Smithdown Road Festival has mushroomed in recent years into a fantastic free curtain raiser for the Merseyside festival calendar. The bars, cafés, parks and many other spaces will come alive again this year with what will be the biggest edition yet. We’ve trawled through the mammoth bill of 15 stages hosting over 160 acts to pick out some of the highlights we are most looking forward to over the weekend of  29th May – 1st April.

Edgar Jones and the New Joneses

Sefton Park Palmhouse – 30/04

18:10

The man sometimes known as Summertyme is back with a new album and fresh band. He’ll be bringing his inimitable blend of jazz, blues and garage rock to the Palmhouse. Read his convo with The Sundowners in issue 77 now.

Idles

Craft Taproom – 01/05

21:00

The Bristolian punks are touted for big things as their debut album Brutalism is garnering rave reviews. This is a big coup for the festival and not to be missed.

Broom Of The System

Evil Eye – 29/04

15:00

Leftfield ambient experimentalism from elusive talented newbies. Destined for big things if this track is anything to go by.

Ali Horn

Kellys – 29/04

17:00

Bido issue 76 cover star Ali will have a busy weekend with his solo project and band of brothers Strange Collective both playing sets over the weekend.

SMITHDOWN ROAD FESTIVAL Image

Loved Ones

Sefton Park Palmhouse  – 29/04

14:10

Another band to grace the cover of Bido, Loved Ones returned last year with new tunes, a new vocalist but familiarly awesome tunes.

Fiesta Bombarda Takeover at the Handyman Supermarket

Handyman Supermarket – 29-30/04

Smithdowns newest venue welcomes the carnival chaos of Bombarda to their stripped back space (due to house a microbrewery come July). This collaboration with Liverpool Funk and Soul Club is a great way to introduce party-goers to what is sure to become a new favourite.

Africa Oye DJs

Sefton Park Palmhouse  – 29/04

Not long now til the 25th year celebrations in Sefton Park, before then you can groove out to the best African Diaspora cuts chosen by the Oyé experts in the heart of the park.

SMITHDOWN ROAD FESTIVAL Image

Astles

349 Smithdown Road – 30/04

21:30

Southport teenager with a fast-growing reputation. Expect rich reverb and big vocals. Learn more about Astles here.

Salt The Snail

Craft Taproom – 30/04

19:15

Raucous rock trio Salt The Snail have impressed with their live shows, bringing an all-out sonic assault to gig-goers when supporting the likes of Fucked Up and appearing at Threshold Festival.

Mellowtone Records Presents…

Naked Lunch  – 30/04

19:20

Dave O’Grady, Nick Ellis and other artists from the Mellowtone stable provide the chilled out vibes in Smithdown’s favourite new co-op caff on Sunday evening.

Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind

Sefton Park Palmhouse – 30/04

17:10

Having put to bed cult band The Jim Jones Revue, the rocker now fronts a similarly raucous rabble in the form of The Righteous Mind. This is another one which will blow away those April cobwebs for a soulful spring clean.

SPQR

Craft Taproom – 29/04

21:00

Fresh from a triumphant Wrong Fest, SPQR are set to rock the rafters at Craft. Careful the lead singer doesn’t spit in your pale ale.

SMITHDOWN ROAD FESTIVAL Image

HAARM

Sefton Park Palmhouse – 29/04

17:30

After the release of a clutch of well-received tracks and having supported Bloc Party in London, Liverpool’s newest indie electro darlings bring their slick sounds to the beautiful surrounds of the Palmhouse.

LUNA

Teepee Bar Stage – 30/04

19:00

More super cool Electro pop from this fast rising star. Listen to Abyss for a taste of what to expect.

Tramp Attack

Sefton Park Palmhouse  – 30/04

15:20

Reforming in tribute to founder member Kris Ealey (who also has a stage named after him) Cosmic Scousers Tramp Attack will be a big draw for the Smithdown faithful.

There’s also much much more going on up and down the Wavertree wonderland with Craig Charles Funk And Soul Club dropping the beats and Uke virtuoso Alison Benson playing in Fat Flamingo. Dave McCabe also appears at the Palmhouse along with The Coral’s Ian Skelly and bluessmiths The Viper Kings will be doing their thing at Kellys. There’s also family favourite the Infinite Wrestling show on Saturday as well as Marmalade Skies bring kids fun with food and drink treats for all across the weekend.

Smithdown Road Festival takes place from Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May across 15 venues.

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