It would be a rather recalcitrant way to introduce you to the middle day of Green Man’s music, but an equally appropriate preview for the stunning Saturday lineup as the soundclouds and words we’ve submitted below, would be a picture of a list of the 9 bands just on the Mountain stage that day joined by a picture of an upwardly pointing thumb. The list of bands speak for themselves.
Green Man has seen some particularly strong runs of bands in the past – The National followed local legends Super Furry Animals in 2008 springs to mind most obviously, but probably none as so comprehensively, engagingly awesome as Saturday’s. Even the supposedly ‘under-the-radar’ Georgia Ruth (according to the405), who opens the days proceedings, won last years Welsh Music Prize and a sense of well earned artistic intrigue flows through the lineup like a vein; from the flickering, daydreaming electricity of Angel Olsen’s Indie-folk, The War on Drugs’ stunning and profound layered folk-rock and atop it all Mercury Rev, performing the beautiful Deserter Songs in full.
Not that we recommend perching your rear in front of the main arena all day (you’ll need those dead legs for dancing to Luke Abbott & The Field later on) – there’s remarkable gems all around the site. For one, you should probably begin playing a three way rock-paper-scissors to decide which headliner to see. Slint versus Mercury Rev versus East India Youth. Best to put down an each way bet, wait for the full timings to get announced and try and catch 2 of the 3 if you still have them legs. Here’s what we are definitely readying our limbs to run, dance and sway to.
H. Hawkline – I Used To Get Around – Walled Garden
H. Hawkline is the pseudonym of Huw Evans, one of the more talented collaborators who enjoy several guises in several Cardiff bands, (in the past he’s played with Islet and Sweet Baboo), as well as one of the few celebrated Welsh-Indie acts who has had some level of recognition beyond that scenes sometimes perceived backslapping insularity. It’s for good reason too – his songs are most often catchily insistent, with psychedelic and folk influences always happily adjoined by a ‘-pop’ coda and certified top quality co-workers like Cate le Bon. ‘I Used To Get Around’ is of the more stomping, garage end of his wide range and all the better for it.
East India Youth – Heaven How Long – Walled Garden
In an effort to convince you that you should see William Doyle’s East India Youth over the majesterial talents of Mercury Rev or Slint, both who play the same headline slot across Green Man’s 3 stages as he, we have managed to interview the man himself. As much as that sounds a little bit sarcastic, it’s not actually far from the truth – that anyone who’s come into contact with his debut LP Total Strife Forever will be desperate to convert you. By turns droney, house inspired, soaring, neo-classicist and more, it is easily the most ambitious electronic album of 2014 for me and ‘Heaven, How Long’ is its central pole, a transcendent song that hones on Doyle’s thinly spread but beautifully effective vocals, which match the gradual euphoric assemblage of the song to melancholic euphoria.
Check back on Plastik over this weekend for more previews, plus next week for interviews with, amongst others – John Mouse and East India Youth