Sure, you could spend the summer wringing rain water from your sodden clothes and battling trench foot at British music festivals. Nothing wrong with that. Alternatively, however, you could pop over to Zagreb for InMusic later this month: a festival now in its 10th year that’s spread across three sun-kissed islands and boasts paradise-like beaches, water sport madness to get involved in, plus of course an all-important blockbuster lineup of amazing bands. Having previously hosted the esteemed likes of Sonic Youth, Morrissey, The Stooges, Nick Cave, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Arctic Monkeys, this year La Roux, FFS and Rudimental – not to mention a certain Josh Homme – are among the acts gracing the Croatian weekender. Here’s six bands there’s no way we’ll be missing at this year’s event, taking place from June 22-24.
Having announced themselves on April 1 with the absurdist, if likeable, track ‘Piss Off’, most assumed FFS – a supergroup made of members of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks – to be an April Fool’s joke. Not so. The six-piece quickly followed the track up with a string of equally catchy guitar pop singles, culminating in the recent release of their self-titled debut album. InMusic represents just the band’s fourth ever show and punters can expect the biggest ‘Piss Off’ chant-along Croatia has ever seen, as well as a few tracks from both band’s back catalogues thrown in for good measure.
Elly Jackson ended a lengthy musical hiatus last year with the release of ‘Trouble in Paradise’, the second album released under her La Roux monikor and first since the split with long-time producer Ben Langmaid. But despite the loss, the record was one of the pop albums of the year, and with these new tunes in her arsenal, Jackson is underlining her reputation as a powerful live presence with a show that’s all wild synths, battering beats, bright lipstick and neon lights. Sunny tunes like ‘Sexoteque’ and ‘Tropical Chancer’ too are loaded with good vibrations to get the summer season into full swing.
Almost a decade since their formation, Future Islands are the hottest live ticket in town. That performance of ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’ on Late Show With David Letterman last year may have pushed the synth pop band to a whole new level of indie stardom, but it represented another step in their steady long-term progression. Latest album ‘Singles’ was loaded with infectious keyboard riffs, catchy melodies and chant-able chorus lines, making its 10 tracks ripe for the open arenas of the festival season. And having toured the record extensively since their memorable US network television debut, Samuel Herrings and co have proved themselves adept at maintaining that live energy over a full-length set.
Eagles of Death Metal
With a new album in the pipleline – their first in seven years – Eagles of Death Metal have been whetting their appetite on the live circuit with a huge European summer tour. Though band co-founder Joss Homme doesn’t always appear live because of his many other commitments, the Jesse Hughes-led outfit can still shred it live with their whiskey-soaked, balls-out set of devastating riff-heavy rockers. Anticipate tracks like ‘Don’t Speak (I Came To Bang)’ and ‘I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad New)’ to shake Zagreb to its very foundations.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Two years on from the release of their most recent album ‘Specter At The Feast’, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club bring their scuzzy delineation of classic garage rock to Croatia having spent the intervening period extensively touring the record. All leather jackets, dark denim and cheap sunglasses, the band’s massive hooks and rickety instrumentals will be on display, with throwback rockers ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’ and ‘Hate The Taste’ likely to get an airing. The band have recently been sliding in a cover of The Call’s ‘Let The Day Being’ into their show too.
A late addition to the InMusic line-up after headliners Florence + The Machine pulled out of the event last month, Hackney four piece Rudimental bring their melody-heavy drum and bass sound to Croatia having recently announced their forthcoming second album ‘We The Generation’. Newer tracks like latest single ‘Never Let You Go’ and ‘Go Far’, which features soul singer Will Heard, will likely feature heavily on their set list, alongside danceable hits ‘Waiting All Night’, ‘Feel The Love’, and the Ed Sheeran collaboration track ‘Bloodstream’.