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28 October 2014
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Former Leicester band Cornershop played on Saturday night
Lazing on a sunny afternoon

Karen Pirie says "Get me to a record shop, I'm inspired after seeing so many amazing bands in two days." Get your diaries out for next year's Summer Sundae - you can't miss this.

Click here for pictures.

Click here for pictures.

So who 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.

And if 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 of Glastonbury.

How many 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?

Little Fat Hoover

Little Fat Hoover

Local 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. Hear an exclusive interview here. audio gif

Other 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 smouldering.

Inside 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 noise science.

Stereo MCs

Stereo MCs brought the party to DMH

One of 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.

The Americana 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.

Saturday’s 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.

And onto 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?

And the 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.

They drew 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.

Beth Orton

Beautiful Beth Orton

Princess 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.

One of 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.

Other highlights from Sunday were Lamb - defying definition they music was dancey, thoughtful and very different.

Former 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.

And there's 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!

He came 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.

The BBC digital channel 6Music broadcast live from the festival during the weekend. Did they speak to you. Find out here.

Audio iconClick here to hear an interview with De Montfort Hall Director, Richard Haswell, on the event.


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