Leicester city centre will once again play host to HANDMADE FESTIVAL across the May bank holiday this year and the lineup is brimming with talent from across the world.
Constantly growing – both in terms of venues and the status of the bands in attendance – Handmade is one of the most highly anticipated lineups of the pre-summer rush and it is easy to see why. The likes of Idles, Los Campesinos and Drenge have ventured to the east Midlands in recent years and 2019 demonstrates the desire to make it as popular as fellow inner-city events such as Live at Leeds by this year announcing Metronomy and The Futureheads at the top of their lineup.
Organisers have announced, too, that buses will be available to transport festival-goers from venue to venue (subject to availability), so start making your must-see lists now. Below you can find our stage by stage guide.
The synth-laden pop outfit are without a doubt one of the most delectable acts heading to Leicester. The best way to describe them is ‘oh you know that song from ___? That’s Metronomy!’ Their music, especially breakthrough 2011 release, The English Riviera, has some of the greatest tracks this century has seen; however latest record Summer 08 is equally vibrant and if anything is more fuzz-drenched.
Listen to: Old Skool
O2 ACADEMY 2
4AD have a habit of putting out records that will be looked back on in years to come with raised eyebrows and a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Pixx‘s next record (released in June), Small Mercies, is already receiving a lot of plaudits – exploring the themes of religion, gender, power and love; it is certain to be one of the most important records of 2019 and beyond.
Listen to: Disgrace
Sandwiched in between a UK tour stretching from Glasgow to Bath and everywhere in between, Rozi Plain plays Handmade just a month after the release of What a Boost. You might recognise her from This is the Kit or caught her supporting Devendra Banhart on tour, but her slot at Y Theatre will probably (definitely) be the most awe inspiring thing you see in Leicester across the May bank holiday.
Listen to: Conditions
DRYDEN STREET SOCIAL
Touring relentlessly, not only in one’s own country, but across the world for the past few years has propelled Can’t Swim into one of the most recognisable names in the ’emo’ scene. Their Death Deserves a Name EP was followed (somehow – it was incredibly) by the brilliant Fail You Again and since then they’ve not only joined Boston Manor and Real Friends on UK tours, but released sophomore full-length This Too Won’t Pass via Pure Noise and cemented their place as one of the most exciting rock bands of the decade.
Listen to: Sometimes You Meet the Right People at the Wrong Times
Nottingham‘s Do Nothing have gradually broke away from their home-city and most recently a show at The Social, London for Huw Stephens was packed out. Handshakes, which was released last year, preceded announcements that they will be performing at Y Not Festival and Splendour this year. Handmade makes it the holy trinity of East Midlands festivals, so be sure to catch ’em up close and personal in May.
Listen to: Handshakes
Saying that Brighton quartet, MarthaGunn are an interesting offering at this year’s Handmade is perhaps the understatement of 2019. With lashings of Fleetwood Mac esque choruses in Saint Cecilia they have the ability to create incredibly infectious anthems that will whizz around your head all day. Glorious vocals throughout every track, be sure to catch MarthaGunn!
Listen to: Honest
You’d expect someone named Puppy to be cute and cuddly, but the London alt-rock trio juxtapose that analogy on its head. Their debut album, The Goat, dropped just after the turn of the year and via the likes of World Stands Still and Bathe in Blood has catapulted them into one of the most exciting live bands in the UK right now. Expect an intense show at The Shed.
Listen to: Bathe in Blood.
When we first heard Get Terrified we were hooked on ITYIWEY‘s sound. Joey taking the time to annotate every single lyric from latest record Oh Dearism via Genius shows the band’s attention to detail and desire to engage with fans. The full record aforementioned is fantastic and one that MUST be heard live to truly engage with. Of all the bands mentioned, Itoldyouiwouldeatyou are our MUST SEE.
Listen to: Get Terrified
ATTENBOROUGH ARTS CENTRE
Post-hardcore, Bristol/Austria quartet Petrol Girls provide an incredible sound worthy to fill the biggest venue, never mind the Attenborough Arts Centre. New album, Cut and Stitch, is released next month and it is certain to host plenty of in-your-face anthems that are a natural continuation from The Future is Dark EP.
Listen to: Sister