So I went to Manchester’s dot to dot weekend festival a few weeks ago with my friend Cara Balen (go check her blog out on caragwenblog.wordpress.com)and it was truly amazing. This was largely due to the fact that there were quite a few bands playing that I love and most I had never seen live before. My friend and I had planned to go a few months ago but we didn’t really sort it out until the last minute but nevertheless it was incredible.
Neither of us are from Manchester nor do we know a lot about the locations of the venues in the city centre so we pre-planned our route to the different venues and we found them fairly easily , I also know from experience at Live At Leeds Festival that it’s so easy to get lost and miss a set ( If you’re going to a festival similar to this one and you don’t know the area very well then I highly recommend that you print off the directions, don’t risk it).
Anyway, we decided it was better to just remain in one venue instead of moving across the city centre but fortunately for us, the bands we particularly wanted to see were mostly in the same venue which was Manchester Cathedral. (With the exception of ‘Pale Waves’ who we sacrificed as a result of this. Highly recommend them though as they are insane.) Due to our travel arrangements we were at the festival from around 17:30 to 22:30 and so altogether we saw 4 bands and each set varied from 20 to around 30 mins.
Unfortunately I took most of my photos using a disposable camera but they developed awfully so I haven’t used them, but keep reading to find out who I saw and a little review of their sets…
The Hunna are just an all-round explosive indie rock band who are very much at the start of what I can tell to be a very exciting and successful next few years to come. I have never seen The Hunna live so I was particularly excited to see the lads at this festival and I was not dissapointed. Not in the slightest. The one thing that truly stood out about this band was the genuine passion for the music and the energy that radiated from each of them during their performance. Not once did they ‘chill’.
The only thing I would pick up on was how dead the crowd was apart from a group of people towards the front. Everyone has different views on what the ‘perfect crowd’ would be but the crowd overall didn’t seem to match the performance of the 4. This is in no way a criticism on their behalf because I genuinely feel like it may have just been the fact that quite a few people were unfamiliar with a few of their songs. Anyway, one thing is clear, they will certainly have gone away and listened to them afterwards. From the profoundly fiery chorus of ‘Bonfire’ to the slightly more relaxed but equally captivating song, ‘We could be’, The Hunna absolutely smashed it.
Sundara Karma are just mental. I have already seen them live once this year at The Wardrobe, Leeds and their crowds are by far the most crazy I’ve ever been in and considering I’m also a huge classic rock fan, this is saying something. For their entire set, the crowd was continuously moving and pit formed after pit. I actually spent the majority of their show separated from my friend purely because we had quite literally been forced apart. Opening up with the dynamic new single ‘A Young Understanding’ from the very first chord played, everyone was ready to move. Sundara ended with most recent single ‘Loveblood’ which is by far one of my absolute faves and everyone around me was both drenched in sweat and looked like what appeared to be ‘lost in euphoria’.
If you ever have the chance to see Sundara Karma or you are unfamiliar with their music, I strongly recommend you do so.
As a slight sidenote- Just wanted to shout out each of the lads (Oscar,Haydn, Ally and Dom) for also being fashion icons. Particularly Oscar for his fascinating shirts and Dom for his insane, stripey trousers.
This was my second time seeing Rat boy as I first saw him support ‘The 1975’ (along with Liam, Noah and Harry) late last year and I have to draw attention to just how big he has become. Rat boy has a fairly disaparate sound which I personally believe to sound bigger and better live but the one thing that stands out for me is the rawness and grittiness of his lyrics that I am sure hit-home with a lot of today’s youth.
Jordan Cardy, Rat boy, has an extreme passion for his music and the effect it has on his fans and you clearly see this in the energy that he emanates whilst performing. I distinctly remember him referring to the fact that his set was too short (around 20 minutes) and that the would only leave if he was dragged off and this only increased the hype of the audience. ‘Sportswear’ live, in my opinion, was by far the best partly because it is my favourite song of his but also due to the elation that I felt whilst being in that crowd at that point.
I hadn’t actually heard much of Mystery Jets before I saw them as our final band at dot to dot festival but I was aware of the hype surrounding them so automatically I was expecting great things. I was not dissapointed.
‘Mystery Jets’ hold an intriguing and heartfelt stage prescence aswell as having the ability to take the audience with them on their emotional journeys which are evident within their songs. One song that stood out in particular for me was ‘Blood Red Balloon’ which despite having never heard before really reflected what this band was really about and enabled me to connect with it on a certain level. The talent illustrated by each of the band members, particularly frontman Blaine Harrison is clear-cut in the way that he alternates between playing the guitar and playing the piano whilst singing which only adds to the overall experience.