Kicking off the action on Saturday will be alternative rockers The Firelight Opera, who combine shimmering acoustic guitar and delicate melodies with a powerful chorus to reach a sound reminiscent of The Goo Goo Dolls and Foo Fighters. The band have been featured on Shed Seven frontman Rick Witter's radio show on Minster FM and have played a number of charity events including the Sunderland Oxjam festival.
Following those will be indie-punk three piece Waste of Space who have all the makings of a throwback; a self-deprecating band name, uncompromising guitar tone and confrontational lyrics. With the influence of bands closer to home such as The Futureheads and This Aint Vegas however, they provide a very minimalist, loud but infectious sound which will be right at home at Mowbray Park on this fateful day in August.
Next up are jangly dark pop quartet Schultz from Tyneside. These lot are a little disjointed, kind of like if you locked Ian Curtis and Morrissey in a room for a week with a load of instruments, a 4 track recorder and a box of bran flakes. I mean that in a complimentary way. With an impressive live energy and a peculiar take on time signatures, Schultz are an uneasy yet extremely satisfying listen, and well worth checking out.
Smack bang in the middle of the day are Shades who ply their trade combining a cluster of genres including heavy rock, math-rock, prog-rock and even a bit of rap. Born from a group of restless and frustrated music students finding themselves with a thirst for the uncharted, between the screaming and the rhythmic, slightly hypnotic drum patterns, there is a lyrical discourse which is both dark and pensive in equal measure.
Following those fellas are Goy Boy McIlroy; a neo-gothic, alt-blues band that create a carnival atmosphere whilst purveying a sinister soundscape of raw drive and industrial ambience. Their bluesy transfixing sound is reminiscent of a post-rock Jefferson Airplane with a generous helping of Nick Cave in his many emanations. Twisted poetry, dirty bass lines, horror, aggression and desperation. What more could you want?
The penultimate act are Kobadelta, a band stumbling inebriated on the line between psychedelica and space rock, passive and blissfully unaware of their brilliance. With a boutique sound drawing comparisons to the likes of The Doors whilst still retaining the modern spin of bands such as White Lies, Kobadelta are quickly becoming one of the North East's biggest draws. A worthy warmer-upper-er for our stage 3 headliners on Saturday.
Last but not least are our headliners; the kaleidoscopic, the majestic, the enigmatic Hyde and Beast. What happens when two well listened drummers sit down and make an album? 2011's 'Slow Down' answers that question, an extremely relaxed, beautifully crafted record resembling an eccentric Beach Boys crossed with a bit of T. Rex. Joined on stage by a group of musicians boasting a plethora of talent and fresh from this year's release of their new LP, Hyde and Beast are an absolute coup for stage 3, and ensure that a fantastic day will be rounded off with a fantastic band. Fantastic!