DiS is heading to Oxford on Saturday for the second edition of Ritual Union. Taking place from midday on the 20th until the early hours of Sunday morning, Ritual Union is spread across five venues all situated within a few minutes walking distance of one another on the city’s Cowley Road (O2 Academies 1 & 2, The Bullingdon, The Library and Truck Store Records). This year’s event once again boasts a stellar line up after 2017’s inaugural shindig. Inevitably there are clashes galore (always the sign of a great festival), so we’ve chosen ten acts we’re looking forward to seeing on Saturday.
(The Bullingdon, 1330-1400)
It’s been an amazing year for Davey Newington and Boy Azooga. They’ve amassed a burgeoning fanbase over the past twelve months thanks in no small part to their exuberant live shows and released one of the year’s finest debuts 1, 2, Kung Fu! in the process.
(The Bullingdon, 0030-0100)
Elegant noise rock from Dublin that bridges the gap between Idles and Iceage, this five-piece should be enough to shake the post-midnight cobwebs from those who’ve been on it all day.
(Academy 2, 2145-2245)
Liverpool born and Manchester based, Jane Weaver might not be a new kid on the block having made music for (gasp!) a quarter of a century, but Weaver’s recent forays into ambient psychedelia have introduced her to a wider audience which more than justifies her headline slot in Academy 2.
(The Library, 2215-2300)
Bristol seems to be churning out some of the UK’s most exciting bands at this moment in time and Lice are no exception. Comparisons with bands like The Fall and The Gun Club aren’t wide of the mark which should be enough persuasion to check them out in the flesh.
(Academy 1, 2015-2100)
Having just missed out on a Mercury for last year’s exceptional third album Holiday Destination, Nadine Shah is a name on many people’s lips right now. And rightly so, as her blend of dark, sometimes twisted and always socially aware noir-pop is invigorating in both execution and delivery.
(The Bullingdon, 2045-2130)
This Canadian outfit have been creating experimental soundscapes for over a decade and if recent album Felt is anything to go by, constantly improve with age.
(The Bullingdon, 1530-1600)
Hailing from the town of Dokkum in the Dutch province of Friesland, The Homesick are one of the most captivating live bands we’ve witnessed this year. Drawing on influences far and wide from the first era of post punk (think Talking Heads, Devo, and XTC) through to the darker side of angular noise rock, their mid-afternoon set is sure to be one of Ritual Union’s undisputed highlights.
The Lovely Eggs
(The Bullingdon, 1730-1800)
Holly Ross and David Blackwell might just be the hardest working couple in music right now, and with latest album This Is Eggland introducing them to an even wider audience, long overdue recognition is finally theirs. Come see what all the fuss is about – we promise you won’t be disappointed.
(Academy 2, 1545-1615)
Joe Ogden is TVAM and his album Psychic Data ranks as one of this year’s finest debuts. A one man advertisement for musical eclecticism, his repertoire is known to include folk, punk, krautrock, electronica and disco, often in the same song, which makes it a beguiling experience from the outset.
Vive La Void
(Truck Store, 1315-1345)
The solo project of Sanae Yamada, better known as the keyboard player in Moon Duo, Vive La Void makes engaging, left field yet melodic synth pop in a similar vein to Stereolab or Broadcast that is every bit as good as that description makes it sound.
For more information about Ritual Union, including the full line up and where to purchase tickets, please visit their official website.
Photo Credit: Alfie Shadbolt