Following the previous weekend’s trip to the very metal Bloodstock Festival (words on that HERE), this weekend saw Last.fm host a stage at a festival that could only be described as the polar opposite; the family-friendly inner-city festival Summer Sundae in Leicester.
Set in the glorious surrounds of De Montford Hall just minutes from the city centre the theme for this year’s event was ‘safari’ and it was clear from the outset this event takes it production very seriously. The theme transformed the arenas with festival-goers more than enthusiastic to participate with fancy dress.
Billed as a ‘musical treat’ the line up for the festival featured a diverse selection of music catering for all ages and persuasions with headliners including Asian Dub Foundation, Katy B, Jack Beats, Ghostpoet, Adam and the Ants, Ocean Colour Scene, Public Image Ltd. and Reverend and the Makers.
We were kindly asked to host the ‘Into The Wild’ stage on the Friday which kicked off with Y Niwl – a four-peice from North Wales who’s surf-rock kicked the afternoon off in the perfect way. Indie-folksters Bowerbirds were next and entertained the growing audience with new tracks like “Tuck The Darkness”, taken from their recent LP The Clearing. Following this was the superb Dan Mangan who’s folk sound had the audience enthralled throughout.
Taking a break from our stage we headed into the De Montford Hall to catch Norwegian outfit Datarock (pictured) who were dressed in trademark red tracksuits, no less. Their unique brand of electro-pop saw the set power along to hits like “Fa Fa Fa” and “Computer Camp Love”. We then headed to the main stage for Leicester-legend Uncle Frank, some-time collaborator with Fun Lovin’ Criminals. Frank’s entourage of ladies kept the audience entertained as he raced through a selection of songs – more often than not written about ladies derrières. Back at the Last.fm / Into The Wild stage and Massachusetts’ prodigal son Willy Mason had the audience mesmerised with his thought-provoking lyrics and sparse emotional arrangements.
We headed to the main stage to catch Asian Dub Foundation who launched into a high-energy, bass-fueled set proving that even though they’ve been performing live since the early 90′s they are still able to own the stage with most of the gathered crowd dancing to their beats. They were followed by Friday headliner Katy B who sadly couldn’t match their energy and was hampered by the onset of the unfortunate rain.