Jan 02, 2023
By Jimi Arundell
Photography by Shaun Gordon & Adam Houghton
Our favourite festival is back, and even bigger than before! Rockaway Beach explodes from 6th – 8th of January, now boasting over 35 acts including headliners Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Self Esteem and Peter Hook & The Light. They preside over a bucket load of cutting-edge acts and bands all currently bursting out, all ready to takeover in the near future. No wonder tickets have already sold out!
We can’t wait to return to Bognor Regis for three days at Butlins packed full of the names you need to know, including crucial cult acts, breakthrough bands, vital new musicians and the underground names poised to make a massive impact on the scene. If you are serious about music, Rockaway Beach is the best vantage point to see the direction the coming year is about to take.
In previous years, Under the Radar has enjoyed magnificent performances from such revered icons as Suede, Echo & The Bunnymen, Jarvis Cocker and Gary Numan. The high calibre continues in 2023 with 80’s synthpop sensations Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Peter Hook – playing seminal hits from both Joy Division and New Order. And we are especially excited to see Self Esteem return to Rockaway, now Rebecca Lucy Taylor is flushed with the success of her Mercury nominated second album Prioritise Pleasure.
And if the headliners weren’t enough, revellers will be treated to premiere Irish punks The Undertones, Leeds supergroup Yard Act, indie sleaze favourites The Futureheads, classical electronica musician extraordinaire Anna Meredith and Bristolian DIY electropunk Billy Nomates – any of whom could easily have topped the bill at any other event!
This is the first-time artists will be forced to compete as previously there were no clashes at Rockaway, and it will be interesting to see the changing effects on the normally chilled atmosphere. But that’s the price of growing pains as the essential event increases in scope and popularity. If you are looking for any suggestions, we can highly recommend The Anchoress, Low Hummer, LIFE, Dream Nails, Panic Shack, Deep Tan, Big Joanie and W.H. Lung. Hats off to the organisers for such continued expert curation year on year.
When you’re not enjoying the live music, there are wicked DJ sets throughout the big weekender too. Make sure you check out Steve Lamacq,Chris Hawkins, Simon Drowner (of Desperate Journalist fame) and James Thornhill from Psychic Dancehall when they’re behind the ones and twos. And make sure you do not miss Dom And John’s Closing Party, whose massive mashup of psyche, Motown, big bangers and classic indie has become a firm Beach Bum favourite.
Dom and John’s Closing Party
But if that isn’t enough, there’s plenty more holiday camp fun to be had including swimming pools and waterslides complete with DJ accompanied pool parties, bingo with Hull heroes LIFE, ten pin bowling, arcade games with food, (soft) drink and accommodation all chucked in too – which other festival has anything like that?
As we said before, it’s a shame you can’t be there unless you have already grabbed yourself a ticket, and with a killer line up like this we are surprised if you haven’t already! But we will be sure to send you a postcard from the (not so) sunny seaside shores and you can look forward to our review – just as soon as we have recovered from Dom and John’s awesome final big blow out!