Preview: Boomtown Fair: Hidden Gems

With Boomtown throwing open it’s doors today, excitement levels are building and we’ve been listening to acts from this year’s line-up non-stop. Year after year the line-up is one of the most diverse of any festival, in music genre, nationality of performers, length of performing career and more. This makes it an unforgettable experience where alongside acts you’ve planned to see you’ll end up listening to plenty of bands you’ve never heard of before and would never ordinarily come across. Here’s some performers our very own Katie Biz has picked out who may not be headlining their district but are well worth adding to your hit list.
Smiley and the Underclass: This London-based band will be hitting the stage of The Skankin’ in Diss-Order Alley. They’re a Dub/Punk four-piece whose music addresses current issues (like a lot of the acts at Boomtown) but faces them with positivity. Tracks like This Is England are about everyone being in it together and are sure to get you dancing. Last year they released their debut album Rebels Out There, and they’re likely to play the title track which asks “are there any rebels out there?”. If they’re looking for rebels they’re coming to the right place and there’ll no doubt be a resounding “yeah!” from their crowd at Boomtown!
Spunge: We’re excited to hear ska-punk band Spunge from Tewkesbury. They’ve been influenced by the likes of Green Day and have toured with them and other big names including NOFX. They’ll be performing in the Diss-Order Alley District over the weekend. Their catchy tracks combined with an epic live show reputation built up over the past 20+ years have put them firmly on our must-see list. Their performance will no doubt be an energetic one: Ego is one of our favourites so take a listen.
William Crighton: A rock/folk singer/songwriter from Australia who has enjoyed success and recognition down under but is less known in the UK (his first UK performance was just earlier this week). He is set to perform at Whistler’s Green and has made it onto this list thanks to his powerful voice and lyrics. His lyrics are personal and packed with emotion and his songs filled with impressive guitar riffs. He performs live both with a band and solo so we’re not fully sure what to expect at Boomtown…. apart from a bloody good performance that is. If this sounds like your thing take the time to listen to Priest: you won’t regret it.
King Tuts Revenge: This ska/reggae/punk outfit from the South West are playing in Diss-Order Alley (we can tell it’s going to be hard to drag ourselves away from this District!). We love the this combination of genres and this is going to be one of those sets where it’s impossible to keep still! Listening to Up All Night will give you a taste of what they’re all about.
Conan: If Doom Metal is your thing then you’ll want to check out this band, also performing in Diss-Order Alley. Conan are from Liverpool and their sound is characterised by heavy distortion and powerful riffs. They’ve got a new album landing in September so their set will likely include a mix of old and new. Expect long hair, beards, and a lot of headbanging!
At Boomtown best laid plans for fitting in all the bands you want don’t always play out: the seemingly endless streets filled with surprises at every corner mean that it’s easy to get waylaid travelling between venues, but this is all part of the magic of Boomtown. Whoever you end up seeing, we know you’ll have a great time! We’ll see you in the city!

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