From Kate NV to Mudhoney
Richard Foster
14:26 2nd October 2018

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Le Guess Who?, what must be Europe's most all-encompassing musical showcase music festival, is back for another edition. The festival continues its successful policy of inviting guest curators to add insight and tone, and this year Moor Mother, Devendra Banhart and Shabaka Hutchings are in the hot seat to provide their own twist to an already broad programme.

Frankly the choice over the four days is overwhelming, almost staged as a world tour in music in the well-appointed streets of Utrecht.Gigwise has nevertheless picked out 8 acts you should definitely see.

Oliver Coates

The British cellist, known for his work with Radiohead and Micah Levi among others, has recently brought out the acclaimed and very moreish ‘Zenn-La’ LP, which nods mainly towards electronic beat. It will be fascinating to see Coates play this new, eclectic set live.


A committed, passionate performer who pulls no punches, GAIKA’s commanding mix of grime, dancehall, garage, hip hop and R&B is driven by what increasingly seems to be a unique creative vision.

Lydia Lunch's Big Sexy Noise

An incendiary and often uncompromising performer, Lunch is a dab hand at balancing challenging material with a waspish wit. A true legend of the American underground.

Vashti Bunyan

Despite her reputation as a wandering spirit, there aren’t many times you will get the chance to see this legendary folk singer. The Godmother of Freakfolk’s music - from ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ to ‘Lookingaftering’ and ‘Heartleap’ - is otherworldly in the true sense of the word.

King Britt

One of the greats of underground electronic music and committed to proactive methods of social change, Britt’s burning sets draw from concepts of Afrofuturism and club music in equal measure.  

Kate NV

Singer in Moscow’s brilliantly angular post-punk band Glintshake, Kate Shilonosova’s solo project sees her channel her poppier, dreamier side. Her recent record on RVNG, ‘FOR’, is a masterpiece of avant-garde electronic pop.

Maja S. K. Ratkje

This Norwegian singer, engineer and composer is a true polymath. Described breathlessly as “one of the most astonishing singers on the planet”, Ratkje’s sets are a dizzying amalgam of all her talents.


This writer saw Mudhoney blow Sonic Youth off the stage at the Riverside club in Newcastle back in 1988. Luckily their old spirit is still intact and they are still a burning proposition live despite the passage of time.

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Photo: Emily Rieman/Press