YouTube Mixtapes: Top Ten Bands to see at Dot To Dot Festival 2012

by - Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seen as I haven't done a YouTube mixtapes in a while, I thought what better excuse than to do a Dot to Dot special? I had such a great time at Live At Leeds (review coming soon, I promise) that I'm super excited about discovery another northern city in the form of Manchester. Much like Live At Leeds, Dot to Dot boasts a brilliantly eclectic line up this year, and in no particular order, I hope to guide you through some of the highlights below.

1) The Internet
 I never really 'got' Odd Future, seeing it as an overhyped art project that focused more on the aesthetic than the music itself. Hipsters, don't hurt me, I only speak my opinions. Nonetheless, Odd Future member Syd Tha Kyd's side project The Internet sits somewhat more comfortably with me, the kind of slickly produced RnB that reminds me of the golden days of Pharell and The Neptunes, taking me back to my childhood. Well, not quite childhood if you listen to lyrics and the video content, but melodically for sure. Here's the soundcloud for Fastlane. (And yes, I am perfectly aware that I named this YouTube Mixtapes and this is a soundclound link. Sue me for false advertising.)

2)Willis Earl Beal 
Willis Earl Beal was a name I heard bandied about for quite some time, but I didn't hear his music until I finally saw his Jool Holland performance a few weeks back. He's obviously quite an eccentric chap, which will be interesting to observe at face value when he plays Dot to Dot. There's no denying he has something special in that voice, but only time will tell if he can produce the song that really kickstarts his career. This is Evening Kiss.

3)Willy Mason
 I've really enjoyed Willy Mason ever since I heard his most famous song Oxygen, and have reconnected with his work via Lianne La Havas, whom he did a beautiful duet with. I've not yet had the chance to see him live so Dot to Dot will hopefully provide that opportunity. If you like Bon Iver, Ben Howard or anything similar, I can guarantee you'll enjoy Into Tomorrow.

4)Hyde and Beast
 I was prefaced to like Hyde and Beast based on the fact that it is a side project of members of The Futureheads, whom I've always loved. Luckily I wasn't disappointed, as they showcase material that is similar enough to the day job that fans will be kept happy, but different enough that they aren't a vanity act. Have a listen to Never Come Back.

5)Two Wounded Birds 
Another band who's name kept cropping up on the hype machine, Two Wounded Birds surprised me when I discovered that they play pretty much straight up garage rock, like a scruffier, rougher edged Vaccines. It's this sort of band that always turn out to be the unlikely festival crowd pleaser, so they're definitely worth investigation. Together Forever is below.

 My obsession with Wild Beasts is hardly something I keep quiet (if you're reading boys, my contact details are at the side), and it was through them that I discovered 2:54. Whilst I have the Beasts remix of You're Early on heavy rotation, the original is just as good, and should be highly atmospheric in one of Manchesters many venues. Get in the mood by listening to it here.

7)Summer Camp 
The best eighties-cum-noughties hybrid out there, Summer Camp impressed me back in November when I saw them at Constellations, and I'm sure I'll be seeing them at Dot To Dot again, schedule permitting. If any of you know a duo cuter than Elizabeth and Jeremy, I suggest you send me some polaroids to judge, because I am yet to find such a surefire prom king and queen outside of the Disney channel than these two. This is Better Off Without You.

Peace are a band that my good friend Keiran has been nagging me to listen to, and having given them a youtube, I can see the appeal. All leather jackets, dishevelled hair and stone roses esque swaying sky gazing, they're bound to get the front row swooning in Manchester. Have a gander at Follow Baby.


Recently, with the aid of my coursemates and pitchfork (yeah I know, proper cool me) I have been delving into the world of more electronic and rnb influenced music, and from that I stumbled upon Kwes. I've always liked my electronic music with a heavy hangover and slightly melancholy energy, and Igoyh is the perfect example, the soundtrack to that 4am 'what is my life, why does nobody love me and why am I falling asleep in the corner of a club' situation. Don't lie, we've all been there. Experience the oddly life affirming fuelled magic below.

10)Olugbenga (DJ Set) 
Finishing off the night will hopefully be an Olugbenga dj set. If you don't know already, Olugbenga is one fourth of Metronomy, superstar DJ and an all round damn cool guy.Have a look at one of his live sets below - anyone who can mash up Missy Elliot with one of his own bands sounds and not sound like a douche gets my vote.

So, if you liked any of the above, or hopefully most of the above, you should be well on your way to getting the most of your money at Dot to Dot Festival. Tickets are available at for the Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol legs. Line ups do vary a little from date to date, so be sure to check to avoid disappointment. The image below shows all the Manchester venues, with bands stage times and places to be confirmed. See you in Manc!

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