DIY Popfest Special – Six Bands You Shouldn’t Miss

After the roaring success of last year’s first ever DIYPOP fest, the London based three-day festival is back this weekend, with an even more impressive line up. The festival takes place across three venues, DIY Space For London, The George Tavern and The Shacklewell Arms, and is headlined by Pega Monstro, Helen Love and Skinny Girl Diet. There’s also sets from some bands we’ve featured regularly including Deerful, Witching Waves, Suggested Friends and Mammoth Penguin. Today we’re picking out six other acts we think are going to make this weekend’s festival unmissable.

And you don’t have to miss it because there’s still a handful of tickets available – HERE.

Living Body (Friday – DIY Space For London – 8:45)


Living Body is ostensibly the musical project of Leeds-based Chicagoan émigré Jeff T.Smith, who is joined by a rotating cast of bandmates. Living Body released their debut album, Body Is Working, at the back-end of last year; the record was a versatile and ambitious piece showcasing Jeff’s ability to dip into various genres and styles and produce something enticing.

Living Body’s music might dip into a multitude of sounds, but it is all infused with a cohesive sense of melody, whether it’s the folk-tinged I Recollect or the noisy, expansive alt-rock of Choose, they’re all underpinned with a certain pop shimmer. It will be fascinating to see how this monumental record translates to the live setting, particularly the dense, post-rock infused moments – pull it off and it could be the best set of the weekend.

Kamikaze Girls (Friday – DIY Space For London – 9:30)


We first stumbled across Kamikaze Girls when they supported Onsind at DIY Space at the back-end of last year, and we were instantly blown away by their intense, brutal and brilliant live show. Front woman Lucinda Livingstone’s emotive vocals and fluid guitar playing was a dream, perfectly augmented by Conor Dawson’s intense battering of the drum skins. Taking in elements of hardcore, punk and the good bits of emo, it was one of the most impressive sets we saw from any bad last year, let alone one we’d never previously heard of.

Kamikaze Girls have barely stopped touring since, taking in jaunts on both sides of the Atlantic, but have somehow found time to write and record their debut album, Seafoam, which will come out later this year on Big Scary Monsters. Even their record seems to be inspired by the rigours of touring, Lucinda suggesting the writing was inspired by getting back from tour without a penny to her name, “I was driving myself crazy most days. We had a good routine on tour and it was just all lost. A lot of Seafoam is written from that perspective, just being in a hole with nowhere to go, feeling a bit numb to everything I guess”. Any band that attuned to life on the road, is a live band well worth checking out, and Kamikaze Girls certainly fit the bill.

Crumbs (Saturday – George Tavern – 5:15)


Yorkshire quartet Crumbs may not have shared a whole lot of music with the world, but they already seem to be making waves on the DIY-Scene. With a sound equal parts gloomy post-punk, and bouncy bubble-gum pop, the band have already been in session for Marc Riley and have a huge number of high-profile shows coming up over the next few months.

Front-woman Ruth Ellen’s riot-grrrl tinged vocal delivery is accompanied by prominent bass-lines, steady driving drum beats and gorgeously scuzzy guitar chords, plus enough infectious rhythms – and cowbell – to keep the dancier kids happy. As Saturday evening wake up calls go, Crumbs should be just about perfect.

MOLAR (Saturday – George Tavern – 6:30)


London noise-pop quartet MOLAR will have plenty of familiar company this weekend having previously toured with Crumbs and shared a split 7″ single with Pale Kids. Combining angry vocal yelps with crushing drums and frenetic guitar thrashing, they bring to mind the likes of modern acts like No Joy and Mourn, as well as the more obvious early-90s touchstones.

MOLAR admit they formed a band because they couldn’t play instruments and thought it would be fun/funny, but they’ve obviously learnt quickly, and if their thrillingly raw recorded material is anything to go by, MOLAR’s live show promises to be among the most energetic, loud and exciting of the weekend.

Pale Kids (Sunday – Shacklewell Arms – 6:00)


Half of them like Iron Maiden and they all like a drink, but despite their somewhat limited bio Durham’s latest queer-punk heroes Pale Kids are one of the band’s we’re most excited about seeing the weekend. The quartet just put out their latest EP, Holy Mess, as a split release between Frux Tapes and Drunken Sailor, a record they describe as about, “being sick, distracted, heartbroken, obsessed, inattentive and the guilt we feel for all these things”.

No guilty pleasures here though, Pale Kids’ music is seriously good. Combining the pop-punk of contemporaries Martha or Wolf Girl, with the anxious, jittering indie of Wolf Parade. They’ll be just the intense, emotional and tuneful thrill-ride the crowd will need to drag themselves up for a third straight day of bruising musical brilliance.

Young Romance (Sunday – Shacklewell Arms – 8:55)


Young Romance have been quietly been going about the business of writing blindingly good songs for the best part of five years now, but it was only with last year’s Another Blood that they finally got around to releasing an album. Thankfully it was more than worth the wait.

The other advantage of waiting a while to put your record out is that you get plenty of time to perfect your live show, and in the flesh Young Romance are a thrilling prospect. Paolo stalks the stage, completely lost in his fuzzy guitar riffing, as Claire Heywood’s jaw-dropping vocals emerge from behind the drum kit she clatters to within an inch of its life. Nodding to the likes of The Cocteau Twins and Flowers, Young Romance have the perfect blend of beauty and brutality. They might be one of the last bands playing at the festival, but they’re unquestionably worth the wait.

Click HERE for the full line up, tickets and further information on DIYPOP Fest.

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