A PREVIEW

Neck of the Woods is a brand new music festival – that’s a very exciting thing to be writing, considering what the live music scene has been through over the past couple of years. The festival – presented by Kilimanjaro Live – takes place at Earlham Park on the edge of Norwich on 29th May and promises an incredible four stages of music as well as lots of street food vendors, bars and a VIP area. NOTW is an all ages festival, which is a good touch – in my book, you’re never too young to be introduced to fantastic, independent music. There are currently some final tickets on sale via the NOTW festival website.

All of the stage line ups have now been announced, and it’s fair to say that what I first thought looked like a very good festival has turned into an extremely good one indeed. The overall booking policy is refreshingly genre-neutral, inclusive, in-touch and forward-thinking, and it’s great to see local talent being given some incredible opportunities, too: in a nice touch, the main stage at NOTW is being opened by Youth Killed It, an indie-rock four-piece from Norwich.

Also on the line up are The Snuts, riding high on the success of their debut (and UK number 1) album ‘X.L.’ – that’s quite a coup. And then there’s DMAs all the way from Sydney, Sea Girls from almost as far away (South London), pop punk sensation Lauran Hibberd (a late replacement for Cat Burns), Dodie, and The Lottery Winners – told you it was good. The show on the main stage culminates in a set from The Kooks, which ties in nicely with the 15th Anniversary of their debut studio album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ and follows a resounding UK tour earlier this year. That promises to be a memorable set. Ok

Over on the second stage, Yonaka headline – this is quite a rare chance to see the Brighton band in all their power-packed glory. And as an illustration of the mix-it-up, eclectic approach being taken at NOTW, this stage also hosts indie synth-popsters (and TikTok heroes) DecoThe Royston Club (recently at SXSW in Austin, Texas) and the afro-beat-inspired harmonic alt-pop group Kawala, among many others.

The Stage 3 (Propaganda stage) proceedings are being started by Norwich sensation Lozeak, delivering Halsey-esque dark cinematic alt-pop. Elsewhere on that stage’s line-up are Burnley’s The Goa Express, London singer-songwriter Matilda Mann and the genre-defying Noisy. None other thanLittle Comets close out the proceedings – a band renowned for their engaging, tight performances, and obsessive attention to detail with their sound engineering. This will be a treat.

The fourth stage is Kili Presents …, which aims to showcase some lesser known and rising acts. House on Fire start things off, and Tom Lumley & The Brave Liaison headline the line-up – they’re a pretty well-known name in the area, and become more prolific almost daily – they’re guaranteed to bring some fabulous crunchy alt-rock energy. Also on the list are hazy alt-pop singer-songwriter Sophia Alexa, pop/jazz/hip-hop/disco star Alfie Neale, and male and female fronted pop band Miya Miya.

The big problem with a festival like this is working out a strategy to see as many bands as possible – it’s a good problem to have, to be honest.

Follow The Songbird HQ and keep an eye on the website for some further previews, and look out for our write-ups from the festival itself. Of course, if you’re there too, come and say hello!

THE FULL NECK OF THE WOODS 2022 LINE UP

Main Stage

The Kooks

DMAs

Sea Girls

Dodie

The Snuts 

Lauran Hibberd 

Lottery Winners

Youth Killed It 

Stage 2 (Adrian Flux Waterfront)

Yonaka

Kawala

The Academic 

Stone

The Royston Club

Deco

Rats

Stage 3 (Propaganda)

Little Comets 

Noisy

Matilda Mann 

The Goa Express

Beth McCarthy

Delights

Lozeak

Kili Presents… Stage

Tom Lumley & The Brave Liaison

Miya Miya

Sophia Alexa

George O’Hanlon

Alfie Neale

Clarence & The Modern Life

Trunky Juno

Bandit

House On Fire

For more information and last minute tickets, check out the NOTW festival website or follow the official Instagram and Twitter accounts,

Words by Phil Taylor