Live Review

Friends Of Mine Festival, Sunday 22nd May 2011

Wind, rain, and hail, have us thinking that the Rapture might have been put back a day.

We pop our heads out of the tent early Sunday morning to see a few people battling bravely against the breeze while attempting to pack up their things on the final day of this year’s Friends Of Mine Festival. At one point even a gazebo turns into a makeshift kite with four people each holding desperately to a piece of string, trying to clamber back some sense of authority over the elements. This theme continues throughout the last day.

Wind, rain, and hail, have us thinking that the Rapture might have been put back a day. People run in desperation from one place to another seeking refuge in what is at one point a fairly ferocious thunderstorm. Unfortunately then comes more bad news as The Big Top Stage and The Bowl Stage are deemed unsafe after the change in conditions, thus The Whip and a few other big names are cancelled too.

We decide the safest place to be is indoors and therefore head over to the Capesthorne Arms to see a band intriguingly named, Optional Wallace. It’s the first time we witness this Manchester four-piece in action, their raw punk energy at times leans towards London’s alt-rocker’s Placebo. We say four-piece while in fact only three turn up. Wallace is, apparently, an optional fourth member whose identity remains a mystery; either way it sounds like they are doing fine without him. ‘Generation’ has heads nodding in the affirmative position with its hard-edged fuzz and apathetic lyrics tinged with pessimism. Another track from their self titled debut, ‘The Ladder’, brings people into an intimate tent, making for a great unexpected festival moment.

After catching the end of a well attended set by Mutineers, the sun once again comes out, as do scores of people for one of today’s main attractions. Yuck’s blend of shredded guitars and lo-fi vocals have long been a favourite of ours, but despite this being the third time we’ve seen them in action they yet again effortlessly impress us.

The group bring out a smile on some fairly rain drenched sullen faces. ‘Holing Out’ begins the set, with frontman Max Bloom’s fuzzy hair personifying the sound of his guitar. Hunched over a microphone stand, his disaffected stare and lack of nerves added to the, dare we say it – coolness, which this band seems to naturally display. ‘Operation’ blasts its way into the minds of many there as being one of the most unhinged, raucous moments of the three days.

An act who unashamedly do things on their own terms, Yuck finish the set with the largely instrumental album track ‘Rose Gives A Lily’ - missing out one of their biggest hits to date, ‘Georgia’, completely.

Tags: Yuck, Features

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