FUTURE NOW ’24: ARTIST SPOTLIGHT | Future Yard

FUTURE NOW ’24: ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

The fourth edition of Future Now (and the fifth summer festival we’ve done!) returns to Future Yard and beyond on August Bank Holiday 2024. On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August this year we’ll be channelling the spirit of that very first summer festival way back in the heady days of 2019 and will be taking over multiple venues across Birkenhead, all of which will be announced to you soon.

 

Previous artists

2019’s festival across Birkenhead was the catalyst for the Future Yard you know and love today, and saw a storming headline set in the Birkenhead town hall from Anna Calvi one night, plus a homecoming of the Wirral’s favourite son Bill Ryder Jones (aka the guy from that billboard) another. Established local, national and international acts and rising stars alike fit the bill across that very first festival, and we are ecstatic to have played a little part in the rise of now world-renowned artists like Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning and Squid.

2021 was the year the world emerged out of lockdown, and a new, more condensed version of Future Now emerged on Argyle Street. Taking the impetus of 2019’s festival of showcasing the best emerging talent alongside a select number of incredible, established artists, the name ‘Future Now’ was born and Future Yard as a venue hosted it for the very first time. Gruff Rhys became Future Yard’s very first festival headliner, maintaining the long-seated connection between the Wirral and Wales through the power of a punchy set packed with Super Furry Animals, New Gods Sought and a lot of accompanying placards.

Utter absurdity was the name of the game for the opening day of Future Now 2022 as the likes of Fat Dog and MADMADMAD made their Future Yard debut with sets of pure chaotic brilliance, topped off by a closing performance from the art-house gilly-suit cladded Friday headliners Snapped Ankles, providing an aural onslaught of motorik rhythms the likes of which we’re pretty sure Birkenhead has never seen before. A Saturday indoor triple punch of DehdColaBdrmm that will long live on in the annals of Future Yard folklore in the years to come was a particular highlight from the second day of 2022, before the building was shaken to its very foundations as that year’s second headliner, PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS made sure they closed their show with a ferocity and volume we still remember to this day.

The stakes rose even higher in 2023 as we hosted our busiest in-venue Future Now to-date. Familiars and new futures ran through the entirety of the weekend, as true Future Yard favourites and (at this point) venue regulars The Bug Club and Bodega returned to headline in their biggest Birkenhead shows to date. The second coming of Seal Club Clubbing Club in the heart of their homeland on the leftbank and a tour de force performance from debutants Personal Trainer (which may have just birthed our new favourite frontman) were highlights from a sun-drenched opening day, before Christian Lee Hutson took to the outdoor stage just as the heavens opened. Crowd and performers became one on the safety of the stage as Christian delivered a beyond intimate set in the dampest of conditions that was a totally once-in-a-lifetime experience. Until it happened again the next night. Throbbing guitars from the likes of Butch Kassidy and Bo Ningen turned the live room into a sonic boom during 2023’s second day, and as the crowd sought some outdoor respite rain once again started to fall, meaning an up-close-and-personal alt-dance party thrown by Baba Ali closed the show on Future Now. Until now…

 

2024

Nadine Shah is our first Birkenhead Town Hall headliner announced for Future Now ‘24, with Hamish Hawk, (the returning) bdrmm, Hamish Hawk, Chalk, Girl Ray, Melin Melyn, Genn, Yard + Spielmann all set perform, plus many, many more artists still tba.

Our second wave artists announcement brings Nubiyan Twist back to Future Yard as our first FY Garden headliner, alongside Night Tapes, University, Man/Woman/Chainsaw + Blue Dolphin Wranglers.

NADINE SHAH

A singer-songwriter auteur with a penchant for a grandiose sound paired with enlightening intimate + personal lyricism, Nadine Shah is Future Now 2024’s first headliner announced, coming to Birkenhead this summer having just released her fifth album ‘Filthy Underneath‘ in February.

FY head booker Mat says “Nadine Shah embodies everything that we hold sacred at Future Yard and her work hinges on the belief that music has the power to bring about real change – whether that be social, political or personal. She is unwavering in her commitment to the arts and uncompromising in her pursuit of a career that stays true to her unique sound and strong beliefs. She is exactly the kind of artist that we want to stick our flag in the ground with and say “we are proud to have Nadine Shah headlining the Sunday of Future Now 2024”. Her phenomenal new album includes the song “Topless Mother” that has lived rent free in my head since it was released in October of last year.”

BDRMM

Everyone’s favourite Hull-loving shoegaze stars bdrmm return to Future Yard for a record fourth time this summer, and a sophomore Future Now appearance after being a part a 2022 Saturday daytime that will live long in the annals of Future Yard festival history.

FY head booker Mat says “The shoegaze darlings of Hull! I’ve known the lads personally for many years – starting in my previous life as the Venue Manager of The New Adelphi Club in Hull which is one of the venues where the band cut their teeth. Having watched them on their journey from playing support slots to sell out shows, I’m delighted to invite them to play on our Main Stage at this year’s festival. They’re the perfect example of where staying true to your art, working hard and just generally being kind can get you. Now signed to Mogwai’s “Rock Action” label bdrmm have been on an impressive upward trajectory for the last few years and who knows what dizzying heights they are yet to reach with their mesmerising use of ambient soundscapes and potent lyricism which combine to create a deeply immersive wall of sound at their breath-taking live shows – “one of Britain’s best-kept musical secrets – but potentially not for much longer” (NME)”.

Their two full LPs to-date (2020’s ‘Bedroom’ + 2023’s ‘I Don’t Know’) will be familiar to anyone who’s passed through our doors since opening, both soundtracking the venue’s day-to-day activity since their release, with particular highlights including It’s Just a Bit Of Blood, Push / Pull, 2021’s single Port and our all-time favourite, Gush.

The Lovely Eggs

Out-there-lo-fi-psychedelic-underground-punk-rock. Or something like that. The Lovely Eggs perform at Future Now this year, a DIY duo with a fierce punk ethos fuelling a powerful, stripped down sound; a combination of one vintage guitar amp, one Big Muff distortion pedal, a guitar and a drum kit creating the live sonic illusion of a band twice their size.

FY head booker Mat says “Raw, surreal, explosive and fiercely independent – The Lovely Eggs have gained legendary status in the music industry by never straying from their DIY aesthetics and always keeping boundless creativity at core of everything they do. I’ve been a fan of there’s for over 10 years and have had the pleasure of working with them on numerous occasions (all of which, they’ve torn the roof of the place) – I’m the proud owner of a “F*ck It” scarf and I’m delighted to have them joining the line-up for this year’s festival (a Birkenhead debut!). Keep an eye out for the new album dropping in May – ‘eggsistentialism’. But in the meantime check out the cracking new single ‘My Mood Wave'”.

Chalk

Sparse, sporadic yet utterly danceable soundscapes collapsing the walls between post-punk and the techno. This is Belfast’s Chalk. Coming soon to a August Bank Holiday festival near you.

FY head booker Mat says “These guys are an incredibly exciting band both recorded and live, and they’re still at the start of their journey! Where the energy of the dance music scene meets the raw emotion and ferocity of the post-punk world. Chalk absolutely blew me away along with 4,000 other music lovers in a giant industrial warehouse on a freezing cold night in Brittany last December, an almost perfect setting for their unique blend of mesmerising gothic-techno. You can check out that stunning performance here. An unconventional power-trio with atmospheric electronic elements and frontman exuding attitude and charisma. I knew that we had to get these lads on the Future Yard stage and what better time than Future Now?!”

(FFO – Idles, Fat Dog, Underworld, Fontaines D.C, Aphex Twin)

“It’s post-punk for the end of the world” – Jonah Krueger, Consequence of Sound

HAMISH HAWK

With a warming baritone voice akin to the likes of Scott Walker, Hamish Hawk fills rooms with tales of cinematic stories that blend the romantic with the surreal. 

FY head booker Mat says “As soon as I knew where our Main Stage was going to be this year (Birkenhead Town Hall) it was top of my list to find an artist that could match the beautiful surroundings and Hamish Hawk is exactly that with his repertoire of emotionally authentic and captivating music. I fell in love with Hamish’s music at the end of last year upon the release of his latest album – Angel Numbers – check it out if you fancy being transported by his ability to confound, hypnotise and inspire a sense of wonder in the world you may have thought you’d previously lost! His live performances are also something to behold, so don’t miss out”.

(FFO – Steve Mason, BC Camplight, Pulp, She Drew the Gun, The Magnetic Fields)

 

Listen to all the artists announced so far below…