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  • Callum McWilliams, Cara WT Waudby-Tolley

Citadel Festival Highlights


Taking place in Gunnersbury Park after Livewire’s two days and nights of Lovebox Festival, Citadel had a lot to live up to. So here at UEA's finest station, we’ve compiled a quick and easy top 5 list of the best acts of the summer Sunday. And of course, a few honourable mentions. A few omissions that aren’t even worth mentioning, one of them rhymes with Batfish and the Throttlemen. Without further delay, here is our top 5:

5) London’s own Cosmic Strip opened up the DIY Stage, without a doubt the best stage for me at the festival. Right from the off you could tell that the sound was going to be an interesting one. All 7 on stage members looking like they met in a smoky dive bar impossible to place in either time or space. Cara had this to say: Being the first set of a festival on the DIY stage is a tricky call up but Cosmic Strip brought an eclectic and exciting start to citadel. Their set was littered with both softer, gentle moments and soaring crescendos of sound. As someone new to this band I left excited to hear more - a great start to the fest! Their laid-back indie psych-rock hit Echo Chamber was a perfect way to kick off the day as the sun swept over us, preparing us for all the rest of the great acts on show today.

4) Brighton 5-Piece Squid were another reason that the DIY stage was the place to be. They gave a fiery rendition of new track ‘The Cleaner’, I used to be a cleaner, AND I can’t dance, so it’s great to finally see some representation for me in the post-punk world. Everyone (anyone) reading go give it a listen on whatever streaming service you choose to waste your life on, there’s even a radio edit if you’re not ready for seven and a half minutes of pure gold. I was already buzzing about seeing squid at Citadel, ever since hearing ‘Houseplants’ on the Livewire New Music Playlist last semester, so it’s no surprise they left such a lasting impression.

3) The Murder Capital exuded the darkest energy right from the soundcheck, and they're straight into our top 3. Cara sums it up best: Another new listen for me I was expected ‘the murder capital’ to be a bit meh but I was proven wrong. Dripping with charisma and confidence, the boys originating from Ireland, swanned across the stage and put their heart and soul into the set and I loved it. Although verging on arrogant at times as they literally mic dropped and smoked their cigs as they played, the band provided a dark, biting, punk-fuelled romp.

2) The Murder Capital wasn’t the only show of Dublin-based talent that took Citadel by storm. FONTAINES D.C. showed us all that Ireland is producing some of the most thrilling and captivating acts in the punk scene. After seeing them (both) at Citadel, I’m yearning for another live show from the Dublin boys, so expect to see me straining my neck in a crowd near you if they’re playing it. Only a 30-minute set, so it was essentially a run through of 7 or 8 tracks from debut album Dogrel, not that anyone is complaining. The album has already got massively positive reviews from all across the board, so it’s hardly a surprise that the set went down so well with a now fully-rammed DIY tent. A toddler even started dancing and playing with Ben at one point, a true testament of how the Citadel and DC combination was meant to be, and a terrific time for all ages from 1-100. Just like Twister.

Honourable Mentions:

Cara: On the comedy stage, ‘Sunday sessions’, was where we saw Phil Wang. The stage itself looked like a cosy living room style amphitheatre but in practice was not the most practical as it was a struggle for the comedians to command the entire audience. Phil Wang’s set regardless delivered as he took us through the ‘opinion’ section of the paper, chatting about his dual heritage, life as a comedian and modern life. As always, he had a way of making the crowd feel settled and provided some stomach hurting giggles. A real treat.

What we saw of Dream Wife was exactly what we expected. Peppy, upbeat, punk rock and some top-tier jackets. Basically, a run-through of their eponymous (and incredible) eponymous debut studio album. Highlights of the set were the big hitters ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ and ‘Somebody’. Had Citadel visitors of all ages up on their feet, having a few spins. Saw one very old woman dancing around with aa toddler, magic.

1) Peppa Pig

There was only ever going to be one act to take the top spot, these words from Livewire’s two finest sum up just how incredible this act was:

Cara: Meeting peppa pig was the best moment of my life. I was already so excited for her album release and as a #piglet through and through I was so nervous about meeting her. They say meeting your idols is a bad idea but Peppa was SO lovely and immediately made me feel so at ease as she held my hand and we skipped together in a field. She’s my hero, my inspiration and to find out that she was just as wonderful in person was so life affirming. Her new album slaps, she’s a bad bitch and she will forever be the love of my life.

Ben: Elegance, power, fear, comfort- my time with Peppa Pig was one of contrast. When I first rounded the bend into the “kids corner” at Citadel and was confronted with the sight of the 7 foot roseate obelisk of childhood entertainment that stood before me, I was overcome with wave after wave of emotions, I did not know whether to gallop towards her and seek refuge with the other piglets, or to flee in terror of this Mr. Blobby-monstrosity. I decided to say hello to Peppa. Upon approaching her she squealed in joy at our arrival and whisked us away for a more exclusive private Peppa experience, skipping as she did so. Once we arrived Peppa began gesticulating wildly at me, after a moment of confusion I deduced that Peppa was complimenting my jacket. It moved me. We took our photo with Peppa and our time and our time together was over, and I was thrust back into the real world, but I wouldn’t soon forget the time we spent together.

Cara: I miss her.

#festivalreview #citadel #punk #rock