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Want something shorter than our complete critical guide? Here are three must-see acts for this weekend.
Bowerbirds, Saturday, 3:35, Balance Stage: Bowerbirds, who I trust, said: "only once every ten years or so does one hear a new band this good, this bursting with ideas, this audibly in love with music." They sound like a lot of notable folk-rock acts, but they distinguish themselves subtly - rather than explicitly breaking the form, they'll take one of their perfect vocal harmonies and send the melody line off somewhere just slightly unexpected, and they've got an indescribable gift for those little moments of unpredictability. My only worry is that their delicacy may get lost in the festival ruckus.
The Mae Shi, Sunday, 1 pm, Aluminum Stage: I think the first line from HLLLYH captured 2008 better than anything I came across: "I predict / a decline / in the price of Lamb & Lion International / the lamb's gone missing / and the lion's sleeping peacefully / we've lost our forum." Incredible, raucous LA noise-punk. I'm a sucker for indie music about apocalyptic Christianity (see also: The Body The Blood The Machine
The Very Best, Sunday, 8:30 PM, Balance Stage: I know everyone's going to be freaking out over at the Flaming Lips set, which starts ten minutes afterwards. But consider giving some time to this singular outfit - two dance-head London DJs and Malawian expat Esau Mwamwaya. Their free mixtape, Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit are the Very Best, is a stunner; if anything I like their reinventions of "Paper Planes" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" better than the originals.