12. Delain, Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, 15:50 - 16:30

Some band’s rises are stratospheric, going from nothing to public adornment seamlessly overnight. Others take the long way around, slowly but surely honing their art and bit by bit building a fanbase by the weight of sheer hard work. Delain are very much in that category as seventeen years into their career they are still a mid afternoon second stage booking. But if you look carefully on each and every one of their frequent visits to these shores, the festival slots are a little higher, the venues are a little bigger and the crowds are a little larger. They are achieving this not by being flavour of the month or being fêted in the press (this is highly melodic symphonic metal and we as a nation are downright ambivalent to the stuff) but by the aforementioned hard work. Unlike others in their genre that I could mention, they have realised that there is more to a UK tour than a solitary London show. Again and again, they have played their wears across the whole country to small but growing audiences. That is why, whilst their position on this year's bill is only two chinks higher than in 2016, I suspect the audience will be at least double, earned through determination and hard graft. So give them a go if you like choruses you can sing along to and melodies you can hum as this is very much a band of the people. 

By Stewart Lucas