As we've mentioned in the past few weeks, there are tonnes of festivals announcing their line-ups at the moment and all of them seem to be delivering some stellar line-ups. We have a reformed Outkast playing tonnes of dates the world over, Arctic Monkeys for Reading and Leeds, Snoop Dogg at Parklife, Beck at Bestival. Summer 2014 is already looking like one for the books.
Keeping it real in the Derbyshire Countryside though, the ever growing Y-Not Festival has announced it's first few headliners and a bunch of acts playing their tents across the first weekend of August 1st-3rd. Dizzee Rascal and White Lies top the bill for the main stage, with some exciting looking names throughout the initial announcement. If you're up for a party, I'm sure Andrew W.K. will be happy to help out with that. Or maybe you're feeling a little more chilled, in which case Newton Faulkner can serenade you. Last year's Y Not was their biggest yet and by the looks of it the team their are planning something extra special for 2014. I'd highly recommend if you're in the UK and wanting to check out a grass roots festival with a really nice, relaxed atmosphere, make it this one.
If you're in a band and fancy playing the festival, head over to their Facebook page for more info and you could be doing just that; playing Y Not!
Tickets are on sale now and you can grab them here. Check out the announcement video below for the full line-up though.
I personally think day two at a festival is the hardest. You get over eager on the Friday and inevitably have a few too many. Sunday's easier as you tend to (not always, mind you) have learned your lesson. So with a slightly delicate head on the Saturday, I started my day with a band to shake off the cobwebs after a long and very wet Friday at Y Not Festival 2013. The band I'm talking about are an act who have been hyped beyond belief by BBC radio in recent months.
Hailing from Sheffield the band consisting of two brothers, Drenge, took to the stage to a swelling crowd as the day was still young. Feedback galore and riffs to shake your insides out they made a hell of a racket for a two piece. Their latest single "Face Like A Skull" got the crowd energised and they went down as easy as the days third real ale. The only problem with the entire thing was the way the drum kit was Mic'd up. The snare was far too loud. I'm one of this people who blinks with incredibly loud noises and I was on and off like an Xbox controller on its last legs. Still, the set was great.
As the ay progressed I explored the grounds a little more. The festival itself is cosy. You don't have to walk any longer than 10 minutes to get to where you want to be. At one point I was approached to be asked if I wanted a back massage by a lovely lady who took donations if it was decent. I declined at this point but I saw many a person take the pair up on their free back rubs. The general atmosphere of the entire fest is something I wish everyone could experience. It's so relaxed and friendly. You can strike up a conversation with anyone and they'll offer one back. Sure, it could be a drunken rambling about their last pair of wellies but it's fun.
Back to the music. Up next on the Big Gin Stage were Swim Deep, another band gaining momentum in the past few months. On the surface they look like every other indie and you can imagine. Shaggy hair and floral shirts, but their delivery of their songs was honest. Considering the hectic year they've had they delivered a solid set and for a mid level band on the bill they pulled in a decent crowd. As I went to grab a coat from my tent, I saw the boys walk off stage and have a kick about with a football before some of their interviews. They seemed relaxed and accomplished. They seemed to have enjoyed their outing in Derbyshire.
Another band who've been thrust into the limelight over the past 6 months are a band we've had endless love for from day one here on SKOA; The 1975. I wandered over to The Quarry tent to be greeted by a sea of people surging 15feet from the entrances. Their was no way in to the tent as the band delivered perfect indie pop to the heaving afternoon crowd. Luckily the sun was shining and I could sit and admire how far the Manchester based band had come in such a short time. Their singles "Sex" and "The City" were greeted with raucous applause and cheers from the crowd. I think they'll be not he main stage of many a festival in 2014.
Back to the main stage now for a throwback of kinds in the form of Ash. A band who Ive personally not listened to in a good 10 years. Which is kind of odd really considering they're probably right at the top of my iTunes collection when it's opened. They opened with "A Life Less Ordinary" before going straight into "A Girl From Mars" which had me bouncing up and down like a teenage boy once more. Not bad for a song that came out when I was 6 years old. The set was stellar and they ended on their biggest hit "Burn Baby Burn" and like that they were gone. Who knows when I'll next listen to them, but they made me happy and that's all you can ask from a live show really.
To the main event of the evening. The second band of brothers to take to the Big Gin Stage on Friday were Wakefield's finest export The Cribs. As the Jarman family took to the stage the crowd was the largest I've witnessed at my two years attending the festival. Heads as far as the eye could see. It's no Glastonbury Pyramid stage but it felt like something special was about to go down, and it did. "Chi-Town" tour the place apart within the opening seconds and the crowd was bouncing, swaying from side to side as it surged. People fell down, they got picked up. The set was purely the hits. It's easy to forget how much great material these lads have. "I'm A Realist" , "Cheat On Me", "Mirror Kissers", "Hey Scenesters" and "Men's Needs" all made an appearance. It was one of those sets where it felt like it ended too quickly. As it ended, another day did also.
Ryan Jarman would later take to twitter to state: I could try to explain how amazing [Y Not Festival ]was last night, but I just can’t. One of the best Cribs shows ever.” Saturday was a good day.
Festivals of all sizes are always a blast. Contrary to belief, bigger is not always better. Last weekend I took the trip over to Derbyshire, the county I grew up in from age 4-18, to hit up the fantastic Y Not Festival. A grassroots festival that started in a Quarry with a group of friends. It's now grown to be an award winning small festival with an amazing atmosphere and an ever growing number of big bands topping the line-up. This year was the biggest and best with The Cribs, The Horrors and The Darkness headlining the main stage and a flurry of great bands performing across another 6 stages.
Arriving at the festival you notice its small stature, like a little brother you want to look after. It feels friendly and that's what I like about it when I first touched down in the fields. The sun was peeking out from between clouds and the camping areas were filling up with a mix of young and old from all walks of life. After finding a nice spot to camp, and having found out I'd bought a palace rather than your average two man tent, I did what any normal person does when arriving at a festival does; I had a beer. The great thing about Y Not is that it has numerous bars, all holding local ales and ciders, ranging from the normal to the crazy stronger stuff. Wonderful.
With a beer in hand I headed to see where my ears took me from the noises carried not he wind. A favourite trick of mine for festivals early on in the day when you may not know all of the bands playing. Sons and Lovers at the Quarry stage delivered an on point set tracks to a packed out tent. One advantage to playing ear lie run the day on the opening afternoon of a festival. My ears then took me across the field to a noise that sounded more up my street. A heavy, glitchy guitar jolt of electrifying Dillinger Escape Plan-esque math-rock. I walk into the tent to be absolutely blown away by a 4-piece instrumental band by the name of Axes. Playing to a sweltering Giant Squid Stage tent, the relationship the four had was noticeable. TO play the stuff they were playing so seamlessly, it was undeniably breathtaking. A definite highlight of the day, if not the entire weekend.
Next up I finally got to witness Willy Moon in a live situation. Walking out with a Gretsch round his neck and accompanied by an all girl band, I couldn't help but think of Jack White and his recent penchant for an all girl band. Two songs to his high energy set though, Willy is seen just wandering around the stage sipping from a mug, giving nods to people who wave… All sound on the main stage had died. He leaves the stage. It took a good hour until normality resumed and he finished his set in torrential rain. Fair play to him though, he absolutely killed it and the crowd was not disheartened by the British Summer weather. "Yeah Yeah" went down a treat with the umbrella wielding crowd.
The weather from here on on Friday was the stuff of a romantic comedy that might see the two main characters kissing and making up in the rain ala Spiderman. I Managed to catch part of the "surprise set" from Reverend and the Makers who, to be fair to them, did get the crowd well and truly going. Headline sets at festivals are always tricky to choose between but Y Not did everyone a favour and had the tents ending earlier than the main stage. That went out the window. I squeezed into a packed Quarry Stage tent to watch Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, the act I was most looking forward to from the weekend's line-up. Pip was a force to be reckoned with, walking around the stage and completely demanding the attention of the crowd while Dan offered up recognisable beats from their back catalogue. Just as the crowd were really starting to bounce, Scroob states that we "all need to leave, they're evacuating the tent". The storm outside was righteous and for safety, we all had to leave but were told to come back 30 minutes later.
Everyone and more returned and witnessed the duo debut their new single "Stunner" to the crowd. Finishing up the set, Scroob took to the crowd and was carried around, high-riving as he went. Due to this misfortune I missed The Horrors but caught a few tracks as I made my way back through the crowd to the campsite. I finished day one at Y Not 2013 happy, with my ears ringing from a combination of beats and thunder, literally. It was a good day.
We've mentioned Y Not Festival a few times in the past few months and this weekend hoards of people will gather in Pikehall, Derbyshire to see some fantastic live music. We'll be making the trip over to enjoy the weekend in the sun (hopefully) and before we do that we thought we'd include some information on the bands we're most look forward to seeing over the weekend.
Make the jump to get the low-down. The festival is now sold-out so if you slept on it, I'm afraid you've missed otu this year. Be sure to find the guys on Facebook to keep up with next year's plans.
Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip
Where: Quarry Stage
Why? Quick wit, great beats and a return from the duo after their last release back in 2007. Excited yet? You should be. Try and keep up as Scroob lays verse after verse down making you both think and dance all at the same time. A deadly combination.
Where: The Big Gin Stage
Why? The Wakefield band of brothers have come a long way over the past decade and their live shows are raw as freshly chopped onions. With their latest album released just last year after the departure of Johnny Marr from the ranks, they've gone back to basics and I'm sure the performance will be a highlight of the weekend for many.
Where: The Big Gin Stage
Why? When you first see Willy Moon you might not expect him to be a mover and a shaker, given his clean cut hair and dapper suits. Don't let that fool you. His live performances pack a punch and after releasing his brilliant album, Here's Willy Moon, he's sure to leave the main stage crowd impressed.
Where: The Big Gin Stage
Why? If Dan Le Sac and Scroob ain't quite your thing on Friday evening, then how about you head over to the Big Gin stage to witness The Horrors perform tracks from their absolutely stunning LP, Skying. On point and it could be argued, better live than on record. You be the judges.
Where: Quarry Stage
Why? Another band of Brothers for you to check out on one of the smaller stages. The Family Rain recorded in their families basement and the results on record are wonderful. Gritty and blues tinged, perfect for a Sunday afternoon in the sun.
Where: The Giant Squid Stage
Why? A two piece band that will melt your face and make you want to kiss the person next to you all at the same time? Wet Nuns are for you with Kyuss like riffs and stoner vibes. Make sure you catch these guys and shake off your Sunday cobwebs.
Where: The Big Gin Stage
Why? We've mentioned China Rats a few times on SKOA and they're definitely a band to keep a close eye on over the coming months and festival season. Catch them now before they start playing larger crowds and bigger tents. It could be an "I was there" moment for the years to come.
The Joy Formidable
Where: The Big Gin Stage
Why? A band with fans such as Mark Hoppus and Dave Grohl have got to be high on your "to-see" list for Sunday surely? These guys are sure to start your Sunday evening with a bang before the big guns take to headlining.
You know what I enjoy even more than the UK's biggest festivals? The smaller ones. Last year I ventured back into my home county of Derbyshire to hit up Y Not festival, a homegrown, grass roots built from the ground up festival. Boy did I have a good time. The likes of The Wombats, We Are Scientists, Pulled Apart By Horses, Roots Manuva, Little Comets and a host more across numerous stages graced the fields. This year promises to be even bigger, and with the winning the best small festival award last year, they're going to want to keep the good graces coming their way. With real ale and cider on offer too, family and friends a like are sure to have a good time along with tasting some great local produce.
This summer, over the weekend of August 2nd-4th, the normally peaceful countryside will play host to a melting pot of talent old and new. Headlining the Big Gin Stage will be The Horrors, The Cribs and The Darkness along with Ash, The Joy Formidable, Sky Larkin, Swim Deep, Drenge, Willy Moon. Gracing The Quarry Stage will be The 1975, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Electric Six, Stealing Sheep, The Family Rain and Sons and Lovers. Thing stake a heavier turn on The Giant Squid Stage with Wet Nuns, We Are The Ocean, Sharks, Arcane Roots, Gnarwolves and The Computers playing their music to the tent.
The full line-up can be seen over on the official site with tickets priced at just £79.50. More bands are yet to be announced. Treat yourself to some summer fun.