would have thought it- not only did it not rain for almost
two days non-stop, but people actually got sunburnt! Praise
the Lord - summer came just at the right time.
lazing on a sunny afternoon surrounded by beer tents, sumptuous
snacks and hippy trinkets weren’t enough - we were treated
to the best line-up of bands you could wish for this side
times did I say to myself "I’ve never seen anything like this
before"..... until the next amazing band came on. Get me to
a record shop - I’m inspired. Indoors
and out, the music was virtually non-stop. So where do I start?
At the very beginning?
band Little Fat Hoover opened the proceedings on the outdoor
stage on Saturday lunchtime with a consummate performance
of their immensely likeable westcoast-inspired pop.
exclusive interview here.
highlights from Saturday included last year’s Irish songwriter
of the year David Kitt whose laid back style was perfect for
Summer Sundae. His version of the King’s Burning Love was
were Jinrai, a fresh-faced eight-piece band performing a catchy
blend of folk and soul. Great live outfit. They were followed
by two-piece Capital K - a hugely watchable cross between
Brett Anderson and lo-fi knobb-twiddling wizardry. Awesome
my favourites of the whole weekend was Chicago band Bobby
Conn. Orange satin pants and seersucker heaven - this lot
were a hurricane of headbanging glam. Who needs drugs when
music is this exciting? Pure theatre.
mafia certainly got their money’s worth this weekend with
appearances from bands including the Be Good Tanyas, The Handsome
Family and The Guthries - all of whom were fantastic. But
my personal favourites had to be Calexico. Running themes
of the weekend included pedal steel guitars and instrument
swopping between musicians. This whimsical Tex-Mex band had
the lot - one fantastic sunny tune after another. Me Gusta.
headline Cornershop - our much anticipated prodigal sons -
were widely agreed to be a little flat after such a cracking
day. Perhaps after playing to thousands of people with Oasis,
they were a bit tired. Good to hear their Punjabi version
of Norwegian Wood once again though.
Sunday - another amazing day but perhaps more laid back. Former
Diesels John Butler and Rick Wilson opened on the outdoor
stage - have you forgotten who good they sound?
indoor programme kicked off with local duo The Have Nots who
have just clinched support with fellow Summer Sundae band
The Be Good Tanyas. No wonder - they’re fab. Sophie and Liam’s
voices work so well together and the material is very strong.
a very warm response from the crowd. Sunday featured some
of the best female singer-songwriters on the circuit all in
the same place at once - this year’s Irish songwriter winner
Gemma Hayes with there liltingly beautiful material, Thea
Gilmore worked well indoors with her spikey warped folk.
Sundae was Beth Orton whose appealing and witty stage presence
was the icing on the cake. Her strong material and quirky
vocals were framed by a very strong band - two piece string
section and upright bass - cool.
the surprises of Sunday was one-man band Hamill on Trial who
played his acoustic guitar like a machine gun, interjecting
killer lines between and in the middle of songs. Easily the
funniest act of the weekend.
highlights from Sunday were Lamb - defying definition they
music was dancey, thoughtful and very different.
Talking Head David Byrne was the first act to be booked and
the last act the play at Summer Sundae. And was a glorious
ending. He was fantastic - playing all the crowd pleasers.
Once in a Lifetime sounded as fresh as ever and the new stuff
was just as innovative.
nothing star-struck about this guy. He turned down the offer
of a shuttle bus between the site and his hotel and jumped
on his bike instead!
with a cracking band including his fantastic percussionist
and a wonderful six-piece string section who played incredible
arrangements. Highly recommended, you should kick yourself
if you weren’t there. And book the date in your diary for
next year, same time, same place.
digital channel 6Music
broadcast live from the festival during the weekend. Did they
speak to you. Find
to hear an interview with De Montfort Hall Director,
Richard Haswell, on the event.