Boasting a stellar line-up of crowd-warming favourites and impeccable wildcard choices, this year’s Handmade Festival is set to be the continuation of something truly amazing.

After the success of last year’s weekender, which featured performances from the likes of Rolo Tomassi, Maybeshewill, Tall Ships, Dutch Uncles and many more, Leicester seems to be onto a winner, as their home-grown metropolitan Handmade Festival moves into its second year.

Although we all have a strong connection with our field-based music festivals – which often become the highlight of our short-lived summer holiday – we, at MM, would go as far as to argue that city-based, metropolitan music festivals are far, far better. Live In Leeds, The Great Escape, Carefully Planned, Liverpool Sound City, Tramlines and now Handmade Festival – fuck it, forget the mud and the grime and the endless complaining, city-based, venue-spread music festivals are the future. And with a line-up as rich and eclectic as Handmade’s, who cares about Leeds fest?

Spread over the course of first weekend in May, Handmade Festival will play host not only some of 2014’s most exciting alternative music. The festival will also boast a weekend packed full of live stand-up comedy, art, photography, after parties, and secret acoustic sets. But, let’s face it, it’s the music that sells the tickets.

Take one look at Handmade’s 2014 line-up and try to tell us you’re not convinced. Its obscene array of brilliant, alternative musical talent is a fine piece of booking talent that should be celebrated far and wide. Ranging from the well known instrumental surges of And So I Watch You From Afar, to the precise and subtle stabs of Tangled hair, and onto the low-fi universal rock sounds of Japan’s Shonen Knife; Handmade Festival’s collection of bands is impeccable. But, if for some reason you’re still not convinced, or if you’re a bit clueless to who you’re going to end up seeing, we’ve compiled a short but sweet list of our picks of the festival. Of 9 bands you might not have seen, or known about otherwise. Enjoy…


Brainchild and alter-ego of Leicester’s own Sam Manville (Blakfish, Hymns, Vietwow!), FSTE produces thoughtful low-key electronica and home-grown dance music at its very best.

The Physics House Band

This brighton-bred trio fuse elements of math-rock, experimental rock, jazz, and progressive fusion to create a wall of monumental sound.


Recent signings of Oxford’s Big Scary Monsters, Woahnows’ punk-led, melodic sound is fast and incredibly addictive.


Another Leicester band; four-piece Juniors play twisted alternative-rock which combines scrappy post-hardcore and staggered math-rock.

Waking Aida

As the release of their debut album looms ever closer, Waking Adia are becoming more and more well-known. Expect up-beat post-rock and joyful rises.

Emperor Yes

Featuring prolific producer Ash Gardner, Three Trapped Tigers drummer Adam Betts, and frequent songwriter and solo-artist Hugo Sheppard, Emperor Yes’ electro-pop fuelled live act is a force to be reckoned with.


Longstanding champions of everything indie, Tellison are the quintessential sing-a-long pop-rock band and impossible not to like.


Having recently released their debut EP on Alcopop Records, Brawlers have been turning heads with their unique brand of passionate and melodic punk-rock.

Katie Malco

Captivating, charming, clever, reliable, the list goes on and on. Katie’s delightful yet melancholy pop songs for rock kids are capable of being heard and loved by anyone, anywhere.

Handmade Festival 2014 will take place on the first weekend in May from the 2nd to the 4th in Leicester City centre, with weekend tickets priced at £30 each and day tickets just £15.