Each December, for over a decade now, we’ve been gazing into our crystal ball and predicting the artists we think are going to be - bluntly - bloomin’ massive the following year in the form of our annual Class Of list. The hit-rate hasn’t been bad in the past either, if we do say so ourselves, with Royal Blood, Bastille, Wolf Alice, Haim, Chvrches, Years & Years, Lana Del Rey and more all becoming Class Of alumni, and we’re back at it this year.
We released our Class of 2018 issue - a run-through of the artists we think are going to absolutely boss next year - last Friday, so what better way to celebrate than with a huge party, showcasing the new issue with a photo exhibition and three of the bands we’re tipping for massive things?
With balloons as far as the eye can see, a celebration is definitely on the menu down at The Borderline tonight, and BIMM’s Youth Sector do nothing to dampen said atmosphere. With swagger to match bands ten times their size, the confidence the quartet exhibit across their early set pointing to exciting things.
There's bundles of energy present wherever King Nun tread, but tonight it's particularly evident: the four-piece are absolute live wires for the duration of their set. On tour pretty much constantly since the start of the summer, the band have become impeccably tight live, and roll through early singles and promising glimpses of new material from an upcoming EP with equal bite.
'Speakerface' and 'Tulip' still pack the same punch as when they first introduced the band over a year ago, while 'Hung Around' is a blues-flecked hammerblow from a band that are as brutal as they are fun. Rolling into a 2018 set to propel them to even greater heights - debut EP in hand - King Nun are simply unstoppable at the moment.
Our Girl are also gearing up to release a debut - their first full-length album is due next year. After the familiar yet still no less thrilling 'Being Around' opens their following set with a crash, unreleased tracks from the debut - recorded by Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral and Bill Ryder-Jones fame - pepper the set. Cleaner and less drowned in fuzz, Soph Nathan's voice is allowed to rise up further than ever before, adding slower, more delicate colours to the Our Girl pallette. It works exceedingly well live, along with pointing towards what looks set to be a brilliant debut album.
Goat Girl are also on the way towards a debut album, and their closing set is an invigorating one. That the band manage to create such a sonic ruckus while pulling nonplussed faces is a wonder, but Goat Girl are a band of extremes, and they're pushed to their limits tonight. Recent single 'Cracker Drool' introduces electronics into their grungy make-up, and it's a suit that fits remarkably well. Hot on its heels, 'Crow Cries' and 'Country Sleaze' remain rollocking highlights of 2017, while 'The Man' (no, not that one) points the way forward to next year, an anthemic ode to untamed romance.
Playing shows wherever and whenever they can across the latter half of the year - they've appeared under pseudonyms such as Goaty Gals and Ghost Girl recently - Goat Girl have become a superbly tight live band, and roll through a sharp, deadly set like it's nothing. While firmly in their comfort zone, it's clear there's plenty more in Goat Girl's collective locker.
Piling out of the exits via grabbing balloons as momentos, peeling exhibition shots from the venue's walls and pulling some questionable moves to the selections of The Big Moon's Fern Ford behind the decks, consider that our Class Of 2018 well and truly christened.
Photos: Emma Swann / DIY
Read the Class Of 2018 issue of DIY (or subscribe!) below.
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