Showing posts with label Summer Sundae. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer Sundae. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Sundae 2012 - Sunday (excluding choir) - delayed horribly!

Of course Sunday for me was all about the Choir (see other post), but there were still some musical highlights to accompany live performing by a collection of people who had 4 hours to rehearse 6 songs (as opposed to 12 weeks to rehearse 10/11 songs as with BeVox!  Though obviously the BeVox standard is able to be MUCH higher).

Anyway: Sunday at Summer Sundae started with breakfast at the Lansdowne before we wandered in for a cuppa tea.  Sadly this meant we missed having spotted in the programme small print that there was a Barbershop a cappella band called the Simpletones singing in the tent.  Boo - would have liked to have seen them properly, especially as I later found them serenading Neil with a rendition of the 'Ghostbusters' song as Neil was wearing his 'Last Exit to Nowhere' t-shirt!

We saw The Staves - three sisters who sweltered under the hot lights of the tent.  They were fantastic and wonderfully harmonious, but there were some hilarious moments as whistling was revealed as a substitute for guitar-playing, and another confessed she had sweat running down her back.  "We usually laugh when we get offered towels for being on stage - not today" they said.

It was also possible to catch Team Me, another Scandi highlight of the weekend.  Great tunes and harmonies and quirky sounds and titles.  Liked it a lot.

One of the benefits of getting backstage to go onto the main stage for the choir performance was seeing John Lydon wheeling his suitcase from the tour-bus...

After the choir, Neil and I caught the end of Billy Bragg's tribute to Woody Guthrie (hurrah).  Always good, and the infinite flexibility of "Waiting for the great leap forward" came through again.  Always able to be updated: "Some people say that girls should be quiet; I wanna say 'Free Pussy Riot'!"

Anyway, apologies for anything missed: I'll aim to finish this post asap.  Apologies for the delay so far!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Sundae 2012 - the Choir!

Well, yes, so having joined BeVox earlier in the year, I thought I should keep my hand in with singing over the summer by volunteering for the 'scratch choir' at Summer Sundae.

Summer Sundae started having a choir - put together from scratch with people attending the festival - a couple of years ago: I'd seen them in rehearsal and/or caught part of their performances and had a urge then but not the nerve.  This year I bit the bullet and joined!

So we first met at with the wonderful Hannah who leads the choir at 7pm on the Friday - spent the best part of 20 mins warming up and stuff and approx 40 mins actually singing.  Eek!  We had a two hour rehearsal on the Saturday morning from 10am-12noon in the indoor stage (De Montfort Hall - on the floor level, with no allowance for seats (very grumpy security refused to let us move chairs), limited lighting (til one of the guys stood on a chair to adjust how the spot lights lit things a little better) and ultimately the crew on the stage setting up for the next act (not due on until 12.35 - one of the choir eventually asked 'politely' if they could wait til we'd finished rehearsing as we couldn't hear ourselves!).

We finally met on the Sunday evening at 5pm for a rehearsal til approx. 6.30pm when we were allowed to head to the backstage area of the MAIN OPEN AIR STAGE!  We trooped on at 6.40pm as planned to an awaiting crowd (far larger than I think any of us anticipated .... and then had to wait another 10 mins for the sound people to finish setting everything up.  Grr!

Whee!  It was a blast.  And you can inflict the sound on yourselves as well if you so want!

Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 1: A-le
Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 2: Somewhere only we know
Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 3: Down to the river to pray
Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 4: Somebody that I used to know 

  Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 5: Ain't no mountain high enough
Summer Sundae Choir 2012: song 6: King of the Swingers

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Sundae 2012 Saturday

So, up early to have breakfast at the hotel with (well, on the next table to) Asian Dub Foundation.

Okay, so we only realised that AFTERWARDS, but hey.

I had to dash off early as I had Choir practice from 10-12 noon: would have been good if the staff on the gates hadn't looked at me like I'd landed from Mars when I went to go in, but hey!

Finally we got set up on the floor of the Indoor stage, weren't allowed to bring chairs in to sit on, the crew doing soundchecks for bands not due on stage til 12.35pm, and us trying to hear ourselves think!

Bit hairy, but we managed.

The choir then went over to the Leicester College pop-up tent studio where we recorded one of the tracks we would sing on stage on the Sunday: after some negotiation with the nearby volleyball/energy drink company stand, we got enough quiet to do the recording.  Hopefully will follow!

I then went over to join Neil in the HOT 'Into the Wild' tent to see the end of Hip-Hop Shakespeare.  Akala is great ambassador and performer of Shakespeare inspired material. And he always has great female vocalists with him too.

We probably should have gone to see Savages or even Tim Edey and Brendon Power, but instead we drank tea in the sun.  Well it hasn't often happened this year!

We listened to a bit of Dog is Dead from the main stage in the background of food, but 'twas nothing special.  Molotov Jukebox however were great - very lively fun!

We then skipped indoors to catch the wonderful Agnes Obel with accompanying strings - mmmm, spotting a pattern yet! - again, some technical difficulties getting the monitors right for everyone on stage, but really lovely stuff.   We did a bit of Friends in the background and then saw Micachu and the Shapes ---- this time without them having to wait for an age for some crazy Isrealis to stop tearing the indoor stage apart!

We then saw a bit of Speech Debelle - laughing like seals as she called out to the seats in the back of the tent "are you all okay in Seaworld?" and generally pleading with the lighting guys to keep the very bright lights off as "we're rotisserie!"

We then went back indoors to see the incomparable Jonathan  Richman.

He may prone to ignoring his extensive back catalogue (and who could blame him not wanting to drag back 30+ years to old material) but he had the audience in the palm of his hand.  Mad lyrics, crazy dancing, a brief flirtation with Egyptian Reggae for the fans, and just general FUN.  A great experience.

We then scampered back to the tent for most of Akala's own set (after he fronted the Hip-Hop Shakespeare session). Always brilliant and LOVE joining in on the 'conducting strings' on "Comedy Tragedy History' which he did with a fuller backing band here.  AWESOME reaction to 'absolute power' as well: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but absolute powerlessness does the same."

We then took in a bit of Adama Ant et al - "Prince Charming" is still awesome! - and the headed indoors for something I was really looking forward to seeing: the amazing voice and style of Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs

Garbus is an incredible performer - again with pedals and loops and stuff.

Sorry - links etc to follow.

Summer Sundae 2012 - Friday

Well the day started early with me getting my hair done!

Neil then contacted me to say he could come to town to have lunch with me before I got the train to Leicester for Summer Sundae 2012.

We had a lovely meal at French Living in Nottingham, and then it was back to work for Neil and off to festival land for Lisa.

After a wander - and discovering my beloved 'summer burrito' stall wasn't there this year! *boo-hoo* - I strolled off to catch Bowerbirds.  I especially liked their new song which included the line "I still believe in a brighter day".

I then headed from 'Into the Wild' (the tent stage) to the Indoor stage (this year known as the Crocodile Lagoon) to see Loney Dear because I really like a bit of multi-instrument and multi-vocal pedal-created performance.

Emil Svanangen (for it is he) is Swedish - part of a significant Scandi contingent for the festival.  Very lovely and spooky.  I caught a bit of Clock Opera, but wasn't taken enough to loiter so headed to see Francois and the Atlas Mountains --- only, the French Atlas Mountains were on holiday, so we got instead a different set of fine musicians to accompany Francois including the brilliant drummer from Camera Obscura!  Neil joined me in the HOT tent - hurrah!

We then headed to the (even hotter) 'Watering Hole' tent - the main bar - where we were to watch the lovely Tiny Ruins.  Hampered by APPALLING sound engineering (seriously one of the downsides of too many of the acts) they nevertheless were utterly charming and it was only the need to attend the Summer Sundae choir rehearsal that stopped me staying to meet them afterwards.  Delightful stuff.  I'll try and add a pic later!

I'd have liked to have seen Ghostpoet but the clash of the choir rehearsal put pay to that concept.  Grr.  Nevertheless, we did see about half of Asian Dub Foundation (who we then found in the breakfast room of the hotel we were staying in!) and we then headed inside for Patrick Wolf.

Oh. My. Life.

Wolf was just astonishing.  Beautiful, accompanied by three wonderful string-instrument players (violins, cello, harp - plus a saw) he swept away the audience.  Just breathtaking.

Nothing could beat that so it was back to the ranch to freshen up and sleep.  I had another early start the next day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bellowhead at Summer Sundae 2011

Very short snippet videos but at least they're up! Thanks to the person who shot these.

If you see a woman with red hair dancing near the front - that was me!

Here's my pics:

And here's my little video!

Summer Sundae 2011 overview

Over the course of our weekend at Summer Sundae there was a lot of music in passing, in the background, tasted and moving on. I'll deal with those first on each days list. Hopefully I will add links but if not, hey Google is a pretty good search engine!

Just to say, Neil bought a stetson.

Yes: Stetsons Are Cool.

Passing stuff: Other Lives, Wolf People, By the Rivers, Givers, The Bees, Graham Coxon and The Maccabees.

King Creosote and Jon Hopkins - Gentle, beautiful and utterly melodic. Soothing stuff. And I was right at the indoor stage barrier. Great performances.

Portico Quartet - The highlight of Friday for sure: just brilliant musicianship.

Toots and the Maytals - Packed the Indoor stage at De Montford. Really got the place excited.

Shonen Knife - yeah, I KNOW, I KNOW... but they clashed with Portico and it was a tough call. I need Hermione's hour glass thing.

Passing stuff: The Rasoodocks, I am in Love, Showaddywaddy (yes, they are warbling away), We Three and the Death Rattle (though we did see most of their set), The Jim Jones Revue (yeah, again, sorry, but the acoustics did nothing for them), Little Comets (fair portion of their set), Reef (hard to miss 'Place Your Hands'), Dizreali and the Small Gods (didn't catch enough of them but they were great and worth buying their self-produced CD), Teddy Thompson, comedy from Rob Rouse, bit of Newton Faulkner.

Rachel Rose Reid @ Curiosity Corner - definitely one of the best locations for unusual entertainment this year, Curiosity Corner was a gem. Spoke Word and folk songstress Rachel Rose Reid was a lovely ease-in to day 2.

Gallery 47 - a Nottingham Uni student! Very good guitar player and song-writer

Galli Galli Theatre @ Curiosity Corner - a Victorian Melodrama called "Fretting Fanny's Forlorn Forage for Friendly Fumblings". The title should tell you everything about how mad this was!

Beth Jeans Houghton (and the Hooves of Destiny) - her hair alone is worth watching! Despite some technical problems (a broken string!) they were suitably off-beat and with heavy cursing lyrics too.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - not as good as I hoped but passably pleasant

Bellowhead!!!!! (see separate post) - Well - I had a VERY good time (and probably lost half a stone in sweat dancing!)

Pete and the Pirates - Bloody excellent. First heard the song 'Half Moon Street' when the lead singer did it with his side band Tap Tap, but the song is just AWESOME and I really like their style and lyrics. Even Neil was won over as they did a storming set in the Rising stage.

I Am Kloot - Sadly no where near as well attended as it could have been, they were nevertheless wonderful to see. Opening with their own special 'The Sky at Night' intro from Sir Patrick Moore, Singer, they were lushly lovely. Drink-inspired and self-reflective analysis of life and love ("and disaster"). John Bramwell was on fine vocal form - and it was nice to catch his warm up vocalising, letting his natural crooner style find voice with the likes of 'Fly Me to the Moon'. Opening with 'Northern Skies' was delicious...

Passing Stuff: Austin Francis Connection ("Everybody Knows Dave") - ridiculously good fun...

More passing stuff (Sunday)....Dark Dark Horse (dull), The Swines, The Antlers (rubbish), The Black Atlantic (sorry I missed most of them - they sounded pretty damn good actually - see video below)

More passing stuff again (Sunday)...Summer Sundae Choir, C.W. Stoneking, The Cuban Brothers, start of Kitty Daisy and Lewis (too tired: had to leave)

Harp for Hangovers @ Curiosity Corner - gentle harp based versions of Blur (The Universal), Jefferson Airplane (Don't You Want Somebody to Love) and The Beatles (Come Together) etc. Very gentle!

My First Tooth - quite jolly pop band from Northampton with nice sing-a-long style. Plus lively violin playing.

Maniere Des Bohemiens - Nottingham band of French-flavoured Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli style music. Perfect summer afternoon fare!

The Leisure Society - wonderful as ever, if not getting the support they needed being placed on the Outdoor stage. I enjoyed them very much.

The Dead Victorians @ Curiosity Corner - mad music hall from four Victorian Gentlemen (of suitably varying heights. Eyebrow solos, tongue solos and madness ranging from 'The Pizza Song' to "If I can't have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot I'll have a cup of tea". Sadly, I knew all the words already. I had a very odd upbringing!

Dutch Uncles - bosting! Angular pop. Plus a fine version of Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Think a Sparks style of vocal but with more dancing. Quirky fun.

Warpaint - packed the Indoor stage out for quite a while. Much deserved Grrl guitar musicality and perfect harmonies.

Example - we didn't intend to but with the sun going down, the crowd bouncing and a vibrant energy, we couldn't help but enjoy!

Missed: Everything, Everything. Wasn't quite in the mood for falsetto. Plus we ran away before McFly kicked off, and the collective squeals deafened everything in Leicester.

There's a nice review - mostly Nottingham focused - of Summer Sundae from the excellent LeftLion site.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Sundae 2010 - Sunny Sunday! 15 August

***Still a Work in Progress! (but nearly done!***

Bliss! The sun is out! - BBC pictures here for Sunday at Summer Sundae 2010. We start the day with breakfast at the Landsdowne bar which serves around 30+ people a much deserved sit-down breakfast in the midst of the festival.

With sunlight greeting the final day of Summer Sundae, it was definitely a day for enjoying the sun as much as the music. Nevertheless, we kicked off things with most of the set of David Gibb [and the Pony Club] putting in a charming local performance (he's from Derby!) and setting the folk-esque tone for the day. This was followed up with the Red Shoe Diaries, more local music as they;re from Nottingham. Getting the right balance of local music and those from further afield is hard: it could go too far, but its nice to hear good music from the local area. Very inspired by Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian but I'm hardly likely to complain about those influences am I? So I offer up my money for a very home produced CD and am very pleased about lending a hand to local talent.

As the sun continues to shine in fearsome defiance of the previous days rain, we revel in cider/beer and sitting about. The Guthlaxtones pump out some mighty and fearsome covers of classic soul/funk/pop from the 70s and 80s, the Summer Sundae Choir rehearse for the last time, and we enjoy the hilarious spectacle of a 14 year-old girl locating and berating her father.
Girl: "Dad! What do you think you're doing?!"
Dad (had been sitting reading his Observer newspaper)
Girl: "You were supposed to meet us at the Rising Tent!"
Dad (starts to get up, calmly and casually folding his paper)
Girl: "God! You can be such a child!"
Ah, the moral certainty of the 14 year old girl...

We peer in through the back of the Musician Tent to watch the crowd whooping it up the YMCA from The Guthlaxtones (I really think they should have had the big stage)

Anyway, after that fun, we took in the pleasure of Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, sadly without Laura Marling (who he duets with on his recent album 'Been Listening') but its clear evidence of his style. Perfect for the summer sun.

Megafaun had come over from South Carolina (as we were reminded often), but they were GREAT fun. Bearded, folky, rocky, and generally just great entertainment. From the same stable as Bon Iver (which may give some idea of their style. They would randomly go acoustic in the middle of their songs and wander around and into the audience much to our general delight. They had a a great 'devil-may-care' attitude about many things, not least their records. "We have an album out... but we don't have it for sale here because we couldn't afford to get it through customs. You can just steal it from the internet. That's fine. Unless you;re our record company, in which case, but it. But mostly you can just steal it. You can always buy it from iTunes, which is kinda halfway between the two..." Genius!

After such excitement, we couldn't really be bothered with Junip (but then Jose Gonzales has singularly failed to capture my imagination on any of his previous turns at Summer Sundae). Instead we ducked indoors for a brief encounter with Errors (previously watched with the George at Summer Sundae). Fine, but we were getting in gear for one of our anticipated highlights - The Low Anthem.

From my first hearing of 'Charlie Darwin', it was hard not to love The Low Anthem. When their rockier hoe-down side came to light via the album it was both a shock and pleasure. So we were really looking forward to seeing them at Summer Sundae.

We planted ourselves near the stage: a good thing as at one point the mike stopped working (Ballboy suffered a similar fate at IndieTracks) but it didn't really deter The Low Anthem who just promptly moved into acoustic mode. Beautiful for those of us close to the stage who dropped to a hushed attentiveness to capture their talents. Gorgeous.

It was a stunning performance, even though at the end the band apologized for their "sloppy performance", but I knew what would get to me, and that was when they sang 'Charlie Darwin'. I'm sorry but it is SUCH a wonderful song: the harmonies are like angels. Not ashamed to say I had tears rolling down my cheeks at that.

I didn't think much would top that before the magnificent Mumford and Sons hit the finale, but I was pretty much proved wrong.

David Ford first hit my radar via a Word magazine compilation - it featured the heartbeaking 'A Long Time Ago' and from that I was sold. I've played the song MANY times. So I wasn't going to miss the chance of seeing him here. We got far more than we bargained for, thanks to a grumpy local church causing the postponement of his performance with the band. But this is David Ford. He doesn't let that hold him back despite the fact that one of his songs is called Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck): it's actually a heartening song!

Anyway. Having been infuriated into walking away - "hopefully we'll be on in an hour" - I stumbled back from the toilets to find... he's just sitting there singing! He proceeds to sing his way through several songs, roping in the audience on tambourine etc for percussive effect and some gentle bongo playing from one of his band members. He nevertheless gives the impromptu set real vigour: we're an addicted crowd, many knowing his work.

We even had a sing-a-long to 'kumbaya' ("what do Christians sing?") and much amusement at his delight when the compere (from the Musician venue of Leicester who sponsor the tent) offered to make him a coffee.

He ended his acoustic set by coming down into the crowd and proceeded to sing 'Stephen' which he acknowledged as 'probably the saddest song ever' -- I couldn't help spotting a couple just by where he stopped: he with his arms around he, she near tears. Understandable as it is truly one of the most moving tracks you could hope to hear in such a setting (it was dedicated to Kate Carroll and her husband Stephen who was a Catholic policeman murdered by the Continuity IRA earlier in 2009. David has said that he was moved to write the song after hearing Stephens widow talking in a TV interview where she said "I hope these people are listening and if they just realised that we only get one chance at life and a piece of land is a piece of land.)

(I spoke to the couple who had been so moved by his performance of "Stephen" - I knew it must have made their festival, not just the acoustic set, but to end on that particular track. A lovely moment. They'd only seen him when he supported The Low Anthem on tour earlier this year, never having heard him before then. But they won't forget Summer Sundae in a hurry).

After that, David Ford took a well-deserved break before - he'd done an acoustic set for the best part of 40 mins and then he came back to do a shortened full-set with his band. What a bonus. Okay, so he had to reject requests for songs already done in the acoustic performance (we'd had a spikey 'State of the Union' for example) but I don't think anyone left that performance unimpressed. A real festival highlight.

(even worth missing Los Campesinos!)

Frightened Rabbit (25 mins)

Mumford and Sons are one of those bands whose time has been coming for a LONG while: another 6Music find (of course), they were inevitably many people's highlight. Indeed, they were no doubt a big reason why the Sunday tickets sold out first.

Arty photo of Mumford and Sons!

Summer Sundae pictures - miscellaneous nonsense

Here are just some of the mad sights of Summer Sundae 2010

Red person. Don't ask

French Lobsters. As you do...

Sand Art

Neil and Lisa at summer sundae 2010

Neil hula hooping...

Summer Sundae 2010 - Soggy Saturday 14 August

And the rain continued...

Oh well, at least the music kept going and our spirits were not entirely demoralised. And they had ordered more matting so at least some extra space wasn't a quagmire...

After breakfast butties in town, we dodged the showers and I ended up buying a new coat. Hurrah!

Lisa in her new Goth coat

After that we took a stride up the hill and into the festival just in time to catch the arrival of Gaggle: hard not to love a 20+ female choir strutting out harmonic versions of punk classics.

After, and in view of the rain, we headed to the Rising tent to catch Black Carrot. Described in the Summer Sundae brochure as
Surely Market Harboroughís most ëout thereí band, Black Carrot are a vibrant quintet who perform dirty new-wave krautrock jazz madness that oozes rock with a psychotic edge. Ploughing their own furrow for the last ten yearís their music is a fierce and abstract brew, with nods towards Beefheart, Soft Machine and Pere Ubu but shot through with flavours of New York jazz skronk. Theyíve received high praise from their heroes (Faust) and right across the leftfield music press (BBC Radio 3ís sorely missed Mixing It, Wire, Artrocker). A third album is imminent. They are a must for Fall fans at the festival too.
(We realised afterwards we had actually had some tracks courtesy of the lovely George - who else!? - which was probably why a couple of tracks sounded familiar!)

We then mooched about, taking on food, and listening to the rehearsals for the Summer Sundae Choir. Very good fun, but they were a lot braver than us! Time for some more alcohol!



Oncoming storm

We then wandered to the main stage but quickly dashed into the nearby Musician tent as a torrent of rain fell from the sky: this meant we caught the last four songs of John Butler, who despite excited cries from the compere of the tent ("Scrap Mumford and Sons, John Butler should headline!") wasn't all THAT great. Ex-Diesel Park West he may be, but...

Others were less impressed with The Moulettes taking to the main outdoor stage, but personally I thought it was lovely to see them getting such an opportunity. having delighted in their charms at The Big Session, I thought they deserved their moment (just a shame it wasn't quite as sunny as they warranted).

The Moulettes living it up on the big stage!

Still, no time to waste as I really wanted to ensure I grabbed a place for The Leisure Society who were playing the Musician Tent (it was PACKED).

I fell in love with The Leisure Society via - guess what? - 6Music. Harmonies, strings, melancholy. Just what this girl loves.

It is hard not to be thoroughly invigorated by the uplifting charm of The Leisure Society. For example, they may say they're never going to do their cover of Gary Numan's 'Cars' again, but bands say such things all the time and when a cover is this good, it's worth keeping. And to prove they ain't just fey, their rock out finale of The Sleeper really got us cheering.

After that we headed inside for some chilled out Laura Veirs. Phew.

LV was in fine form, supported by guitars, mandolins and violins. After a swift wander for air, we then settled into upstairs seats for Tunng who quite frankly were VERY strutty.

After seeing a rather nervous Tunng on the main stage at our first Summer Sundae, it was wonderful to see how they have grown (wonder if they still found time for fish and chips?). There was plenty of wiggy dancing and quirky noise.

We'd enjoyed Stornoway at the Big Session, but in some ways they were even nicer to see on the main outdoor stage - even though Summer Sundae wasn't quite the right audience to do 'We are the Battery Human".

After that, and more food, we headed to the Rising Stage for Fool's Gold. At time ultra pretentious LA white boys doing funk/world music, they nevertheless made good enough use of their racial diversity to bring it off eventually. If they guitarist can tone his posing down, then they'd be even more enjoyable live.

Over the rest of the day we caught some of The Go! Team (in passing), but along with a significant number of others, it was all systems heading to the Indoor Stage for The Fall. Would the mighty Mark E Smith turn up? Would he play? How long for?

We needn't have worried.

Sweeping the Nation said it best:
Tinchy Stryder was headlining outside, but the action was never going to be there. Having never seen the Fall live but read a lot about it we were pleased that, fighting and walking off early apart, everything we expected to happen happened - Mark E Smith twiddling with the amps, wandering with vague purpose around the stage, singing with his back to the audience, getting out his scraps of A4 for lyric advice, having a go at Eleni's keyboard during Blindness before slinging one of the four mikes he tried out (sound engineering the Fall must be a high pressured job in itself) into the front row. Oh, and also that the current Fall are a shit-hot proposition, garage Krautrock with menace, tight as you like and blessed with great sound helping them thunder through. Of course the hardcore filled the first few rows and the sixteen year old girls decided on unilateral early exits, and of course there were no Fall originals from before the last ten years (Frankie & the Heartstrings had played a snatch of How I Wrote Elastic Man between songs after Frankie told how one of them had bumped into Mark E), but you wouldn't have it any other way.

After that, we couldn't face the shrieks of the Stryder crew, so we stumbled on back to the hotel for a sarnie and a cuppa.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Sundae 2010 - Friday 13 August review

Summer Sundae arrivals can be strange things: this was the first year Neil and I had arrived together (usually I get the Friday off work and travel in alone with Neil following me after leaving work a bit early).

This year, due to us taking the TRULY idle option of staying in a hotel for the duration (not even bothering to travel home to our own beds), we both had the day off and tried to allow time to travel in and get checked in the hotel. However, the trains were a bit chaotic so we didn't get to Leicester til after 2pm - convenient for check in, but I was getting hungry by now...

Thankfully a summer burrito fixed that (I had three over the course of the event. Yummy!) and a pint of cider helped too (though see Pleasures and Gripes)

First up on our viewing was Kirsty Almeida, whose promotional stickers were many and popular. Bringing a kind of voodoo Southern Gothic style pop to the situation, she kicked of the festival for us with a bang (even dropping in a neat cover of Plan B's widely circulating "She Said"). Kirsty had great shoes as well.

After that, we wandered over for some of the New Doors-esque tunes of Erland and the Carnival. Highly enjoyable and plenty of woozey 60's psych organ work to charm.

We then loitered a bit and caught some of The Sunshine Underground as we wandered. Nothing to really grab the guts though...

We next nipped indoors for some of the chilled out vocal work of Lou Rhodes, formerly vocalist with Lamb (whose track Gorecki remains a much played track in my collection).

Anyway. Long-since solo, Lou appeared at Summer Sundae with a fabulous double-bass player (Jon Thorne?) who sadly had to run - with his bass! - to catch a train two tracks before the end of her set. Notably Lou politely but firmly requested the audience shut up talking during her songs (there is a quiet melancholy to her work and yaddering doesn't suit any performer, let alone a quiet one). She got big enough cheers and claps for taking on the chattering but it's inevitably to little avail. I wish people would think about WHY they come in to see/hear the music. What's the point if you're going to talk right through it?!

Teenage Fanclub
have been going since... well forever it feels. With their sunny-ish guitar pop they can weave their way into your heart easily. Coming in with grunge and the tail ending of baggy (as per the Fannies MySpace page), they've nevertheless retained all their verve and delight. Now more of an occasional than regular project, they've nevertheless come back with Shadows and some really top notch tunes. I don't think I was the only one to shriek with delight when they started up 'Baby Lee' (first heard played by Norman Blake on Marc Riley a LONG while ago) but at the time I felt as if I had confused those around me with my delight!

Ending with a cracking collection - Everything Flows, Sparky's Dream and The Concept - the band was a hit despite the drizzle and frankly dismal weather overseeing the set. A shame: just imagine how it would have been with a sunset...

We then, for reasons best known to someone other than us, meandered over to the Comedy tent where we caught most of the act of Junior Simpson. Sometimes amusing but you do wonder about people bringing in small/young children to a festival comedy tent...

We should then have perched ourselves for Seasick Steve, but despite there being a lovely logic to him headlining the main stage, we're still treasuring his turns a couple of years ago when we saw Seasick Steve in the much more intimate surroundings of the Musician Tent. We caught some of his 2010 performance, but we were getting worn down by the weather of the day by now.

We then tried to take in some Roots Manuva, but frankly we couldn't muster up enthusiasm to stay.

Shame on us, we tripped down the hill, bag of chips to sustain us, and fell into our hotel bed.