Longfellow composed of an Arcade Fire-esque element, complete with fiddle and synth played an exuberant set. The band brimmed with confidence and this was reflected in their decision to play their own songs, their indie-folk was perfectly complimented by the midday sunshine. The band played a very tight set and seemed composed in this environment suggesting that this will not be the last you hear of this Sutton Bonnington collective.
Despite the early afternoon slot and a somewhat depleted crowd, the eager early comers reaped the benefits of their punctual arrival when three-piece band Satsuma started their set. Today, however, those in the audience who recognised Satsuma as the winners of ‘Notts Got Talent’ earlier in the year would have not instantly noticed the enigmatic fourth member, who brought an additional and compelling ingredient to the band as he energetically danced throughout the set, playing an entertaining array of percussion instruments (comparable to Bez from The Happy Mondays?). Despite the small numbers in the crowd, the friendly viewers instantly reflected the energy and enthusiasm of the band (notably the dance moves of the Bez-esque performer) and welcomed the creative and upbeat covers of well-known songs such as ‘I wanna be like you’. The natural musicianship and connection between the band members was instantly apparent and despite the fact they only formed a year ago, playing on the main stage didn’t seem to faze them at all.
The Book Club
Despite the fact they never really got the crowd going, The Book Club performed a nice set of easy listening indie which suited the tranquil mood of the crowd well. Requests for Milburn tracks were jokingly ignored by lead singer Joe Carnall, but the band still proved that they are not just a weaker version of Carnall’s previous efforts. Indeed as far as northern indie goes, The Book Club are certainly a cut above most. However an overall sense of frustration was evident on stage due to the rather ambivalent mood of the audience, but with more radio airplay, they should get some of the recognition which they deserve.
A definite highlight of the day came from Giant Steps, whose unadulterated pop/rock sound was received well by the afternoon crowd. Their melange of catchy song writing and nice vocal harmonies was a winning combination and it sure to stand them in good stead for the future. For such a young band, their performance at Summer Party was mature and musically very strong. Testament to the success of Summer Party in general, the band were spotted afterwards dancing to Feeder with a considerable amount of vodka in hand, and were even seen flirting heavily with one member of the Impact editorial team, they clearly enjoyed their day.
With the time approaching 5pm, the venue was beginning to fill out and after a number of pleasing warm-up acts it was evident that Summer Party-goers were ready for a dance. More than happy to oblige were Dutty Moonshine who bring together the seemingly alien worlds of 30s swing music and modern, bass-heavy electro, fronted by endlessly entertaining self-proclaimed “street poet” Charlie Dupre. As we were treated to timeless classics like ‘Hit The Road Jack’ and ‘The Bear Necessities’ rebooted for a 2011 crowd, the light smattering of students at the front expanded tenfold in no time into a jackin’ and jivin’ party. Cynics may say that their mission statement to “bring rave to the swing generation” is a tad ridiculous, but their lively set tees up the big acts later on nicely.
Jack Gilbert, Gabriel Szatan, Rebecca Hutter and Nicholas Batty