In a UK reggae scene that has long eschewed bands in favour of sound systems, Backbeat are a different beast. The Cornwall-based 8-piece are known for pushing the envelope in their studio productions and pumping up crowds in their live set. While many of their peers are slavish in their attempt to recreate an authentic Jamaican-leaning sound, Backbeat Soundsystem are not afraid to go in totally different directions, pulling in influences from all across the music spectrum, to create their vision of modern reggae. Since forming in 2008, Backbeat Soundsystem has appeared at many of the best-known UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Beautiful Days, Secret Garden Party, Greenman, Boardmasters, and many others, as well as toured in Europe and the United States. They’ve supported Madness, Cypress Hill, Arrested Development, Tinie Tempah, The Streets, and Dub Pistols.
Combining spoken word and rap with soulful vocals and warm, jazzy beats this Brighton-based four-piece are the ideal soundtrack to a sunny August afternoon. Their catchy tunes effortlessly fuse hip-hop with soul, funk and jazz, earning them support slots with acts like Kate Tempest and Talib Kweli. Having played gigs and festivals all over Europe and a showcase gig at SXSW in Texas, 2016 was a busy year for them, and this year is set to be even bigger.
A set from rapper Rex Domino is a lyrical, cross-genre adventure. Often blending his spoken word with the lo-fi electronica of producers Polar Kid and Stanky, the result is a gloriously glitchy mash-up of poetry, dub, hip-hop, dancehall and grime. Collaborations with DJ Yoda, Shlomo and Reeps One and a nod from Scroobius Pip have seen him play the Bestival main stage in the past, with this year bringing a gig at SXSW with Sunday Best records.
Rex Domino will be joined by his friends in the Portsmouth-based musical collective Moosehead International Airport, taking a break from their regular Soho Radio show to provide us with a set of back-to-back bangers. Tunes will come courtesy of Dome Zero on the bassline and grime and Al Hatab with the dub and reggae vibes. We can't wait.
Bournemouth-born Krista is a versatile singer songwriter who's just as comfortable belting out high energy sing-alongs as she is performing soulful ballads. Her mix of glimmering surf-tinged folk pop is often compared with the likes of KT Tunstall, Katie Melua and Jack Johnson, and has seen her share a stage with the kings of alternative folk, Nizlopi.
Naturalbeatz is a south coast party-starter and one of the Sound as Funk collective, known for his awesome skills on the turntables and a blindingly diverse music selection. He takes influence from old school hip hop, funk, soul and disco and will play generally anything that gets people moving. He's formed a unique style of mixing, blending multiple genres to lay down some seriously funky party sets.
He's been a regular face in Southampton's music scene and has played UK festivals including Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party, Larmer Tree and Wonder Fields. He's shared the stage with many names such as Grand Master Flash, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, Craig Charles, DJ Format and Krafty Kuts to name a few.
Samba Do Chapéu is a 5-piece samba project made up of London's most seasoned Brazilian musicians. The band has been creating a buzz in the Queen's land since they began to perform last year. As well as a classic repertoire, the guys also enjoy spicing up UK hit tunes with Brazilian rhythms like Samba, Samba-Enredo, Bossa Nova and Forró. The band aims to bring samba out of Brazil, making music that transcends any culture and has the power to make the audience move - ensuring that while they meld a diverse range of musical styles, their performances attract equally diverse audiences.
'Chapéu' means hat in Portuguese, so Samba Do Chapéu encourage their audience to wear a hat during their gigs. So make sure you pack your party hat for Love Trails this year, if only to take it off to pay tribute to these Latin legends!
A French DJ based in London, Sacha’s undoubtedly the king of swing, specialising in everything from electro swing and Balkan gypsy through to drum and bass. Previously a resident DJ at London’s Passing Clouds (RIP) and co-founder of a monthly Gypsy burlesque night that’s been running at Brixton’s Hootananny for the last 12 years, he’s a regular at festivals all over Europe. And he’s obviously doing something right – he boasts one of the top 3 most played Electro Swing mixes on Soundcloud, with almost 640,000 plays to date.
Justin Reid-Simms aka. Cardinal is one part of the brains behind Disco Experience Joy Fantastic, bringing classic cuts & new grooves to a modern day dancefloor. He has released music under a number of aliases, played across Europe, and held down a 10 year residency at The Kool Kids Klub amongst others. Expect house, disco, and good grooves from a record bag deep enough to sink a ship.
RBRT is a master of deep, dark, rolling drum & bass. Whether listening to his late night Rotation Sessions on Kane FM or seeing him play out at a Nu Manouevres night, you can guarantee your head will be bobbing within a matter of seconds. Prepare to be introduced to DnB with plenty of soul at Love Trails this year.