Sundae 2006 - Sunday
it really Sunday already? That would be my only complaint about this festival
it ends toodamn quickly! Nothing much that can be done about that
of course, but the whole weekend is just such a blast that it seems to
be all over by the time youve blinked a couple of times.
Its been a wonderful event so far, and I really am running out of
superlatives to throw at it, so lets just get on with the job(?)
in hand shall we, and review the festival finale?
First band on today were Firebrand
an English and far less professional version of Hole. No end of
mistakes, possibly due to nerves, were quite blatantly made, and bassist
Sarah comes across more as a Primary School teacher than a rock star.
I guess theyre nice people but they really ought to rehearse a bit
Cassettes, on the other hand, were an impressive, thumping, passionate
indie pop outfit that ought to send both the media and general public
into something of a frenzy. Excellent contagious melodies were confidently
belted out by a band that look set for superstardom in the immediate music
is, of course, an Atomicduster favourite, and he/they didnt disappoint.
Haunting, sometimes creepy, always innovative and occasionally just plain
silly, I think Misterlee went right over some festivalgoers heads.
Its dark and moody, and more leftfield than anything else over the
whole 3 day event. We are lucky to have an act like this in Leicester.
Craft was next, with his Adem style romanticism, which seemed
a bit odd, to be honest, considering Adem himself was to be performing
just two and a half hours later. Still, they were well constructed songs,
if a little plodding at times.
were welcome for several reasons, not least because they provided much
needed shelter from some persistently soggy weather, but also because
they were capable of mesmerising you and rocking your socks off in equal
measure. It was a bit like watching a combination of Midway Still and
Deacon Blue, if you can possibly imagine that, and there was some mighty
fine banter thrown in along the way. The anecdote about the bands
drummer copping off with a vicars daughter and then nearly being
struck by lightning was interpreted by the band as Gods retribution
and raised a chuckle or two!
a whole lot more upbeat than I was expecting, and he had an acoustic swagger
that sounded alarmingly like Coldplay at times, but it was worth staying
in for all the same.
Boy Least Likely To performed admirably, unleashing their brand
of bouncy acoustic pop and wowing the audience with a splendiferous cover
of George Michaels Faith. Something tells me theyre
going to regret that though, if they ever release it. My advice
excellent though it was, DONT!
The Buzzcocks were astonishingly still as edgy and powerful
as they were in their heyday. In fact, you begin to wonder if THIS is
their heyday. Pete Shelleys vocal sounds just the same possibly
even better than it did back in 77 and their new songs have
the same urgency and instantaneous appeal as the old ones. Talking of
the old ones, it was nice to hear some of the less obvious ones being
aired, like Oh Shit and watching Steve Diggle do battle with
his instrument is as entertaining as ever. Great band. Great performance.
completed proceedings in the Indoor tent with an energetic routine
that spanned the last 17 years but, alas, this is one act I didnt
really get to see much of, such was the massive appeal of festival headliners
Belle & Sebastian. But well get to that later.
Power riffs aplenty came from The
Displacements at half past twelve, rendering them a tad lie Stereophonics
at first but eventually sounding about as far away from that as you can
get, before the stupendously brilliant Ego-Armalade
emerged with their tremendous punchy melodic pop songs. This is the next
big Leicester band, I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever about that.
Watch out for them. The fact that the bands vocalist was kicked
out of the event (albeit for a very innocuous comment) is perhaps a sign
of future notoriety which, of course, can only be a good thing
Excuse my manly urges for a moment, for I appear to have written purely
Fit as fuck in my notes for Hayley
Hutchinson but, as I remember, she also had a gorgeous voice which
complemented her beautiful folk-country tunes just perfectly. Im
getting aroused just thinking about it
I think perhaps Ill
West and Truckstop Honeymoon gave us some good ole country
music, us Weekenders were given something of a treat by an amazing
female vocal trio with harmonies to die for. It was like the Puppini Sisters
going country and really was terrific.
Humble apologies to Gary
Potter, as neither I nor my colleague managed to catch his set
for one reason or another, but Paul
Lamb and the Kingsnakes one word WOW. As Pedro Cortina
put it: This is everything I know I hate
and I LOVE it!.
It was like a far more entertaining version of The Blues Brothers with
virtuoso harmonica recitals and high energy audience participation. This
was undoubtedly one of the surprise packages of the weekend and without
question one of the highlights. You MUST see this band.
Hut was how I imagine Travis would sound if they were a purely
acoustic band, but thats not as bad as it sounds, for Hut has a
voice more akin to Antony Hegarty than Healy and somehow that gives his
music the twist it needs.
I was a little disappointed with Token
Of My Affection, who seemed rather tired and generic of everything
thats gone before, so I was relieved when Sophie
Solomon took to the stage with her remarkably manic violin playing
that gave way at other times to Radiohead style morosity. Ive overused
the words moody and atmospheric FAR too much already, but
Im going to have to do it again here!
Eh? My notes here for Absentee
say like an indie Chris Rea with a huge erection what
the hell does THAT mean? Oh, hang on, it says a horn section.
Sheesh, I really ought to get handwriting lessons
unsurprisingly, drew a HUGE crowd to the Jimbeam stage, due in no small
part to his recent top 30 hit Sheila and it cant be
denied that his vivacious enthusiasm was of great appeal. Nice to see
someone making such an effort to win the crowd over, which he duly did.
Love hold great appeal too, but they have to be careful they dont
fall TOO far into the ska-punk trap that has swallowed previously decent
bands up whole within the space of a few months. Fantastic new single
got the ball rolling like a cross between The Cure and Carter USM, but
ultimately sounded more ferocious than that. Pretty good show, but their
vocalist seriously needs to stop telling the audience to Stand up.
That really rubs people up the wrong way
Long Blondes were fun enough and came across like a mid nineties
girl Britpop band whove brought in the rhythm section from Bow Wow
Wow. Hmm thats be The Ants then wouldnt it?
Runner were the first big band of the day and they
were very strong and powerful live. There werent too many diversions
from their recorded output in fact they sound almost identical,
and sometimes I LIKE that. They coped extremely well with the dwindling
crowds due to a sudden downpour and their big sound came across
effectively. The only thing I noticed was that they didnt have a
great deal of stage presence and their music tends to get a bit samey
after a while. You probably already knew that though
If Im totally honest, I was keeping my fingers crossed for a heatwave
when Jose Gonzalez
came on, as I didnt think his music would work without bright sunshine
and everybody lying back dreamily soaking up the rays. How wrong could
I have been? Although we were riddled with that irritating rain that stops
and starts intermittently, the Argentinian proceeded to send shivers down
my spine on more than one occasion with his gorgeously intricate melodies,
and in particular on that line about if the rain stops play
in Heartbeats. Spot on.
Its not often I say this, but I was absolutely blown away by Guillemots.
Sure, they had a bit of a false start with a minor technical hitch (actually
I wouldnt even have noticed if they hadnt told us!) but they
really were sublime. The band soldiered on regardless with an electrifying
set full of the recent familiar singles, epic tracks from Through
The Windowpane and some stunning new material. If youre looking
fo stage presence too, Guillemots have it in bucketloads. Impassioned,
uplifting and exciting, these guys are the best thing about this years
festival. I even made a point of hunting down vocalist Fyfe Dangerfield
to shake his hand and tell him so!
was pretty much what youd expect, but following Guillemots is a
tall order for anyone, and while he weaves his own musical tapestry admirably,
it doesnt quite have the same impact. Still, tender ballads and
Squeeze like compositions made for a nice set rather than
That DID set the festival up nicely for its finale though, and if anyone
who was there was NOT a fan of Belle
& Sebastian before their excellent headline performance, their
heads must surely have been spinning in appreciation by the time the curtain
eventually came down. I must confess I had no idea they would be so entertaining
live, despite my fondness for the band, but they were a delight to watch.
Professional, exuberant and highly amusing, the guys steamrollered through
highlights from The Life Pursuit, If Youre Feeling
Sinister and may other terrific tunes from their other albums. A
particularly satisfying moment came when vocalist Stuart Murdoch whisked
a girl from the audience Springsteen style from the audience
to dance with him, and then mentioned to the crowd afterwards that he
had to apologise for sticking twelve inches of tongue down her throat.
Yes, WE thought he was going to say something else too
Finishing with The Fox In The Snow, I think the vast majority
of the folk who attended the festival would agree that, despite initial
reservations, Belle & Sebastian were the right act to be closing the
event. Full credit to them for making me like them even more!
You what? Go home? I dont WANT to go home!
BAND OF THE DAY GUILLEMOTS
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