Khruangbin, Sudan Archives: End Of The Road Festival 2022 – Day 1

The cosmopolitan funk superstars headline the opening day of EOTR 2022, with a perfect hypnotic set and pop quiz

Trending Now

And so, at last, the best festival of 2021 finally gets underway. After pandemic travel issues saw last year’s comeback End Of The Road bill necessarily crammed with UK acts, the line-up of alt-rock dreams is pieced back together for this year – Bright Eyes and Pixies are to fulfil their 2021 obligations, and eighteen months of anticipation is palpable as the site fills on Thursday night. Bars are abuzz with the big dilemma of the weekend – Pixies or The Magnetic Fields on Saturday night? – and word spreads of rearrangements in the woods. They say there’s a ship run aground out there…

Long considered the finest UK festival for the discerning leftfield music fan, EOTR 2022 offers a fittingly diverse and intriguing line-up for its warm-up night. Early evening in the Tipi Tent London’s Vogues delivers a tentative set of corroded neo-soul, where the minimalist, maudlin tone of The xx is slathered with synthesized fuzz rock guitar. A shaven headed vision in sheer blouse and skirt, Davy Roderick’s voice is a fragile instrument, ice-thin in falsetto and loosely freeform when delving into a Stuart Staples-like croon. EOTR watches on uncertain if they’re watching the future or a pale, fleeting snapshot of 2022.

Over on the main Woods stage, Michael Flatley would be fuming. “I always wanted to be in a fiddle band,” says Sudan Archives, striking up a crooked, haunted Irish jig on the violin she waves around as she bounds across the stage, otherwise concerned with the earthier matters of auto-tuned ambient glitch rap. If Dingle had a Stringfellows if might contain the sort of dance moves that Brittney Park throws, and several tracks similarly combine the sexual and sensitive. “I just want the D-I-C-K,” she tells us on an otherwise heart-tugging “Homesick (Gorgeous & Arrogant)”, and she ends “NBPQ” on her back on the floor howling “I just wanna have my titties out!” as if in naturist primal scream therapy.


Back in the Tipi, Canadian jangle-punks Apollo Ghosts bash out post-punk and alt-pop tunes with a feral urgency, stopping only to declare “fuck the Tories”. It’s the sort of chill-souring endeavour very much at odds with tonight’s headliners Kruangbin. Resembling a mechanised AI exhibit of what the machines believe humans might have listened to on cruise ships in their decadent pre-extinction era, guitarist Mark Speer and bassist Laura Lee glide around the stage in synchronised patterns as if on rails, playing gaseous cosmic guitar riffs and sparse, low-slung bass. The effect on tracks such as “August 10” is a gilded take on prog funk, and on the rare moments they sing together, their airy vocals melt beautifully into a Tame Impala-like spacewalk.

A step-change takes place with the pop quiz round that makes up the latter third of the set. Over space lounge backing, Speer fires out a quickfire medley of recognisable riffs for us to guess before they’re gone. We catch Spandau Ballet’s “True”, Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”, Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money” before they burst into Dick Dale’s “Miserlou”, neck a shot each and celebrate a crowd well roused. Consider End Of The Road 2022 docked to its first stage station and ready for deep space.

Catch up with the rest of Uncut’s End Of The Road 2022 coverage here:


Black Midi Q&A: End Of The Road Festival 2022 – Day 2
Naima Bock, James Yorkston, Black Midi: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 2
Tinariwen, Fleet Foxes, Beak: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 2
The Weather Station Q&A: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 3
The Magnetic Fields, Kevin Morby: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 3
Pixies, Margo Cilker, The Weather Station: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 3
Kurt Vile Q&A: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 4
10 Highlights From End Of The Road Festival 2022 – Day 4
Yard Act, Bright Eyes: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 4
Aldous Harding, Ryley Walker, Cassandra Jenkins: End Of The Road 2022 – Day 4


Latest Issue