We’ve already got our bags packed in anticipation of this weekend’s End Of The Road Festival. While we can’t wait to see old favourites like Wilco, King Gizzard, Panda Bear & Sonic Boom and Cass McCombs, here’s End Of The Road co-founder Simon Taffe’s six picks to seek out at this year’s festival… and don’t forget you can read the full line-up here.
It’s perfect indie-pop from Australia: really catchy songs, great-sounding vocals. I don’t usually like music like that, but they make it work. There’s an honesty to their songwriting that feels very personal. They’re one of the new bands I got most excited about last year, and we booked them to come over before they were signed. I think this will be their first UK trip.
INFINITY KNIVES & BRIAN ENNALS
They made my album of the year last year [King Cobra]. It’s bedroom hip-hop but it sounds big, and the lyrics are amazing – just so funny and interesting. Honestly, I think it’s up there with Kendrick Lamar’s first couple of records. The album has a lot of variation, from late-’80s/early-’90s hip-hop to soul and gospel, and some of it even sounds like Anohni! I’m excited to see where they go. I feel like they’re going to write a big hit.
She just gets better and better with every record. There’s something so personal and intimate about her songwriting which you can relate to, a bit like a female Jonathan Richman. Some of it reminds me of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, or The Beatles’ classic songwriting. There’s a great song on her latest album  about going to see a Magnetic Fields gig. She’s a real storyteller.
JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN
I saw him on The Boat stage last year and he really blew me away, so I went up to him straight away and he became the first act booked for this year. I guess he’s in that same world as Lankum. It’s almost as if Portishead were doing Irish folk music – he has these trancey, drone elements, but it really works with the traditional Irish sound. He’s made it his own in a very original way.
75 DOLLAR BILL
They were booked to play before the pandemic, and we’ve finally got them playing this year down at The Boat. It’s a massive sound that they somehow create, just the two of them. I guess it reminds me of post-rock bands like Tortoise, but even more uplifting: sometimes it’s jazz, sometimes it’s quite folky, sometimes it’s metal! And it’s really upbeat, almost like dance music. I loved the records, but I didn’t realise how danceable they could be until I saw them live.
THE MARY WALLOPERS
This is a band that I shouldn’t really like, but I love them, they’re infectious. Obviously, they remind me of The Pogues – it’s traditional Irish folk music played by a bunch of punks with mullets. It’s just so uplifting, I think it’ll be an amazing live show. I saw them play twice at Glastonbury and it was crazy. Even in the tiny Crow’s Nest, people were smashing into each other and crowd-surfing. They bring the party.
End Of The Road 2023 takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens near Salisbury on August 31 – September 1. To get you in the mood for this year’s festival, why not remind yourselves of the highlights from last year’s edition…