The Garden Stage hosts a diverse and eclectic brew of bands and DJs providing alternative sounds. This stage spans all genres from throbbing dance, funk, and hip hop, to blues, rock and acoustic musings. At the right time, you might even hear a burst of opera. Ideally situated on the hillside overlooking the Farm’s lake, with the Garden Bar just around the corner, this is the perfect spot to sit in the sun and wet your whistle to beautifully blended guitar riffs, stoking the fires for a late night dance to some filthy electronic beats.
2015 acts included…
Beardyman’s performances have been viewed over 50 million times on YouTube alone with improvisation being at the heart of the creative process. He’s the lovable beatboxing champion, the festival favourite last heard playing the charismatic stoner on Fatboy Slim’s global smash ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’. But the musician emerging from hiding on his startling new album ‘Distractions’ is virtually a different species altogether. It’s a multi-faceted collection that takes in blissed-out declarations of love, glitchy electronica and thwacking great big pop songs. What it definitely doesn’t have is straight-up beatboxed pastiches. Right now, making people dance is Beardyman’s ultimate distraction.
Few DJs or producers could claim to be, or have been, as active and committed to their music as the Hackney born DJ Hype is. Gaining experience as a member of the Heatwave Soundsystem (part of Shut Up & Dance), he mixed reggae, hip hop and house with the ‘all-inclusive’ attitude he now applies to drum and bass. He has built soundsystems, A&R’d for Kickin’ Records, worked with both independent and major labels and hosted radio shows on the seminal Fantasy FM and Kiss. Hype now owns and operates the legendary Playaz empire – a seminal institution which for almost 20 years has provided high quality music for the junglist massive.
Hype’s MC of choice, Daddy Earl has toured all over the world with our favourite drum’n’bass DJ and will be spitting lyrical profanities for a rowdy Garden Stage closing night.
Rebel MC has dedicated a lifetime to his craft. He first announced himself as part of hip hop/dance act Double Trouble that catapulted the name Rebel MC into homes up and down the country. 1991 saw the release of his second album ‘Black Meaning Good’, which saw the fusion of the British underground hardcore techno sound with dub basslines, the precursor to a style of music that eventually became known as jungle. By 1993, Rebel had two labels; X-Project and Tribal Bass, but it was the foundation of his Congo Natty Recordings label that cemented Rebel’s place in jungle music history. Over the next seven years, the name Congo Natty became a standard bearer for the authentic Jungle movement, spawning numerous hits. While the remixes kept coming, Rebel’s interest in the history of Rastafari took him deeper into his faith. A trip to Ethiopia in 2007 changed Rebel’s life forever. He returned re-invigorated, determined to champion the cause of the UK’s emerging talent through Congo Natty and other labels.
This prolific producer from East London really is a Jedi master of sonic science: drop the needle on an Ed Solo record and you’ll soon know about it – no one makes club music that cuts through a soundsystem quite like him. Ed is an iconic artist on each of the drum ‘n’ bass, breaks and dubstep scenes. In the latter field, he’s recently been creating a firestorm with Sludge Records, the label he co-runs with Deekline (the pair also run booty breaks imprint Hot Cakes together). We cannot wait to welcome him back to The Garden Stage to show us how it’s done.
Deekline is that rare figure in dance music, the seminal producer who balances the cutting edge and the mainstream with effortless flair. Head of the London to Brighton-spanning Hot Cakes collective of producers, promoters and DJs Deekline is a bass music icon. In the studio, he is a bonafide musical shapeshifter, his impressive diversity having seen him rework the likes of Armand Van Helden and The Prodigy. In 2013 his 2-step-flavoured reworking of Lethal Bizzle & Donae’o’s ‘Not A Saint’ anthem proved he’s still in touch with his UK garage roots at a time when the sound has never been hotter. Fittingly for a producer whose Hot Cakes brand has become a byword for bassbin-shaking bravado, this is one artist who’s cooking up a storm right now.
Nozstock 2015 will welcome Dr Syntax & Pete Cannon, the insane duo, to the Garden Stage. Both established in the hip hop scene, 2014 saw them release their first album together ‘Killer Combo’ which showcased Syntax’s renowned wit and hip hop talent and Pete’s producing skills. Before 2014 they we’re both killing it as solo artists and collaborating with some British greats. Syntax has released various successful albums and Pete has been known for making beats for most of his life, having produced for the likes of Action Bronson, Guilty Simpson and Punchline. If this doesn’t get all you Nozzers excited, we don’t know what will!
By the Rivers are a self-dubbed ‘new age reggae’ group hailing from Leicester. The band consists of 6 members each bringing a unique and delightfully uplifting sound to the group. Forming in May 2010 they have gone from strength to strength playing at a range of festivals including T in the Park, Boomtown and Glastonbury, where they were labelled by the BBC as one of the ‘top 5 future stars of the Pyramid stage’ – and it is easy to see why! Giving their all in every performance, expect a show full of energy, passion and deliciously succulent beats that will have you swaying away in glee!
After sharing his talents with Europe, Mr Woodnote has returned to where it all started – Bristol. Mr Woodnote and his saxophone know how to get a party started like no other and will have you creating the funkiest bounce known to mankind. Birmingham born Eva Lazarus is a women of many talents writing her own music and collaborating with artists from all genres. She is no stranger to creating an electric performance “with her energetic dance moves and MC skills comparable to Warrior Queen” – Wychwood. Mr Woodnote and Eva Lazarus will be creating their own ‘out of this world’ experience over at The Garden Stage.
In a galaxy far far away… otherwise known as France, musical duo Irb and Senbei aka DJ Smokey Joe and the Kid will be hopping over the pond ready for their Nozstock debut! These two musical masters specialize in all things hip hop and swing. Their live performance holds no boundaries – expect everything from percussion to vinyl scratching.
Gypsy Hill describe their sound as “the beast from the middle east.” The five-piece band from London mix up sounds from all over the world, combining Balkan, gypsy and swing together to create a truly unique sound. Along with the help of DJ Kobayashi and his electro beat, this band’s performance will not disappoint! After their performance on Radio 1 Live Sessions in 2012, the band has developed and toured all over the globe and are now featured on the mobile app ‘Ninja Jamm’ alongside artists such as Bonobo and Mr Scruff.
Wow – where do we even start with these guys (and girl)?! A quite simply brilliant eight-piece band featuring UK and Spanish lyricists, a dynamic three-piece brass section and soulful female vocals. All combining to bring you a truly unforgettable blend of hip hop, swing, ska and reggae. Their sound is as energetic and entertaining as their dancing. With a debut album coming this autumn expect big things and a truly unforgettable performance from Cut Capers.
Super human rap crew Dead Players, made up of Jam Baxter, Dabbla and Ghost Town, all originate from the highly acclaimed label ‘High Focus’ and all have big reps on the British hip hop scene. All three are known for being workaholics, spending all their time in the studio and building up their reputation. As Dead Players they offer complex lyrics that flow and have been dubbed ‘the chameleons of rhyme’. With Ghost Town bossing the production side and Jam and Dabbla owning the rap, prepare yourself for some top quality alternative hip hop and grimey dubstep music from this crew…
The Sounds of Harlowe boys are known for being electric on stage, so we are in for a treat! Forming back in 2011, Soloman O.B, Keno Decosta Medford, Jamie Aubrey, Mike Gill and Chris North make up Sounds of Harlowe. They’ve been wowing crowds across the UK and playing prestigious venues like The Jazz Cafe in London, Moles Club in Bath and Beach Break Live in Newquay. If you’re looking forward to some alternative hip hop which blends R’n’B and soul then these dynamic sounds are for you…
Our Garden Stage compere for 2015, Natty Speaks is an irrepressible hip hop entertainer – versatile, gifted and outspoken. On stage he carries audiences on a journey via freestyle hip hop, reggae toasting, off-the-cuff comedy and human beatbox. It is an explosive combination that has ignited stages from Jazz Cafe to Glastonbury Festival. Off stage he is a producer, DJ, record label boss and inspirational workshop leader propelled by a passion for empowering young people. When Natty Speaks, people listen.
Throw your hands in the air and give a shout out to the Ruffnek Diskotek Crew and thank them for bringing together The Dutty Inspectors and Ghost Writerz. Expect some musical wizardry with spells from dance hall and rave being cast upon you. When Now Then Magazine came around from their trance this is what they had to say after seeing The Dutty Inspectors; “The Dutty Inspectors provide hours of unbelievable dancehall, bashment and soca. They have a constant party vibe, free and fun loving.” With a distinct London sound Ghost Writerz have just dropped their new single ‘Back It Up’ and the only reaction to hearing them is to get up and shake your stuff. This is a cocktail of music genius. You can expect a shot of dancehall, a squeeze of soca, a dash of hip hop, a measure of reggae & jungle and a sprinkle of rave. All skillfully mixed together and served in The Hidden Valley.
Solko are a seven piece band from Suffolk who blend together a mix of ‘fusion dub/rock’. They are winning over the hearts and wearing out the shoes of people all around the UK through their phenomenal live energy and powerful groove-driven writing. 2012 saw the band invited to Abbey Road Studios by the BBC and play BBC 6 Music, whilst 2014 saw gigs with the likes of Smerins Anti Social Club and Resonators. This band keeps evolving with new music and tour dates being released all the time.
Captain Accident is a reggae artist who incorporates soul and ska influences in his music. Originating from Cardiff, Captain Accident went from bar to bar looking for the best possible backing band and came back with The Disasters – a brilliant combination of friends and musicians. Having played numerous shows and festivals across the UK and Europe, Captain Accident and The Disasters are tried and tested crowd-pleasers who have two self-produced albums, as well as a nomination as ‘one to watch’ at the official European Urban Music Awards 2013, under their belt.
Our favourite Herefordian hip hop crew make a grand return to Nozstock bigger and better then ever before – with a full brass section, more off the cuff rhymes, witty lyrics and rampant beats. Expect a greatest hits set featuring material from all their albums and E.Ps, plus the return of crowd favourites Chris and Lo. This is going to go down in Garden Stage history…
Calling all lovers of hip hop, live bands and generally good music, this one is for you… Introducing Granville Sessions, an electrifying seven-piece hip hop act with three lyrically gifted and forward-thinking MCs all backed up by highly talented and vibrant band including a bass player, the drums, a guitarist and a trombone. With their largely acclaimed new album ‘Forward’ featuring raw lyrics and heavy beats, which they combine with an incredible stage presence, we cannot wait to see these guys tear it up!
Jman was signed by Greasy Vinyl in 2010 at the age of 18 and extensively toured Europe and other parts of the worldm not having released one single. Described by Wordplay Magazine as having “quickly built a foundation and in linking up with some of the biggest names today this has allowed him to produce a truly massive album, the theory, is sound.” The recent free release of his 2015 album titled ‘Free Dank’ works with many artists and producers ranging from Illinformed, Muttley and JC. He continues to push his own sound alongside his other projects and no doubt J-Man will show us how to get down this year at Nozstock.
NLP made up of Smellington Piff / OAB / Sean Peng / Eric The Red and Illinformed. Since their 2013 debut album this Bristol group have bought all things hip hop with their unique sound and collabs with artists such as Leaf Dog and Index. They have released on High Focus’s sister label Real Life Drama (RLD). Described by Wordplay Magazine as delivering an ‘eclectic journey’ filled with ‘experimental vibes’, if you haven’t yet caught their debut album ‘Free Your Mind’ then grab it while it is still available for free download.
Describing themselves as a ‘nine-piece afrofunk juggernaut’, Cardiff’s Afrocluster deliver a sound with “elements of afrobeat, funk and hip hop in an explosive live show”. This band have to be seen to be believed. With a heavy tour schedule, they love nothing more than putting on a show for the audience. Expect powerful grooves overlain with enticing rhythms, irresistible refrains and precise cuts all providing the perfect soundscape to accompany conscious lyrics ranging from the personal to the political, with a heavy emphasis on party.
Four-piece Brighton based band that blend reggae dub and drum and bass together to create their sound. Having remixed artists such as Submotion Orchestra and Will and The People, Future Dub Project’s combination of sounds is like no other. They have notched up some expressive experience, with two of the group having produced music for over a decade under the name Strobe Circus. Since performing on BBC Introducing eight months ago they continue to gain popularity amongst those that ‘know’ – and if you don’t, then it’s the perfect time to get a Future Dub Project education!
Hailing from Oxford, Ella Martini is something quite cosmic. Her debut single ‘You’ was championed by the likes of BBC Introducing’s Jen Long. Coupling that with support slots for MNEK, Jess Glynne and Bipolar Sunshine makes for an impressive resume for this emerging singer-songwriter. BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Sam Anderson said that Ella “is my next generation shout – I believe that she is one of the artists who is absolutely going to blow.”
Poor Old Dogs formed with a collective inclination for good, honest music. Hailing from Bristol, they describe their aims as a desire to sow their wild musical oats far and wide. With their debut album ‘A Fresh Pot of Mustard’ set for release later this year, Poor Old Dog’s eclectic folk sound will be a perfect accompaniment to this year’s Nozstock.
Cryptochrome is a genre-defying, brave new project, said by some to be the most exciting band on the Icelandic music scene today. They are setting the stage for an influential and wave-making future. Having settled in Reykjavík a decade ago, they are ready to unleash their fully-honed soundscape to their eagerly anticipating audience. Their first album ‘Cryptochrome’, a project of rediscovery and redirection, was released in 2013 on Defcon Records to a very welcoming reception. With their second album ‘Lightstation‘ the band present their accomplished, cohesive sound and prove that they are a unit capable of competing at the very highest levels. “Cryptochrome are one of the most intriguing, genre blending groups making music right now. Mixing beat heavy, underground hip hop and bouncy electronica with a nomadic, positive energy, you can’t help but be moved by their latest offering. ” – (Dan Larkin, Wordplay magazine)
Last Tree Squad from Hereford and Worcester and established in January 2014 offer a unique blend of hip hop influenced dub, played by a roots band that incorporates elements of live electronic dance music. They are inspired musically by reggae, hip hop, bass music and dancehall amongst other genres. As the name suggests this is music with a message – chants, rhymes and spoken word bring a conscious, but sometimes raw edge to the music. The band features veteran members who have toured the UK and Europe extensively, as well as fresh talented younger musicians. Last Tree Squad seek to increase awareness of important issues, and encourage positive ecological and social changes.
Starting with songwriter Benji Tranter, along with his carefully selected Well Adjusted Individuals, these guys form a wholeheartedly earnest and deadly serious anti-folk trio from South-East London.
Say ‘bore da’ to Harri Davies, one of Wales’ hottest new solo artists! Treat your ears to his enthralling blend of soul-swayed folk that New Sound Wales favours as “fragile, expressive and soulful.” This passionate songsmith draws influences from his multitude of other bands, from afrobeats troop Afrocluster to blues ensemble Moondog. Harri will instantly delight with his versatile, robust sound.
Red Eye HiFi is a Manchester based collective known for their eclectic mix of styles including dub, dancehall and drum ‘n’ bass who boast a beasty sound system. Their energetic live shows alongside crowd favourites MC Fox & Kathika has made them one of the most exiting acts on the UK circuit. With releases on Irish Moss & NB audio in 2014, Red Eye HiFi are working on a number of exiting projects due for release in 2015.
Back by popular demand! Last year these guys got the Garden Stage stomping and bouncing with their infectious blend of two-tone ska, reggae & punk. In fact, it was one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. The ten-piece return again with another energetic performance sure to get you moving. Described as “the ultimate feel good festival act”, their single ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ (filmed almost entirely at Nozstock) was nominated for a video of the year award 2014 by Ready Steady Ska whilst their release ‘Circus on Repeat’ grabbed them the top spot and the prize.
You may remember these funky panthers from the Orchard Stage last year. After drawing one of the biggest crowds of the weekend we just had to invite them back. The ten panthers come from Swansea and despite being crazily busy with many other musical projects and gigs, alongside the likes of Craig Charles, they’re combining to funk it up for all you Nozzers this year! These guys bring just about every instrument you can think of and as much soul and jazz as James Brown. Prepare yourself for phenomenal funk and partying with the mighty Disco Panther.
Red Soul are a brand new trip hop trio from Brighton and part of the London based ‘Soulful Collective.’ Their hip hop/rap riffs and soulful vocals warm your heart and make you want to enjoy endless hours of chilling out. They were part of BBC Introducing sessions and with just one E.P behind them, Red Soul are one of Nozstock’s best new discoveries.