7 June 2012

Dot to Dot Festival Manchester 2012 review

Dot to Dot Festival Manchester 2012

Dot to Dot Festival Manchester 2012 review

Bank Holiday Monday saw the Dot to Dot Festival arrive at Manchester and with it some fantastic bands from around the globe including Kyla La Grange, Pulled Apart by Horses and The Waves . Set over several different venues, including Zoo, The Deaf Institute and HMV Ritz there was a little bit of something for everyones musical tastes on offer throughout the day and night.

First up for us came Pond, an Australian band who we first saw during Sound City, Liverpool and definitely had to see again. They were good last time but this time they blew The Deaf Institute's roof off, figuratively speaking of course. As this was their last gig in the UK, they definitely provided one hell of a finale to their latest tour here and there wasn't a single person standing still throughout the whole set. With a heavily 60's rock influenced set with lashings of psychedelic punk and some funked out bass added into the mix from bassist, Wirey B Buddha. Front man, Paisley Adams, who must be made of jelly going by his dancing skills, didn't keep still throughout the entire set, with warm up lunges to every bit of him moving at once all done while providing some emotive singing and ending the set by jumping onto the bar and crowd surfed his way back to the stage.
Pond are a band who are force to be reckoned with, both musically and visually and their love for what they do clearly shines through and reaches the heart and of the audience. Music is in their very soul and once you've seen them, Pond is in yours.

After such a riotous performance from Pond, we decided on a bit of a chilled out music, courtesy of Ryan Keen, who has just recently supported Ed Sheeren on tour. With his mellow vocals and mix of upbeat and laid back tempo, mainly played with a rhythmic-percussive finger-picking technique, this was the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax, unfortunately, the venue chosen for him wasn't ideal and he was drowned out by the rock band playing upstairs. This didn't stop the crowd from enjoying his set and each song was met with huge applause. One song in particular stood out for everyone, "Aiming For The Sun" a beautiful, heartfelt song which he wrote after the loss of a close friend. If you're out and about doing the festival circuits this year, keep an eye out for Ryan in the listings and go listen to this talented Devon lad and hopefully this time it will be in the right environment.

We were then off to see Willis Earl Beal, so had to miss out on some other bands along the way, something we regret know as we were kept waiting for 45 minutes for him to appear on stage, by which time a lot of other people had had the same idea as us and left to go and watch someone, who can actually turn up when they're meant to. Word to the wise, if Axel Rose can't get away with it, you definitely cannot!!

The final band for us was New York based, The Drums, playing their final gig in the UK for a year at HMV Ritz and the place was completely packed out. With a set heavily influenced by 80's electro pop and lead singer, Johnny Pierce's Morrissey style vocals, foppish dance moves and head tilting backwards in a dramatic style, all that was missing was the daffodils in his back pocket to be honest and the Morrissey tribute would have been pretty accurate.

The gig started off fairly promising, unfortunately, as the gig went on, the songs started to merge into one, not solely because of the music, but because of the continuous use of the lyrics, "oh oh oh oh oh" and " oh la la la la". To do it a couple of times in a set fair enough, but every single song, I'm sorry, but if you can't think of a lyric, just leave the song a bit shorter, no one will mind, at least there is a chance we may be able to differentiate between each track. But that's just my opinion though, as most of the crowd seemed to enjoy it, so much so they even got lighters out and even ventured as far as crowd surfing, which in a gig like this is like head banging at a Steps gig. The final song of the night was dedicated to Lauren, a girl who has been to every single gig they've played in the UK in the last three years. Now that's dedication to the old "Oh oh oh oh oh" lyrics or possibly a tad stalkery!! 

So that wraps up a rather successful Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester. many many highs, some lows and the truly amazing Pond. Come back soon guys, we miss your uniqueness already!!

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