Poltimore Festival

by George James Gordon and James Wijesinghe

George James Gordon

Chiara and The Vu

In response to the question ‘how would you keep your fans if all the world went deaf?’, a scenario evoking something from sci-fi fare, the band’s apparently unanimous response was: ‘We’d start playing naked’. Having followed them from their inception, I would suggest this spontaneous and unexpected answer epitomises the band’s very ethos. Few bands could successfully pull off (or even dare to attempt) performing Toploader’s Dancing in the Moonlight back to back with Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, and remain as effortlessly cool as they do. Their unique sound draws on several genres: funk-indie, jazz, blues and soul-pop, to name a few, each member of the five-piece bringing their own creative influence and expertise to The Vu’s aesthetic. The smoothest basslines in Exeter, catchy guitar interplay and moving soul-infused vocals pave the way for what promises to be an excellent set at this year’s Poltimore festival (even if they’re keeping their clothes on). I would definitely recommend them if you are a fan of Amy Winehouse, Matt Corby or Cigarettes After Sex.

Matthew and the Atlas

Through the waning popularity of so-called “new folk” – the likes of Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale confined to folklore, especially since it was discovered Munford & Sons are confirmed) favourites of David Cameron – bursts Matt Hegarty, who puts the Matt in Matthew and the Atlas, to save the day. His latest record, Temple, is at once both pensive and profound, influenced by the character of the enigmatic “black figure” who appeared to Hegarty after he was ‘near fatally stabbed in an attack’. These dark motifs are carried beautifully and hauntingly by the frontman’s own gravelly vocals which, combined with experienced song writing, sound classical in delivery. Matthew and the Atlas combine this talent with a stereotypically “new folk” arrangement of acoustic guitars, accordion, banjo and winsome female backing vocals to create a truly unique sound, one which seems right at home at Poltimore festival. Described as the English Bon Iver, I would recommend Matthew and the Atlas if you like Damien Rice or David Gray.

James Wijesinghe

Pattern Pusher

Combining the best of the old and the new, this eclectic quartet create a sound you’ve never heard and can never get enough of. Pattern Pusher are a local synth-pop/art-rock band, made up of vocalist and keyboard player Alex Johnstone, guitarist Benjamin Green, drummer Benjamin Conibear, and bassist Dan Cosgrove. Guaranteeing a wash of energy and a sonic spectrum that will amaze, they put on a unique performance with every set. Having recorded with John Cornfield (Muse, Stone Roses, Supergrass), the four-piece are now finishing off their debut EP in their home studio to deliver a DIY electronic sound. The project is expected to come out within 2017, so Poltimore will be a great opportunity to experience exclusive performances of their unreleased material. Previous single Layla and Madman features a churning guitar reminiscent of The White Stripe’s Icky Thump, while Still offers a greater resemblance to a celestial James Blake track. Their capabilities are evidently vast. Catch them on the Lawn Stage to hear music ‘as perfect as it is unorthodox’.

Delmer Darion

This alternative electronic duo are back at Poltimore for the third year running. Dripping in flickering samples, each track they produce is a complex arrangement that leaves the listener stunned in an auditory jungle. The two-piece’s album All Over Again, All Over Again is a luscious LP showcasing the extraordinarily poignant abilities of modern electronic music. To have achieved this on their first album signifies their sheer musical intelligence and apt confidence to challenge industry norms. Additionally, their latest release The Emperor of Ice Cream boasts delicious ‘covers’ that range from Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Frank Sinatra, along with remixes of their own tracks by the likes of Exitpost and Harry Parsons. The downtempo Delmer Darion can be found in the Old Courtyard at this year’s festival. They recently performed a Poltimore Session in collaboration with XTV which gives an intriguing insight into how their production translates into a live show. The pair recreate their unique tracks with sample pads, loops and synths, providing a deviation from the festival’s primarily instrument-based line-up. Be sure to check out Reflections (ft. Halcyon) and Haze (ft. Emily Burns) to get a taste for the blissful sounds you will indulge in at this year’s festival.