Live Review

Dot To Dot Festival 2011, Nottingham

There’s little else to do in Nottingham on a Sunday that’s more fun.

Photo Credit: Victor Frankowski

It’s a typically wet bank holiday weekend as thousands of people take to a handful of venues in Nottingham for this year’s Dot To Dot festival. Luckily, the majority of the best acts are confined to just one or two of these places, saving having to brave the elements. After a couple of alright-ish-but-pretty-forgettable indie bands, Braids kick things off with their ambient, often Asobi Seksu-like sound. The vocal harmonies are totally stunning, the performance tight and exciting. Expect bigger things to come of this band.

Dananananaykroyd give what has to be the most energetic performance of the festival. Bouncing all over the place, their two singers at one point jump over the barrier into the crowd, encouraging people to scream into their microphones. As they put it themselves in thick Glaswegian accents: “Even if you don’t like it, you can’t say it’s not silly.” Regardless of whether you’ve heard their material before, and even if you have and absolutely hate it, this intense six-piece are well worth seeing – just don’t expect to come out with your body in one piece.

Perhaps the highlight of the night comes from Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, who carry an unrivalled charm and happiness within their show. Frontwoman Ritzy Bryan dances about the stage smiling, and lending her hand to smashing the cymbals in the final song, looking like an adorable toddler who doesn’t care if she’s misbehaving because she’s just having too much fun.

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead play well, but are a bit of a disappointment to someone who has waited years to see this band. ‘It Was There That I Saw You’ is pretty awesome, but not enough to keep my attention (and body) from straying away to a different venue.

Small venue The Rescue Rooms plays host to Guillemots, but evidently the band is beyond intimate places like this. Fans queue to get in after the admissions policy becomes one-in-one-out. For those already inside, it’s impossible to move, and sadly, impossible to hear anything. People chat through the show and don’t give the band the respect they deserve. New material is a little underwhelming, and old hits like ‘Made Up Lovesong #43’ are totally spoilt by the crowd.

At some point in the night there’s a silent disco. Yes, I know I’m several years late to the game, but this thing is awesome. The ability to choose between two DJ sets produces some particularly interesting results: a handful of people dancing to New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ are occasionally interrupted by the others singing ‘Love Is All Around’. Also, it doesn’t take a silent disco to remind you how awesome R. Kelly’s ‘Ignition (Remix)’ is – but it just needs stating for the record.

Dot To Dot has had some excellent line ups in previous years, so this one feels a little empty and without some of the really big names that have made it so impressive before. Still an enjoyable day though – there’s little else to do in Nottingham on a Sunday that’s more fun.

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