Citadel 2018: Livewire's Preview
“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”, Citadel’s ethos declaration reads. Taking place solely on one Sunday of the year, London’s Citadel festival is a hub of peace, relaxation, and euphoria. Each year, the festival aims to “re-energise the day of rest; for Sundays to be the centrepoint of the week; for Sundays to be less of a full stop, and more of an exclamation point”. It’s good, then, that this year’s lineup is probably one of the most relevant and eclectic “exclamation point” of London’s festivals.
In a UK exclusive, Australia’s Tame Impala are due to headline the festival. Bringing their infectious neo-psychedelia to Gunnersbury Park, Kevin Parker’s musical project is sure to sound grand. Despite not having released any new music since third album Currents in 2015, there’s still something undeniably vibrant and fresh about their sound. The band have released three records full to the brim of disco psych, groovy rock, and funky pop; it’ll be difficult not to enjoy their sounds closing Citadel 2018. Perhaps, who knows, there may even be a new song thrown into their set. One can dream.
From a headliner to an opener, York’s The Howl and the Hum are gaining momentum, and rightfully so. The Livewire-backed four piece are a prime example of decadent songwriting. Named for a lyrical ‘howl’, and an instrumental ‘hum,’ the band’s style of mysterious, dark indie with a hint of delicateness has the music world’s eye firmly cemented on them. After playing Live at Leeds earlier this year and being championed by BBC 6Music, there’s certainly something special in store for these boys.
Playing at home, the South London punk revival leaders Shame are due to take Citadel by storm. Hailed for their unapologetic political rage and smooth yet raw sound, the city’s neo-punks are unmissable. Their debut album Songs of Praise was released at the start this year to universal acclaim, and their support from music critics of DIY, Dork, Clash, NME, Q, and many more is deserved.
With elements of classic ‘70s punk contorted for a modern audience and licks of sultry guitars, Shame’s immediately recognisable sound rightfully puts them at the forefront of neo-punk.
Not far behind Shame is another of the South London punk revival’s proudest achievements. Goat Girl are a band who are nonchalant, in the most talented way. Their songs are laid-back and lazy, but with engaging hooks and mesmerising structures. Unafraid to be different or challenged, the Rough Trade signed quartet also released their debut record earlier this year. The 19-song LP perfectly encapsulates modern worry in a neatly tied record that sounds like no effort went into it whatsoever. But in a way that’s just so punk.
Moving on from neo-punk to gospel soul, Leon Bridges plays at the London festival as well. Bridges is known for his vintage look and sound, but 2018’s Coming Home was an overwhelming collaboration between ‘60s rhythm & blues and modern soul.
Compared to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, Bridges’ relaxing style is more than suited to the Sunday theme of Citadel festival.
Last but certainly not least, Liverpool-based duo Her’s self describe as “guttural, post-depression angst wave”, which is simply a verbose way to put dream pop. Despite this, the band aren’t one for pretentiousness, riding off the starlit sounds of ambient and distorted guitars and electronic beats. Brought together via a love of jangly guitars, it’s not difficult to realise this through the music.
Citadel festival is trying to reimagine Sundays. With a lineup interspersed with otherworldly beats and ferocious guitars, there’s nothing remotely stereotypical about it. There’s a bit of summin summin for everyone, not to mention the mass yoga at midday. Check out Citadel’s website for more info, and check back here for a full review.