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Preview: Dot to Dot Festival 2017

 
By on Tuesday, 16th May 2017 at 11:00 am
 

As the months of the smaller festivals are now upon us, it’s time to look at which are worth going to. We’ve already given you the lowdown on The Great Escape, but there’s another one that is equally as worth your time. Dot to Dot Festival, which started back in 2005 in Nottingham, is now a 3-day touring wonder. There’s the main festival lineup, a plethora of bands playing over the 3 days in the three different cities – Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol – plus local acts making each day’s lineups unique.

Metropolitan festivals are still on the rise as people look to cheaper options for that “festival feeling”. The giants will always be giants, but the smaller festivals tend to be gems that appeal to those who can’t afford £200+ for a weekend away. Also on the rise are touring metropolitan festivals. Taking their lineups around the UK to strategic North, South and Midlands locations to give everyone a chance to catch their show, but the fact Dot to Dot makes sure to specifically highlight local acts, making them a first of their kind.

Heading up this year’s core festival lineup are Sundara Karma (pictured at top at SXSW 2017), who released one of the debuts of the year back in January, ‘Youth is Only Fun in Retrospect’. Powerful, contagious indie rock filled with spirit, the group led by Oscar Pollock are a necessity for not only the new generations but the old. They’re the quintessential festival band you need to see. Another band you can catch on all 3 days of Dot to Dot are Scottish indie duo Honeyblood. Having released their highly-anticipated sophomore album ‘Babes Never Die’ at the tail end of last year, they’ve been on tour since and they’re simply captivating live. So far, so good: Dot to Dot seems to be delivering well on its lineup.

It would simply be rude to not have a deeper look into these local acts. It’s a rare opportunity for a fairly large chunk of the respective music scenes to come together and show off their homegrown talent.

Manchester

There will always be a strong, vibrant music scene in Manchester. Its musical history is quite literally littered with iconic names and faces that are known throughout the world, but who’s stepping up to the plate and coming up the ladder? The name highest up the bill for the local bands is The Slow Readers Club, and it’s easy to see why. Everything about their sound is Mancunian, from the dazzling indie guitars to the marching beat that echoes back to Joy Division. You’ve also got PINS, the punk foursome who are kicking asses and taking names, especially with their latest release, ‘Bad Things EP’ that features none other than punk godfather Iggy Pop. None too shabby, eh?

Bristol

Another one of those spots around the UK where creativity shines. Filled with a surplus of differing genres and talent songwriters, Bristol has a pretty special lineup, and one of those names is Willie J Healy. Crafting indie pop songs that are filled with his quirky mind workings, Willie is one of the brightest new names coming through the ranks. Van Zeller is an even fresher band, but they’re slowly taking over the DIY live circuit down in Bristol. Raucous and riotous: two of the music’s most important aspects.

Nottingham

Perhaps not quite the same musical melting pot as the other two locations, though it certainly has had its moments, Nottingham has a few treats in store in its lineup that are definitely looking to change that mindset. Kagoule have been making a few waves in the British scenes for a little while now, their debut came out back in 2015, but it’s still as fresh as it was then. Though he’s not actually Nottingham based, Tom Lumley is a name that needs to be mentioned, plus he’s on the Notts poster. A songwriter from Cambridgeshire, his tracks are as new as they are old. Flavours from the rock spectrum dot his songs, bringing out a modernity that’s often missing from other artists, so his repertoire doesn’t feel.

So there you have it. A brief glimpse into the wonders that await the landscape of the UK with Dot to Dot festival. Go forth and roam the country with some bright newcomers and find some local talent. Tickets are still available for all 3 days of this festival, which stops in Manchester on Friday the 26th of May, Bristol on Saturday the 27th and Nottingham on Sunday the 28th. Before booking fees, Manchester tickets are £12, while Bristol and Nottingham’s are £20 each, a real bargain. Buy your tickets through here.

Editor Mary Chang contributed to this preview.

 

Dot to Dot Festival 2016: writer Rebecca’s best band bets

 
By on Friday, 20th May 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Dot to Dot Festival 2016 will see a number of new and established acts descend on the cities of Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham during the second May bank holiday (27-29 May). The festival will be in each city for 1 day only and will showcase a number of the best acts from the surrounding area, as well as the likes of big names like Mystery Jets, The Temper Trap and Augustines who will play at each city over the weekend. For editor Mary’s preview of the weekend’s action at Dot to Dot, check out her post here.

I honestly found it tough picking out just a selection to recommend ahead of the festival, but here are some acts (in alphabetical order, mind) to catch if you find yourself heading to Dot to Dot:

Ardyn
Ardyn are a brother and sister duo from Gloucestershire whose atmospheric pop is otherworldly, with singer Katy Pearson showcasing her powerful vocals on the newest release ‘Over the River’. Their previous stuff is gentler and more stripped back, but no less impressive. They’re sure to be an act to catch.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBNbgeWGmeM[/youtube]

Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers
With an unusual, old-world sound that feels more suited to bluegrass era, Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers is the touring name given to the folk singer/songwriter from Canada and his band. Caplan released his second album last year, ‘Birds With Broken Wings’, and will be touring throughout the summer in North America and Europe. With his eccentric look and his throaty drawl, Caplan is described as “a madman and an earnest poet” on his Web site. Sounds like the recipe for a fascinating performer.

EKKAH
EKKAH are Rebecca and Rebekah, a funky disco-pop duo from Birmingham. Their track ‘Last Chance to Dance’ feels a bit like Haim and Jamiroquai were merged together in some bizarre but highly successful experiment. They released single ‘Small Talk’ earlier this year, a bright, glittering synthpop number that is well worth a listen.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLpjPgn3nQs[/youtube]

Haus
Haus are a five-piece from London with an indie-synth sound, citing rock, hip-hop and electronic influences. They released two singles in 2015, ‘Haze’ and ‘Blinded’, and have a number of festival dates across the UK this summer, in addition to Dot to Dot.

Into the Ark
Into the Ark are for those that prefer something a little softer, with gently strumming acoustic guitars and soulful vocals. From south Wales, the singer/songwriter pair met through their love music and have an EP scheduled for release in August. Their debut ‘Right Track’ gives you a taste of what they have to offer.

King No-One
In a similar vein to Haus, King No-One are an indie rock group but from the North (York). Their music is bold, glitzy and punchy. The Northern group’s latest single ‘Stay Close’ has an addictive rhythm and is a great indie summer tune. The song also features an interesting break towards the end (with a pithy monologue!), before returning to the chorus once more.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5wq6i03THc[/youtube]

Palace Winter
Palace Winter are a synthpop duo from Copenhagen, whose latest single ‘H. W. Running’ is atmospheric and smooth, with a momentum layered with a pleasing synth composition: it’s very easy to get into and I can imagine it being a good accompaniment for a morning jog or a late night at the club.

The Rubens
The blues-rock band The Rubens have been around since 2011 and are signed to Ivy League Records back home in Australia. The band have a following on their native continent but will be appearing at both The Great Escape and Dot to Dot halfway across the world to share their music. The band released their second album ‘Hoops’ last year, and they released their third single from the album, ‘Hold Me Back’, earlier this year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs58pcvDsXA[/youtube]

The Sherlocks (pictured at top)
The Sherlocks are a Northern foursome, who have recently been travelling further afield after building a loyal home support around Sheffield. Their latest single ‘Last Night’ is a punchy indie tune with a catchy chorus and guitar hooks aplenty!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bvg1rokCEA[/youtube]

Will Joseph Cook
Will Joseph Cook is a fresh-sounding singer whose single ‘Girls Like Me’ has an upbeat feeling that is positively contagious. From Tunbridge Wells, the singer is gaining momentum with a couple of his songs reaching a couple of million plays on Spotify. If you’re a fan of upbeat, sunshine pop that begs to be danced along to, Will Joseph Cook might be the one for you.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ66D7TcEWU[/youtube]

Regardless of which day you attend the festival you’ll be able to catch the above, plus a wide variety of up-and-coming regional acts too. Tickets are still available for each city of the festival, so head to Alt Tickets to purchase your own for this upcoming bank holiday weekend.

 

Preview: Dot to Dot Festival 2016

 
By on Thursday, 19th May 2016 at 9:00 am
 

In this day and age, there are an overwhelming number of music festivals big and small vying for your attention and your hard-earned cash. While we’ve been to the biggies such as SXSW and The Great Escape, there’s something to be said about the smaller events in the less likely places that offer incredible value. Seven years ago, I covered my first UK music festival and now in 2016, I’m chuffed to bits that we’ll be sending another of the TGTF writers out to cover Dot to Dot Festival 2016. If you find yourself not having any plans for the upcoming second May bank holiday weekend, Dot to Dot could, in a pinch, serve as a welcome musical salve to keep your weekend lively.

In case you’ve not heard of Dot to Dot, it’s like behemoth Reading and Leeds in that the bands move on to the next city of the festival, so that nearly all acts set to appear in the franchise will appear in all locations. However, for those who lack the endurance for a longer festival or indeed, for those lacking the desire to commit to more days of an event, Dot to Dot is a 1-day festival, put on at various venues in Manchester (Friday the 27th of May), Bristol (Saturday the 28th of May) and Nottingham (Sunday the 29th of May).

Heading the top of the bill are English indie darlings Mystery Jets, who released their fifth album ‘Curve of the Earth’ at the start of the year. You can read my review of their latest long player here; Rebecca caught some of the band’s set at Live at Leeds late last month too. Providing a welcome contrast, American trio Augustines (pictured at top) will also be appearing at Dot to Dot, ahead of their new album ‘This is Your Life’ out in June on Caroline International in the UK and PIAS America in America. If Steven’s impression of recent single ‘When Things Fall Apart’ is any indication, the synthesisers will be out in full force during their set.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRU8Gfi5mDU[/youtube]

Another big name scheduled to appear at the festival are The Temper Trap, who will be releasing their long-awaited third album ‘Thick as Thieves’ on the same day as Augustines’ LP drops, the 10th of June. They’ll be appearing at a super secret Amazon Music show this Saturday at the Great Escape 2016 in Brighton, but why wonder if you’re going to see them or not and just buy a ticket to Dot to Dot and ensure you will? Check out their teaser track ‘Fall Together’ above. Other inclusions on the lineup of note to us include Irish band Little Green Cars, whose second album ‘Ephemera’ was released in early March, and SXSW 2016 BBC Introducing stage alums The Sherlocks and ESTRONS, as well as Manchester’s SXSW 2015 BBC Introducing breakout band Spring King, whose debut album for Island Records will also drop on the 10th of June. Check out a stripped back Radio 1 Piano Sessions version of their track ‘The Summer’ they did live for Huw Stephens below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXXqNszTwnA[/youtube]

There are, of course, a blindingly amazing list of other acts scheduled to appear at Dot to Dot in 2 weekends’ time, and we invite to check out the official Web site for the most current information on the event. Tickets are available for all three cities at the incredibly low price of £27.50 (including booking fee) directly from Alt-Tickets.

 

Live Gig Videos: Fred Perry Subculture featuring Jake Bugg, Kyla La Grange and Wavves

 
By on Wednesday, 7th November 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

As part of the ongoing 60th anniversary celebration of the Fred Perry brand and the relaunch of the Fred Perry Subculture Web site, Subculture has offered up these fantastic live videos from the Dot to Dot Festival in May of some of the brightest stars in music right now.

The live video below from Jake Bugg, currently on tour in America with headliners Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Snow Patrol, will be familiar: it’s the song that broke him to the masses, ‘Lightning Bolt’. Kyla La Grange (pictured at top) is no stranger to TGTF either; we’ve got a video of her performing ‘To Be Torn’. And last but not least, we’ve also got live video of San Diego noise rock band Wavves playing their song ‘Bug’. Enjoy all of these videos below.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/52084350[/vimeo]

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/52087074[/vimeo]

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/52086292[/vimeo]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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