Posted by: outroversion | May 31, 2010

Dot to Dot 2010 Bristol 29.05.10

Dot to Dot 2010- Bristol 29.05.10

Dot to Dot is becoming my favourite way to kick start summer. The basic premise is half a dozen or so venues and 50 or so great bands in the city centre of Bristol (or Manchester and Nottingham). It’s a great way to get to hear a load of up an coming bands as well as already established acts and see a few venues you might not have been fortunate to have come across on a regular gig night.

It’s always a good idea to get there just before noon to avoid queues, it makes the whole day a lot more laid back for you and you get more time to see the bands rather than having to rush around later in the day.

We (Me and photographer Sarah P.) set out at 11.30 to get our wristbands and familiarised ourselves with the schedule and map with a hot chocolate at Caffe Gusto just around the corner from the thekla and also hit up Shakespeare’s Tavern which is definately the place to go for lunch on dot to dot day, it’s becoming tradition for me in the very least.

1.3opm CountrySide @ Thekla

First port of call was the Thekla which, if you aren’t aware, is a boat. A more unique regularly used venue is a tough call to find. Playing there were Countryside, a local band with cascading razor sharp guitars, keys and dream pop style vocals easily comparable to Silversun Pickups. They’re tiny right now and are definately worth a listen.

4pm DeStaat @ Thekla Bar

De Staat, as you may have guessed by their name, are Dutch. Dutch and MENTAL. I have never seen anything like this performance. It’s probably best described as intimidating yet jovial irish-folk influenced bar room rock. Made up and aggressive their jaunty tunes are founded by Torre Florim who cascades through the crowd on a mission to make sure every single person in the room is paying attention. We were fortunate enough to be standing next to two guys who weren’t and who consequently had the uh.. “wits” scared out of them by the determined front man. They’re a really worthwhile listen but live they are a whole other unmissable animal.

4.30pm The Cheek @ Thekla

You may remember an influx of bands with ridiculous names around 2007. Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds were a result of that. The Cheek on the other hand are a result of a quarter of a decade of deciding on a direction for the newly monikered Suffolkians. They’re now well presented and radio one friendly with particular debt owed to the futureheads.

5.30pm Ruby Suns @ Academy

We were on our way to the academy on the free dot to dot bus when we decided to get a drink, a 2L pepsi bottle at tesco was £1 and two 500ml’s £1.70… So, economically I thought we should get a 2L and try and finish it before the blood red shoes at 6pm. Before then we made sure we checked out Fopp, whose prices continue to be mind blowing despite the potential for them to become hmv-ified, still as impressive as ever.

6pm Blood Red Shoes @ Academy One

By the time we entered a packed academy to see Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes I was full of sugar and ready to let them rock my very FACE off. This they proceeded to accomplish without incident. They opened with the brilliant “getting boring by the sea” which was my main reason for making them unmissable but the fact of the matter is that the rest of their arsenal is just as potent. The night starts here.

6.30pm White Hinterland @ The Cooler

I was really looking forward to White Hinterland despite the vast contrast in style between the phylactery factory and kairos but I was prepared for the more jazz styled influences of the latter. However today Casey Dienel’s sultry vocals were accompanied by Drum and Bass tracks which I didn’t quite appreciate as much as maybe someone who knew her music inside out might have done given the extreme nuances that must have been displayed in such a performance.

7.15 Wild Beasts @ Academy One

I regretted not seeing this band last summer. I wasn’t as into the album as much as a LOT of other people but sometimes you can’t help but be curious to see what all the hype is about. Live, his voice IS spectacular in that his falsetto has zero vibrato. It’s just that lyrically i’m not sure even stand out tracks such as “brave, buldging, bouyant clairvoyants” would stand up against the test of time.

8.15 Lights @ Academy 2

I was really looking forward to seeing Lights. I’d heard the album a few months ago and liked it quite a bit but, upon seeing an NME review that gave it 2/10 last week I was baffled and relistened to reaffirm my views and it was even better than I remembered. Musically in the same vein as Rocket Summer and lyrically acurate without being literal. In other words NME is garbage.

Usually I hate bass live but here it was used to stunning effect adding so much. On the parts without it, they were atmospheric and a pleasure to witness, with it they were as good as anyone i’ve seen in this genre.

9.15 fun. @ Academy 2

We were blessed in getting to see fun. in such an intimate venue because with every listen of their music and upon seeing them live it becomes quite apparent that they’re destined for huge things. Championed by Hayley Williams, the ashes of Format along with Emily of the seahorses and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train they are a formidable force; pure energy without bounds, focussed into perfect indie pop perfection. I didn’t have a chance to write anything during the performance as they were as mesmerising as they were enchanting, suffice to say if you haven’t checked them out you are truly missing out.

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By the time fun. went off stage we decided to finish on a high and by the time we’d gotten back to the hotel we’d done 28000 steps between us (i took along a stepometer because I was curious..) so were suitably exhausted. Dot to Dot as ever was the perfect start to the summer season, be sure to make sure your 2011 gets off on the right track by getting early bird tickets at a fraction of the normal price on Tuesday from 9am.

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If you missed Dot to Dot or want to check out a collection of mp3s from the festival, visit my previous post on the event here.

Photography of Blood Red Shoes, Lights and Fun. courtesy of Sarah Penrose Visit her flikr for further examples of her visions.

Over and Outroversion

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