The annual competition for a coveted slot at the festival has always been hard fought, and this year's contest has been no exception.
Seventeen finalists chosen by Rob will now battle it out at Northwood House on June 5, in front of a judging panel comprising Rob himself, Level 42's Mark King and Isle of Wight Radio's Glyn Taylor.
Always looking to uncover fresh Island talent, Rob said: "Due to the incredible standard of the entries I heard this year — we received mp3s from almost 50 Island bands alone — I have actually been forced for the first time to choose seven rather than the usual five bands in that category and six DJs rather than the usual five too. I just couldn’t narrow my list of finalists down any further than that!
"This year’s grand final will, without a doubt, be the hottest of all our annual competitions so far. This Island is awash with such a diverse wealth of talent, from the more traditional sounds of The Wight Hot Pipes to the haunting harmonies of Thomas George and the rock and gypsy-punk sounds of Duveaux — it’s going to be very hard to choose who wins a place in the line-up."
The finalists in the band category, competing for a slot on the Main Stage, are Auris Acumen, Badow, Charming, Duveaux, Pleasureade, The Lion and The Wolf (also known as Thomas George) and Wight Hot Pipes.
The DJs, battling it out to perform in the Hidden Disco, are Hadda, Kris Pixel, Oz White, Patriot, Scotty the Yeah and Vitamin G, and the spoken word artists, competing for a slot in the Amphitheatre, are Alice Smith, Jeni Law and Lady Robinson.
The best choir has already been chosen by Rob. Clear winners The Dollymopps will perform in the Big Top.
They will join Bestival's line-up, which features Outkast, Foals, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Beck and DJ Sven Vath.
Auris Acumen are an English psychedelic noise rock band formed in Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight, in 2010, consisting of guitarist Charlie Harris, vocalist and guitarist Tom Paston-Cooper, vocalist and bassist Jasper Rouse and drummer Keiran Kavanagh. The band have released one EP, Videodrome (2010), and have been writing and recording new material since December, 2013.
Badow are a blues rock trio formed and developed on the Isle of Wight, currently studying at Platform One College of Music. Fronted by vocalist and drummer Jodie Amos, with backing from from guitarist Sam Morris and bassist Bradley McGinty, they have been performing together for the last two years — creating new and original music — and have gigged at various venues across the Isle of Wight.
Charming are a six piece alternative folk rock band from the Isle of Wight. They take influence from bands such as Dry the River, Explosions in the Sky, Foals and Radiohead to create their 'infectious song-writing style' (Rachel Day, Kashmir Cafe). They recently released their debut album, Forgotten Pages, and will be touring their album over the summer across the UK. "Charming’s exquisite melodies are completely infatuating and will take you on an extraordinary journey of the senses" (Charles Padley, In-Tune Magazine).
This five-piece rock band, who formed in late 2012, will draw you in and send you on a rollercoaster ride from which there is no turning back. With influences apparent via powerful, yet soothing, Bowie-esque vocals to grinding Strokes-styled riffs embellishing grooves that sway from hip-hop to gypsy jazz, Duveaux's eclectic assault on popular music creates a veritable smorgasbord of sound.
After releasing their debut album, Beating Around The Bushes, last year, Pleasurade are on the bandwagon to present their music to all with a handful of new tracks yet to be recorded. High energy & head bashing is a must!
The Lion & The Wolf (aka Thomas George)
The Lion and The Wolf is the performing moniker of Ventnor-based singer-songwriter Thomas George. Having spent the last two years in London playing anywhere and everywhere, TLATW has dedicated 2014 to touring all over the UK and Europe. Originally recording all music from home, Thomas decided to move back to Ventnor and bring his songs to life by teaming up with Red Squirrel Studios — originally the home of Isle of Wight veterans The Bees. What started as a collection of lo-fi folk songs has been turned into a palette of instrumentation and creativity. The album took six months to finish and is now ready to be toured for the rest of the year.
Wight Hot Pipes
Wight Hot Pipes are a sextet folk rock band featuring bagpipes, a sound quite alien on the Isle of Wight. Our goth Scot rock appearance and alternative music genre has been turning the jaw-dropping 'OMG they have bagpipes — run for the hills' reaction into our becoming the must-have band for any event. KC has worked relentlessly with members of the band past and present to bring his vision of Wight Hot Pipes to life. We have played in Europe and all over the south at festivals and major music events, but not forgetting our roots, we do a lot to support local charities and the Island’s first Highland Gathering and annual Tattoo. Our mission is simple…… We will come, we will play and we will rock you!
My name is Ryan Barrett. I'm a 16-year-old producer and DJ from Newport. I have been interested in music from an early age, starting DJ-ing from as early as 13. With experience on internet radio stations, I have always been determined to push the sound I love to the masses. Sitting between genres, I'm always looking to give the best of both words with my diverse sets.
Let me tell you about a boy... He grew up in a sleepy town, just like many other 8-bit kids born to a family in the Walkman era, always carrying a pencil for the tapes. But this kid was different He had a dream. He wanted to be the best goddamn bit-jockey in the land… Well, that kid went on to be a bit-jockey — and some would say the best goddamn bit-jockey they've ever seen. Some say he still carries that pencil...
Oz White started DJ-ing in 1996, inspired heavily by jungle DJs such as LTJ Bukem and DJ Hype. After a number of years working in record stores, he has been influenced by DJs and producers across the whole spectrum, and now plays a mixture of ghetto-funk, breaks and drum and bass. Along with playing at clubs and bars off and on the Isle of Wight, he now runs nights with Galactic Ents, bringing multi-genre headline DJs and artists over to play at various Island venues, including the likes of Jaguar Skills, Krafty Kuts, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer and A-Skillz.
Patriot (Anthony Wyeth) is a 23-year-old DJ from the Isle of Wight whose music taste is heavily influenced by 80s electro and 90s hip-hop. Patriot got into mixing years back after seeing a good friend, Theo Bennett aka Sepia, playing at house parties around the Isle of Wight. Now resident at Sub-liminal in Brighton.
Scotty the Yeah
I’ve been DJ-ing for a number of years now and am really into this electro swing/Balkan vibe coz it’s real happy music. My influences are everything — it’s too much to list — and my mixes always cross lots of genres. I have played the V-Dub Island festival and used to do regular nights a few years back called The House Of Yeah. Expect a Balkan party vibe from Scotty the Yeah!
Dining-room-DJ for the past ten years! Always looking to bring something new to the table. Looking to serve up, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk. My passion for music lies in sampling and turntablism. It's an obsession, not a profession!
We sing songs in harmony from the folk tradition of Southern England — and, in particular, songs collected from our native Isle of Wight. We have been singing together since 2005. Our debut CD, Long Songs (Rattletrap Records 001), released in June 2011, focused upon the hitherto overlooked traditional song collection of 19th century Islander W. H. Long. The CD received very favourable reviews within the specialist music press, including votes in the Roots critics’ Album of the Year poll. Our follow up CD, Wight Cockade (WildGoose 397), which continues our focus on Isle of Wight, and related, traditional material has just been released. www.thedollymopps.co.uk
Spoken word artists
My name is Alice Smith. I am 15 years old and have lived in Newport all my life, first becoming interested in spoken word back in September last year when I took part in a workshop through my school. I also went to see some spoken word performances at Bestival last year and felt inspired by them. I then went on to take part in a poetry slam arranged by Flip The Script, which my team and I won. I have performed my own pieces of spoken word in a number of Island venues, and continue to take part in Flip The Script.
Jeni Law is a middle-aged mum who grew up on the Island and now lives in East Cowes. She has been teaching speech and drama locally for over 15 years and has also been seen at poetry recitals performing works by Tennyson and Christina Rossetti among others. A few years ago she took up the pen and started to write her own poetry. She is inspired by her own experiences in a sort of Bridget Jones meets Pam Ayres kind of way!
Ever since the sounds of Scroobius Pip and Kate Tempest graced my ears, I have been hooked by the art of spoken word poetry. At first, writing poetry was merely a medium in which to express and vent raw emotion, but it has since flourished, developing into an art form that I have thoroughly embraced. The passion I hold for spoken word poetry is something I really hope to exhibit within my live performances.