Isle of Wight Build Up // Apollo Junction // Proletariat // Romances // Tasha Leaper As Madonna // Reminders // King Kuna // Tuba Libres // Jordan Allen // 3 Daft Monkeys // Mad King Ludwig and The Mojo Co.

As promised, we’ve poked our nose around some more bands and found out how they’re feeling about the IoW festival. Say hidy-ho to the second part of our Isle of Wight buildup series. If you’ve missed out on part one, you can catch up here.


Apollo Junction

Credit: Marc Melander

If you have ever felt the euphoric sensation of chills running up your spine only to explode in your brain, then you’re probably listening to Apollo Junction. An indie pop five-piece from Northern England, Jamie, Matt, Ben, Jonathan and Sam, have been featured on BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 6, Radio X, Virgin Radio and all clubs throughout the country. Using influences from The Cure, New Order, Daft Punk and The Charlatans, Apollo Junction writes very memorable and uplifting tracks for new and old fans. Apollo Junction is performing at the Hard Rock Stage at 2:05pm on Saturday.


How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Apollo Junction: “Well, our sound grew out of our continuous fight to play things the way we think it should sound. We all have very different ideas and loves of different bands, throw all these influences in the mix and our rather thumping, guitar-y, synth-y, indie sound came banging out. We know what we like, and we know only we can make this sound!”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Apollo Junction: “It’s a mixture of both excitement and nerves. Excitement because we get to leave sunny Leeds, jump in a van and travel down to do something that we only dreamed of when we first started to write songs. To say we don’t get nerves would be a lie, and it would be a shame to lie about not getting nerves as you only get them if it means something to you and it does. It means the world for us to play the festival, so it matters a lot to us to do an amazing job. We have put the hours in for the set, and we are ready to blow people away again.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Apollo Junction: “Have you ever seen the montage in Rocky IV? Of course, you have! Well, we go to Russia into a snowy barn with no TV or heating, plug our amps in and play ‘Hearts on Fire’ by John Cafferty until we are ready.

We actually choose a set of songs that we want to play, then argue for ages on the order. We play it through, re-order it, then once we have them done we practice it a million times until we have it perfect.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Apollo Junction: “We never get loads of time to see the bands as we are normally warming up, playing or meeting fans. We like to spend time in the crowd with people as they are the ones who have spent time coming to see us, the least we can do is give them a little of our time back. However, I think the headline acts this year look amazing. We are looking forward to just catch the smaller bands on the rise like us. Nice to support the bands that really need the help, oh and keep an eye on the competition.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Apollo Junction: “Firstly us, Apollo Junction needs to be there. No Junction = No Party. We think the Isle of Wight is so iconic it should always be aiming for the top acts. A great line up would be a mega group like New Order, Madness or someone truly British and iconic. Maybe Oasis could reform? Isle of Wight needs to continue the amazing work they already do supporting bands on the rise, like us. We can’t thank John and his team enough.”


Proletariat

Credit: David Gleave

While Manchester has always been a city synonymous with music, its punk scene has always played second or indeed third string to its more indie-orientated output. Enter Proletariat, a band who’ve been doing the rounds for just sixteen months, and who successfully bridge the gap between the snarling swagger of ‘70s punk and the effortless cool of contemporary indie. Despite their short space of time together, it’s clear the Manchester four-piece are already turning heads and ticking the right boxes. Having been personally asked to support Cabbage on tour, and not to mention selling out headline shows at the Soup Kitchen and the Deaf Institute, Proletariat is reaching milestones long before some of their more established contemporaries.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Proletariat: “We’re a group that consists of four young lads with plenty to say, plenty of passion, and a hunger to go far and wide to spread our message.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Proletariat: “We can’t wait! It’ll be the biggest bill we’ve ever been a part of, and we’re honoured to be asked to step out onto that stage at one the country’s greatest ever festivals. Just looking at the lineup, we see names that influence us straight away such as Liam Gallagher and Kasabian – it’s a crazy, crazy feeling knowing our name will appear on the same poster as some true icons. Now we’ve got to prove we’re worthy of it.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Proletariat: “To be honest we’ve been working our arses off, but we always have. In the two weeks running up to the festival, we’ll have rehearsed for nine days, but there’s something about that garage when we’re in there. It’s not like rehearsals, every time it’s like a live show; maybe that comes down to the intensity of our songs. All the hours are worth it, we can see the huge progression we’re making ourselves regarding our set, the songs and how tight we are together. It’s vital we’re all on the same page, on and off stage, that’s how people grow to love you.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Proletariat: “It’s got to be Liam Gallagher, there’s not really anyone like him is there; and we’re not just saying that because we’re from Manchester. The way he can own the stage without moving more than a metre each way is spectacular. We had the pleasure of seeing him at the Manchester Arena last year, and the sound was great, the presence was great, and he got 21,000 people together in unison.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Proletariat: “I think it’s time Arctic Monkeys headlined the festival, I don’t think they ever have? I’d love to see someone like the Stones perform their legendary set on the stage. And for the final headliner, I’d love to see either Pearl Jam or Rage Against The Machine, even if that’s a very slim chance. Regarding other bands, I’d give the nod to the likes of Shame, Slaves, Miles Kane, Iggy Pop, DMA’s, Baxter Dury, Queen’s of the Stone Age, The Hives… and us hopefully!”


Romances

Credit: Lydia Victoria Photography

A Mexican, an Englishman, a Romani, a Swede and an Italian once met in a bar along Finsbury Park, and Romances was born. A romance can make you happy, it can make you sad, it can cause you to lose your mind and weep in an attempt to save your soul. This Romance is five men expressing their passion for multiculturalism, freedom and awesome music through rock ‘n’ roll. Romances perform at the Hard Rock Stage on Sunday at 5:50pm.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Romances: “This is the million dollar question. We’re definitely a rock band, but there’s a lot of different influences in there. With the band coming from all over the world (UK, Mexico, Sweden and Italy), we naturally infuse all our influences into the music. The best way for people to find out what we’re all about is to come and see us live – that’s when we’re in our element.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Romances: “We’re buzzing to be playing our debut festival show, we’ve played some great shows since our first gig last September. Individually a couple of us have played Isle of Wight before with other bands, but to be back with Romances is a dream. We’re gonna kick some ass.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Romances: “Our prep is the same as every other show, we’ll rehearse a bit in the days before to make sure we’ve got our set down. Then it’s just a matter of a couple of beers, and we can’t wait to get on the stage to share our music with some new people.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Romances: “We’ve got quite a few friends playing at the festival this year – Alex Francis, James Bay (we play footy together in London), a couple of mates in Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., and our friend Amanda sings backing vocals for The Killers! So, it feels like one big family. We can’t wait to party Sunday night!”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Romances: “Back in 2012 we saw Pearl Jam play, and it was an incredible show, so seeing them again would be awesome. We’re also big Biffy Clyro fans, and they’re always incredible live.


Tasha Leaper As Madonna

Credit: Max Hutton

Tasha Leaper is one of the most sought-after Madonna tribute acts in the UK. This dynamic show features the undisputed Queen of pop’s greatest hits, along with the looks, the voice AND the moves to make for a truly authentic experience!

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Tasha Leaper: “I am a tribute artist to the Queen of pop, Madonna.

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Tasha Leaper: “This is my third time at IoW festival in the Electro Love Tent. I absolutely love it; the audience is always so excellent! I am very excited to be performing again and shall be nervous too (I always am nervous).”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Tasha Leaper: “You can’t think about the size too much because it’ll fry your head. To prepare myself before I go on I zone out and think of only Madonna, sounds weird I know but I have to get myself into character.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Tasha Leaper: “I will only be there on the Friday for a few hours before I perform but I’ll get the chance to have a look around and see who’s on then. Hopefully, catch Rita Ora! Then it’s back on the ferry for me, I’m not staying over this year, I have other gigs to get to the next day. Really looking forward to it.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Tasha Leaper: “I’d love to see Bruno Mars there next year!”


Reminders

Credit: James Cripps

After accumulating well over 10,000 Spotify plays, touring the UK and winning over fans everywhere they go, it seems the only way for the young pop-friendly punk trio is up.  With their gloriously catchy tunes, Reminders constantly prove that simplicity is key. The band have a strict focus to take their music and message as far as it can go, and reach as many people as possible. As they continue to work hard in the studio, Reminders hint that the best is yet to come, and eyes should remain peeled, and ears pricked. They are performing on Friday at 9:10 pm at Platform One Stage.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Reminders: “We always describe ourselves as a nice blend between super pop music like the Beach Boys and also punk like the Ramones. We want all of our songs to have hooks, but also we want them to be raw and straight to the point, so we call our sound ‘beach punk’ and no one quite knows what it means (not even me, who made it up)  but everyone seems to agree that it fits perfectly.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Reminders: “We are all super excited about playing on the main stage. We’ve just come off a UK tour playing some really cool but small venues, so it’s going to be nice to have that contrast between the two. We’ve gotten really used to playing the smaller venues, and it’s become second nature; but we also love playing big stages, so it’s always exciting.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Reminders: “We’ve just rehearsed as much as we can. Some things you can’t prepare for, so we’ve been trying to expect the unexpected. We’ve got a great team of experienced techs behind us, and so hopefully if anything goes wrong they can sort it!”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Reminders: “I was really excited to watch Liam Gallagher because his new album is really cool and I love the Oasis stuff, but I think we clash with him when we play on Saturday. The Killers will be awesome to watch, and there are loads of my favourite bands on at Kashmir Cafe, which is a smaller stage. I’ll probably be spending most of my time there.”


King Kuna

Credit: Billy-Jay Edwards Photography

King Kuna is a three-piece alternative rock band from the sun and gloom of the south, formed in the summer of 2015. With a wide variety of influences ranging from grunge to trip-hop, Kuna already has two Isle of Wight Festivals under their belt; this third year will boast a more extended set of old and new music.  Jack Singleton on guitar and vocals, Alex Benson on bass and vocals, and Phil Legaspi on drums tell Nexus that they are in the final stages of mastering their upcoming EP ‘Billy The Bastard’.  King Kuna will perform on Saturday at 9 pm on the Platform One Stage.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

King Kuna: “Our sound is difficult to explain to people who have not come across us before, we have a variety of different tracks with different musical styles. If you could liken us to a band then maybe Deftones is a good similarity, but again half of our set sounds completely opposite. We stick to alternative rock as a genre as there are too many sub-genres about now; ‘genre’ has somewhat lost it’s meaning.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

King Kuna: “We always feel excited for Isle of Wight Festival as it attracts great people who just want to listen to good music. It also attracts old faces that may have left the island a while back, but return once a year for this event. As a band, it is the ultimate time to gain exposure and showcase our music to new potential fans.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

King Kuna: “Rehearsals obviously are key to prepare for a festival of this size. Promotion online and off is also highly important. There is only so much you can prepare for, you never know what is going to happen and that’s what is great about it.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

King Kuna: “The small stages seemed to host a huge array of talent last year, we didn’t feel the need to venture too far towards the main stage. The Platform One tent is always bursting with new talented Island artists, and as fellow ‘wighters’, it’s nice to be around familiar faces.

This year, Depeche Mode sounds like a must, just because they are held highly by critics as being one of the best live acts touring at the moment. There are a few artists dotted around who are ‘must see’. One of them being Asylums who are playing Hard Rock on Sunday, and Valentine Grey who are on before us at P1 tent on Saturday.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

King Kuna: “I am surprised Muse, or Royal Blood didn’t feature upon this year’s bill, both being well-established bands with new music on the go. Wolf Alice are another band who have blown up recently, and who be great to see them make an appearance one year. It is about catering to everyone and all in all, there is a wide variety of music this year from heavy rock to acoustic, to drum and bass. Fun for all.”


Tuba Libres

Credit: Tuba Libres

Tuba Libres unleashed a wave of brassy goodness on the South Coast with their fun-filled antics getting audiences moving since their formation in Southampton in 2015. Expect energetic lunges, sizzling solos and heavy hitting grooves all backed up by some fat horns. They’ve played alongside the Hot 8 Brass Band and Too Many Zooz, as well as appearing on BBC Radio and at numerous festivals such as HogSozzle and Rhythmtree. Tuba Libres are performing at the Kashmir Cafe this year.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Tuba Libres: “Funk brass.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Tuba Libres: “Excited.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Tuba Libres: “Eat a tasty burger from our favourite burger joint, 7bone. Squeeze into some gold mermaid leggings. Make ridiculous honking noises. Simple as that really.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Tuba Libres: “Chic with Nile Rodgers, The Lounge Kittens, Cut Capers, Depeche Mode, and just because of the name, Russell The Love Muscle FT Electric Dollz.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Tube Libres: “We’re a bit brass crazy as you might expect – Earth Wind and Fire, Caravan Palace, Lucky Chops, Tower of Power, Madness, Hot 8 Brass Band.”


Jordan Allen

Credit: PhotographyGaz.co

Comprising the formidable talents of Danny Quin (guitar), Kieran (bass), and Nathan Howard (drums), the band also boast an Ace amongst their hand with charismatic frontman and lyricist Jordan Allen. Guided by the esteemed Brontone Management (Muse, The Pogues, Pulled Apart by Horses), the band retreated to Peter Gabriel’s infamous Real World Studios where they spent a fruitful spell sowing the first seeds of their back catalogue. Armed with a string of head-turning singles including ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘Too Much Too Soon’ and ‘Dancing In The Dark’, the band took the airwaves of BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio X by storm, selling out gigs and soon enough found themselves invited to perform upon the hallowed stages of Leeds and Reading Festivals; the only way was up.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Jordan Allen: “Four lads from Bolton with lyrically driven indie anthems.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Jordan Allen: “Very excited, we feel more than ready to headline after starting at the bottom of the bill last year. We’re gonna take the roof off!”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Jordan Allen: “Gigs. Gigs. Gigs. It’s all about refining the set and being confident in what you do and that you can be the best band of the weekend for the people that watch you. The other artists on the bill don’t phase us.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Jordan Allen: “Buzzing to watch our mates Vida, but obviously, Kasabian is gonna be mega too! Watched them support Oasis at Heaton Park about ten years ago and they blew Oasis off the stage.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Jordan Allen: “I think they always do a great job at the Isle of Wight. I’d love to see Baxter Dury up there next year. I think he’s massively underrated!”


3 Daft Monkeys

Credit: 3 Daft Monkey

Oddly enough, 3 Daft Monkeys is actually a four-piece alternative folk band hailing from Cornwall, UK. The band released a new album last year through crowdfunding and continue to receive accolades regarding their thumping live performances.  They will perform at the Kashmir Cafe.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

3 Daft Monkeys: “With Celtic and Eastern influences, the 3 Daft Monkeys’ dynamic style of world folk music reflects the global village in which we now live. Their infectious dancing rhythms lead you through a musical journey of the senses and emotions, and will leave you breathless, enthralled, and exhilarated.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

3 Daft Monkeys: “Great. We’ve never done Isle of Wight Festival so really looking forward to it.”

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

3 Daft Monkeys: “We play two or three festivals a weekend throughout the season, so it’s just a question of what songs to play. We’ll decide that when we get the vibe of the gig on the night.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

3 Daft Monkeys: “We’ll be in and out as we’ll be playing a Festival in Derbyshire the next night. With a lot of logistics around the show, I’ll be glad to see anyone else. I think Rusty Shackle are on before us so that will be good.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

3 Daft Monkeys: “3 Daft Monkeys.


Mad King Ludwig and the Mojo Co.

Credit: Otto Photography

Mad King Ludwig and the Mojo Co. is a group that has traversed all corners of the wide world to arrive together in November 2015 forming an eccentric, exploratory, genre-bending collective of madmen. This band aims to shake up every limb, brain cell, flag and wishing well from Southend to Shanghai. In short, they’re from Southampton. Mad King Ludwig are influenced greatly by the Urban Voodoo Machine and are performing at the Kashmir Cafe.

How would you describe yourself as an artist/band for those who haven’t heard of you?

Mad King Ludwig: “Freak bop. It is free, it is frenetic, it is joyous, it is jazz-infused, it is industrious, it is instinctive, it is inimitably our own.”

How are you feeling in the build-up to your performance at the Isle of Wight?

Mad King Ludwig: “Like a piece of cashmere – soft, luxurious, and ready to be referenced in a Led Zeppelin song.

What sort of preparation do you have as an artist for a festival of this size?

Mad King Ludwig: “We make sure we pack our toothbrushes.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Mad King Ludwig: “Nile Rodgers and Chic will be a blast, plus the other bands at the Kashmir Café will undoubtedly be excellent.”

Who do you feel should be on the lineup for next year?

Mad King Ludwig: “Us, at every stage, at every time, in every earhole. Or King Glizzard and the Lizard Wizard.”

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