Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer Sundae 2007 - Saturday

Saturday's line-up looked equally promising, with plenty of enjoyment ahead. So it proved, especially with a ladel load of sunshine in the mix for the second day in a row. Woo-hoo!

We finally tootled over to Leicester and got there just after lunch, missing some of the early bird sets by the likes of trying-WAY-too-hard-to-be-a-typical-indie-rock-stud band, The Displacements*. However, we were in perfect time to grab a front row barrier stance for Kitty, Daisy and Lewis. Reading their biog as being teenager siblings doing rockability with accordian, double bass, hawaiian guitar etc, we thought it would be fun.

WOAH! They were storming! By the end of song two they had drawn everyone from everywhere with their hip-swinging 50s zip. With Dad Graeme and mum Ingrid on guitar and double bass respectively, they stormed the afternoon with an energy that showed their years but talent way beyond what you might expect for their youth. They've previously charmed Blue Peter, Glastonbury and more and deserve to be huge. Definitely the big grin moment of the day (part one). It was no surprise to find the Magic Numbers amongst their fans, as they congregated to the rear of the stage and lapped up the fun. With a mix of hillbilly, rockabilly and general delight infusing their musicianship, it was a thrill to watch. We pleaded for more, but the tight timings denied us, so Buona Sera it was (albeit in the afternoon). Still, they DID get more as later that day they were invited to join the Magic Numbers for the final song of the Saturday night: bummer we were going to miss that...

Anyway, after the highlight of K, D, and L, We then enjoyed a little background music from the likes of the Andy Griffiths Band. We mooched, enjoyed Jazz Jamaica in the sun, had ice-cream and ducked momentarily in the comedy tent (which wasn't very funny). It was time to go indoors and experience a second highlight of the day which was both highly anticipated and yet completely unexpected. That was the Cud experience (an event well deserving its own post - sorry folks!).

After that amount of sheer bonkersness, we had a breather and joined the ever dourly wonderful Malcolm Middleton. Ah, the requisite amount of Scottishness there folks! With fabulous violin accompaniment, his soured lyrics cheered any number of paunching blokes (and me).

One of the bands I really wanted to see was Maps, the live expanded version of Northampton's finest current band. Having first caught them via the hypnotic "Don't Fear" being featured on a Word compilation, I was very keen to see how they translated their dense soundscapes to the live arena. I needn't have feared. Though clearly James has yet to master inter-song banter as well as he manages the electronica equipment he so successfully manipulates ("cheers!" "Ta") they were nevertheless gorgeous to see and hear. The sound enveloped the audience, wrapping us in thick layers of swooping sounds and gently repeated lyrics. With tracks from both their mini-album 'Start Something' and the debut album proper 'We Can Create', the 45 mins we had with them was thrillingly lovely. "To the Sky", "Elouise" "Start Something" and of course "Don't Fear" were all especially wonderful...

Now after this, we should by rights have stuck around for lovely Missy Martha Wainwright. Cloud had caught her Hub performance to join me late for Maps, and I had fancied seeing Rufus's wonderful sister.


Hunger and age overtook us and La Tosca called for a second year for a well-earned sit down and proper food. So it was we missed seeing Martha. So shoot us (please not literally).

By the time we returned, the Sophie was in her full-blown pop princess mode, captivating an extraordinarily substantial element of the diverse audience. Fun while it lasted but I needed something to sooth me and so we dipped in with perfect timing to catch Low's ever-spine-tingling "(That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace". Housed in the cavern-like Hall, the intimacy their work gained in the Rescue Rooms was lost, so as tempting as it was we skipped off for a taster of Simple Kid (alongside the female halves of the Magic Numbers, Michelle and Angela).

After that we were torn. Part of us wanted to be good and experience the noise and energy of !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk), but somehow we were seduced by the cheery happy feel of The Magic Numbers. Gosh, darn it, they really are just bundles of fun. And we saw that Graeme from Kitty, Daisy and Lewis was on stage during the soundcheck/set-up... oooh...

After a few songs, including "Forever Lost", we did nip off for a quick bite of the !!! cherry, but the sun-going down delight of a hot summer's evening with the Numbers was too hard to resist and we went back out: after all, unless we fancied hanging about till the 1am train, we had to leave early anyway to get the train back to Nottm. Grr... Still, at least we got chance to congratulate Lewis and Graeme for the awesome performance earlier in the day and they were very excited about Kitty, Daisy and Lewis getting the chance to do the finale song with the Numbers.

So it was that after a number of sing-a-long hits and more, we had to reluctantly consider leaving. We caught Martha Wainwright starting up a version with the Numbers of 'Some Velvet Morning' in honour of the wonderful and late-departed Lee Hazlewood, but there was no way we dare stay later.

Of course, the train was 5 mins late which meant we could probably have chanced at least another 10 mins extra at the concert, but that would have led to last minute running on an emptying stomach... not good for a Lisa...

A very fine second day indeed.

* After seeing The Displacements around and about the festival and wondering why they - especially the singer - seemed familar but not famous, I remembered where I had last seen his strutty mannerisms: it was during their desperate chat-ups to fawning front row girl fans when they were the 3rd support act to Tilly and the Wall.

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