by Philip Moss
Over the last few years, set against the backdrop of the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, something wonderful has been happening – as year on year, stellar musical line ups come together at a festival that embraces all things arty, scientific and cultural.
Previous years have seen intergalactic sized acts such as Pixies, Jean Michel Jarre, Orbital and Underworld perform alongside the best in new music such as Ezra Furman, The Moonlandingz and Public Service Broadcasting, but this year’s event – taking place 20th-22nd July – is definitely their biggest and best lineup yet.
And here’s five acts you certainly do not want to miss:
The Flaming Lips
Glow in the dark unicorns, glitter cannons, giant inflatable hamster balls – with bizarro leader Wayne Coyne bouncing about inside – might give you the feeling that you’re embarking on a hallucinogenic magical mystery tour, but all of this is par for the course in the mayhem and musical madness at Flaming Lips’ shows.
1999’s The Soft Bulletin and 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots are both seminal albums, and with recent live appearances featuring multiple tracks from both records, plus the fact that The Lips don’t come to British shores that often, this is one show you do not want to miss this summer!
The Flaming Lips will be headlining the main stage on Friday.
Between 2007-2014, Baltimore’s Future Islands endlessly toured America’s toilet circuit, which led to them building a moderate, but cult following. Then, following a move to British label, 4AD, coupled with their performance of Seasons (Waiting On You) on The David Letterman Show on 4th March 2014, their lives changed forever.
Since then, the band has released their latest album, The Far Field, to yet more critical acclaim, and become one of the hottest acts on the indie circuit, having headlined last year’s Green Man Festival. Plus, with a frontman like the enigmatic Samuel T. Herring, it’s no surprise that they’re at the top of every festival booker’s lists.
Future Islands will be headlining the main stage on Saturday.
Ivor Novello winning songwriter and London’s prince of electronica, Gary Numan, makes his Bluedot debut following 2017’s critically acclaimed concept album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World).
In 2012, Numan left his native London to move to California to seek new inspiration and raise his children – and his 12 year old daughter, Persia, is part of his current touring band, performing backing vocals that can be prominently heard on his 2017 single, My Name is Ruin.
Expect a hit filled set from Numan that will include Are Friends Electric?, Cars as well as other tracks from across his four decade spanning career.
Gary Numan will be providing main support on the main stage on Saturday.
The Chemical Brothers
For almost thirty years, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons aka The Chemical Brothers have been at the forefront of the indie/dance crossover scene, leading to six number one albums in the UK alone.
Over the years, the pair have collaborated with some of the biggest names in music – including Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft, Bernard Sumner, St Vincent, Beck and Beth Orton – and paired with the fact they’re former Glastonbury headliners, this is a real coup for Bluedot as they perform on home soil for the first time in 2018.
The Chemical Brothers will be headlining the main stage on Sunday.
After releasing their first album in 22 years, Scottish shoegaze act, Slowdive, featured in our Best of 2017 list, and quite rightly so – as their fourth studio was a heady blur of fuzzy guitars and dreamy melodies.
Since then, the band have been on tour in the USA, plus snaked their way through the European festival scene, with rumours that they may even have started work on LP five. So who knows – there may even be some new music in store for you at Bluedot.
Slowdive will be performing on the main stage on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets for Bluedot are available now.