LIVE: Dot To Dot Festival @ Manchester (04/06/2012)

Date: June 4th, 2012
Venue: HMV Ritz / Sound Control / Joshua Brooks / The Deaf Institute / Zoo, Manchester
Website: www.dottodotfestival.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dottodotfestival
Twitter: www.twitter.com/d2dmanchester

Rating:

Gallery: Click here!

Offering some of the most promising up-and-coming bands in the indie/alternative rock genres all in a tri-city touring festival, Dot To Dot Festival is one of the best ways for people to get a hold of bands who are the verge of breaking through or who are looking to get a hold of something new. Not one to miss out if we can help it, we stopped by on the third and final date of this year’s Dot To Dot in Manchester.


HMV RITZ

THIS MANY BOYFRIENDS – 6/10
Though not out of their depth, it’s clear that This Many Boyfriends aren’t used to the scale of this show, unashamedly admitting they have to carry on with their set quickly to avoid nerves setting in. Be that as it may, when performing they look as comfortable as they would in a local pub. Light-hearted, pop choruses set against noisy post-punk guitar solos, keeping the crowd interested. However, it’s the more subdued tracks where you’re really enthralled and sucked in by the emotive vocals and minimalist guitar work. Cleverly constructed set, wonderfully executed. [JB]

PATTERNS – 6/10
Manchester locals, Patterns, open to darkness except for one solitary strip of fairy lights, whilst atmospheric electronica provides the soundtrack to the scene. A slow build up into full band shoegaze bliss sets the mood for the rest of the show. Uplifting yet melancholic melodies waft amongst the crowd, with strong drumbeats acting as the driving force. Ethereal synth, delay-heavy guitars and beautiful vocals make for an evocative performance. [JB]

BASTILLE – 7/10
In the biggest venue holding the event, Bastille do well to pull a nice sized crowd. Bringing a more positive and bouncy side of Hurts to the table, a lot of synth features in their tracks which will make them hot favourites to make a stamp on the charts much like Alex Claire. A cover of 00s hit ‘What Would You Do’ by City High leaves the most impact, but with more exposure, Bastille will have their own music making as much of an impact. [RJ]

LUCY ROSE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

DOG IS DEAD – 8/10
Dog Is Dead bring splashes of sunshine indie bursts to a now excited and dancing crowd. The summer festivals will be clamouring to have this band play at their events, the five-piece from Nottingham being a perfect soundtrack to cider in the sunshine. Set closer out with their favoured track ‘Glockenspiel Song’ to an enamoured audience, proving themselves capable of holding their own on a high profile stage at a prime time. [RJ]

SUMMER CAMP
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

THE DRUMS – 9/10
As would you expect from Brooklyn’s The Drums, the crowd attracted was colossal, filling the HMV Ritz. With the stage in darkness, the crowd roars when the first synth notes begin to sound out. Samples ring through as the members are lit up in a blue aura. Jonathan Pierce‘s now (almost) trademark dance moves excite the crowd as he jives across the stage. There is a curious combination of melancholy and joy especially emphasised by the introduction: “This song is about my dead friend”. The emotive performance is strangely dark and moody, with the more well-known songs such as ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ maintaining a healthy balance, lifting the set with a more light-hearted tone. An amazing, well executed show that evoked an array of emotions from the audience. [JB]


ZOO

Sadly, we were unable to catch any bands performing at this venue/stage.


JOSHUA BROOKS

EYES ON FILM
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

LAST DINOSAURS – 9/10
In the underground club, Last Dinosaurs really thrive. These Australians are a sassier and sweeter Two Door Cinema Club, with surf pop melodies accompanied by layered vocals of sweetness. They’re not daunted to slow things down, and provide a much more enjoyable antidote to The Naked And The Famous‘ surge in these shores. Ending the set by pointing everyone in the direction of their cassette player powered by a pedal bike, hopefully we’ll be able to hear more from these in an easier way real soon. [RJ]

RUMOUR SAID FIRE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

TWO WOUNDED BIRDS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

O CHILDREN
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

DIRTY GOODS – 5/10
An interesting mix of British indie and electronic samples entertains the small crowd that accumulates for Dirty Goods in the basement. Singer, Anthony Smith bounces between playing guitar and singing, yet somehow looks uneasy on stage. Nevertheless, the catchy choruses carries the band through the set, but a little more energy from its members would have pumped up the vibe it was so desperately trying to create. [JB]

THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS – 7/10
New York based duo, The Hundreds In The Hands, more than impress with their heavy funk feel as cutting synth and huge bass samples encourage the perfect disco atmosphere. The soft, mellow vocals, provided by Eleanore Everdell, bounce over the uptempo music with the acoustic drums hammering the rhythm through, maintaining that party vibe. A very well-constructed set mixes straight up dancefloor anthems with more subdued, docile tracks satisfying all of the audience’s needs. [JB]

JOSH KUMRA
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

LULA JAMES
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SWISS LIPS – 7/10
With a huge disco vibe, Swiss Lips keep the energy up as the night drew on. Much of the attention was stolen by frontman Sam, with his rock ‘n’ roll persona and flawless high-pitched vocals. The pretty much constant set of electro-pop likened to artists such as Death Grips, with ample amounts of funk only dropping down once for a slightly slower track. Big choruses pushed the dance feel but lacked individuality. [JB]

THE INTERNET – 9/10
An affiliate of Odd Future, The Internet, present the audience with a fascinating combination of trip-hop, soul and smooth funk. The beautiful melodies and soft singing provided by Syd Tha Kyd juxtapose against the band’s attitude, with lyrics such as ““We don’t give a fuck” create an interesting, contemporary image and sound, resembling some of N.E.R.D.‘s work. The laidback feel mixed with minimalistic hip-hop makes for a very hypnotic performance, lulling the crowd into a gentle sway. The Internet are not to be missed.


DEAF INSTITUTE

Sadly, we were unable to catch any bands performing at this venue/stage.


SOUND CONTROL – BASEMENT

EUGENE FRANCIS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

GABRIEL BRUCE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

BROKEN HANDS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

CLOCK OPERA – 8/10
Heavy basstones and off-time drumtracks open, creating an interesting mix of 80s electro pop and contemporary electronica whilst the hefty crowd pile into the small space. Melodically impressive vocals skirt over the top of the thumping low end again, creating an 80s nostalgia. There’s a general pulsing sway amongst the crowd which is intensified when ‘The Lost Buoys’, a noticeably more popular song kicks in. The track has an anthem quality to it, the crowd climaxing to the driving beat. [JB]

PEACE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

THEPETEBOX
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

PEARL AND THE BEARD
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

WILLIS EARL BEAL – 9/10
Willis Earl Beal has been an enigma in the music press as of late, appearing with layers of crooning soul over scattered puzzles of guitar and rhythms. Live he is a beast just waiting to be released. Starting off sat with a guitar laid over his lap creating unique melodies, he lets his deep and mournful vocal overwhelm the audience in attendance. For the rest of the set he is standing, with everyone in the palm of his hands, entranced. Recorded beats are played out on an old rolling tape player, not like anything seen before. [RJ]

DOLDRUMS – 9/10
Doldrums‘ unconventional attitude towards music really shines through with their set. Manic, ethereal vocals cut through the tribal beats that blasted through the small audience with enormous intensity. The use of drumtracks allowed the acoustic drummer to swing from the rafters and at one point join the crowd in dancing, quite a show. Their relaxed approach whilst playing and more downtempo tracks made for a trippy atmosphere which then crescendo’ed into straight up electronic groove leaving the listener blown away; an entirely unique experience. [JB]

KWES
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

OLUGBENGA (METRONOMY)
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

BONDAX
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


SOUND CONTROL – LIVE LOUNGE

LEWIS WATSON – 5/10
Appearing late on stage, Lewis Watson appears to an array of teenage fans, all silently squealing with excitement to see the young man in the flesh. Much like most acoustic acts around, Watson produces a lovelorn melody less urban than Ed Sheeran and just plain not as good as City and Colour. Although this music more suited to his teen girl fan base that were all at the front, everyone would enjoy his light moments, performing well, just not providing anything original to excite today. [RJ]

SOUNDRELS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

WONDER VILLAINS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

A PLASTIC ROSE – 5/10
Somewhat of an oddball, A Plastic Rose struggle to draw a sizable crowd, however, this doesn’t deter them from putting their heart into their performance. A grunge, punk rock feel fills the room but doesn’t sit well with the entire audience. Placebo-esque vocals accompany the noise rock guitars. Screamy backing vocals struggle to connect with the already unsure crowd. Nevertheless they plough on with their performance. However, lack of diversity within their set disappoints somewhat. [JB]

DEAF CLUB
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

RYAN KEEN
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

RANDOM IMPULSE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SUNLESS ’97
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

ISLET
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


SOUND CONTROL – LOFT

SHINIES – 6/10
Shinies open the day with their jangly indie pop. With everything starting after 2:00PM, everyone has chance to turn up and the local Manchester band pull in a reasonably interested and raring to go crowd. Their crooning, local vocals are tight and professional, while their melodies are a prime example of how 80s new wave are influencing the new groups of today. [RJ]

THE MEN – 7/10
Turning everything up, The Men inject a rocky and gritty edge to thus far light and indie-like sounds. Driving intervals and some actual movement and energy from the group really intensifies the event. Garage rock like this hasn’t been witnessed this dirty since The White Stripes, with grunge and punk incorporated into the proceedings, providing a real dash of infectious music. [RJ]

TURBOWOLF – 9/10
Egyptian style samples commence one of the best performances of the day. Chris Georgiadis sways to the music with a scarf covering his face like a gypsy mystic. Huge acidic riffs then rumble into the minds of the audience whilst big beats pound through them. Turbowolf‘s performance is unerringly tight with tricky pauses and timing perfectly nailed. Frontman Chris is both erratic yet precise. He commands the audience with a lovable charm, yet the rock ‘n’ roll persona just oozes out of him. Like a modern day, turbo-charged (awful pun, I know) Hendrix, not for his guitar playing but for his performance, he bounces around the stage regularly dropping to the floor; plays the synth with his teeth and commands the Theremin as though he is casting a spell. [JB]

2:54 – 3/10
The buzz surrounding grunge-shoegazers 2:54 isn’t really justified in tonight’s set. The music is quite dark and dreary, Collette Thurlow‘s mellow and muted vocals floating away and never instilling into their audience. Some of their melodies stand up nicely, Radiohead spring to mind with their sparse eclecticism, and recent single ‘Scarlet’ is the highlight of a plodding set. [RJ]

PURE LOVE – 10/10
This minor setback is forgotten when Pure Love enter the room. As per, Frank Carter is a ball of fury, even with his new found voice being the vocal point. He makes camp in the middle of the floor for the duration of the set, the crowd joining in him in a jumping bellowing sing through of recent single, ‘Bury My Bones’, setting the four-piece up to be a crowning glory in future months. The rest of the set is just as positive and energetic, the band producing grooving slabs of dirty rock with crooning vocals powering the group forward. An immense watch, an empowering listen, no doubt the set of the day. [RJ]

CLOUD NOTHINGS – 5/10
Droney, noisy guitars create a grunge atmosphere with long introductions and interludes. Vocals and song structure seem slightly absent and perhaps lose the attention of the audience. The performance is self-indulgent without much interaction or appeal to the crowd, which leaves the feeling of disappointment. [JB]

WAVVES – 8/10
As dusk begins to set, Wavves bring their lo-fi surf pop to the Sound Control Loft and are the first band to really pack a venue today, with security not letting any-more passers-by in to see them. Luckily, I managed to sneak in and join the furore that was occurring as Wavves thrashed through their punk-fuelled set. ‘Super Soaker’ ends proceedings and the sweaty crowd disperse happy with what they’ve just witnessed. [RJ]

PULLED APART BY HORSES – 9/10
One of Britain’s noisiest and rawest bands, Pulled Apart By Horses come around and do what they do on a day to day business: wreck the place. Their new album ‘Tough Love’ is just as messy and infectious as their first, fitting perfectly into their non-stop performance style. ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ takes the most advantage of the open pit that has broken open in the middle of the floor, crowd surfing and moshing a standard tradition of a PABH set. [RJ]

NEON INDIAN
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Written by Jack Birch [JB] and Ross Jones [RJ]

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