Gig-antic indie line-up for best fest

Inspiral carpets at best fest indie festival at Manchester Academy.
Inspiral carpets at best fest indie festival at Manchester Academy.
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Gigantic by name, gigantic by nature, the return of the Indie All Dayer this coming May Bank Holiday will see fans from across the area converge for a colossal roster of seminal indie acts gearing up to roll out 10 incredible hours of hits, classics, cult favourites and more.

Expanded this year to pack in a bigger and better line-up than ever before, the Saturday May 23 Manchester Academy one-day festival will feature wall-to-wall performances across three stages at the Oxford Road venue.

With all the acts on the bill now fully announced, here’s your guide to the indie fan feast.

Topping the bill of the stellar Main Stage line up, Academy 1 will be headlined by the inimitable Liverpool legends ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN. Following on from their spectacular Ocean Rain 30th Anniversary shows, the band set their sights on a momentous headline slot at the Gigantic Indie All Dayer primed to have you singing “The Cutter”, “Back of Love”, “Silver” and more into the early hours.

And, committed to bringing you the very best in classic indie, what party could ever truly be complete without a guaranteed greatest hits set from one of the best-loved indie bands of all time: INSPIRAL CARPETS. Performing with their full original line up, prepare yourself for a set brimming with the acid washed melodies, haywire organs and roaring choruses as tracks like “Caravan”, “This Is How It Feels” and “Move” will have you instantly beaming ear-to-ear.

Earlier on, industrial mavericks and the only original bona fide Grebos POP WILL EAT ITSELF are returning to the North to grace the stage with an exclusive GREATEST HITS set. Expect the heroic “Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies!”, the sample driven spectacle “X, Y and Zee” and the sensational “Can U Dig It?” as The Poppies take the afternoon by storm.

Beforehand, getting the crowd more than warmed up at the main stage, Leeds’ post-punk renegades GANG OF FOUR will be supplying the early evening ‘Entertainment!’. Serving up a smattering of their visceral, bile ridden anti-anthems, prepare to reacquaint yourself with the brilliance of “Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke”, “Is it Love?” and “I Love A Man in Uniform” and more once again.

But, in case that wasn’t enough, the Main Stage line-up will also see 90s Creation sensations HURRICANE #1 step into the Academy to play a whirlwind set of their Brit-Pop gold as they chart their grand comeback tour in 2015, but not before Coventry’s finest THE PRIMITIVES lay down their unmistakable indie janglings to get our bash off to a fitting start.

Headlining the second stage for the occasion, we are delighted to welcome back the bastions of baggy THE HIGH, who will be bringing their elating indie gems “Up and Down”, “Box Set Go” and more along for what is their only scheduled live date of 2015 and the band’s first on stage reunion in over 22 years.

Further getting indie appetites whetted are reformed alt-rockers EAT who look set to lay out one of their notorious live sets at the bash. Meanwhile, enigmatic four piece DIESEL PARK WEST will be pumping up the afternoon audiences with a set tanked-up on the psychedelia of their masterpiece, ‘Shakespeare Alabama’, as they prepare to play the seminal long-player in its full glory.

And, twenty-five years on since they bounced into the top 40 with their transatlantic hit ‘Which Way Should I Jump?’ there are the MILLTOWN BROTHERS who have the honours of initiating the Gigantic second stage.

Then, on the brand-new third stage, is to be found a feature a trove of hand-picked indie stalwarts, all promising unique performances as they take things down for the occasion with all-acoustic renditions of their hits.

ECHOBELLY will headline the ‘Acoustic Stage’ and promise to deliver an unmissable set for fans old and new alike as they strip back their infectious Brit Pop smashes including ‘Great Things’ and ‘King of The Kerb’ for this Gigantic event ahead of their keenly awaited electric comeback at the Scala later this year. Also filling your ears with acoustic sweetness will be the breezy guitars of THE WOODENTOPS who no doubt will be more than just a ‘Good Thing’ to get your Bank Holiday going.

Having notched up an impressive 13 Top 40 singles and three top 10 albums over the last 20 years with The Bluetones (“Bluetonic”, Slight Return”) and having now found his inner troubadour in a blossoming solo career, MARK MORRISS will be providing sunny Bank Holiday vibes in abundance before he gets back with the gang for their highly anticipated 20th Anniversary shows this Autumn. And, kicking off the festival, John Peel championed swooning indie-popsters BOB are exclusively booked to play their first live show since 1993; time to fall in love with their infectious single and Peel Festive Favourite ‘Convenience’ all over again then.

Wristbands can be collected at the Academy until 6pm allowing you re-entry to all of the Academy venues until 7pm, so get down early to avoid disappointment.

In addition to the musical offering, Gigantic Vol. 2 will also feature an expanded beer and cider festival, offering some of the finest apple and hop based tipples, direct from the country’s leading independent breweries.