V Festival 2014: Stoneacre's who to watch

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

In the first of our series of articles to tie in with our V Festival competition, we’re looking at the acts to watch at the popular summer event that kicks off on August 16.

It is the 19th year of V Festival and it’s as big as ever, with high profile headliners mixing in with some legendary artists and bands. We’ve done a quick whip round the office to see who they’d love to see at what is set to be one of the summer’s biggest events.

Ben’s choice: Justin Timberlake

The former N Sync singer has carved out an incredibly successful solo career on top of a considerably productive acting stint. Now, with his latest album ‘The 20/20 Experience’, Justin has stepped it up a notch musically with soulful R&B songs that go the distance. A much more ambitious album than its predecessors, seven-minute compositions explore traditional music types, whilst also touching on modern sound elements.

A duet with the late Michael Jackson on the musical legend’s posthumous album currently has Justin on everyone’s lips, whilst his own lead single, ‘Not a Bad Thing’, continues to storm the charts.

Russ’ choice: Tom Odell

It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for the young Tom Odell; after releasing his debut album ‘Long Way Down’ last June, Tom has gone from strength to strength, picking up two revered awards in the forms of the BRIT Awards’ Critics’ Choice prize and Songwriter of the Year at the Ivor Novellos.

‘Long Way Down’ topped the UK Album Chart, whilst his breakthrough single ‘Another Love’ reached the top 10. Classically trained on the Piano to Grade 7, Tom cites David Bowie, Elton John, and Bob Dylan, among others, as his main influences.

Dave’s choice: Chase & Status

Although it took Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status) three solid years of work before penetrating the mainstream music world, it’s more than paid off and the duo are now considered as kings of the Drum and Bass world.

Their current album, ‘Brand New Machine’, takes on a darker edge to what has been previously produced, with its lead single ‘Lost & Not Found’ featuring Louis M^ttrs breaking into the UK top 10 and achieving No. 2 in the Official UK Dance charts.

Sam’s choice: Manic Street Preachers

The Manics have been with us for over 20 years now, but their presence feels far from overstayed. Last year’s acoustic-based ‘Rewind the Film’ marked the band’s 11th album, with their 12th, ‘Futurology’, being released in early July.

Lead single ‘Walk me to the Bridge’ and ‘Europa Geht Durch Mich’ – the second song to be released from Futurology – showcase the band’s German influences from travelling the Autobahns during extensive European touring. However, expect the Manic’s back catalogue to also feature heavily, with a versatile mix of the vitriolic and the graceful.

Emma’s choice: Elbow

Mercury Music and BRIT Award-winning band Elbow took a few years to find the success they deserved, but are now considered as one of the most popular UK bands of the 21st century.

Finding critical acclaim with their fourth studio album ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, Elbow were catapulted into stardom. Meanwhile, their latest record, ‘The Take Off and Landing of Everything’, debuted at the top of the UK Album Chart ahead of an exciting summer that not only includes V Festival but also Glastonbury and Sasquatch over in the US.

Kirstie’s choice: Ed Sheeran

It’s a big year for Ed Sheeran whose second album is released to the world at the end of June. The record’s lead single ‘Sing’ has been doing the rounds since early April, with its muppet japery-laden video reaching over three million hits on YouTube thus far.

A man with fingers in many pies, Ed has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including One Direction, Taylor Swift, The Game and Devlin.

Joe’s choice: Rita Ora

Originally born in Pristina, Kosovo, Rita moved to the UK at just one year old and grew up in West London. Rita began her career accompanying established names in the pop music world that included Craig David, Tinchy Stryder and James Morrison before even attempting to the UK’s entry in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

At just 23, Rita has amassed a huge following after the release of her debut album ‘Ora’ and extensive touring that travelled as far as the States. Rita’s second album is nearly upon us, with its lead single ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ – produced by Calvin Harris – doing well in getting us all excited for the follow-up to her debut record.