“Oh the rain falls hard on a humdrum town, this town has dragged you down” (William it was really nothing: The Smiths 1984)
The rain certainly did fall hard. So hard we actually thought the whole day was going to be called off. But with a never say die attitude and a slight let up in the down pour the show went on. And a great show it was too. The Northern Line only went on Saturday (6th August) but by all accounts all 3 days were excellent. If you have a story from the weekend and want to share it get in touch.
“Why, why does the rain? Why does it always seem to fall on me?” (Why does the Rain: The Weather Prophets 1986)
We arrived on site at about 4 on Saturday. We had planned to get there earlier but as we have already said we seriously thought the whole thing would have been washed away in some biblical down pour. The animals were just lining up in twos when we got the message to say it was all systems go. We hot footed it across the A19 to Stockton Town Centre and the now world famous; Stockton Weekender. The rain had stopped for a while just in time for the bands to get underway:
TEAM ME: A great ensemble from Norway. Part Fanfarlo part Radiohead. Really enjoyed their set.
SAINT SAVIOUR: A local lass who has come back to her roots via Groove Armada. Even my wife knew who she was. Now that is fame cos she’d never even heard of Cast!!! A great songwriter with a voice that mixed Kate Bush with Liz Frazer. Really enjoyed her set as the weather took a turn for the better.
DJANGO DJANGO: Reminded me of Wild Beasts who played here a couple of years ago. Like them they are an aquired taste, but once aquired you’ll be glad you did. A bit rock-a-billy a bit folky. Strange mixture but great none-the-less.
“And the sun it shines here…..” (The Sun Shines Here: Hurrah 1982)
CAST: A great band from a long time ago. Now The Las are one of my favourite bands and they’ve never ruined their reputation. One brilliant album and no more. Cast were great but not quite up to the same standard. They again knew when to call it a day. So to come back ten or more years later is a real danger. But, I think they pulled it off. They have some great songs; Alright, Finetime, Sandstorm and Walkaway, and the crowd loved them. The new songs were good but always difficult at a festival playing songs that no one knows. Overall though they were a success. I thought John Power was brilliant here last year and he has the charisma to get away with anything. I look forward to the new album.
MAXIMO PARK: Two confessions; firstly I loved the first album and was very much an original fan buying all the early singles. Secondly; my wife still loves them. They’re probably her second favourite band (after Take That!!!) So with this in mind she should love them and I should….. think they’re ok if they do early stuff. And…. And …. that’s just about the result. They entertained the crowd. The local heroes returning to whooo the masses. Paul Smith is a great front man, full of energy, bouncing around like a young tigger. He clearly loves what he does and the crowd love him. I actually enjoyed the whole set. They played early B sides, brand new tracks and everything in between. They had the energy, confidence and they had the advantage of being local heroes returning home.
Overall the day was great (despite Leeds getting stuffed and the weather) but that wasn’t the end of it all. The Kids are Solid Gold were hosting an after Festival show at The Georgian theatre with the “Sound of Young Scotland”; Washington Irving and London/Leeds six piece Bear Driver. Now unfortunately we didn’t stay for Bear Driver. Wife was too tired!! Not very rock n roll but we did see one of our new favourites;
WASHINGTON IRVING: This is our second review in a matter of weeks so not a lot to add about this Glaswegian ensemble other than to say they are fantastic. We have thrown them in with other Scottish bands under the moniker The Sound of Young Scotland. They display a rare sense of melody, lovely lilting tunes mixed with a good time attitude that gets the crowd excited. Although slightly disappointed not to hear the whole of their first EP their new songs sound like they easily match or better their first release. I look forward to the album.
“Splashing along, through George Square. Trying to dodge the raindrops like Billy the Whizz” (Splasing along: Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes 1986)
STOCKTON WEEKENDER: http://www.stocktonweekender.co.uk/
THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD: http://thekidsaresolidgold.co.uk/
THE GEORGIAN THEATRE: http://www.teesmusicalliance.org.uk/georgiantheatre
TEAM ME: http://teamme.no/
SAINT SAVIOUR: http://saintsaviour.co.uk/
DJANGO DJANGO: http://djangodjango.bandcamp.com/
MAXIMO PARK: http://maximopark.com/
WASHINGTON IRVING: http://www.myspace.com/washingtonirvingband
By peter on August 15, 2011
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