Saturday 4th July 2015
Western Park Festival
by Keith Jobey
with contributions from Echolocation’s bassist, Andy Askey
GrayStarr (Marquee Stage)
I arrived just in time to catch the tail end of GrayStarr’s set. A pleasant enough start from what I caught.
Stating The Obvious (Marquee Stage)
Stating The Obvious opened with a decent cover of Green Day’s Holiday, always guaranteed to please the crowd at a festival like this. They played plenty of their own alternative rock material too.
Blue Skies In June (Main Stage)
Back over on the Main Stage evolving sextet Blue Skies In June were hitting the harmonies with their cocktail of Americana/rock/country and whatever takes their fancy. A great way to spend away a sunny afternoon, sitting listening with a pint of Belvoir, under a blue sky, even if it was now July.
The Mini Nukes (Marquee Stage)
Back over at the Marquee stage The Mini-Nukes were about to explode. This turbo powered three-piece picked up the pace with a bit of ska, some punk and a whole lot of energy. I’m sure it wasn’t just the mix of sunshine and beer, I really enjoyed their set.
Indra’s Net (Marquee Stage)
Next on the Marquee stage I was pleased to finally catch Indra’s Net. This alternative/art rock band certainly had the soaring indie anthems and thoughtful headnodders with a sound akin to White Lies. Not a bad song in their set.
Not My Good Arm (Main Stage)
Over at the Main stage Not My Good Arm were playing. I missed them but fortunately Andy Askey was there and had this to say about them. Not My Good Arm have mutated from their Dr Feelgoody type beginnings to an altogether more experimental mash up of, well, everything really. Blistering tunes delivered with astounding energy.
Bellatones (Marquee Stage)
No, they’re not a supergroup formed from Bellawave and the Simpletones, they’re an urban acoustic band in their own right. I didn’t have time to see much of them but what I did catch was interesting.
Ali Clinton (Main Stage)
Over on the Main stage Ali Clinton were underway. Back over to Andy Askey for this one. Ali Clinton, who seemed to a be a black clad band of pre-pubescent’s who we assumed would be the usual four square indie rock outfit. Wrong. It was like watching an East Midlands version of a rowdy, Junior Black Crowes who were just stunning.
English Guns (Main Stage)
Kicking off in a Dropkick Murphys celtic punk style and mixing in a little of the Clash’s reggae influenced punk sound English Guns were next on the Main Stage. According to Andy Askey they looked like they should have played the sort of stuff that Ali Clinton did, but instead blasted out a set of awesome, tuneful, hard-core punk, they were wonderful.
The Native (Marquee Stage)
Calming things down a little, well a lot actually, The Native were entertaining the Marquee Stage with their violin induced folk music. Well crafted tunes delivered with confidence.
Little Dead Town (Marquee Stage)
After the quiet on the Marquee stage came the storm. Little Dead Town ramping up the levels again after The Native. They reminded me of the likes of Speaking In Italics who I see they’re supporting soon at the Soundhouse.
Ash Mammal (Main Stage)
With hair now dyed black, Dan and his mammalian band wowed another crowd and won yet more plaudits. Andy Askey had to say about them. I’ve heard a fair bit about Ash Mammal but didn’t expect this. Without doubt the best young ‘unknown’ band I’ve heard in ten years. The singer sounds like Brian Placebo on speed/helium. They sound totally unique and from brief conversations afterwards have the air of total superstars about them. If they’re not huge within a couple of years then the British music industry might as well give the f**k right up.
Linear (Marquee Stage)
I missed Linear as they clashed with Ash Mammal. But, for the Ash Mammal fans out there…
Had to leave after Ash Mammal so missed the last three acts