Bilbao BBK 2016 Preview

In July, Verity and I will be covering Bilbao BBK Festival in Spain for Fresh Air Radio (Edinburgh’s student radio)! The festival will run over three days in Bilbao, an industrial port city in northern Spain, which is surrounded by picturesque green mountains. Bilbao BBK is a chilled festival that starts later in the afternoon, which gives you the opportunity to explore the city, and hit the beach during the day and boogie to groovy tunes in the evening. The festival is perfect for those who love rock and indie music with past headliners including Depeche Mode, Phoneix, Dislosure, MGMT and Alt J (sausage fest, amiright Mia ;). The lineup looks amazing this year, (and hey V there are lotsa cool gals to the front of this one!! #feminism) and here are some of the acts that we are particularly looking forward to seeing this Summer:

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Arcade Fire

Headlining the first day of the festival is Arcade Fire, the multi-instrumentalist Canadian indie rock group from Montreal. Following the success of their last album ‘Reflektor’, the band also released a film documentary called ‘The Reflektor Tapes’ which follows them on tour. Their fans will inevitably be excited to see them perform this energetic album live, rather than ‘staring at a screen’.


With a career ranging from Made in Chelsea’s catchy theme song ‘Midnight City’ to their seventh studio album ‘Junk’, this French based electronic band is not one to miss for fans of dreamy shoegaze pop.

New Order

Formed in the 80s at the height of the British post-punk movement, New Order is most famously known for their upbeat electronic track ‘Blue Monday’, which defined the scene of dance club music. They have recently reformed, releasing their tenth studio album ‘Music Complete’, embracing more raw electronic, synthesised sounds.

Hot Chip

Electronic collective, Hot Chip fronted by Alexis Taylor ,gained popularity after the release of their second album ‘The Warning’ which featured some of their best known tracks ‘Ready for The Floor’ and ‘Over, Over’. Their latest album, ‘Why makes sense?’ , has equally as catchy and boogie inducing singles such as Huarache Lights and I Need You Now which will be amazing to hear live.


The Glaswegian trio Chvrches are a combination of synth pop and electronic music. Every Open Eye is similar to their previous album in that it is reminiscent of 80s synth pop, which NME has ranked as one of the best albums to be released in 2015. They have recently released a track featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams, called ‘Bury It’, which has been featured on BBC R1 Annie Macs Hottest Record in the World.

Years & Years

Following his breakout role in the British teen drama tv series Skins, Olly Alexander formed an electronica trio in 2010, known as Years & Years. The group has recently released an album called ‘Communion’ featuring the upbeat pro-LGBT dance track ‘Desire’, which celebrates a variety of sexual identities.


Claire Boucher, aka Grimes recently released her hotly anticipated fourth album ‘Art Angels’. The album is 14 tracks of pure, bliss inducing noughties inspired pop music. With tracks such as ‘Kill v Maim’ and ‘Go’, which are her favourites to play live, she creates an ecstatic atmosphere that makes you want to dance your butt off into oblivion.


This year marks the 30th anniversary since The Pixies formed in Boston, Massachusetts, influencing several bands in the alternative rock boom of the 1990s. Their most famous song ‘Where is my Mind?’ rose to popularity as it was featured in the closing credits of the movie ‘Fight Club’. Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago has recently hinted that the band has been working on some new music, which they might even preview on their tour this summer.


Formerly known as Deers, Hinds have toured extensively over the past year. The Spanish four piece have a distinct DIY, indie rock sound that makes you want to drop everything, move to Spain and become part of their cool girl gang immediately. Their debut album ‘Leave me alone’ despite its stand offish title talks about various forms of love and vulnerability. The band’s care free attitude translates to their live shows which often end with the audience invading the stage and singing along with the band.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala’s latest album ‘Currents’ was one of the best albums to come out in 2015. It is the ultimate breakup album that will definitely resurrect you from the depths of your heartbroken despair. Tame Impala are notorious for their psychedelic live show that is filled with colourful visuals. Lead singer Kevin Parker says he further achieves this psychedelic vibe by hitting the ‘delay pedal and the guitar repeats itself for as long as I want it to. It opens up a world of possibilities for f**king with people’.

Wolf Alice

Named after a short story by Angela Carter, the alternative rock band from North London has released one studio album thus far ‘My Love is Cool’, which was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize last year. Wolf Alice have also been awarded ‘best live band’ at the NME awards, performing emotionally intimate 70 minute sets of their angsty shoegaze hits.

Jagwar Ma

The Australian psychedelic band are currently touring their debut album ‘Howlin’, which is perfect to listen to on a laid back, summery afternoon in the heat of Spain in the summer. Their track ‘Another Day in The Sun’ captures the feelings of relaxing and ‘drifting slowly’ through time, while the more upbeat tracks ‘Come and Save Me’ and ‘Man I Need’ won’t fail to keep you on your feet.

Father John Misty

Father John Misty is like that weird, cool uncle who has a lot of stories that you’re not meant to know about but tells you anyway. His latest album ‘I Love you Honeybear’ retells an unconventional love story between him and his wife. Dark lyrics such as ‘I wanna take you in the kitchen. Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in’ are disguised by upbeat melodies. He was previously the drummer for Fleet Foxes prior to releasing music under his moniker FJM but more recently he has been credited on Beyonce’s Lemonade for his lyrics on ‘Hold up’.

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett released her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sometimes I sit and think, Sometimes I Just Sit’ last year. Barnett’s ability to make the mundane aspects of life hilarious and captivating is part of her undeniable appeal. Having performed on Riot Grrl day earlier this year, the raw energy of Barnett’s fierce political edge is not one to miss.

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