Rock preview: Supersonic Festival | T In The Park | The Hop Farm

Supersonic Festival, Birmingham | T In The Park, Kinross | The Hop Farm, Tonbridge

Supersonic Festival

Most summer festivals take place in muddy fields. The difference with Birmingham's Supersonic is that it takes place indoors, and in the very leftfield. A kind of smaller-scale version of the All Tomorrow's Parties events, Supersonic offers music that has been pushed underground into its own niche by more mainstream events. And a good job too, you may well think, as Japanese noise act Merzbow get into their stride. But alongside the more challenging turns on display - of which there are many, including Oxbow, Fuck Buttons and Gravetemple, featuring Julian Cope - there are also some genuinely inspiring sights available. Chief among these would have to be Battles (pictured), the glam-rock math rockers, fronted by Tyondai Braxton, but there's also the exclusive presence of Harmonia, protagonists of beatless, trancey krautrock, theirs is an engrossing journey to inner space.

The Custard Factory, Fri 11 to Jul 13

T In The Park

Sometimes a festival is a place for adventure. Scotland's T In The Park festival is one that chooses to keep that adventure, musically speaking at least, to a minimum. In a year of some interesting festival lineup decisions, T has kept things steady, keeping an emphasis on big rock bands: headliners are the Verve, REM and, maybe most interestingly, Rage Against The Machine. Seen by some as godfathers of the nu-metal scene which ran riot at the tail end of the 1990s - a charge the band themselves hotly deny - their high-tech blend of hard rock and politically motivated shouting is a bracing addition to the bill. Elsewhere, there's reliable stuff from Kaiser Chiefs, Stereophonics, Kings Of Leon and Amy Winehouse.

· Balado Airfield, Fri 11 to Jul 13

The Hop Farm

Boasting "no branding, no sponsors", The Hop Farm festival is an event very much for those who might otherwise find themselves saying that festivals "aren't what they used to be". Here, in fact, things are very much as they used to be: Hop Farm's lineup asks you less to attend a modern rock festival, more to don a suede jacket of the mind. And not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that - a one-day event, Hop Farm will be offering some of the very best in genres which have stayed essentially unchanged since the 1970s. From hard, sometimes countrified rockers (Primal Scream, My Morning Jacket), to singer-songwriters (Rufus Wainwright) and enduring perennials who remember exactly how things used to be (Neil Young, pictured, who headlines), this is a no bells, no whistles kind of show. That doesn't mean it'll be low on surprises though: Neil Young's Chrome Dreams II set really does have to be seen to be believed.

· The Hop Farm Country Park, Sun 6


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Rock preview

The Zutons, on tour | Isle Of Wight Festival, Newport | Fleet Foxes, on tour

John Robinson

06, Jun, 2008 @11:11 PM

Rock preview: June 14
Black Kids, On tour | Meltdown, London | My Bloody Valentine, On tour

13, Jun, 2008 @11:00 PM

Rock preview

The Raconteurs, on tour | Bon Iver, on tour | Jay Reatard, on tour

John Robinson

09, May, 2008 @11:17 PM

Rock preview: Feb 10 - 16

Flower / Corsano Duo, on tour | The Black Keys / The Black Angels, Edinburgh | The Hold Steady, London | The Twang, Barnsley

John Robinson

10, Feb, 2007 @11:57 PM

Rock and pop preview: : April 19-25

Edwyn Collins, on tour | Boris/Growing, on tour | Triptych, Scotland | Eric Burdon & War, London

John Robinson

18, Apr, 2008 @11:19 PM

Rock and pop preview

Jesus & Mary Chain, London | Panic At The Disco, on tour | Foals, on tour

John Robinson

08, Mar, 2008 @12:09 AM

Rock and pop preview: Oct 27

ATP: Release The Bats, London | The Verve, Glasgow | Voxtrot, on tour | Robyn, on tour

John Robinson

27, Oct, 2007 @10:55 PM

Rock preview: May 31 to June 6

Radiohead, on tour | Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, on tour | The Dodos, on tour

John Robinson

31, May, 2008 @12:12 AM

Rock preview: Feb 24-Mar 2

The Whip | Nine Inch Nails | Gossip | Gruff Rhys - all on tour

John Robinson

24, Feb, 2007 @11:55 PM

Rock preview

The Duke Spirit, on tour | Thrill Jockey 15th Birthday, London

John Robinson

10, Nov, 2007 @11:47 PM