Dot-to-Dot Festival 2011
30th May 2011
On Sunday 29th May, URN headed down to Dot to Dot to bring you news, photo and gossip fresh from the festival. We spent the day running from Rock City to Bodega to Trent and back to Stealth to see as many acts as possible. If you weren’t able to make it or want a reminder of the day we have put together a bunch of photos, reviews and videos HERE for you to check out.
We squeezed our way into the packed Rescue Rooms to get a glimpse of Wolf Gang and it was immediately clear that the lack of air was worth it! Their music was energetic and catchy and the room was filled with feet tapping and hips shaking. Their popular tracks ‘Back to Back’ and ‘Lions in Cages’ went down a storm. Along with this, their latest single ‘The King and All of His Men’ retained the band’s signature raw sound but was very accessible with the crowd chanting the lyrics. We had an all round fun half an hour watching Wolf Gang.
We were truly blown away by the rising star Ed Sheeran’s performance. Alongside friendly banter and ginger jokes, Ed had the crowd cheering along with his brilliant vocal skills. His tracks were very impressive, combining emotional lyrics with his looped rhythms stunning all of us with his talents and relaxed attitude. He definitely won the crowd over by launching a classic ‘singing competition’ between the two sides of Rock City, bringing out everyone’s competitive side as we chanted his lyrics. Definitely an act we would all love to see again.
Mute: The Silent Disco At Stealth
Silent discos are an odd musical beast, especially at 4 in the afternoon. Diving in and out between acts to a sweaty Stealth with its vibrating floor, a balaclava wearing DJ and a bunch of middle aged balding drunk gentlemen is an exceptionally odd way to spend a Sunday; but a thoroughly enjoyable one. Whilst channel 2 provided the normal eclectic mix of electronica, ranging from Dubstep to Trance, channel 1 inevitably supplied the continuously changing crowd with a musical melange including Mark Ronsen, Shaggy, The Spice Girls and 10cc; it’s been a long time since I didn’t like cricket, I loved it. More importantly, the action sat perfectly at the heart of the festival, providing some light relief from the cramp confines of the main stages.
We Are Scientists
We Are Scientists had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand from the opening. Arguably the main attraction of the line up, giving the mixed ‘marmite’ appeal of the headliners Hurts, they walked out to an electric reception and continued to whip the crowd into a frenzy, thanking the “Nottingham Gang” for being with them through 4 studio albums and countless world tours. The set itself was beautifully worked, with the interaction between the silver haired Keith Murray and Chris Cain making this more than a brief 45 minute performance at a festival, raising it to the intensity of a sell out Rock City gig. The icing on the cake came with Murray diving into the crowd, being lost in a sea of adoring fans. They were simply brilliant, so at home in the enclosed venue. Most importantly they gave the crowd exactly what they wanted, a pulsating live performance that every fan needs to see to appreciate the full extent of their talent.
We followed the crowd after We Are Scientists down to Rock City’s basement to see a URN favourite band, Frontiers. Last year they opened the festival in Rock City but their performance this year showed that they can play in any venue. We managed to get to the front and danced along, especially as we were definitely next to one band member’s enthusiastic mother. Their performance was good, with their tracks beginning to get a lot of recognition with the crowd singing along.
Lost Boys DJ Set
Lost Boys were unique in bringing deep tribal house to a mainly Indie based festival, although following on from a 7 hour silent disco is by no means a simple feet. On top of that, competing against the main headliners in Rock City and the ‘live’ DJ acts performing downstairs ensured only the hard core electronica fans filled the dance floor of Stealth at 11pm sharp. The set itself brought a strong mix of cool deep beats mixed with the odd popular track to keep the crowd engaged in the action, the cure and the cause being a personal favourite. The addition of Nu Disco and Baleric influences created a unique underground club atmosphere that you wouldn’t find at any of the other stages at the festival.
An act like Guillemots wouldn’t have looked out of place on Rock City’s main stage, but in front of a small but packed room in Rescue Rooms, they played a brilliant intimate set.Despite getting there in good time there were already few places left to stand amongst a crowd eagerly anticipating the band’s arrival, a long queue outside the door meant that not everyone would get to see them. When Guillemots appeared on stage they managed to squeeze in tracks from their latest offering “Walk the River” as well as favourites from older albums. The crowd listened attentively to Fyfe Dangerfield’s vocals, which he provided for most of the set crouched over a keyboard in the middle of the stage. A clear favourite was light acoustic song “Don’t feel amazing now”, with several sections of the crowd singing along. Lots of people kissing too.It was never going to be a wild set, calm applause followed each song, but the crowd showed their appreciation with loud cheers and applause as the band left the stage. All in all it was a low key but high quality performance from Guillemots which was no doubt a highlight of 2011’s dot-to-dot.
Alpines and SBTRKT
The first act of the day we saw were South London electric duo Alpines, who helped kick things off in Rock City with soaring vocals from singer Catherine Pockson alongside Bob Matthews’ electric beats and keyboard sounds. Several hours later we caught SBTRKT (subtract) in Rescue Rooms. Famed for the tribal masks he wears for his DJ sets, tonight he delivered a “live” performance with his own vocals and assistance from a live drummer, also masked, to create a unique electric sound.
Dot to Dot really managed to create a festival feel – no easy feat in the middle of Nottingham. We had a brilliant time and staggered home with the classic festival legs feeling.