Take Five: Five reasons why End of the Road will be worth every penny
Sweet Motel readers, we present the inaugural Take Five mini-feature, an all-singing, all-dancing, linkbaiting new featurette strand named after one of the finest jazz records of all time (and a favourite of my late father).
A natural extension of our Top Five lists (a highlight of past Fugitive Motel Reviews of the Year), the remit, like an unexpected opening in a Premier League side's defence, is wide and easily exploited. Exhibit A - the latest lineup announcement for End of the Road 2013. Here's five acts who are worth getting yourself in a tizzy about. Cue linkbait!
1. Jens Lekman
Clinically proven to make Motel contributors past and present weak at the knees, Jens Lekman has inspired many a baritone-voiced singalong in the days when we used to have face-to-face FM editorial meetings in my old flat just shy of the Mancunian Way. His high watermark - 'Black Cab' - is a beautiful summary of slightly drunken, slightly fearful end of the night paranoia that's struck all of us at least once. Plus, for the fact fans amongst you, it samples headliners Belle & Sebastian. If you've never seen Jens performing this in an ACTUAL black cab, now is your chance courtesy of the ever-excellent Black Cab Sessions.
Efterklang made Benjamin come over all alliterative at Bestival 2009, as he was wooed by their "smouldering soundscapes of intense yet understated beauty". Since then, they've kept busy, and only improved with time. The stunning woodland imagery in the video for 'Modern Drift' sets the scene for EOTR so well (although one imagines there's less fox hunting, fewer deer and not quite so many nude people at Larmer Tree Gardens).
3. Golden Fable
In a previous life and incarnation - almost six years ago! - Tim and Becca performed at the Fugitive Motel's launch party. Of course, this makes your editor rather partisan, but it's hard to deny the immense sense of pride at how they have developed over the years. The duo have updated their sound as Golden Fable without abandoning the early, acoustic folk stylings that so endeared them to us in said previous musical life. Their appearance at the beautiful Union Chapel for Daylight Music last September was, quite rightfully, warmly received. Here's a truly mesmerising treat for you from that very show, in the form of 'No Birds Fly Over'.
4. Serafina Steer
There are plenty of reasons to like Serafina Steer. First off, she released an EP named 'Bloody Hell' a couple of years ago, which is simply fabulous both in name and content. Secondly, she has a swoonsome voice, which your editor would most likely marry, given the time to sit down and pen between 300 and 500 words on why. Thirdly, she plays the harp ever so beautifully, which is no mean feat. Finally, Jarvis Cocker was a special guest at one of Serafina's shows recently, and even he managed to be outshone (for the most part). Case in point? This rendition of 'Night Before Mutiny' from the aforementioned 'Bloody Hell' EP.
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5. Belle & Sebastian
Seventeen years old but still going strong, Belle & Sebastian are one of the few bands that can get most of the Motel dancing and singing (a mooted Belle & Seb karaoke-themed end-of-year party in 2008 never quite materialised, sadly). Their headlining slot is sure to be a big draw for End of the Road - particularly as it's been a year or two since they last played live in the UK. Let's go back to where it all began, with 'My Wandering Days Are Over' from Tigermilk - a record that reportedly inspired its own spoof lonely hearts column abbreviation.
(...And also Sigur Ros, Frightened Rabbit, Caitlin Rose... we could go on! But we'll spare you.)
words: Kate Goodacre
End of the Road takes place between August 30 and September 1, 2013 at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset. Tickets are released in blocks using a tiered pricing system, with adult weekend Tier 4 tickets - which are currently on sale - priced at £165.