LIVE: Summer Sundae Weekender, 14-16/08/09, De Monfort Hall and Gardens, Leicester
GREAT IMITATION gave by far one of their best performances to date. They soon filled the Musician tent out and had the crowds clapping along. They certainly set a very high standard for the rest of the day’s proceedings. I will always have nothing but praise for this incredibly talented band as they progress from strength to strength. I imagine we’ll definitely see them gracing a bigger stage in the not so distant future.
RAZMATAZ were the winners of the BBC ‘The Beat’ competition and were given the honour of opening Main Stage. They have a distinct , almost generic indie sound, a kind of Editors/Arctic Monkeys hybrid and although their myspace offers easy-listening catchy tracks, their live-performance failed to invoke any kind of excitement for me.
THE BREAKDOWNS were reminiscent of a rock and roll Greenday. They had good vocals and some really nice melodies, and their songs were upbeat and catchy but three tracks in they began to sound a little bit samey.
MY LATEST NOVEL, a Glaswegian alternative/indie quintet sounded promising, they reminded me a little of Longview. I would definitely invest in their CD but found their music a little bit too mellow to stand and listen to.
OI VA VOI were a vibrant wake-up call. Gorgeous vocals and all round very vivacious, energetic and lively.
BEARDYMAN has to be seen to be believed. A one man beatbox, the sounds he makes are quite extroadinary. A little something different for the weekend and highly entertaining!
ASH GRUNWALD, an acoustic/folk rock one man band from Australia was like a breath of fresh air. Definitely one to look out for live. Fantastic music and incredibly entertaining, he managed to get the whole tent tapping along
to his bluegrass sounds.
MYSTERY JETS…WOW. Absolutely brilliant performance. Had the crowds singing along to their hit tracks, ‘Young Love’ and ‘Two Doors Down’, I even had a little boogie!
IDLEWILD had a tough job after they were bumped up to the headlining slot to replace The Streets after their bassist came down with the dreaded Swine Flu. It was a slot that they easily filled playing a wide range of songs from their
discography, old and new. They were an absolute pleasure to watch live.
HER NAME IS CALLA were fantastic. A 6-piece layering everything from an accordion, banjo and synths to guitars, a magnus organ and a violin! Their haunting, melancholy music with vocals reminiscent of Thom Yorke, keeps you
transfixed throughout as each song builds from a slow, dazing, lull to a kick-your-teeth out crescendo.
DUMBFOUND – Regrettably, we only caught the last song of this Leicester based band. An impressive progressive/indie 3-piece who draw comparisons with Elbow. Nice vocals (a case of small guy, big voice!) and a fantastic drummer
who not only produced clean, accentuated drum-beats but who was also very animated himself.
THE FRONTIERS a Notts based indie/alternative band had good potential for what could progress into great stage presence. Good vocals with catchy riffs. I felt that they had an element of the Arctic Monkeys about them, overall a good set.
KAV was pretty much middle-of-the-road rock. I got bored fairly quickly, a performance that failed to captivate me at all. I resorted to drawing on leaves…
BROKEN RECORDS reminded me of a mellower The Airborne Toxic Event. They have very similar vocals but with a slower tempo and much more dolorous sound.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB were gorgeous. Fantastically upbeat yet mellow music, perfect for lounging about enjoying the sunshine on what was a deliciously lazy Saturday afternoon!
THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT unfortunately clashed with Frank Turner I was only able to stay for a song and a half, so captivated was I by their performance that on that very same evening I purchased tickets to one of their gigs. Stunning vocals and music that remains upbeat, even with pensive undertones.
FRANK TURNER was by far the absolute highlight of my weekend. I’ve always loved Frank T from the moment I heard ‘Reasons Not To Be An Idiot’ and seeing him live just made me fall in love even more. The Rising Tent was rammed full of people dancing and singing along. It was quite simply a brilliant performance. He comes across as very down to earth, and one of those guys that everyone can get along with, and he very clearly enjoys himself on stage which made it an even more ineffable set.
SHORTWAVE FADE delivered a somewhat lacklustre performance. The vocals weren’t too great and the music just seemed to lack balls! Taking into account the nerves that would come from opening a festival main stage as a relatively unknown band makes me curious to see them in a more intimate setting. Their recordings are a lot more appealing and hark towards a more indie Jimmy Eat World.
MAYBESHEWILL are a fantastic instrumental band from Leicester. They livened things up on the main stage with a nice mix of thrashy guitar riffs, inventive layering and backing sounds that all merged together to produce a rather pleasing cacophony.
BON IVER was both beautiful and relaxing. A stunning voice and an overall ambrosial performance.
THE ZUTONS rounded off the weekend with their Sunday night headline slot that had the masses bopping around and singing along.
It was interesting to experience a festival in an urban setting, and such a family orientated one. But it was because of this that created the laid back, chilled out atmosphere that was consistently present. I had a fantastic weekend and the wide range of artists and genres that performed meant that there was something for everyone.