End of the Road festival 2018: 7 artists not to miss

Tirzah gets it

In a couple of weekends (from Aug 30 – Sept 2) we’ll be in a field in Wiltshire at End of The Road. They’ve got something like 8 tickets left if you’d like to join us.

The lineup’s very good this year. Of course we’ll be watching St Vincent, John Cale, Oh Sees, Hookworms and Feist, but if it really came down to it – if we were forced – here are the 7 performances that we’d leave the falafel queue for.


Who: Richard Dawson
Where: Garden Stage
When: Sunday, 13:30

Let’s start by going hard on the folk – a genre that the festival was built on. As EOTR diversifies for the better, there’ll still be plenty of acoustic music drifting around Larmer Tree Gardens this year with Richard Dawson supplying the most visceral of the art form. Last year’s ‘Peasant’ LP – a pre-Medieval avant-garde album that conjures pigs in dirt streets rather than modern US journeymen skinning up in Laurel Canyon – is going to fit real nice on the final day of a festival when the salad truck has run out of feta cheese and all hell breaks loose.


Who: Gwenno
Where: TiPi
When: Saturday, 18:30

Gwenno, too, offers a transportative experience, to the cosmic corners of Wales and Cornwall via her motorik space pop that’s performed entirely in those two languages. It’s music where the magical mood overrides any of the words that you can’t understand, with the track ‘Eus Keus?’ (and we’re not making this up) translating to ‘Is There Cheese?’. Gwenno plays in the Tipi tent a whole day before Dawson – there should still be cheese.


Who: Moor Mother
Where: TiPi
When: Friday, 20:15

For the second year running BBC Radio 3’s experimental program Late Junction will take over the Tipi tent on Friday evening, recording live sets for broadcast at a later date. It’s the protest music of industrial hardcore poet Moor Mother that stands out as unmissable in the festival’s unapologetically avant-garde far-flung corner. The complete opposite to Yo La Tengo in every way imaginable, come and see the Philadelphia rapper articulate fury at an uncomfortable volume. Jeff Tweedy is on at the Garden Stage.


Who: Tirzah
Where: Big Top
When: Friday, 17:15

It was four years ago that Tirzah first collaborated with Micachu on a couple of Greco-Roman EP releases. The DIY two-step of a track like ‘I’m Not Dancing’ made her sound unlike any other RnB singer around, but then she seemed to vanish. Still working with Micachu and also Kwes, the songs on her forthcoming debut album have become melancholic and hopelessly romantic, surrounded by field recording samples and odd beats. She’s the final artist to be added to our Loud And Quiet Stage on the festival’s opening day. It probably makes sense if you bed down from Nilüfer Yanya beforehand.


Where: Big Top
When: Sunday, 20:30

IDLES are on the cover of this magazine. We will be seeing them at End of The Road, along with everyone else on the site.


Who: Stealing Sheep’s Suffragette Tribute
Where: Garden
When: Saturday, 12:45

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of woman’s suffrage, Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep – who know this festival well – have put together a new performance in partnership with Brighter Sound and Edge Hill University. It’s not going to be on any one stage or in any one area – it’s a marching band of 15 female drummers and percussionists that will snake around the site, starting at the Garden Stage on Saturday afternoon. These kind of things only go on at festivals, and particularly festivals like EOTR – and all inspired by women, equality and empowerment.


Who: Protomartyr
Where: Big Top
When: Friday, 23:15

In 2017, it was Protomartyr’s ‘Relatives In Descent’ that became our Album of The Year. Now the band will be closing our stage at End of The Road in a year where punk and post-punk are well represented (DUDS, Iceage and Shame could easily all the be on this list). No one does resignation quite like Protomartyr though. Behold the louche, contorting anger of Joe Casey as he ambles around the stage with a tall can on the brink of being crushed in his right hand.