With Euro 2012 having drawn to a close last night, you’d expect the youth of Poland to have a lot of spare time on their hands and thankfully Heineken Open’er Festival in Gdynia is sure to provide some much welcomed entertainment and solace. That is if all the locals don’t have a perpetual hangover from the last few weeks’ worth of lager on tap and whatever the Polish equivalent of the pork scratchings are.
Some festivals on the continent are renowned for their diverse, sometimes haphazard line-ups, making Reading and Leeds seem like close-minded and monotonous affairs in comparison and luckily there’s no hostility or bottling at these fests, so instead you just get a wide array of acts providing pretty damn good value for money.
Having won the Best Major Festival prize at the European Festival Awards for the past two years running, Poland’s Open’er festival, headlined last year by The National, Pulp and the artist back to being known as Prince, offer the likes of Björk, Bon Iver and Franz Ferdinand this year round, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Public Enemy, New Order and The Cardigans. With so much to choose from we thought we’d give you a run down of our top 5 picks for the weekend.
The London fourpiece are set to mark their four year absence with their fourth record to date, entitled – yes, you guessed it – Four. It’s safe to say we can all spot a pattern emerging here. And after a handful of UK appearances showcasing new material over the past few weeks, Bloc Party should be in good form by the time they make their way to Gdynia. Let’s just hope their latest stuff is somewhere near as good as their first two albums and nothing like the previous offering Intimacy.
Another band returning with new material, The xx are set to release Coexist in September. The net has been buzzing with any old shoddy Youtube clip of darkened live footage doing the rounds so fans will undoubtedly be envious at home while the band previews some new tracks at a variety of European festivals this summer, before heading back to the UK for a series of headline dates.
Dub’s favoured vocalist of the moment after Ms Dynamite’s recent re-emergence came and went, Jessie Ware has showed her surprising versatility in the run-up to her debut with skittering hushness of ‘110%’, the Julio Bashmore-produced smasher ‘Running’ and ‘Wildest Moments’ probably the closest thing to a radio-friendly ballad you’ll hear from the singer. An exciting must-watch affair.
Brooklyn’s Yeasayer haven’t played ‘round these parts for a good while, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve been up to. But with new LP Fragrant World dropping next month and teaser track ‘Henrietta’ doing the rounds, it’s pretty clear that the twelve months or so of keeping it low-key gig-wise has been time thoroughly well-spent.
One of the hottest emerging rappers in the game (apologies to Lil B, less apologies to Odd Future), Wiz Khalifa broke on to the scene with the heralded Rolling Papers last year. His first major release after the – now rap standard – series of unofficial mixtapes and self-releases, it was broody enough to appease the rap purists and accessible enough to appeal to the pop-leaning masses. With a new album coming soon, hopefully he’ll be able to win over all those at Open’er with his new numbers.
Open’er takes place from 4-7 July. For more information and tickets head here.