruins’ a record which has seen them sell out dates all across America and Europe.
When we reviewed it earlier this year we said; “Through heartbreak, First Aid Kit crafted the best album of their career, never has the breakdown of a relationship sounded so grand and cinematic before”. That couldn’t be more true with the utterly beautiful ‘Fireworks’, the mighty and progressive ‘Nothing Has To Be True’.
Their live set also incorporates some of their amazing covers such as Heart’s ‘Crazy On You’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. Not to mention the harrowing and thought-provoking single ‘You Are The Problem Here’ made for International Women’s Day which we called ‘the best song of 2017’.
Through stunning harmonies and strong personalities, First Aid Kit are bound to arouse an assortment of emotions from you during their set. I first saw the Söderberg sisters live three years ago and that memory has never left me since and for that reason alone I can't recommend these sisters enough.
The fact that since that time they've released the strongest album of 2018 is why they sit proudly on this list.
2. London Grammar
London Grammar has rightfully stepped up to the rank of headliner at this years Bestival, I’m not exaggerating when I say lead singer Hannah Reid’s vocals are perhaps not just the most powerful but by far the most moving I’ve ever encountered. She literally stops people in their tracks, you can’t hear a pin drop, I wouldn’t be surprised if you even shed a tear listening to the incredible sounds she's able to produce.
That voice would be nothing, however, if it wasn’t propelled by some grandiose and marvellous pieces of music and lyricism. ‘Big Picture’ from last years sophomore record ‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’ is the perfect example of what makes London Grammar such a solid group, the instrumentation is cinematic and when combined with Hannah’s vocals it gives you an almighty feeling of transcendence.
I could go on all day about what makes London Grammar so special, the best way, however, would be to simply leave you with a live clip (which you can see below) and allow you to prepare for an unbelievable headline set next month.
3. Silk City
Bestival and Rob Da Bank are always taking exciting risks, in the past, this has made for some unforgettable live experiences. one such risk this year has been placing a brand new artist straight as a headliner. A move which is fair to say has surprised and intrigued a lot of people.
Even though hardly anyone will have heard of ‘Silk City’ they’re sure to know the amazing dance music pedigree behind the duo. Featuring Britain’s very own master producer Mark Ronson and the modern pioneer of dance music Diplo. Between the two of them they’ve been responsible for some of the biggest dance hits of the past 10 years such as ‘Valerie’, ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Where Are Ü Now’.
And that's all without mentioning some of their incredible past collaborations. One upcoming pairing from the duo will be a brand new Silk City single with the current biggest pop star on the planet, Dua Lipa. Who knows this might even lead to a surprise appearance from the star on Friday night! we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime here’s their excellent debut single ‘Only Can Get Better’ featuring Daniel Merriweather.
It’s fair to say the UK is rarely graced by outspoken rapper M.I.A but when she does come here, it’s usually a very special occasion. Last year she was chosen to curate London’s annual Meltdown Festival and this year she is playing an exclusive headline slot at Bestival.
Known originally for ‘Paper Planes’ back in 2007, which was produced by Friday headliner Diplo. That very same single still has continued success and popularity even a decade on. Since then though she’s been a massive advocate for refugees, especially with her single ‘Borders’. She has an unashamedly bold personality and is the perfect fit for Bestivals message of love.
Her last album 'AIM' released in 2016 was a critical success and features the incredible singles ‘Freedun’ and ‘Go Off’. During its promotion, she’s stated it’s set to be her final ever album, which has so far held true. Not to mention she's also had a shortage in live performances, that's reason enough alone to make sure you catch her closing out the festival on Sunday night.
5. Plan B
2018 has seen Plan B make a grand comeback. It's been six long years since Ben Drew has been heard from, originally dominating the airwaves in 2010 with his sophomore record ‘Strickland Banks’ before then speaking to the disgruntled, impoverished London youth on follow up ‘ill Manors’ he then took an extended hiatus but now he's finally back with new record ‘Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose’.
Plan B has become a father since we last saw him and it’s drawn out a much more soulful side to the crooner, No more apparent than on the stirring ‘Grateful’. He’s still got that brash side to him however, this is present on the heavily reggae-influenced and furious ‘Guess Again’ which mixes Jamaican inspired rhymes with his signature furious flow.
All these sides of Ben and more will be presented to the crowd when he takes to the Castle stage at Bestival next month. We can’t wait to hear the classic tracks that made us fall in love with him all those years ago such as ‘She Said’ and ‘Writings On The Wall’ mixed in with this new and exciting sound. Miss out on Ben Drew’s return at your own peril.
We’ll leave you with this tantalising cover of Portugal. The Man’s ‘Feel It Still’ from earlier this year.
6. Mura Masa
A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX, Damon Albarn… even Nile fricking Rodgers have been queuing up to work with fresh and exciting multi-instrumentalist/producer Mura Masa, who released one of the most exciting debut dance albums of all time last year.
Mura Masa creates songs that combine cultures in exciting and new ways, ‘1 Night’ with Charli XCX is addictive, smart and brilliant pop. The exact sort of music she excels at making yet Mura Masa has such a distinct sound that sets him apart from his contemporaries, it doesn’t just elevate his songs but it elevates the artists that work alongside him.
It’s a shame none of the songs made a massive chart impact because his record was full of hits. Whether it be the Desiigner featuringre ‘All Around The World’ (arguably his best work since Panda) or perhaps my favourite ‘Blu’ a Gorillaz inspired ode to his girlfriend performed by Masa’s very own idol Damon Albarn.
Mura Masa doesn’t peg himself to one genre or style and that freedom is what makes him so revoltiounary and exciting. Do yourself a favour and see what all the fuss is about Friday night at Bestival.
7. Stefflon Don
Without a doubt, Stefflon Don is the most exciting female MC of her generation, she’s a fantastic example of modern British music and ethos, combining cultures with a mixture of East London and Jamaican influences which can all be clearly identified in her music, whether it’s the dancehall club track ‘Hurtin Me’ feat. French Montana or the latin influenced 'Calypso' with Luis Fonsi, it seems her versatility and work ethic is unstoppable.
We can’t wait to see what her debut album has in store! There’s a reason she was signed for a staggering million pounds and the BBC were quick to place her on the Sound of 2017 longlist. She directs her own videos and is all about female empowerment.
It’s refreshing to see a British female MC making such an impact and we can’t wait to see what her performance at Bestival has in store.
Another female that's set to have a massive career and who perfectly encapsulates young British talent is R&B singer Mabel, with an incredibly soulful voice she’s already infiltrated nightclubs with some fantastic features and a stunning debut mixtape ‘Ivy to Roses’. This featured the fiery ‘Finders Keepers’ which introduced the mainstream to her incredible ear for a beat and luxurious vocals.
Since then, she had collaborations with the likes of fellow Bestival artists Not3s on the sultry, rhythmic ‘My Lover’ and practically a British female supergroup on ‘Cigarette’ with RAYE and the previously mentioned Stefflon Don. Finally, she’s just teamed up with Jax Jones for the Carribean funk inspired club single ‘Ring Ring’.
We can’t wait to see what a debut record would sound like from Mabel, she’s set to follow in the footsteps of artists like Charli XCX, another similar artist who has the creative spark and crossover appeal that oozes from Mabel. Make sure you check out this next big thing at Bestival
9. Jorja Smith
2018 is the year of Jorja Smith, She started making waves here in the UK back in 2016. However, after a set of stunning, show-stealing features on Drake’s ‘More Life’ in 2017 she broke over into America, from here she’s just grown from strength to strength.
After being named this years Critic’s Choice by the BRIT Awards she’s gone on to have a critically adored debut album which has seen people fall in love with the young songstresses reflective and intelligently crafted lyrics such as on the song ‘Blue Lights’ which is a stunning examination of modern social stereotypes all delivered with her delicate R&B vocals.
Bestival this year has managed to grab some of the best and brightest female British talent around at the moment, Jorja may just be the crowning jewel of the collection, make sure you’re front row for what’s bound to be a revelatory and life changing experience.
You may have noticed this name pop up a few times already in this list, most notably a frequent collaborator of fellow young British talent Mabel. Hackney born and bred rapper Not3s has made his name from the underground scene. He fully embraces his Nigerian culture and most memorably broke into the mainstream with the cheeky single ‘Addison Lee’ which displayed his playful personality.
He’s not afraid to cross genres whether it be dancehall and afrobeat to more straight up traditional Grime. His husky vocals can’t be missed and he genuinely stands out from his peers not to mention his habit of popping up on some outstanding R&B tracks such as ‘Fine Line’ and ‘My Lover’
Be one of the first to witness Grimes next big thing at Bestival next month, for now, check out a clip of his MOJO performance below.