Dot to Dot was a week ago and it’s all started to fade away. My more vivid memories are of Eurovision later that night. Giorgo Alkaio singing OPA and the little German chick, who ultimately won, saying she was ‘freaking out’ in her amazing English.
It would be a shame, however, not to mention the actual event so here are some of my highlights:
- Blood Red Shoes gig (Academy): a guy submitted to the band’s encouragement to crowd surf. A slow shaky start saw him fall after passing by three people.
- The Wild Beasts were the tightest performance and the last act we saw. Very good.
- Kill Cassidy were in the Academy 2 room and had a great sound a la Lost Prophets. Some lovely use of the wawa pedal by this local band from Montpellier. One complaint, theirs, about the mis-spelling of their name – they were listed as Kill Kassidy. I personally prefer the ‘K’ version.
- The sound at the Academy was really impressive this time around, not sure what happened when I went to see Passion Pit. I wouldn’t mind going back for an event that draws a smaller crowd perhaps.
Some low lights although they had little to do with the bands:
- The prices at the Academy are ridiculous with £3.80 for a pint of Carlsberg. My pint of lime and soda was £1.50 so it wasn’t too bad but the woman next to me paid £18 for three ciders and a double Malibu and coke.
- No drinks allowed in the Academy so our water bottles were taken from us. Bags were searched and our wristbands were individually checked for looseness. I think it would have been nicer had we been able to share the ticket price. I couldn’t stay up for Zane Lowe at 1am but I know others who would have. Would have been much friendlier to be able to let him use my ticket. Not possible though.
Blood Red Shoes and Wild Beasts had the venue packed out and it was shoulder to shoulder standing room only. I thought BRS were good but not as great as at Thekla.
Dark. Balcony. Sticky floor. The upstairs part of the Thekla main room has a great view but does have some disadvantages. The sticky floor is utterly icky and I’m sure my shoes still smell of beer. Nevertheless, it was a quiet little haven in a hall that was full and brimming downstairs. All of us there were anxious to see the main event and they did not disappoint.
Blood Red Shoes (@bloodredshoes) played the Thekla on March 4 and were supported by Underground Railroad. The support act included one girl on electric guitar, one drummer and one more guitarist / other.
Blood Red Shoes had two-thirds of the same composition. They didn’t have the ‘other’ but Laura-Mary Carter was on guitar and Steven Ansell on the drums. No red shoes in sight.
There was a curious little game played by one of the Thekla crew whose job for most of the set appeared to be to hold on to the guitar lead and roll up and away from the girl’s feet lest she trip. It was somewhat mesmerising although I should say that it wasn’t all he did. The sound guys put a lot more effort into making sure everything worked well than the O2 team put into the event the night previously. There was no feedback at this event and one of the guys rushed on to stage to adjust a microphone for the drum of the support act although the effect was only a subtle improvement.
A lot of effort was put into event by the venue and the bands. The music was loud and it rocked while the banter by the Blood Red Shoes lead singer was brief and friendly. With their new album ‘Fire Like This’ released March 1 in the UK they were enjoying some success exemplified by the handful of devoted fans who already knew the words. A whole host of musical pushing and shoving took off with the heavier songs and wave of people kept crashing into the stage. Upstairs in the balcony it all felt a little removed until the Thekla started swaying a little more than usual. By the end of the night even the music hall had got into the action and it was a hell of a show.
P.S. Pictures lovingly taken, and helpfully provided, by my friend Alli (do check out her Flickr). Gentlest telling off about the Passion Pit review by fellow attendee Paul, quietly noted. Blood Red Shoes also playing at Dot to Dot festival. Insane review in the Evening Post gives Blood Red Shoes the same score as Passion Pit. Ha!