The Usual Suspects of Sziget

Every year when the Sziget line up starts taking shape there’ll be a bunch of moaners complaining that oh, it’s the same acts all over again. There’s no pacifying them- pointing out that maybe these bands are liked by the majority of the audience doesn’t work. 
Getting a bit more sophisticated and suggesting that major UK festivals also rotate pretty much the same headliners year after year doesn’t do the job either. Hell, Glasto tried to break the mold and put on Beyonce and Metallica and that kind of backfired- just go for good old Kasabian instead and you’ll be just fine (a hint to Sziget organizers here about whom to bring back next year from the usual lot). 
There’s also the fact of some bands being better festival bands than others- there’s a way of getting silly to Prodigy that won’t really work with some newer, more groundbreaking acts. Other bands technically only work at festivals- I see no other use of Madness, to be frank. And then there’s Korn. They’ll always have the die hard fans to crowd the main stage area to the sounds of doom- which is quite lovely for those who want to breathe more freely at one of the smaller stages. 
So here we go with the list of bands I’ll be delighted to have back this year.


Okay, delighted might be an overstatement for Lily Allen, though she definitely was just that when she actually got to headline in 2009, something no other major festival graced her with. Her new album might not be her best, but her older material is absolutely festival compatible.


One cannot be not excited by the Manics. No band that can open their set with Motorcycle Emptiness and close it with A Design for Life will ever get boring. And of course there’s not resisting a Welsh flag with a fiery red dragon.


I remember the times when I actually spent the better part of a scorching hot day with my claws locked onto the front row fence to watch Placebo.  These days I’d rather lounge in the spritzer area and watch them from a safe distance. We’re getting old, Brian’s getting old too, but no one can deny that Pure Morning is one hell of a song and few tracks can beat the festival meanness of Infrared.


This here is Ruben Block. He is awesome. His band Triggerfinger are on the Main Stage Sunday afternoon. You have no excuse not to be there.


The new Wild Beasts album has constantly been selected into the best record lists of the year so far and they also graciously survived a frantic 5 PM heat last time around, so they sure deserve a headline spot on the A38 stage this year.
La Roux’s debut album blasted onto the electro scene with the likes of the infectious Bulletproof- and then she promptly disappeared. She’s back this year with some fine new tracks and shares the fate of Wild Beasts in getting a more adequate spot- her moody electro was not best fit for an afternoonish main stage, but should work wonders late in the evening on A38.

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