Isle of Wight 2015: top 10 unmissable acts

June 7th, 2015 | by staff
Isle of Wight 2015: top 10 unmissable acts
Music News
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Making history: Fleetwood Mac, one of the highlights of the Isle of Wight Festival 2015

Making history: Fleetwood Mac, one of the highlights of the Isle of Wight Festival 2015 Photo: Rex

Older than Glastonbury, once bigger than Woodstock, and so controversial that it was banned for 32 years by an act of Parliament; the original Isle of Wight Festival has played host to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix. Having nabbed Fleetwood Mac from Glasto for an exclusive slot, Newport looks set for a festival to rival the early days. We pick the best acts to see over the weekend.

10. Paul Oakenfold

Big Top, Saturday

A summer festival isn’t complete without a blissed-out set by an old school trance DJ. A key figure on the scene from the late Eighties, Paul Oakenfold is sure to be an Isle of Wight highlight.

9. Counting Crows

Main Stage, Friday

Counting Crows

Coming to fame in the early Nineties, Counting Crows have sold 20 million albums with their brand of soul-searching rock. Like Van Morrison with San Francisco grit, the fouresome are sure to radiate their own heavy Californian light if it decides to rain on Friday.

Isle of Wight Festival 2015: weather forecast

8. Billy Idol

Big Top, Thursday

Billy Idol performs in 2014 at the O2 Academy in Birmingham

It’s always a nice day for a white wedding. As well as being a hit with fans from his heyday, the 59 year old punk rocker is sure to teach the younger generation a thing or two about stagecraft.

7. Jessie Ware

Main Stage, Saturday

Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware may hail from North London, but her slick, Eighties-inspired sound has won fans as far-flung as America. A consummate performer whose powerful but classy vocal is at its best in live setting, Ware promises to be an excellent addition to the Isle of Wight Festival this year.

Jessie Ware, St John at Hackney, review

6. First Aid Kit

Main Stage, Sunday

Wistful country music about American motels sung by Swedish women in headbands. The close harmonies of Söderberg sisters Klara and Johanna will have festival goers in a melancholy summer daze.

First Aid Kit: ‘I hope our generation will change things’

5. The Black Keys

Main Stage, Friday

The Black Keys

If you’re looking for an authentic, beer-soaked festival experience, you can’t do much better than watching The Black Keys. In the five years since their breakthrough album Brothers, the the Ohio duo have won fans the world over with their blues-based indie rock. They are bound to draw as energetic a crowd as anyone at the festival, so get on board.

4. Pharrell Williams

Main Stage, Saturday

He’s published a children’s book, he’s saving the planet with former Vice President Al Gore, and he’s the only artist in recent years to have achieved two number ones in the same month. You’d be silly not to catch Pharrell while you have the chance. Along with the Grammy awards and Oscar nominations, the pop and hip-hop star is also known for his stage moves.

Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Wireless Festival, review

3. The Prodigy

Main Stage, Friday

The Prodigy (Photo: Paul Dugdale)

A dance act with the live energy and dedicated, crazy following of a rock group, the Prodigy are often hailed as one of the best live bands in the world. After bringing rave music to the masses during the Nineties, Liam Howlett and co are back this year with a number one album, The Day Is My Enemy, so expect a mixture of classics and brand new tunes. Don’t leave it to the firestarters to have all the fun.

The Prodigy, Alexandra Palace, review

2. Blur

Main Stage, Saturday

Blur (Local World/REX Shutterstock)

From Brit-pop wunderkinds to muso’s delight, Blur keep on reinventing themselves. With their full lineup back together this year and number one album The Magic Whip already under their belt, Blur have a huge catalogue of classics from which to draw.

1. Fleetwood Mac

Main Stage, Sunday

Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks (Photo: Rex)

With the return of Christine McVie after 16 years, Fleetwood Mac have been pleasing critics and listeners in their classic formation. But their Isle of Wight appearance won’t just be another festival slot. If the announcement about the band’s future made by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is to believed, this will be the last chance for fans to catch them in such an open, historic setting. If you do anything at the Isle of Wight, catch Fleetwood Mac.

Isle of Wight Festival 2015 runs June 11-14.

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