After another long night we were ready to start the day full of music that we had planned. First on our list was to the Noisey.com/Vice stage to see Double Muscle a three-piece band from Leeds. Their music has obvious influences from the grunge era, bands such as Nirvana and Mudhoney, with Kasabian style vocals. Most of their songs are upbeat, and fairly heavy. If they had their own live show their songs could get a strong reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately being the first band on stage on Sunday meant that most of the crowd weren’t really dancing, and so the upbeat nature of their music wasn’t reflected in the crowd’s reaction. Nevertheless they were good.
Next up was B>E>A>K (not to be confused with Beak>) a seven person band from Sunderland, who describe their music as ‘bird-rock’. Mixing elements of math-rock with anthemic, experimental Led Zeppelin style riffs (think No Quarter and trumpets), B>E>A>K create instrumental music like no others. By using trumpets and saxophones instead of vocals, they ensure that the music is kept interesting (whereas some instrumental music is lacking in this area).
After B>E>A>K we headed over to the ELFM Caravan Of Love stage to catch Ben Pike’s set although Ben Pike describes himself as a lap steel blues artist (and released an EP this year – Devil On My Shoulder EP – which reflects this description), he chose at Beacons to perform world music influenced by predominantly Asian and Indian music. His band comprises of a percussionist, a double bassist, a banjo player and himself playing the sitar. Most of his songs were soulful, and was a perfectly relaxing set to help ease you into the final day of the festival.
Next it was Willis Earl Beal (all the way from Chicago) Willis Earl Beal performs strong soul songs to a backing track, with a ‘tape machine’ rolling behind him constantly. His songs channel the like of James Brown, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, though if you need a more modern reference, Aloe Blacc. They have the same sort of style. Whilst the crowd were interested in his music, one big song could be all it takes for him to breakthrough into the mainstream. Definitely one to watch.
After Beal we hop footed it back to the Noisey.com/vice stage Hawk Eyes ‘I’m gonna go all Freddie’ quipped lead singer X as he broke his microphone stand. Although Hawk Eyes produce loud, heavy hardcore songs, they obviously take a light hearted view towards their music. With elements of Pantera and Soundgarden running through their songs, Hawk Eyes were a definite crowd pleaser, with melodic, energetic songs that had the entire packed tent dancing. It was unfortunate that time constraints meant that some clarity in their sound was sacrificed, leaving the lead guitar difficult to hear in the mix, but overall their set was enjoyable.
We stayed in the Noisey.com/Vice tent for the next few, first for That Fucking Tank a band with mixed math-rock with AC/DC style riffs to produce heavy, melodic instrumental music. Whilst the crowd were dancing to the upbeat songs, there were points when they seemed to lose interest, due to the repetitive nature of the music. They would benefit from another instrument which would detract from the lack of singer, in a similar manner to B>E>A>K.
Next up was Tall Ships, they produce dreamy indie rock sounding like Editor’s, the Maccabees and Tame Impala. The tent they played in was packed and the whole crowd was obviously interested in the music and dancing for the duration of the set.
We decided to catch Patrick Wolf (acoustic set) at the Stool Pigeon Stage. Patrick Wolf’s acoustic set mixed elements of Razorlight, the Futureheads and Bruce Springsteen, producing gentle, inoffensive, laid-back songs, which, although generally slow, were enjoyed by the whole crowd of the packed main stage, who obviously relished this relaxing set on Sunday evening. After a weekend of hard partying, before the main acts of the day were due to come on. Patrick Wolf played an enchanting performance on stage, with his two backing string players.
We went to the press tent/VIP tent after this to chill out and just look through photo’s, after this we went to the Noisey.com/Vice stage to catch Blacklisters’ set. Blacklisters produce an aural assault of heavy, Gallows/Black Flag style hardcore punk. Obviously confident as musicians and performing, the crowd response to their set was phenomenal, particularly when the lead singer said “Okay, I’m coming in!” he decided to crowd surf.
The penultimate act on the Noisey.com/Vice stage on Sunday were This Ain’t Vegas . A very tight band with a large following, the crowd went crazy for this band and their jangly punk music that mixes the sounds of Blink 182 and the Offspring with the Libertines and The Smiths. Unusually for the heavier style of music, the guitarist used a Rickenbacker, a guitar usually heard in the music of The Beatles and Paul Weller.
And for the finale for the weekend Cloud Nothings were introduced as “the best band since Mudhoney and Nirvana”, two bands that aptly describe their general sound. With heavy, beat songs that have a distinctive ‘garage-rock’ feel to them (think The Strokes), this is a band that sounds as if they would be happy playing festival gigs or tiny upstairs bars. With songs that provoke an immediate response from the crowd (moshing and dancing alike), and three albums released in just two years, Cloud Nothings can only get bigger, certainly worth a listen. They really put everyone in a great mood to finish the festival.