Having never done a weekend of Summer Sundae and only having been for the day, I was really looking forward to doing the whole weekend as well as re-experiencing the good vibes I picked up from the festival the year before.
Having seen a few local midlands bands which I wasn’t overly interested by, I then went to see the much hyped 2:54. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy their set, they put a lot of effort into it. It was just that, although they proved to have a few great songs, they also had some songs which weren’t so strong. However, when I spoke to them afterwards (an interview which I would have put up here had I not left it on my phone which is lost somewhere), they did say that they were still in the process of writing the album, so they are still in the very early stages of their career. Perhaps they’ll write some less ‘blah’ songs and the album will be as good as songs like ‘Creeping’ suggest it could be?
Next up, I saw Givers, who I also did a really good interview with but alas, it is also on the missing phone. I did remember what they said though pretty much. Here is what we discussed:
. Touring – They played Field Day, a show with Grouplove the month before and were meant to play another London show but couldn’t because of the riots as far as touring England is concerned. They’d like to come back soon and hopefully will be.
. Album – It’s already been released in America for 2 months but it’s being released here properly in September (I think that’s what they said anyway).
. How they got together – At first they tried to convince me that they met at frog camp (apparently there’s one where they live) but I did not believe this so they just told me they met around town, as bands tend to do.
I can’t remember anything else they said, other than that they were really looking forward to playing the main stage at Summer Sundae.
Givers certainly bought a bit of cheer to what had been a rather depressing week (riot week FYI). Yes, there’s a lot of music out there like it (Vampire Weekend, Cloud Control, Grouplove etc..) but it doesn’t make it any less lovely!
After a brief nap (because you know, all 19 year olds need to have a late afternoon nap), it was time for Graham Coxon. Having never really been a Blur fan, I wasn’t that bothered about seeing him but it turns out he’s actually really good. Well, when I say really good I mean he was an entertaining live performer. He even treated the crowd to a Blur song (I genuinely have no idea which one, I’ve never owned a Blur album in my life time) and they got all excited. He certainly seemed very happy to be onstage which of course, was very endearing and made me like him. He put a lot of effort into his performance and I have a lot of respect for that despite the music he was playing not really being my sort of ‘thing.’
Headlining the Friday night were The Maccabees so we watched them. There were lots of excited 15 year olds around, despite the fact that we worked out that they must have been 11 when the first Maccabees album came out. They were bouncing around like mini Tiggers, some of them were even dressed up as tigers actually, now I come to mention it, therefore they definitely looked like mini Tiggers. This proved just how overrated The Maccabees are, yes, they are cool, goof looking fellows but the music which they make, I think is a little bit hit and miss. I certainly disappointed by their first album but I quite liked their second album but still skip some of the songs on it when I listen to it. However, they were a good booking as they bought in this aforementioned, very young indie crowd.
Saturday morning was not a good time for me as it was when I realised that I’d lost my phone but I managed to attempt to cheer myself up by going to see some poetry. This is another reason why I like Summer Sundae Festival as it not only has music but poetry also. I went to see Laura Dockrill who’s poetry I’d read before and liked it. It was a really lovely way to start the day and her poetry really is brilliant live as well as on paper as she’s just such an animated, lively person.
The first musician I saw play was Benjamin Francis Leftwich who completely seduced the audience with his wistful, soulful, precious love songs, I wouldn’t have expected anything less of him to be quite honest. The man does have a lot of talent and his songs would melt the hardest of hearts.
Next up, I saw Yaaks. They actually turned out to be my band of the day/ festival so far; so much energy, so many high quality songs, this band are a band to keep your eyes peeled for. Here’s a video of them playing at my local indie club night, New Slang:
I then hung about in the Last Fm Rising tent for a bit of Little Commets. I really like watching Little Commets play, despite the fact that I will probably never buy any of their albums. They are such great live performers as well as possessors of friendly North Eastern vibes and fabulous percussion instruments. The indie kids around me LOVED them to say the least anyway so they were certainly well received too which was nice for them.
Next up I saw Chapel Club, I really like Chapel Club so I was really looking forward to it, despite having already seen them a few times. They didn’t fail to impress me anyway. Their songs were still sounding as strong as ever; I always forget how many brilliant singles they’ve released until I see them live. If you haven’t already bought the album as well, you should totally get it.
We then watched a snippet of Newton Faulkner, who I enjoyed a lot more than I expected. He is a very clever and talented musician and there was a lovely peaceful atmosphere surrounding the main stage throughout his set, it’s just the quality of the lyrics really which are his downfall. Some of them are just ridiculous but then again, I am one of those people who ONLY tends to like music with a lot of depth.
We went inside before the end of his set to catch some I Am Kloot. Two words: Dad band. Their lyrics were nice and they were great musicians but they were quite old and not very cool and the lead singer was quite annoying or maybe I was just so tired that I found everyone annoying. They also went on FOREVER. They even did a massive encore.
The first band I saw on Sunday were My First Tooth who played a lovely folk/pop set, however, during their set a wasp creeped into my can of Strongbow (other ciders are available) without me noticing and stung the inside of my lip when I went to drink it which resorted in me going to the Fish n Chip van and demanding some vinegar for my sore lip.
Next, I saw a band from Leicester called Dark Dark Horse who I quite surprisingly, actually liked. I guess you could say that they were quite simular to a lot of other atmospheric indie rock bands but I still liked them nevertheless.
Next, I saw The Antlers who I loved. It also made me realise what an idiot I am for a) having not seen them yet and b) having not really listened to either of their albums properly. They were a beautiful, gentle way to ease Summer Sundae goers into Sunday afternoon. Even the older festival goers seemed to be hazing out to it. They were pretty much incredible. They are an incredible band.
I then caught The Phantom Band, a beardy rock band from Scotland with an electronic twist. I liked them, despite my dislike for the Scottish accent which means that they MUST have been good.
And then came my most highly anticipated moment of the festival. Warpaint were about to play. I’d not seen them since Reading Festival 2010 so I was extremely excited about seeing them as I am a massive fan of the album. They definitely didn’t disappoint me. They played attention grabbing (despite little on stage talking), enchanting set consisting of songs from both their Exsquisite Corpse EP and their album The Fool to a rammed De Montfort Hall. Nobody could take their eyes off them, they were simply incredible with an intriguing air of mystery which the best of artists seem to have. Their set was one of my favourite moments of the weekend.
Everything Everything are also a band who I’ve liked for a very long time as I got ‘into’ them when Zane Lowe made the original single release of ‘Photoshop Handsome’ his record of the week. They are a band who I truly love and one of the nicest bands that I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing. They played almost the entirety of their Mercury Prize nominated album, Man Alive as well as some very exciting sounding new material which lives up to my idea that they are a band who just seem to keep on positively developing. I think that the new album will be even better than Man Alive to be honest and although, it’s a bit of a way off yet, I’m still rather excited about it.
After not being able to stand Mcfly any longer, I went to see Blood Red Shoes headline the Indoor/ Drowned In Sound stage. I’m bloody glad I did too as they’re definitely still one of my favourite bands as well as the most beautiful bands in existence. I have also interviewed them too. I like watching bands I’ve interviewed play. The band played a fantastic, enthusiastic set as usual as well as managing to persuade the audience (a lot of which sadly didn’t know who they were) to move around a bit. I was glad I got to see them again too before they go off to write and record the new album.
Overall, Summer Sundae proved itself to be just as lovely and friendly as I remember it being the previous year and a festival I will never turn down an invite to unless I have a huge reason to do so. Despite the hit and miss line-up (I’m rather selective with who I like anyway so pleasing me line-up wise is rather difficult anyway), I still had a nice time as I predicted I would.
Words by Katie Wilkinson