Roskilde 2017
A full profile of the massive Danish festival...

Clash have been told on multiple occasions that the Danes know how to party. This is probably why they are so good at hosting festivals, hence Roskilde, one of the oldest and largest mainstream music festivals in the world.

The line up as you would expect for a festival that has to appeal to 130,000 festival goers is monumental, ranging from local Danish bands to Grammy award winners and platinum disc holders.

Here's our run-down of seven bands to check out...

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The xx

It’s kinda official now; The xx are the ultimate festival party-starters. Jamie xx went away and made a club record, then came back, and now instead of coolly swaying all you can do is hot step it around your room whenever you put them on. Their evolution from moody minimalists to goose bump inducing anthem pumpers is complete.

The xx have been playing a lot of festivals in the US this year with talk of them now being the best live band in the world. Sure, their on-stage dance moves are a bit dodgy but with the sets focusing on the highly-accessible new album, ‘I See You’, this show will be one for all groups and ages to enjoy.

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Arcade Fire

Having taken on their 121st member, the Arcade Fire team are rolling out another monolithic tour in what will be yet another massive new album release. Out go the papier mache bobble heads from the Reflektor tour and in come some rather fetching black satin jackets and Win Butler’s got a nice, new hat. Oh, and we nearly forgot to mention the new songs. Yes, as always, they are brilliant.

Latest single, ‘Everything Now’ is a cinematic dreamscape that’s just going to sound even better when being blasted on a massive festival stage. They’re worth a visit just to see that new track alone, but Arcade Fire has one of the best back catalogues in indie rock to boot. This is going to be some spectacle.

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Solange

Bar that elevator incident, you’d be hard-pressed to recall Queen Bey’s lil’ sis’ before last year’s, ‘Seat At The Table’. A US number one swiftly followed before every magazine under sundry announced it as their top album of that year.

The hype was justified. It’s timeless, psychedelic soul and incredibly personal lyrics put Solange right where she should be; the top of most festival bills this 2017. Like her sister, she is now a bonafide star and one you’d be a fool to miss.

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Slowdive

Not another 1990s reunion we all groaned when Slowdive announced their comeback in 2014. However, this one always felt a little different. Slowdive undeniably had something to prove. Unfairly criticised back in their heydey, the profile of the band and their shoegaze genre had irretrievably grown in their absence.

Our patience was rewarded with a gloriously familiar, yet innovative new album. Now enjoying the critical adulation they much deserve recent shows have felt less like a 1990s throwback and more like a band pushing the boundaries of the genre they helped bring into existence.

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Nas

There is a lot more hip-hop on offer at Roskilde than previous, most of it of the modern variety. Screaming girls will descend on G-Eazy’s show, while trap superstars Gucci Mane, Bryson Tiller and Lil Uzi Vert rock it elsewhere.

And yet it's the venerable hip-hop legends that stand out this year on Roskilde’s lineup. Ice Cube sits up top as one of the headliners, but undeservedly lower down the bill lies rap’s greatest storyteller, Nas. The word great gets bandied around a lot, but with one of the most influential albums of all time in ‘Illmatic’, it's a description that fits Nas down to a tee.

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Warpaint

Another band like The xx who have notched up the BPM scale to splendid results are Warpaint. They’re groovy new album, ‘Heads Up’ released last September, saw the band switch from their traditional slow-burner sound to slinky rhythms and slight hip-hop influences. The band’s consistently strong live performances mean that come rain or shine, Warpaint will see you dancing away.

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Vanishing Twin

Taking on disparate members from acts such as Floating Points, Broadcast and Neon Neon, and brought together by singer Cathy Lucas, Vanishing Twin take their name from Lucas' lost twin when in their mother’s womb. Their 2016 release, 'Choose Your Own Adventure’ was an exploration on this theme of life and death.

It may seem all a bit highfalutin' but the music is really lovely and dreamy and everything you’d want while half-falling asleep in the baking sun.

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Roskilde Festival runs between June 24th - July 1st.

Words: Richard Jones

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