Now in its sixth year, the festival is an institution and provides some of Britain’s best new act their first shows in continental Europe.
Left of the Dial is set to once again rattle Rotterdam with the best of the alternative sounds of Europe, paying due diligence to the finest new rabble-rousers on the British scene. Their latest announcement adds a further helping of Hard of Hearing favourites to a tight and tantalising bill.
An update at the end of February confirmed that Butch Kassidy will be on hand to set the standard for heaviness on the weekend, promising a dramatic and industrious performance. Exciting art-popper Laundromat is another new addition, contributing to the more melodic end of the lineup. Though it has a softer side, however, his music is not without its edge, touched by an itching energy that is shared across the festival’s acts.
Left of the Dial is defined by the insistence in the sounds and voices it presents. There is a raw punch to the nerve-jangled recordings of Egyptian Blue and even the delicate but shard-like sonic experiments of Minor Conflict. Lyrically, keen self-awareness shows through in the wit of the music of Yowl and Núria Graham across their stylistic differences, which will both be on show at this year’s festival.
The term ‘post-Brexit’ as a definition of current British alternative music has grown in circulation since Matthew Perpetua’s npr article suggested the term. It does well to account for the revival of punk immediacy and frustrated, knowing lyrics preoccupied with the troubled fragmentation of British society. Interestingly, Left of the Dial brings a trans-European perspective to this phenomenon, suggesting it is not a uniquely British moment in music. Though dominated by abrasive British bands (see also Splint, Porchlight, Chalk), the lineup brings their work into conversation with similarly bristling acts like Germany’s Bikini Beach, and with a European audience able to appreciate its content.
Promising this cultural exchange as well as a chance for a great mid-October getaway to support some of Britain’s most exciting soon-to-be exports, Left of the Dial is a key festival to consider as you compile your live music calendar for the year.
Full lineup so far: 250cc, Adult DVD, Balderdasch, Bikini Beach, Butch Kassidy, Car Boot Sale, Chalk, Chase Petra, Denzel Himself, Egyptian Blue, Eyesore and the Jinx, Joshua Idehen, Joyeria, Laundromat, LIFE, MADMADMAD, Minor Conflict, Núria Graham, Porchlight, Splint, wych elm, Yowl