Words by Matt Canham

As someone regularly turned down from incredibly promising gigs due to the trifling matter of age (and the slightly less trifling matter of my pathetic teenage body getting crushed underneath the sweaty wave of drunk uni students) underage is a brilliant idea. Not only is it welcoming those of us slightly less rich in years, it's exclusive to us, and hosts a ton of great indie/dance/just-plain-cool bands that are performing for our soul entertainment on this early august afternoon. This years' highlights include:

Wolf Gang

No, not Tyler, The Creator’s slightly intimidating hip hop collective (after inciting crowd rebellions like at this year‘s Camden Crawl, I doubt they‘d be invited to a strictly under-18 festival), THIS Wolf Gang have been quietly making some of the greatest sombre indie of recent years; like Hurts, but without all the pretension and, well, shit... From the powerful blast and euphoric chorus of Lions in Cages to the laid back electronic beat and lilting acoustic bass line of 'Back to Back', this band have the potential to capture Underage, if not the world, this summer.

Crystal Fighters

After first bursting onto the scene with the explosive 'Follow'/'Swallow' EP, Crystal Fighters then took the powerful yet jittering feel of the EP and produced an album of it - Star of Love. Crammed with riotous electro, huge choruses and the occasional hard hitting wob of grimy dubstep, expect them to take underage by storm.

Is Tropical

After storming sets supporting Mystery Jets, The Klaxons and at V festival Is Tropical will be bringing their unique mix of synth-laden pop and pounding electro to the Underage stage, along with their incredible light show and sheer energy - please, dear god, put them in a tent.

Bombay Bicycle Club

Yes, Island Record’s indie funky folky band(y) will be bringing Underage to a close with their delectable mix of delicate vocal harmonies, hearfelt lyrics and tightly coiled bass/guitar lines. After an angular, sleek debut complete with jerking guitars and summery electronic grooves, last year saw them take a different route and release a sophomore effort rich in acoustic guitar and folk influence which (unfortunately) saw them gain comparisons to Mumford and Sons. But hey, no-one’s perfect, and their live shows have been consistently lauded, including headlining the first Club NME night in Paris and breathtaking performances at Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds. With a new album expected later the same month, expect a glorious closing set including older and fresh new tracks from Bombay Bicycle Club (sorry for spamming the adjectives with this one, but you’ll see why when you catch them at Underage on August the 5th).

Other than the bands, past highlights have included free sunglasses given out, Converse shoe giveaways and many, many other free handouts – expect something Converse related this year, as they return again to sponsor the festival.

It’s lining up to be really rather good.

http://www.underagefestivals.com/