Before going to Leicester I haveto admit that I was one for the big festivals. TheGlastonbury‘s, T In The Park‘s and Reading‘s. I am gladto say that this has now changed. I used to think thatthe little festivals were no more than village feteswith a stage. A stage where really bad bands playreally bad songs. I forgot of course that I have seenreally bad bands at the really big festivals.
The Summer Sundae at De MontfordHall is now in it’s forth year, and judging by theline-up, the crowd and the setup, it will no doubt bearound for a while to come. I guestimate that therewas perhaps four thousand people at Summer Sundae(this may be completely out, if this is the case,please enlighten me) and after the rain of Fridaynight all eyes were skyward come Saturday Morning.They needn’t have been: The rain held off and by earlyafternoon all four stages were in full swing.
It may lack the hedonism ofGlastonbury and the attitude of Reading or Leeds butit makes up for it in other ways. The atmosphere wasextremely relaxed and friendly, and the small crowdmade sure seeing any band (with the exception of TheBelles) was very easy.
The small site meant you werenever more than five minutes from anywhere, thetoilets were clean and the scally kids of Leicesterwere, thankfully, nowhere to be seen. Alsosurprisingly, with so many families around, thesecurity were blissfully comfortable with the moreanti social amongst us.
Smaller festivals give smaller,up and coming bands the chance to play further up thebill than they otherwise would. This was true onSaturday with two performances from The Ordinary Boys and the much published Dogs Die In Hot Cars. Both bands showed the vigour, energy, and,especially in the case of Dogs, invention, that havehad the music press chomping at the bit. The increasein crowd numbers also displayed the Leicester public’sawareness of the future and they were rewarded well.There was no arrogance or couldn’t care less attitude,they both appeared to really enjoy the spotlight, asdid the crowd.
Saturday was turning into a verygood day of music and the appearance of The Kings Of Convenience on the indoor stage just added tothe brew. A few mindless hecklers could not diminishthe talent, musicianship and originality of this bandthat will no doubt be playing further up the bill nextsummer.
A clash of headliners meant Ihad to make a choice Saturday night. It was a choicebetween The Super Furry Animals on the outdoorstage, and Lambchop indoors. I am not LukeRhineheart and I didn’t roll a dice. What I did do isstay outdoors and catch The Super Furry Animalsbecause you can’t smoke at the indoor stage.
I heard that Lambchop were goodand I know that The Super Furry Animals, with theircult status, were excellent. The set was well mixed upwith songs of their latest album Phantom Power as wellas classics from Rings Around The World, Radiator andFuzzy Logic. Run Christian Run, Juxtaposed Wit Uand Presidential Suite all got an outing before theband left the stage for the first time. We were thengiven an interlude by the computer player who uppedthe tempo even more with what can only be described asten minutes of furious techno.
When the band finally appearedback on stage they were dressed as dogs. Really. Themad, crazy world of the Super Fury Animals. Wales, andcome to think of it, Leicester, has never sounded sogood.