Preview: Offset festival

For the second year in a row, Offset festival offers one of the best – and last – opportunities to immerse yourself in a proper al fresco festival experience, just half an hour’s journey from central London.

Held in the beautiful Hainault Forest Country Park in Essex, Offset showcases some of the best new bands around. The 8000-capacity event includes appearances from the The Horrors, Wild Beasts, Metronomy and Dananananaykroyd. See below for our recommendations for the weekend.

Near enough to head back to London on the Central line in the evening or offering camping facilities if you feel like bedding down for the weekend, you’d be silly not to escape to the country for the weekend. Tickets are priced at a most reasonable £45 for the whole weekend, or £28 for a day ticket (£70 for a day ticket to Reading Festival? As they say in Essex, jog on).

It’s nearly autumn, so rage against the dying of the light and enjoy one of the final festival fantasies this year.

Londonist tips for Offset:

For most-talked about bonus points: The Horrors. This could well be the set that gets all the chatter in motion. Go and view the stylish garage rockers in action.

For a right old racket: Pulled Apart By Horses. Their name doesn’t exactly conjure up pictures of a gentle sonic breeze, and indeed these noisters, due to support Biffy Clyro on their autumn tour, will do a fair old job of politely pummelling your ear drums.

For sheer live show factor: forgive them the unseemly habit of adding exclamation marks to band names and and check out punk popsters Die! Die! Die! – New Zealand at its liveliest zenith.

For neckache: The XX are getting plenty of attention for their excellent eponymous debut album, and play a brand of delicate shoegaze with jazzy beats and light, upbeat vocals. They all look like sulking sixth formers yet are somehow a delight to watch.

For cool kid status: Sian Alice Group are mostly described as genre-bending, but you could pick out post-rock, minimal electronic experimentation, shoegaze and dance beats (comprising of further jazz and techno sub-categories) amongst their dreamy, panoramic sound.

For ultimate plugged in kudos: head to the new bands stage and see the likes of Wet Dog, Bearsuit and Tulipomania. Lord knows what they’re like, but you’ll be the first to say they’re shit if that turns out to be the case.

Offset festival is held on Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th September. Buy tickets here.

Image from Russ Garrett’s photostream under the Creative Commons Licence.

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