Five of the best: Citadel

As we get ready for another massive Citadel, Daniel Lovatt picked five acts that he'll be seeing in July.

Amelia Ward

Last updated: 24th May 2018.
Originally published: 23rd May 2018

Image: Citadel (source)

Found in the heart of the British summertime, Citadel Festival invades Gunnersbury Park on Sunday 15th July for its fourth and most astonishing year yet. This is not just any day festival, to quote the organisers themselves, this is: “The ultimate summer Sunday.” Not convinced? Well with the line-up now completely announced, it’s hard to dispute that they don’t have the walk to match their talk.

No aspect of the line-up indicates weakness, but at the pinnacle of the festival are the likes of Tame Impala, CHVRCHES, Fat White Family and Leon Bridges. But these are merely a handful from the multitude of jaw-dropping acts that fans will marvel in on that afternoon.

Besides the artists, festival goers can escape for a while and enjoy what the food & drink, arts & ideas and fun & fitness areas have to offer. With the prosecco on tap, The British Film Institute on hand and plenty of dance workshops to accompany the main stage, Citadel has more than enough potential to be exactly what it says on the tin. Well… Poster. 

As you may struggle to fit this inventory of immersive experiences into the space of one week, never mind one day, we have assumed the role of the Samaritan and selected five acts that it is paramount for our blessed brothers and sisters to see.

Tame Impala

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Topping the list are extra-terrestrial pysch rockers Tame Impala. Like an eclipse or England winning a major international tournament, it’s almost unheard of that Tame Impala venture out from the land down under to grace their devout fans with a first-hand live experience. But Tame are back baby!

It may be three years since the release of Currents their cult classic fourth studio album that inspired everybody to grow their hair longer and their shirts baggier, but earlier this year they released the single ‘My Life’. This collaboration with artist ZHU demonstrates that they may have fallen quiet, but they certainly haven’t lost their edge. While Kevin may be slaving away in the studio, Cam Avery has been busy jamming with Alex Turner in both Arctic Monkeys and TLSP’s latest projects. Not a bad way of passing free time.

Tame are bereft of new releases at the minute, but to compensate, they will be revisiting the tracks that launched them to stardom and made pysch rock lovers all over the world infatuated with them. It promises to be not only a phenomenal gig, but a phenomenal sensory experience, with visuals and attire that only the likes of Tame can get away with. So, come July 15th, let it happen, let Tame steal you away for a few hours before the Monday drudgery steals you back again.

Fat White Family

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One of the indie scene's most controversial, explosive and damn right marvellous outfits Fat White Family return for their first festival run since their release of their second album Songs for Our Mothers in 2016.

The band may have been quiet collectively, but individually, they have had rather frantic two years. Vocalist Lias Saoudi transformed into Valhalla Dale’s fictional Rockstar Jonny Rocket with The Moonlandingz, who brought a synth frenzy to earth in 2017 and endured tremendous success with their debut album ‘Interplanetary Class Classics’ released earlier this year. Whilst songwriter and guitarist Saul Adamczewski enjoyed success of his own with Insecure Men, a blend of timeless pop and exotica. Both FWF members have put their side projects on pause for the time being, and reunite this summer for the shows that will disgust and enthrall fans at the same time. 

You can expect to hear a cocktail of belters from their latest album release, accompanied by profound anthems from ‘Champagne Holocaust’ and single ‘Breaking into Aldi’ released in 2016. Prepare to drown in sweat and tear your vocal chords during their performance, as Fat White Family will provide an authentically proactive party which everybody is invited to. 

Goat

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If you’re looking for a truly idiosyncratic experience, look no further than Swedish experimenters Goat. Goat have a completely boundless spectrum of sound, ranging from Afro-beat, to funk to pysch rock. This infusion of sounds is no better embodied than in their third album ‘Requiem’ the penultimate, voodoo-inspired body of work. The band have released the single ‘Let it Burn’ earlier this year and considering they have released three albums since they formed six years ago, it’s fair to estimate that they will present new, unreleased music to their audience on July 15th.

Goat seem to transcend time and place with their music, creating an eternal sound that will not weary or become tedious for listeners. They are often described as ‘One of a kind’ by fans and columnists who review their shows. They enter the stage, armed with enough tribal masks and guitar distortions to blow any respectable spectator away. We see their feature in Citadel as not only a performance, but also an investigation. We urge you to go and unravel the mystery of Goat, for it could be your only chance to play Sherlock Holmes and feel legitimate in doing so. 

La Femme

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Also sweeping in from Europe are French indie collective La Femme. An amalgamation of 60s surf, psych rock, classic French pop and a sprinkle of EDM. La Femme enjoyed outstanding success with albums ‘Psycho Tropical Berlin’ and ‘Mystere’ released in 2013 and 2016 respectively. People couldn’t resist having a jive to ‘Sur la Planche 2013’ and ‘Antitaxi’ and the band quickly gained a reputation of being one of France’s greatest pop extraordinaire’s on the market. Although we may not all be competent with understanding French, we have no problem with comprehending their effortlessly cool music and this is a view shared by the inner circle of indie across Europe.

Citadel is one stop for La Femme in a small series of Festival dates such as Latitude and Sziget Festival. They may not be the boldest name on the poster, but they are without a doubt one of the most talented groups on offer, and certainly a catalyst for a Sunday groove for those enlightened folks who manage to catch them. The band earned their 2014 award in the “Album Revelation” category and have shown no signs of slowing down yet, so it would be good etiquette to see them before they disappear across the channel once more. 

Goat Girl

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Not a branch of the band listed above, but a band sailing on their own merits are south London’s all-girl band Goat Girl. Goat girl have had an explosive year so far, with the release of their eagerly anticipated self-titled debut album and a whole host of UK dates that see

them occupied until early November. Born from the same circuit as Fat White Family, Bat-Bike, Shame and many more, Goat Girl show no constraints on their heavily politically orientated sound. The band signed to Rough Trade Records and thus, they have been armed with the tools to become role models for women and left-wing musicians within the industry.

Goat Girl are praised for their DIY approach, and depend on the gratitude of their connections rather than promoters for their shows. We believe that in our world where capital is becoming seized all together by the rich, that Goat Girl can become one of the co-pioneers that revitalise the movement. If you’re in the mood for deeply relevant political commentary, then they are the band to see. If you’re in the mood for heavy guitars and toe-tapping melodies then they are the band to see as well. It’s a win win either way.

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Festivals 2018