The Outlook Diaries 2015: The Build Up

Sunshine, boat parties, powerful soundsystems and an abundance of UK music exports. The mighty Outlook festival is upon us once more. Our good friends, wannabe-journos and partners in crime Christina Knowles and Leony Mayhew are out there on the Croatian coast wobbling amphibiously to more bass than you can shake your butt at. They’ll be reporting back on the festival first hand on our blog by way of a diary detailing all of the best sights and sounds they experience in and around the sun soaked fortress.

Writing by Christina Knowles

The opening party this year is one not to be missed, with hip hop legends Jurassic 5 ending their world tour in Pula’s beautiful and historic Roman amphitheatre. Supported by Outlook pioneers Gentleman’s Dub Club, Roni Size Reprazent , Trojan Sound and SBTRKT, for myself personally this is a line up truly representative of everything that has impassioned me about music. 

Hip hop has been my first love since I was old enough to chase boys around a skate park, and Jurassic 5’s signature blend of West Coast funk, soul and lyrical elements is already like throwing sunshine at a speaker. So to get to experience them fill an amphitheatre that has seen the likes of Lauryn Hill and Bonobo absolutely smash it, is going to be nothing short of a dream. I will be allowing myself a solid reminisce. Things might get emotional! 

Then there’s Roni Size. I first saw Roni at the age of 14 in Newcastle Students Union (Oooo, sneaky!) and from that first time having my feet feel that floor wobbling vibration there was obviously no going back; to having Trojan Sound up the ante to arguably my entire body in the West Indian centre in Leeds four years later, these two artists are literally an iconoclasm of everything that lead me down my adolescent path of sound system discovery. 

Gentleman’s Dub Club take me nicely in to my early twenties. A blur of tents on backs and beer in cans, brass sections and committed skanking, it’s inevitable you will end up needing to walk two miles to put more clothes on because the night or the weather snuck up on you again. The Gentlemen embody everything else that Outlook is about: big sounds, big vibes, big festival. 

SBTRKT forms an example of the even newer stage of my musical growth, a talent of self-taught production who combines elements of genres including dub-step, techno and house music. This prepared me for my transition across literal borders (from England to Scotland, bound for Glasgow and beyond!), to metaphorical ones that would expand and broaden my taste and appreciation of all the types of music Outlook embodies. So with the opening party already giving me a decade of musical exploration to contend with, the diary of the rest of the festival should be a treat! 

The Roman Ampitheatre in Pula where the opening concert takes place.

The Roman Ampitheatre in Pula where the opening concert takes place.

The ever-evolving Glaswegian and Scottish bass music scene is being well and truly represented, with Outlook playing host once again to Glasgow champion sound Mungo’s Hi Fi and the Edinburgh-based Electrikal Soundsystem. And for the first time on their thus far insanely committed festival tour, the excellentSamson Sounds, being represented by producer Anders Rigg and Saxist Duncan ‘Dawnchen’ Horne, will be playing a completely original set on the Wednesday afternoon boat party before the opening concert - not to be missed. Be assured there will be lengthy diary entries exploiting all of their dub based antics in and around my favourite fort. 

Lastly, I would like to reel off a list approximately 100 artists long of each and every musical treat I hope to wrap my wee ears around, but the particular highlights I shall endeavour to visit and convey my adoring feelings for include: 

The Dub Smugglers, never a more apt name for a bunch of cheeky scoundrels who will definitely sort your wiggle out. Their sound system is renowned for being as technically impressive as it is noisy good and that’s something I shall not be missing. The Mouse Outfit are also always guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of hip hop fans festival wide, upbeat vibes and an incredible live instrumental section make their sets ones not to be missed. Additionally, I’m excited to see Soom T for the first time, having heard of her activist influence and performance style, her live show should be something special. Moxie also has a reputation as a confident and comfortable DJ (trust in the name) with the ability to vary her sets according to location and audience, so I will be testing this out in my shorts and Hi Tops at the first opportunity. 

See you in Croatia!

Posted on September 2, 2015 and filed under blog.