Sons and Daughters, Broken Records, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Wild Beasts, The Fall - Hinterland Festival preview

Helen Newbery 20/04/2009

The days are lengthening and Easter's chocolate-fest has been and gone, which means that it's time to start planning your summer festival-going. However, if the idea of spending three days in a muddy field in a leaking tent isn't your cup of tea, there are now an increasing number of urban festivals in which gigs are held in different venues across the same city. Those with the highest profiles include the Camden Crawl and Brighton's Great Escape, but this year there is a newcomer on the scene in the shape of Glasgow's Hinterland Festival. With over 100 bands playing across 15 venues on April 30th and 1st May, it's an addition to be welcomed, especially given the lack of similar events in Scotland, and, dare we say it, the fickle Scottish climate.

With local sourcing a current hot topic, festival organisers have gone to great lengths to promote Scottish music by including as many Scottish bands as possible in the line-up, as Claire Lim from the festival explains: “We've tried to feature as many local, underground and well established Scottish artists as possible from all genres - electro to rock! We're not a pretentious festival and definitely want to capture a large audience and showcase as many great bands from these scenes as possible. Scotland is a great place for music and our aim is to show people what Scotland has to offer!” At first glance, the line-up looks impressive, with Sons and Daughters making a rare appearance in their home city and Edinburgh's Broken Records, newly signed to 4AD, also featuring. Any possible feeling of parochialism should be dismissed though, as there are plenty of bands from beyond Scotland featured, including Leeds bands Dinosaur Pile-Up, I Like Trains and Wild Beasts, along with the mighty Fall. The nature of the event, spread across different venues, means that no one band is really “the headliner”, and in fact the sheer number of lesser-known bands makes this potentially a much more democratic event than the usual festival. Bands to watch include the astonishingly talented Meursault and ever-so-slightly-bonkers Jesus H. Foxx, both from Edinburgh, Glasgow's We Were Promised Jetpacks and, from further afield, London's Phantom. However, with the sheer number of bands and venues involved, it's probably best just to go with the flow and make your own discoveries.

One thing which seems to distinguish the festival from similar events is its emphasis on the wider arts scene. Illustrator Jenny Soep will be creating artworks featuring bands playing at the festival, and her work will feature in an exhibition opening in Mono on 29th April. As Lim elaborates: “The idea of Camden Crawl / Great Escape is really great but we're trying to include the art side a little more here. Our founder, Mike, is also really well connected to the dance scene and wanted to showcase Glasgow / Scotland's dance scene in Hinterland's line-up. We've got some great parties, club nights and DJ nights too and have tried to be as cheap as possible as festivals like Camden Crawl are a little steep price-wise in the current economic climate. 42 for two days of music, art events, special club nights and DJ appearances is really great we think.” And on this point it's difficult not to agree.

Hinterland runs from April 30th - May 1st at numerous venues across Glasgow. Further details are available at www.hinterlandfestival.