Review: Tom Dibb
Images: Jonathan Taylor
Despite the last-minute arrangement of the festival, Bingley Weekender sported one of the most varied line-ups of the festival season. Headlined by Brit-pop greats Ocean Colour Scene, Doves and James, the festival played host to some of music’s more recent up-and-comers such as Miles Kane, Sports Team and the mighty IDLES.
Established as a replacement to the previously established Bingley Music Live, the inaugural Bingley Weekender was a festival of two halves. Although musically wonderful, the festival was somewhat let down by mismanagement and poor planning.
With stellar acts announced over the course of the festivals 3 days, the line-up offered something for all tastes. Acts such as Circa Waves, The Blinders and Miles Kane whipped the crowd up with their guitar fuelled offerings, showcasing that contrary to popular belief, guitar music still has a pivotal role within the modern musical climate. The festival reached its peak somewhat early with the performance by punk-rock juggernaut IDLES. Political, energetic and raucous, IDLES played a set that appealed not only to long-term fans but also the festival crowd. Their cries of, “Fuck Boris” echoed the general consensus of the crowd, creating an atmosphere of political catharsis.
This is not to state that the festivals best performances were reserved for the main stage. The festivals Discovery and New Music stages played host to a plethora of wonderful acts such as Anteros, Saint Agnes and the wonderfully named Sunshine Frisbee Lazerbeam. The variety of groups was best summed up by Manchester’s The Big Peach, with their unique brand of 1960’s fuelled, Beatles-esque rock ‘n’ roll. Local rockers Venus highlighted the strength of the current musical Northern musical scope, playing loud, fast and dripping with a punk energy.
Headliners Doves proved beyond any doubt that their reunion has been a sure-fire success. However, it must be stated that Friday’s headliners Ocean Colour Scene closed the night off in somewhat of a whimper. Playing to an exhausted post-IDLES crowd, Ocean Colour Scene delivered an offering populated with acoustic tracks that could be best described as somewhat self-indulgent. Sunday’s headliners James provided a sing-along atmosphere befitting the festival tone. Playing a set that contained hit after hit and had the crowd in full voice from start to finish. The showcase reached its pinnacle with a surprise set closer of ‘Laid’, with a screaming crowd and an ever interpretive dancing Tim Booth, they closed Bingley Weekender with a bang.
Unfortunately, the performance of the origasers failed to match up to that of the artists, perhaps best encapsulated by a set from Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Club, or lack thereof. Tragically for all Craig Charles fan, mismanagement within the festival lead to Charles being left with no DJ equipment, forcing him to pull his much anticipated performance from the festival.
Bingley Weekender gave platform to a wonderful scope of music. Regardless of genre taste, acts throughout the weekend showcased a wonderful variety of music that exists within the modern musical landscape. However, it must be stated that the weekend was somewhat muddied by mismanagement within the festival. Late entry to both the mainstage arena and the festival as a whole as well as the catastrophic organisation of the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club dampened the spirit of the festival. Despite this, the musicality of the festival shone through brightest of all.