It took me a few festivals to learn it (childish habits die hard), but the Main Stage is generally not the place to be if you want exciting things to happen to you.(Should you however think a somewhat unwashed and muddy Frenchman giving you a hug is exciting, please do linger around said stage right after a summmer storm.) Sure enough, there’ll always be at least one great headliner and some fine acts in the earlier slots, but the real good stuff is very likely to pop up on one of the smaller stages, occasionally at ungodly hours.
So here is a run through of ten acts that might turn out to be the secret highlight of the festival- and might as well not, maybe that one show that will blow your mind is secretly tucked away in the programming and you’ll just stumble on it because you have a hole in your planning, your buddy got lost at that particular stage or the sandwich bar you like happens to be nextdoor.
Jake Bugg (Main Stage, Wednesday August 13, 4 PM)- a bit NME for some tastes, he’s what they like to call a precocious singer songwriter, and sure enough, he has two records to his name at barely 20- at that age I had problems locating Massive Attack on the Main Stage, so I’ll give the guy some credit.He IS playing at an ungodly hour- with a bit of (bad) luck he’ll find out how silly British people are to call their nice summer days a heatwave- so the odds are in our favour when it comes to some not so ordinary Sziget entertainment. Jake Bugg- Lightning Bolt
Mary PopKids (Main Stage, Thursday August 14, 4 PM)- these people won a talent show, but before you stab yourself in the eye imagining Simon COwell-like horrors, take a deep breath, for they are awesome. They sound like all the warm summer songs you’ve already heard all wrapped into one- therefore sounding like none, and that much better. Mary PopKids- Runaway
Kavinsky (A38 Stage, Thursday August 14, 1 AM)- If you’ve seen Drive there are not many things one needs to add as to why you must be there for this concert. If you haven’t seen Drive you’re pretty much a bad person and should not be anywhere at all- no really, watch the movie and listen to some French electro. They do work wonders. Kavinsky-Nightcall
Palma Violets (A38 Stage, Friday August 15. 4:30 PM)- another NME band who might just become kind of big one day. If you don’t trust their taste, think of VOLT’s biggest headliner this year- no, not Tankcsapda. Another odd slot that might have a whiff of a sauna outing, but judging by Triggerfinger’s show last year, it’s simply a matter of who can rock, and who can’t. Palma Violets- We Found Love
Angel Haze (A38 Stage, Friday August 15, 7:50 PM)- People rapping about this and that can become a bit tiring after a while,except when they’re rapping about things that we’d rather keep quiet about, but shouldn’t. So here’s why you absolutely must listen to Angel Haze: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/31/rapper-angel-haze-religion-rape-survival. Angel Haze- New York
Kelis (A38 Stage, Friday August 15, 9:40 PM)- She’ll probably never be able to escape her Milkshake girl image, the mixed curse-blessing of having had one hit that went truly global. This being said, that splendid pop artifact is actually not her best song by far- think in terms of the spiteful bile rain of I Hate You So Much Right Now, the cool vibes and zany visuals of Acapella or the sheer meanness of Bossy. Right, you don’t want to miss any of that. Kelis- Acapella
Klaxons(A38 Stage, Friday August 15, 11:30 PM)- Yes, they are past their prime, yes, fluoro nu rave bands can and will hurt your eyes and ears and yes, they belong to a genre that produced such insipid monsters as Late of the Pier. And yes again, hard as they might try, they will never be able to either match or surpass their first album. This being said, Myths of the Near Future is a piece of modern music history and should therefore be listened to even if for documentary value. Also, you are noticing correctly, you are not to leave A38 on Friday, unless you want your brain to turn into moosh while listening to Korn on the Main Stage- which obviously you don’t. Klaxons- Atlantis to Interzone
Jagwar Ma (A38 Stage,Saturday August 16, 7:50 PM)- They’re everybody’s darlings a bit, from the press to fellow musicians, and they should be yours too, if only for the fact that it sounds really sophisticated to drop their name in a casual conversation: “So hey, have you heard the new Jagwar Ma?!”.Putting such shallowness behind us, they do sound pretty fine, and have some cool summery vibes to match the occasion too. Jagwar Ma- What Love
Yasmine Hamdan- (Vilagfalu Stage, Thursday August 14, 8 PM)- The World Music Stage might feel a bit subdued compared to previous years, but it is kind of hard bringing new names when you’ve had almost all of the greats of the genre playing there already. Yasmine Hamdan should be a treat though- if you’ve seen Only Lovers Left Alive there are not many things one needs to add as to why you must be there for this concert. If you haven’t, you’re pretty much a bad person and well, you know the rest. Yasmine Hamdan- Hal
Miles Kane- (A38 Stage, Thursday August 14, 9:40 PM)- Miles Kane should need no introduction, but if he does, it only means it’s high time you went to A38 on Thursday and checked him out. He might be better known for his Last Shadow Puppets project, which he runs with some bloked called Alex Turner, but his solo material is also a feast for the ears willing to listen. Miles Kane- Don’t Forget Who You Are