Summer Sundae - Day One - A Review In Pictures - De Montfort Hall + Gardens Leicester
Summer Sundae takes place on the grounds of Leicester's De Montfort Hall with bands appearing on four different stages. I last visited the Festival in 2005 so a return trip was slightly overdue.
Arriving around two thirty, I spent the first part of my afternoon wandering around checking where all the stages were, finally settling over at the intimate Musician Stage, taking in part of Kirsty Almeida's performance. Although her name rung a bell she hadn't really featured on my radar before and I found myself really enjoying what was on offer. The singer performed wearing flamboyant head gear with band members sporting carnival masks; Kirsty's set was presumably pulled from her forthcoming debut album Pure Blue Green, with single 'Spider' making an appearance.
I hung around for a bit to watch Brighton Folk trio Peggy Sue then moved down to the Main Stage as I wanted to see Fanfarlo as I was intrigued by their set at SXSW back in March. There were a few photographers in the photo pit waiting for the band to come on and we were all left scratching our heads when Irish troubadour Fionn Regan took to the stage. I found out later that the band had suffered car trouble on their way to the event, with Fionn taking their place on the Main Stage. Sadly Fionn's music wasn't really my thing so I left him strumming away as I headed up to the Last FM Rising Stage to view my highlight of the day, a set from singer songwriter Lissie.
I've seen Lissie play at a few Festivals recently and she's always been one of the best acts (if not the best) on offer. I adore her album Catching A Tiger and live, the songs are given just that extra bit of "oomf"! Every song that made an appearance sounded great but 'Everywhere I Go' always gets me and the guitar solo and final chorus of set closer, 'In Sleep', just destroy everything in their path. Lissie's set went down a storm with the capacity crowd in the tent but I was still extremely surprised that she was allowed back onstage to give the crowd what they wanted - one more song in the shape of the album's title track. I'm pretty sure the US singer's set gained her several new converts. Lissie had mentioned she was playing in town with The Script later in the year and I noticed two sets of people around me making "ooh, let's go to that" types of gestures!
I hung around at the Rising Stage for Eliza Doolittle's performance. The popular pop act was originally scheduled to play in the Musician Stage tent but was moved to her current location as someone had canceled. As Eliza was the biggest mainstream act on the bill it would have been a nightmare trying to view her set originally and there were plenty people struggling to catch a glimpse of the singer in the extremely crammed Rising Stage tent. Luckily I was ensconced in the photo pit for the first three songs so had a front row position to see Miss Doolittle strutting her stuff. I originally came across Eliza via her 2009 EP but didn't take to the songs on offer at the time. That being said I pretty much avoided her self titled debut album until the day before my Sundae trip where I played catch up, actually finding the majority of it pretty enjoyable, so I was looking forward to her show, vowing to stay around until I heard my favourite song 'Missing'.
Well, the track in question was first out the gate so I knew I didn't have to hang about. After my three song allocation I listened to a bit more of her performance from the bar but there was no way of actually getting near to the stage so I gave up. That being said, the three songs I did see made me want to view a set from Eliza again so hopefully our paths will cross soon.
Things were hotting up back at the Main Stage with a decent crowd assembled for veteran Scots Indie stars Teenage Fanclub. I'm not a big fan and the words "here's another from our new album" had me beating a path to the Indoor Stage to see what Slow Club were up to.
I'd last seen the Sheffield duo back in May at Newcastle's Evolution Festival where they'd played a very entertaining gig. Their Sundae slot wasn't as much fun but that's probably because I left the photo pit pissed off as the Indoor Stage suffered from the most horrendous lighting throughout the weekend making picture taking a chore! Although I'm not hugely up on the pair's material I did remember a couple of songs that stood out last time round when they played them and it was good to know that they were both new tracks as that bodes well for the band's future. Slow Club finished their set steamrolling their way through excellent recent single 'Giving Up On Love'.
I returned to the main stage to watch my final act of the night Mr. Seasick Steve. His music doesn't do a thing for me so I'm always surprised that he has a huge fan base. He seems like a decent fellow though as he spent a bit of time earlier happily posing for numerous pictures with crowd members, obviously making their day. I've photographed Steve on a couple of occasions and he's always been sitting down so it was a bit of shock when he made his way to the front of the stage, making my time in the pit a little bit more fun. I didn't hang around after I left the pit, heading off to process my pictures.