Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer Sundae 14-16 August 2009 (a review in bullet points for brevity)

Good things about Summer Sundae 2009 (general)
  • It didn't rain - hooray for sun!
  • It clinched more space from Victoria Park so there was more room to walk about and the sound clash from the various stages was less pronounced
  • The Garden was relaxing if you wanted some peace and quiet... ha ha albeit with lots of screaming children having a pillow fight
  • Now the Charlotte is gone Summer Sundae is one of Leicester's few hopes of seeing new bands and it did not disappoint!!
  • The Streets got swine flu so Idlewild jumped to headline!!
Bad things about Summer Sundae 2009 (general)
  • Having to avoid psycho ex-housemates
  • Disorientation caused by a larger site to play about in
  • Electronica largely absent this year - too much reliance on guitar and whiny folk singers, get rid!
  • Some strange choices of time-tabling
  • Constant queues in the Ladies toilets (but when doesn't that happen???)
Notable bands at Summer Sundae (in no real order of preference)
  • Wild Beasts - the mad poets of Kendal were glorious. These guys deserve to be HUGE - who else would dare sing sweetly choir boy about diverse and unpleasant (ahem) subjects as snogging drunken in alleys, yobs on a night out, fathers being ignored by the courts and the sordid dreams of shiny-shoed men?? I lost my heart in that tent
  • Idlewild - thanks to the defection of The Streets Idlewild were promoted (thank goodness) to headliners and gave a rollicking set of over an hour despite being unprepared for it, although the passion and anger of former years has definitely mellowed (but that's what you get for being over 30)
  • Minnaars - described as math rock crossed with indie dance not sure exactly what that means but definitely exuberant and kicking the retro guitar-synth into the twenty-first century, set the tone whereby younger bands put some of the more established bands to shame for their sheer panache and verve
  • The Kabeedies definitely get a mention for the best on-stage banter of the festival, not sure their sound is doing anything new but fun all the same like swallowing a whole bag of minstrels in one go
  • The Charlatans - Tim Burgess just stepped out of his time machine looking like he had never left the 90s. Like Idlewild the Charlatans rose to the occasion with the right amount of nostalgia / new song ratio and invited the crowd to feel touched by the wonder of their presence (or something like that) - anyway it proved that clunky Oasis stole the crown that should have belonged to the Charlatans
  • Kevin Hewick proved that people over 50 do not have to be staid and boring and can lie on the stage playing their guitar with their teeth. But only just.
  • Monotonix defy any kind of description except they are completely bonkers - playing scuzzed-up dirty rock and roll IN the audience - a security guard's nightmare they must be - moving their instruments around, only wearing pants, chucking water, hairy and sweaty, leaping off balconies, a drummer who is the personification of Animal - audience participation to the max and proving that it can be done. Monotonix I salute you
  • Ou est le swimming pool - strange sartorial decisions abounded (bat-winged cardigan with nowt underneath? tank-top gym wear? check shirt and hairband with moustache? Shirt and jacket like dodgy club promoter?) kind of wonky pop by a boy band who hate each other's guts
  • The Cheek - are they the new Menswear of the twenty-first century? Or is there something brewing in their heads which will blow us all away with its total awesomeness? Only time will tell but there was a good attempt at feigning aloofness whilst trying not to laugh as the sweat drips from the chin
The disappointments
  • Mystery Jets - pretty dull really except for their one good song about being in love with a girl who lives two doors down, since they sacked the Dad it seems to have gone downhill
  • The Domino State - wanted to sound like Echo and the Bunnyman and the Chameleons, sounded more like Richard Ashcroft without the Verve, bloated and dull
  • Broken Records - unforgettable folk whining, the first of many
  • St Etienne - it was amazing to finally see Sarah Cracknell in the flesh and with a feather boa but there was something lacking in the performance, bit flat and they only played one really really good song, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, the rest was slightly drivel (sorry)
  • Bon Iver - less said about this the better as only more whiny folk. Should have been on in the day not the evening, its like getting a sparkler and it fizzing out before it even starts
  • The Zutons - like Bon Iver it makes me feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with my brain - both these bands are so popular but they just leave me cold. Zutons had no warmth no sparkle just sounded conventional and adding nothing to the musical lexicon - very disappointing ending to Summer Sundae this year
Bands I should have seen / seen more of
  • 65daysofstatic - VERY VERY LOUD but sounded promising
  • Micachu and the Shapes - clashed with The Cheek and our allegiance was to the boys from Suffolk
  • Hugh Cornwall - punk and post-punk relic
  • Future of the Left
Ou est le swimming pool prove that sartorial decisions are not their strong point

The Charlatans - effortlessly good

The Kabeedies - blurred but bouncy

Someone forgot to inform the drummer about the visual aesthetic - Minnaars

The Wild Beasts - obliterated by light and poor camera on mobile phone

The best way to see (and hear) the Zutons - slightly out of focus

Yawn, yawn - Bon Iver

Suffolk's finest - The Cheek