Q Magazine

Column - I see cred people: Visions Festival's finest pick their favourite acts inc Prince, Elvis Costello, Syd Barrett...

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This Saturday (10 August) several venues in east London (see below), will be taken over by the brand new Visions Festival. To mark the event’s debut we asked a host of acts on the bill to nominate their favourite musical visionaries (see what we did there), meanwhile head to Visionsfestival.com for more information and check out our sister site Aloud.com for tickets.

!!!’s Nic Offer(pictured)

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Oval Space 10.15pm

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m going to answer, Prince. And anyone who knows anything, knows I’m right. The only question is how can I say this in just a few words. How about; when he began recording Parade, he walked into the studio, taped the lyrics up in front of the drum set, sat down and played the drums for the first four songs on the album. Then went and started laying down the bass. That’s a pretty clear vision.

He changed pop and R’n’B several times over, what else do you want? Really, i could go on, but i imagine you want short answers for this. Comparable only to Bowie and Wonder.

Childhood’s Dan Salamons

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Netil House 4.30pm

Recently we’ve all been getting back into Talking Heads in a big way. David Byrne seems to have this magic habit of combining perfectly the suspense and drama of an artistic, full production stage show with all out mega pop hits. If anyone else had attempted the live concert Stop-Making Sense it may way have failed to be either visually interesting or musically on point. Somehow they’ve got the chops in all areas to pull it off. Genius.

Spectrals’ Louis Jones

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Brewhouse 3.50pm

I think I would have to say Elvis Costello, he’s that top tier guy for me, that sort of single-minded approach you don’t get a lot. From the get go he was dragging all these different styles of music into his own work, you know, he wasn’t scared to just steal stuff and make it work for him. Nobody can sing like him for a start, he can inhabit so many different ranges and still cut through in the mix, that is such an asset for a pop singer trying to put a song across on the radio. It seemed to me that he could afford for The Attractions to play fairly loose and feel their way around the song, adding their own bits in, because his writing was so strong that it was always going to sound like him, not a pastiche or a genre exercise. Nobody ever looked like him either, he made no bones about being a pop star but he didn’t beg it, the showbiz side of it. The vision was everything for him right from the start. He can be bitter or tender, sometimes in the same song. Soul or country, sometimes in the same song. There’s other people up there, but he is the one as far as I’m concerned.

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Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi

Netil House 8.30pm

I guess I’d say John Coltrane – he really was the greatest musician of all time, and he consistently learned and pushed himself to greater heights all the way up until his passing. He should be an inspiration to everyone who plays music.

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Jeffrey Lewis

Brewhouse 9.40pm

In many ways I’m partial to Syd Barrett when questions like that come up, he’s really the definition of a “visionary” artist. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a double-pronged visionary thing that Syd impresses me with, because he’s going so far “out” in some songs, in terms of sound exploration, then on the other hand some of his other songs seem to go very far “in” into his mind and emotions in a very open, unguarded childlike way. So you can’t really do much better than that, go farther out than anybody around and farther in than anybody around. I don’t know if he had a “vision” in terms of a pre-conceived plan about what kind of music he wanted to make, but that’s how it turned out. Thejeffreylewissite.com

See Visionsfestival.com and Aloud.com for tickets and more.

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