Saturday began with Baltic, a Newcastle quarter that served up lively indie pop with their high energy set. Next I wandered over to the New Music Stage for Park Fires, a female duos with a keyboard and keytar. I especially enjoyed this set as it served as a pleasant break from the heavy guitar sounds that permeated the festival.

Catherine McGrath on the Main Stage was also a refreshing feelgood act. She rocked the stage with her bedroom pop style that fit the sunny weather well.

Craig Charles would have undoubtedly carried on this more upbeat feel good vibe, but somehow he ended up with no CD decks. Due to an accident on the M62 he’d managed to arrive but unfortunately his equipment didn’t make it. A backstage scramble by the organisers trying to find some for him was to no avail but I did appreciate that he came out himself to explain the situation rather than leaving it to someone else.

Marsicans were quick to make light of this, starting their set ten minutes early and announcing themselves as Craig Charles. Whilst their music wasn’t anywhere close to the same genre (Pop Punk ≠ Funk) it was equally as good. The Leeds based foursome that list The Beach Boys, Bombay Bicycle Club, Paul Simon amongst their influences gave a great performance of their upbeat indie-meets-dirty-pop sound.

After this I saw Circa Waves on the Main Stage, and whilst there was nothing wrong with either their music or performance, it was forgettable indie pop.

I also felt a compère, or maybe a bit of dance music playing on the Main Stage, may have helped create a bit more variety and kept up the energy between bands. Although, to be fair, the layout made it very easy to walk between stages of you fancied checking someone else out.

Speaking of energy, Tom Grennan has it in volumes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone be so active on stage and still give an incredible vocal performance. He stole the show for me and many others, judging by the crowd.

Another band that was new to me, and one that I’ll definitely be looking out for, was The Blinders on the Discovery stage. A three-piece alternative group from Doncaster fuse loud political punk rock with psychedelic poetry. Their ‘Punkadelic’ sound is in your face and it’s definitely worth checking out their raucous and sweaty live performances. I doubt they’ll be stuck on a secondary stage for long.

Doves, however, wasn’t exactly what I’d call headline material and following from Grennan was a little anticlimactic. They were perfectly fine but is “fine” enough for a headline act?

Having said that, the Saturday line-up and performances, together with the buzzing atmosphere in the crowd, seems to have made everyone happy and excited for the next day.

See Friday
See Sunday
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Subcategory:Music and singing
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Apollo Junction, Baltic, Bingley, Bingley Weekender, Catherine McGrath, Circa Waves, Doves, Marsicans, Music festival, Park Fires, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, The Big Peach, The Blinders, Tom Grennan, West Yorkshire, Zuzu