By Sammy Maine
Saturday 2 June saw the return of Dot to Dot, with the likes of The Drums and Pulled Apart by Horses headlining the venue-to-venue festival.
Thekla is the main hub for the event, with indie fans galore gathering for their pick of the uber-hyped bands of the past year. Bristol-based band Idles kick things off at The Cooler. Even though it’s still early, the venue is relatively busy and the punters already seem in good spirits. The band erupt into their half an hour set, mixing influences of Joy Division and The Maccabees, while lead singer Joe Talbot holds the audiences gaze at every sway and turn. The band’s rough and ready approach mixed with their infectious stage presence and awesome audience interaction proves that Idles are certainly on their way to making it big.
Over at The Louisiana, Casimir are enveloping the crowd with their apt summery vibes. Although the heat gets a little too much to bear thanks to the jam-packed bar and muggy weather, so Lucy Rose over at the O2 Academy proves a better bet. Lucy has been hotly tipped for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise as the venue quickly fills up. Shuffling on stage, she could pass for a china doll as her guitar engulfs her petite frame. Smiling sweetly to the crowd, Lucy begins her set, showing off her gorgeous vocals and country-like tunes. Plus, she’s wearing a Dry The River t-shirt which certainly gives her extra brownie points. Her band accompanies her perfectly, as each song effortlessly comes together. It’s a shame then that the O2 once again lives up to its idiotic crowd reputation, with most of the audience chatting loudly during quiet moments and drunk groups heckling her at every given opportunity. The bouncers did chuck them out though, which is always reassuring.
The Fleece plays host to Kyla La Grange and the venue is already packed to the brim even though it’s only just past 7pm. Her strong vocals keep the crowd in check, as she effortlessly saunters around the stage in her vintage gothic frock. She could easily be put in the same boat as fellow female singers Anna Calvi and Lykke Li, but Kyla manages to make her set her own. As the night goes on and the rain pours harder, The Fleece continues to stay busy and ready for Manchester lad Jake Bugg. It would be easy to expect a Gallagher wannabe but as soon as Jake opens his mouth, the crowd do so too. His bluesy vocals and wise-before-his-time presence make this 19-year-old truly stand out as one of the highlights of the day. Songs ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Country’ really solidify Bugg as one to watch this year.
Finally, Summer Camp arrive around 9.30pm to begin setting up. It takes them over an hour to finally finish placing everything perfectly, which doesn’t do well with the crowd. The faint boo’s begin and the sound technician is eager to get them started, with a reply from guitarist Jeremy, ‘you can’t, we don’t have a singer.’ So as we wait yet another ten minutes, the band finally begins. Singer Elizabeth arrogantly saunters on stage with no apology of her disappearing act or any recognition of the audience whatsoever. Her poor attitude overshadows her vocal abilities and the crowd are reluctant to warm to the band’s set. It gets even worse, as a pint is thrown on stage and the band continuously tell the crowd to be quiet. For an act that is so high up on the bill, it’s a shame that they don’t even seem to want to be there. A frustrating end to an otherwise great Dot to Dot.