Side B now. We’re still in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It's still Green Man's sixth year in its current format. The Glanusk Park event is still sold out. Wonderful collusion of beautiful scenery and beautiful music. The line-up is still ace. Mainly folk-based. Yaddah yaddah yaddah. Do keep up.
1. Explosions in the Sky – 'Last Known Surroundings'
Picking up where Side A left off then, we begin with warm, folky... ack?! What? What is this? What on earth is going on? Instrumental sonic rock soundscapes! Who ordered this? I don’t care if it’s brilliant, rising and rising until it explodes in a melodic rock epiphany, I just don’t want them to be playing when there’s someone nice and quiet and cosy and intimate on, that’s all!
2. Squarepusher – 'Megazine'
So it’s not just country being played at Green Man. Continuing our more diverse side B with Squarepusher then, as their electronic beats and bleeps are sure to have night owls burning the midnight oil - whilst respecting the codes and conducts of the Welsh countryside, of course. There’s something very Daft Punk about 'Megazine', the most interesting cut from their most recent record, d’Demonstrator. The title also sounds as though it’s a huge Japanese monster, which is always fun.
3. Wild Nothing – 'Chinatown'
Another buzz-band to feature the Wild prefix, Wild Nothing's 2010 lo-fi debut Gemini looks at life with rose-tinted glasses amid a sea of synths and dreamscape pop. A little shoegazer, it’s only fitting then that Jack Tatum and co. are playing the Far Out stage on Saturday where there’s sure to be a relaxed atmosphere.
4. The Travelling Band – 'One Dime Blues'
Okay, it may be a cover, but there is absolutely nothing not to love about this song with its intricate finger picking, references to Jesse James and the wonderful orchestral flourish at the end. Not only that, but they have a cool name, are from Manchester AND they include the word 'blues' in their title, which is scientifically proven to make a song 30% cooler. In fact, the whole of their new record Screaming is Something is a fantastic soundtrack to the summer, and any other time of year for that matter. A deserved main stage slot.
5. Bellowhead – 'New York Girls'
This eleven piece multi-instrumental movement mix English folk with a whole load of other vibrant influences. Having released their third long-player last year, entitled Hedonism, you can be sure they’ll put on a vivid visual display to accompany their offbeat sounds.
6. Gruff Rhys – 'Candylion'
Performing in his native Wales, the Super Furries man is sure to play songs from his new record Hotel Shampoo, but I can’t resist taking a trip back to 2007 for this awesome video for 'Candylion' and the amazing couplet "# Penguin and carnation / Lemon and dalmatian #". Winning.
7. The Low Anthem – 'Hey, All You Hippies!'
From the Rhode Island quartet's fourth record Smart Flesh (mixed by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis no less), 'Hey, All You Hippies!' is a slow-tempo country rock song that would do well to invoke the spirit of ’69 and will sit well on a Sunday in August.
8. The Antlers – Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
Brooklyn’s The Antlers have recently released their self-produced fourth record Burst Apart on Transgressive Records. 'Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out' not only describes one of my biggest fears but also pleases the ear, beginning with melancholy finger picking before subtle basslines and intricate guitar melodies carry the song off into a hypnotic rock ending.
9. Noah and the Whale – 'Give It All Back'
Though not the finest song from their much happier new album Last Night on Earth, their third, ‘Give It All Back’ does make reference to "# the summer of '98 #", which is my favourite summer ever. True story. Having seen them at Y-Not Festival a couple of years back, they give a fine live performance. They have released two more records since then, so they have plenty more pop gems in their arsenal.
mixtape by Stephen Grindrod
The Green Man Festival 2011 takes place at the Glanusk Park Estate near Crickhowell, South Wales, between August 18 and 21. The site opens at 10am on Thursday, August 18. Tickets are now sold out. A shuttle bus service is in operation from Abergavenny train station.