Festival Reviews

The thought on everyone’s mind pre-festivals in the UK is ‘what will the weather be like?’ and in 2012 you can pretty much predict rain and mud. How much mud, and how much stamina is required to navigate it depends on the size and layout of the festival. 

It seems the days of lying on the grass in the sun listening to a band are long gone. Standing in wellies in the mud seems the norm, and this has had a knock-on effect on ticket sales in the U.K festival market, with many not selling out.

 

Having said that, Saturday at Latitude with the ever popular Elbow must have been close to full. Friday and Sunday were less busy. By Sunday, the weekend campers seemed to be weary from the effort of the previous two days.

 

So on to the music. Not much happened on Thursday other then the entertaining Cafe & Theatre tent so it’s Friday when the music action kicks off. I should just say at this point that Latitude has a whole myriad of entertainment going on: arts, literature, poetry, cabaret, dance, opera etc but for this review, it’s music that we concentrate on.

 

Latitude_logo.jpg

 

There is nothing you can do about the weather. A festival will generally go ahead come rain or shine. From the punters point of view though, the festival takes on a different dynamic depending on the conditions. 

Imagine turning up at the inaugural No Direction Home Festival in the grounds of Welbeck Abbey in Nottingham in glorious sunshine, leisurely putting up the tent whilst sipping on an ice cool lager. Back to the reality of a British festival summer; cold, wind, torrential rain, everything and everyone soaked by the time we head into the site. When the rain let’s up its teatime.

 

Luckily on a site roughly the size of the Park Area at Glastonbury, everything is close to hand and the place is not overcrowded.  We are greeted by the sight of the Somerset Hot Cider Bus and truly fortified we head for the main (Lake) stage (pretty much the Garden Stage at End of the Road) for Newcastle’s majestic Lanterns on the Lake. The songs from the debut album still sound good and ring true, but the band are just at the point of needing new material.

 

logos.JPG

 

Future of the Left ripped it up with a solid 45 minute set. A capacity crowd inside with eager hopefuls queued up outside for the 1 out 1 in rule to open up a chance of getting in but for most, it didn't happen so the die-hard loyalists joined the overflow in the street craning for a peak inside.

 

Click on the Youtube clips below to catch a glimpse of the fervour, in lieu of actually being in the room. Incendiary vocals shared between Jimmy and Julia with Andy switching between guitar and bass for a few songs. The pulse of the room was raging and the crowd was a fist pumping, lyric belting swell of raucous energy.

 

Future Of The Left’s upcoming album, The Plot Against Common Sense, will be the group’s third full-length release. 

 

Scott Pappas / Christina Eichelberger

 

'Small Bones, Small Bodies' 

"Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" and "To Hell With Good Intentions" 

Website 

myspace

 FOTL.jpg

Last day. Feet are tired! First showcase of the day...it’s a long one!!! Mohawk patio again, and once the doors open, the long line moves quickly.  First off...is Silent Comedy A 4 piece of power, firecrackers these guys. Great dirty rock n roll whiskey soaked gospel tinted raucous and joyful and fantastic. 

Back outside for Gary Clark Jr...Great guitarist, tight band, great songs and great weather!  Next up...War on Drugs. Great layered waves of sound and clever songs, I do love the cd.  Blitzen Trapper is up next. Another great rock band ,with superb harmonies.  

Inside for the Cloud Nothings.  Packed small room, sweaty messy loud. Just the way you would expect them.  Is the drummer insane?  Maybe. Now outside for Bob Mould playing’ Copper Blue’  start to finish.  Bob and his band have been doing the same show a few times lately so they have it down.  Loud and smooth, a great album performed on a sunny patio can’t get much better than that. We decide to move before Roots begin and we head out in search of another show. 

We stop by Latitude and lucky enough, Dunwells have just gone on.  5 members,5 part harmonies, some very solid songs and a sound that goes over well with me, Sandra and the crowd   Dutch Uncles are up next.,crazy mathematical layered sound of mayhem...interesting and noisy and rather fun.Time for dinner.

  Austs2.jpg

Day starts heading to Mellow Johnny’s bike  shop to catch Pickwick only came to know this band when doing some SXSW research and really glad I did.  This kid has got it, band is great, not sure how to describe him but, his voice is stunning and I would suggest to anyone, go and check out the band and their KEXP radio station videos. 

Now it’s off to Cedar Street to see Of Monsters & Men and Ed SheeranOf Monsters & Men are fantastic. Very similar to our Canadian band the Stars, great harmonies, clever songs, from Iceland!    Ed Sheeran is up next, and this guy is pretty darned entertaining.  He does have a great voice, and by his last song, he has got the entire crowd doing an audience participation song, while he loops some self-created beats on his mic, he has a split crowd singing parts of the song. He is a showman and must admit, I quite liked it! 

An attempt now to go see Dry The River failed as the W Hotel patio where they were to playing only holds 100 people and its well past  full.  So....back to Mellow Johnny’s for rockabilly band JD MacPherson.  New cd coming out on Rounder, this fellow and his band mates know what they are doing.  A great showman with a spectacular band. Big keys, stand-up bass, saxophone, great upbeat party going on at Mellow Johnny’s 

Now we return to Cedar for the sweet harmonies of Grafitti6 and Fanfarlo, both great patio music, especially when you are on Cedar St Courtyard! 

Dinner time!  A little rest then mayhem! Here is where I throw in my opinion ....watch out....don’t hate me!! 

 

Page 23 of 25