From a new generation’s answer to the DIY scene in bedroom pop to the rockers that defined the new millennium, Lollapalooza Paris has a lot going for it (and tickets are still available to buy here). With only a short hop over the Channel, it’s not London but Paris that’s calling this summer to satisfy your every music craving. Here are just a few of the acts to whet the appetite.
Saturday 20th July – Day One
Since Gus’ recent visit to our very own Engine Rooms, he’s released a debut album, Where Polly People Go to Read, and slotted in a few more UK tour dates in-between his festival schedule. His pop transcends the confines of the bedroom from whence it came as you’re caught hook, line and sinker by lyrics like “You’re my favourite FISH / You’re my fav-ou-rite” that you’ll be singing for days at a time. And if you needed an excuse besides the catchy choruses and dancefloor rhythms that make up the songs of his discography, from ‘World Class Cinema’ to his straight-out-of-the-60s ‘Twist and Shout’ cover, look no further than the man himself. Expect mesmerising dance moves and a model-like flair for fashion from this exciting singer-songwriter – he doesn’t need the excuse of festival season to don colourful garb.
Australian multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana blew up three years ago when she released her Bedroom Recordings and clocked over 50 million views on YouTube. Although her main instrument (besides the loop peddle) is the guitar, she’s mastered over fifteen instruments in creation of her early minimalist and smoldering compositions. Tash’s grandfather gave her her first guitar at age 3, and after teaching herself to play she would perform at open mic nights on a fake ID and busk out on the streets in Melbourne. After serving her time on the local circuit and going viral she started selling out arenas and playing at the world’s biggest festivals. Last year saw the release of her debut album Flow State, but new single ‘Can’t Buy Happiness’ has arrived just in time for Lollap and plants the seed that more new material might feature during her set. With that live loop-pedal magic, those soaring and controlled Jeff Buckley-esque vocals and a musical style that encounters a crossroads of musical genres from pop to rock to reggae, it’s easy to understand why Tash’s name makes its way onto so many festival billings and why her name fits seamlessly on so diverse a line-up as Lollap’s.
With Martin Garrix topping the bill, producer Kungs shouldn’t be too far behind on your hit list for Saturday. He’s finally playing his semi-local Lollapalooza after stints at the South American, Swedish and German editions of the festival. The French southerner is another rising star within dance music who burst onto the scene with his world-famous remix of ‘This Girl’ by Cookin’ on 3 Burners. He reinvented the original funk track with house to create a summer playlist essential that reached number 1 in a whopping 45 countries back in 2016. That same year, he released a debut album, Layers, and since then he’s gone from strength to strength by playing at festivals around the world.
Sunday 21st July – Day Two
You can’t turn down a Kodaline set on a festival billing. Wonderfully emotional and always perfectly timed, Kodaline’s set gives you the perfect excuse to blub when you realise that the festival is nearly over and you don’t want to leave. You’ve got ‘All I Want’, you’ve got ‘The One’, you’ve got ‘High Hopes’ and a discography full of songs that are going to hit you right in the feels when early-onset festival blues kick in on Sunday night. The Irish soft-rock quartet’s latest album, Politics of Living, came out just last year, proving they’ve still got it with their highly emotive tunes.
My brother would kill me if I didn’t include an ode to Biffy Clyro, who, as he has told me repeatedly, are in their prime right now. While the alt-rock trio recently released original music for the film Balance, Not Symmetry in the form of a soundtrack of the same name, album number two of 2019 – and eighth studio album – is set to be a little on the heavier side in response to acoustic album Ellipsis (2016). Having experienced the carnage and euphoria of a Biffy set during a downpour over Glasgow Green at TRNSMT Festival 2017, no extra incentive is needed to get me to the centre of that mosh-heavy crowd. Except for, perhaps, the temptation of new music from Opus 8, the working title for the new album. With songs like ‘Biblical’, ‘Mountains’, ‘Many of Horror’, ‘Black Chandelier’, ‘Bubbles’, ‘The Captain’, ‘Re-arrange’ and ‘Medicine’ in their back ‘Pocket’ (sorry), and a rich discography full of hidden gems and fan favourites, every song they play will be a pleasure, be it old or new and will only make me go ‘Woo Woo’ (again, sorry).
I’m not going to even pretend my younger self was cool enough to have cottoned onto The Strokes when they were at the height of their infamy. When This Is It was released in 2001 (and I was five), the New York five-piece carved the path for the garage and post-punk sound and ethos within the rock music genre. They may not have released a new album since 2013’s Comedown Machine and 2016’s EP Future Present Past but their hits are countless and excitement levels are unabashedly high. From ‘Last Nite’, ‘Reptilia’, via ‘Someday’ and personal favourites ‘Hard to Explain’ and ‘OBLIVIUS’, fans and relatively rookie audience members will appreciate and identify with the ethos and energy of this exciting headline act.