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Beacons Festival Review- Day One. (Friday)

After hours of walking around looking for somewhere to set up camp for the weekend, finally finding a place, putting up the tent in the rain and getting into the festival, we checked out Hey Sholay a five piece band of awesome musicians that had the honour of playing near their home town of Leeds at Beacons Festival early on Friday evening. From the moment of walking in to the tent, in which they played the atmosphere hit you. It was remarkable. The tent was packed and the mix of a psychedelic beat and joyful atmosphere made for a great set. The band has a sound very much like Mystery Jets mixed with hints of Foster The People and Coldplay with a glimpse of Placebo beats thrown in.


Next it was over to the Stool Pigeon stage where Submotion Orchestra, a seven piece band with unusual instrumentation were playing. Even though it’s a unique set up, it really works and sounds good. Band members, Bobby, Taz, Chris, Tommy, Danny and Dom combining Glockenspiel, trumpet, maracas (used in place of drum sticks), percussion, bass and keys provide an exciting dub-steppy backing to the smooth tones of female vocalist Ruby which makes for a mesmerising and electrifying sound that is simply sensational. The band is also from Leeds and well worth looking out for in the future.


Time for a change of rhythm and a move to the ELFM Caravan of Love tent to see another incredible performance by Hayley Gaftarnick and her extended band. This seven piece ensemble of electric and acoustic instruments including Hayley herself on guitar was outstanding. At some points it felt very much like it was just Hayley with her band instead of all of them together as one, but the attitude changed over a few songs and it felt more like a complete band. The whole audience was thrilled with the set; they looked as if they were enjoying it. With the mix of rock, pop, country and soul the sound was everything you’d want. The band reminded me of the Mamas and Papas crossed with Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse-esque vocals.


So we were getting later at night and after hours of great music blasting through the festival, everyone was very joyful. We then made our way back to the stage to see Gross Magic who are a four piece band from Brighton. They are heavy, grungy/rock band with a strong beat. They are just what you need after a day of festivalling in rain  and walking in mud, with their Pixies-esque sound mixed with a bit of Ugly Kid Joe. They have previously supported 2:54 on their tour.


Peace were the next stop for the night, also playing in the tent, their heavy beat and psychedelic Hendrix-esque sound rocked out the tent. This four person band’s sound was very much like The Cribs and Mystery Jets, with a slight hint of Mini Mansions. The band is made up of Harrison, Dominic, Samuel and Douglas, they pleased the audience with their melodic tones, everyone   jigged happily to the music. Peace were a fill in act, they covered for Holograms who didn’t show; it was their loss because the crowd loved Peace.


Finally to finish up for Friday night Savages played in the stage. They are a four piece girl band from London; they were very punky and had an angry vibe to their music. The bassist, guitarist and lead singer looked very uniformed in their black ensemble. The band is made up of Jehnny Beth, Ayse Hassan, Fay Milton, and Gemma Thompson; together they make a unique sound. They are a lot like Subways and The Runaways, with a hint of Iggy Pop.


Review Coverage for Saturday is HERE


Lucy Hutchon


Editor of LLR since 2005

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