Opening Stage 2 on Saturday will be Son of Jack, a Welsh singer-songwriter with a raw, emotion-filled sound, with lyrics which draw on the experiences of growing up in his hometown of Porthcawl. Son of Jack resembles a more accessible Paolo Nutini, a more honest The Script, ultimately an extremely satisfying and rewarding listen, a great way to start the first day of Split on Stage 2.
Next up are Cold Committee, a hazy indie-rock four-piece again hailing from Wales. This band's direct and infectious guitar riffs coupled with an Alex Turner-esque twisting vocal make their sound, perhaps best encapsulated in their recently released 'Masquerade' single, very current, very apparent and very exciting. Good old fashioned loud indie music, in the sun, in Mowbray Park. My 15 year old self just did a cartwheel.
Following those, and returning to the North East are Gallery Circus who originate from South Tyneside. This duo consists of identical twins Daniel and Graeme Ross, who produce some of the most bluesy, dirty, haunting, whiskey fuelled tracks I've ever come across. Gallery Circus shatter the mould not only with their general sound but their song structure, genre bending and lyrical musings. Here's a tip; see this act. They'll blow you away, just make sure you don't land in the duck pond. Bad quack.
Continuing the action will be Night Flowers, a London based female lead five-piece, who's whispery falsetto vocals compliment a rich, echoed and sharp blend of musical triumphs. Their April release of 'Night Flowers E.P' shot the band onto the London scene and hence raised their profile UK wide, with a twinge of Suede-esque 90's guitar and delicate, joyous lead melodies, Night Flowers are expected to grow even higher in the coming months. Definitely one to watch for the future.
Next in the day will be Bleech, who have all the makings of a grunge outfit straight out of early 90s Seattle, but with added bonuses; pristine backing vocals, polished production, and a modern spin. Bleech are The Subways with more aggression, a reflective, worrying blend of darkness and innocence, finding the joy in melancholy. Either way, Bleech are cracking and an absolute coup for Stage 2 this Saturday.
You won't believe who's on next; Punishment of Luxury. Aye, THAT Punishment of Luxury; pioneers of post-punk music, kings of the rare 7-inch, Gang of Four's angry Geordie cousin. What a treat to have a band of their stature playing Split, a band who John Peel would break his neck to get air time. Nearly 40 years in the making, Punilux will be in Mowbray Park. I may freak out a little bit.
And finally, headlining Stage 2 on Saturday will be Tom Vek, a multi-instrumentalist, multi-talented, multi-genre, multi-grain beat-rock act from London. Tom Vek is extremely current, arty, dancey and transcending, and has had his tracks featured on the girly, yet ridiculously popular American TV show The OC, as well as contributing to the GTA IV Soundtrack. Mental. The artist's major break came in 2011 after the release of Leisure Seizure, many of the album's tracks receiving extensive play on Radio 1 and shooting Tom Vek into the limelight. He'll be a great closer for Stage 2 on Saturday, and a great excuse to have a dance, if you ever needed one.