With Wilderness now only just over a week away, we thought we’d take a look at what’s in store at Chipping Norton’s Cornbury Park, and we certainly like what we see. Standout sets include live shows from Bonobo, Two Door Cinema Club and Michael Kiwanuka as well as DJ sets from Jackmaster, Nightmares on Wax, Artwork and more, but sometimes it’s the acts you don’t know too much about that make a festival. Aiming to provide a good blend of the two, we picked out five artists who we’re keen to see when Wilderness gets underway.
Plenty of people are trendy, but Grace Jones is fashion incarnate. A star of the disco scene that revolved around New York institution Studio 54, Jones was one of the most distinctive artists of the 80s, famed for successful careers in both music and modelling. An inspiration to the likes of Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga and many more of the world’s biggest pop singers, her influence is undeniable, and at nearly 70 years of age she’s still as formidable as ever. Expect incredible costumes, perfect vocals and an unforgettable performance.
First Aid Kit
The sisters from Stockholm made folk trendy again when second LP The Lion’s Roar struck in 2012, with indie label Wichita enjoying the honour of releasing an album that would be revered by fans at home in Sweden and overseas in the UK. Following it up with Stay Gold in 2014, Klara and Johanna Söderberg have cemented their place as one of the best acoustic acts of the last few years, with their angelic harmonies and atmospheric guitars soaked in emotion and expertly interwoven to show that we shouldn’t let Mumford & Sons ruin a very respectable genre.
A virtuoso of prepared piano, Hauschka’s music transcends the usual boundaries of his art and challenges the expected conventions. Often carrying the fiercer intensity of dance music, the classical hybrid is both powerful and engrossing, offering music a far cry away from what is normally expected of somebody sat in front of a grand piano. Chosen by Boiler Room as a suitable opener to their In Stereo series, Hauschka is a maverick deserving of an audience.
BBC’s Sound of 2017 at just 23, Rita Ekwere aka Ray Blk has been grabbing attention with her soulful R&B ever since her days at Brunel University, during which time she released first EP Havisham before self-releasing mini album Durt. A talented songwriter earning collaborations with the likes of Stormzy from day dot, her ascent has been rapid - though no quicker than her excellent output and enchanting live performances deserve.
One of the lesser known artists on the lineup, Yolanda Eyama is a leftfield choice but one which will yield an almighty reward, with her multilingual, dancefloor focussed funk offering all the groove of the highlife and afrobeat legends that inspired her. Hailing from Equatorial Guinea via London, Eyama blends funk, soul, jazz and pop together with aplomb; singing, rapping and dancing her way through the genres to the backing of her Afro World Groove band. Music for sunny weather.
Wilderness Festival begins at Cornbury Park in Chipping Norton on Thursday 3rd August, running until Sunday 6th. Other artists appearing include PBR Streetgang, Hudson Taylor and a UK exclusive set from Aurora.
Photo courtesy of Wilderness Festival