Originally posted on Hooting & Howling

8 years since emerging as The Big Gin Fest, a last minute ‘parents away’ party in a quarry, Y Not Festival has escalated massively and is gradually establishing a solid reputation as one of the greatest little festivals about. The weekend over the years has seen the likes of Frank Turner (a rather staggering 5 times), Mystery JetsBlood Red Shoes , Little Comets and, everyone’s favourite, The Vagabonds. The weekend keeps going from strength to strength, as this year’s listings – undoubtedly the best so far by a mile – sticks true to. In addition to the mastery of headliners like The Horrors and The Cribs, a little bit down the poster,  it’s running a pretty stellar line up. Here’s a few that are not to be missed, besides the necessity of Electric Six, obviously.

N.O.M.O.N.E.Y. // China Rats

Staying alive for Sunday morning is key for one band and one band alone, China Rats. Off the back of tours with The Crookes, and those alike and accidentally headlining Benicassim last year, the band are growing into an unmissable live act and still completely brilliant. Their gritty vibes of classic rock ‘n’ roll mixed with flavours of punk and 90s indie works up a storm both on record and onstage making for a raucous affair.  They play the Main Stage.

Come To Me (feat. Robert Smith) // 65daysofstatic

65daysofstatic have been around for a good while going all but unnoticed except for those in the know but live they are truly not to be ignored. They combine crashing drums, synth and bass to make what appears not much more than a lot of noise but in reality forms the basis of an incredible experience. When they’re not instrumental even Robert Smith gets in on the act, it’s ace and even better live, they play the Main Stage on Saturday night.

Backwaters // Drenge

Drenge are a duo that appear to have, unjustly, fallen somewhat by the wayside of the ‘great new band’ radar since emerging from a small village in the Pennines at the time of the the B-town madness. They describe themselves as “2 brothers. guitars and drums”, that’s about as brilliantly succinct as it gets – there’s no bass and it’s simple in all the best ways. Their live act itself is less so succinct but remains completely infectious – their bluesy rock magic is fast making a name for them and they’re all set to storm the main stage on Saturday evening.

Bros // Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice, in a word, are brilliant. They’ve been attemptedly shoehorned into every genre from grunge to folk and back to britpop but in reality, it’s a combination that doesn’t quite fit any of the listed. They emerged as a folk duo and have transformed into a hard edged group of style filled with thundering riffs and purely intense vocals. The latest single, ‘Bros’, backs this up and they’re definitely one to go check out. They play The Giant Squid Stage on Sunday night.

Nothing At Best // The Pineapple Thief 

The Pineapple Thief emerged in 1999 as a solo ambition of Bruce Soord, since then the project has emerged into a progressive indie 4 piece scaling 9 albums, their own label Kscope, and work with producer Storm Thorgerson – not too shabby. The sound itself is somewhere inbetween synth fueled electronics and heavy indie rock, reminiscent of Muse – the vocals almost mimic Bellamy at times, and makes for a live set that is explosive. Another reason to fight the hangover is to catch these guys second on Sunday at The Giant Squid Stage.

Colours To Life // Temples

Temples are slowly gathering a reputation for being something quite special, especially live, and their psychedelic 60’s throwback sound certainly backs it up. Colours To Life is their latest single and just as brilliant as the past two, if not better, and denotes that there’s definitely a lot more goodness to come from the band – you should go and see them for their impressive tasselled shirts if nothing else. They play the Quarry Stage on Saturday evening.

Calling // Lewis Watson

Lewis Watson has been gaining quite a profile for himself in recent months, and rightly so. For a 23 year old Youtube discovery, his song writing ability is beyond his years, shining on his latest EP, and the melancholic vocals work with the stripped back sounds to create some outstanding tracks at that. Live, Watson commands the stage despite his sound’s distinctly calming sound and is the perfect way to ease into Sunday evening at the Quarry stage.

Abraxical Solapse // The Physics House Band

The Physics House Band are set to take your Sunday afternoon and turn it upside down by means of extreme sonic subscapes with minimal pretense and thunderous psychedelic tracks that get straight to the point. The Brighton 3 piece take experimental to a new level of strange instrumentals and  ominous synth lines that don’t require vocals – it speaks for itself. ‘Abraxical Solapse’ is a prime example of the same kind of mind alterations are likely to occur when they take to the Giant Squid Stage on Sunday afternoon.

See You // The History of Apple Pie

The History Of Apple Pie are a clever bunch. Like Yuck and those before, they are harking back to pre-grunge and making it sound even more exciting than the first time around, layered with 60’s guitar pop and fuzz. Stephanie Minn’s vocals glide in contrast and come up with melodies that will remain cemented in your brain until you put on another one of their debut album’s seemingly endless brilliant tracks. They’re tipped to be more than incredible live and are worth watching on the Quarry Stage on Sunday afternoon.

Yeah Yeah // Willy Moon

Willy Moon has been kicking off the 50’s rock ‘n’ roll/dance fusion (with all the hip hop production it could require)  since early last year, and with an album full of bona fide hits that”ll liven up anyone’s first festival early evening he’s a guaranteed ‘do not miss’ act. Live it’s a raw, upfront show with the musical formula set to come together seamlessly in an instant and one likely to be no better enjoyed than on the Main Stage as the sun drops on Friday night.

Orchards // My First Tooth

My First Tooth may have been around a while now but they deserve all the live viewing they can get. Their music comes across as channelling the carefree vibes of Grouplove while merging the indie pop melodies that feel cruelly stolen from Los Campesinos! and an alternative influence by use of violins, violas and any other folk-country style instruments that work effortlessly in conjunction with Telecasters. Their debut album was released previously this year and if the sun holds out they may just complete your Friday afternoon before the rest of the festival’s had a chance. They play The Giant Squid Stage.