That last week in August is always a bit of a bugger. It pretty much marks the end of summer, as kids head back to school and college and the nights are noticably darker (don’t you think? it gets dark around 8pm now. Crikey!). So it’s always with bittersweet sentiment that I think of BINGLEY MUSIC LIVE – the last hooray of summer, and to go out on such a high is amazing…
Friday night started a little frantic for me as I was ushered into STOOSHE‘s dressing room for a ten-minute interview, having been stuck at the wrong side of Saltaire while they were on stage. They said it was great fun – and that they had their first mosh-pit. You crazy kids made it their festival of the summer! Better than V? T? Sure! Nice one!
They had to leave for Norfolk imminently, so I was eyeing up their untouched rider while we talked – and KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES took to the stage. They sounded good.
Legends MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS and THE CHARLATANS brought the evening – just a small teaser of the weekend’s eclectic line-up – to a close. I reckon there were more than enough people thinking “Martha who?”, but few would fail to recognise some the hits she is still delivering with style nearly 50 years on.
Tim Burgess and his band of Madchester heroes tore through a short, sharp set. They did the hits, sure, but not enough of them. That’s my only grumble. Just When You’re Thinking Things Over and One To Another sounded as good as they did 17 years ago *gulp*…
Saturday saw Centre Stage 2012 finalists THE SCANDAL open the Main Stage, thanks to them being amazing. Their driving, bluesy rock will have been a cracking hangover cure, the trio boasting enough swagger to get the early birds into full festival swing.
THE CHEVIN from Otley (where else with a name like that?) are a bit of a big deal over in the States (they made their US TV debut on The Late Show With David Letterman and are due on Conan O’Brien soon, then they’re off on tour with Psychedelic Furs and Lemonheads. Eeek!). You can see why. Their Main Stage appearance was always going to be one of my highlights, and I wasn’t disappointed. Coyne’s voice is amazing. It has to be heard live to be believed. Killers, Schmillers.
The good (bad?) thing about BML is a lot of catching up with old pals (Main Stage DJ Joel is a good mate), so we heard the thunderous riffage of Sheffield metal monters BLACK SPIDERS and the dark 50s crooning of THE JIM JONES REVUE before we made our way over to the new Raise The Roof Stage (and very nice it is, too!) along with a few thousand other fans to catch JAKE BUGG.
We couldn’t get near the tent to see him at Leeds Festival the week before, so was keen to catch the young star who channels the spirit of Johnny Cash through urban folk splendour. He’s destined for great things, this lad.
We managed to catch the end of DELILAH‘s set – only because she managed to wangle some extra stage time to play Go. Like they weren’t going to let her belt out her biggest hit to the huge crowd!
Our very own PIGEON DETECTIVES never fail to put on a good show. Frenetic frontman Matt Bowman is a hyperactive fella. Only two songs in, he’s poured a bottle of water over his bonce as he throws himself around the stage like he’s had too many E numbers.
The hits were there, the fired-up energy was there and the crowd were lapping it up. Not much to say that you don’t know already. They’re great.
DJ FRESH was tedious. I don’t get him as a performer at all. A DJ, sure – he played some bangers that got the crowd going – but as an artist, I’m not convinced. He could do with penning a few more dancefloor fillers.
And RAZORLIGHT somehow managed to keep the huge crowd on their feet with an headlining show. They played America, In The Morning and Golden Touch while looking like extras from Pirates of the Caribbean Go To The Wild West.
Sunday started with a small crowd loving MARSICANS. The previous weekend, the Leeds four-piece were playing to a field-full at Leeds and Reading Festivals, so you’d think they’d be feeling a little lacklustre in front of such a humble audience. No way, they shone with all the summery, calypso vibe their songs (and shirts) are full of. Scuba, Eight Forty and new tune Chivalry were great. Check these boys out before they get huge. And they will, mark my words.
Also set for good things is young singer-songwriter NICO CARA from up the road in Richmond. He had a right bad throat and had taken plenty of drugs (the legal kind, he assures us) to make it through his introductory set. And what an introduction – as he broke into the chorus of Sun Shines Through, you’ll never guess what happened…
CITIZENS! were great – you’d not have thought guitarist Thom was filling in for singer Tom who was hopsitalised (they have practically the same name, so you’d not have noticed). Not sure why, but I hope he’s made a speedy recovery. Go see this lot when they play Fibbers in York on November 18.
HARD-FI are another band who I thought would be hanging onto the tailcoats of their early hits, but no. They were fresh as you like it, all vigour and swear words. Living For The Weekend was a defiant cry against the Sunday evening, and Hard To Beat was, well, hard to beat. A very pleasant surprise from the Staines massive. Braap.
WHITE LIES are a very sombre affair after the smooth soul-hip-pop of MAVERICK SABRE. Nothing in the way of new stuff here, we don’t think, but plenty of dark, brooding songs about death and dying. Hoorah!
Speaking of death and dying, NERO tried to kill everyone in Myrtle Park with bass. Huge bass. From their Daft-Punk-influenced tower of speakers, the pair twiddled knobs and press buttons to replicate their massive dub-step sound for the live arena. Wowzers.
What a weekend! And as a treat, there’s a batch of early bird tickets for next year, at this year’s prices – £40 for another exciting, eclectic mix of yesterday, today and tomorrow’s big names. Buy them HERE. Can. Not. Wait.