Live at Beacons Festival 2013 on Friday, 16th August 2013
Beacons Festival returns to the beautiful surroundings of Skipton this year for a weekend suited to any music lover. Whether it's Whiskey tasting, some nasty Detroit hip hop or even a trip to the 'Diddy Rascals' area for the young ones, Beacons have successfully diversified for a wider audience in 2013.
A slightly unplanned, yet amusing, trip to the East Leeds FM stage begins the proceedings on Friday after a hazy Thursday evening. Micky P Kerr entertaining the masses (All 20 people the tent can hold) with some quick witted banter and interestingly put poems about sexism and drugs. Nothing out of the ordinary for the Leeds lad, who plays 3 songs in total. Well worth a giggle.
From one West Yorkshire treat to a young North Yorkshire band called King No-One. Having heard good things about this band, who were recently crowned winners of the Centre Stage competition and playing Reading and Leeds Fest this weekend, the hype was well deserved. Even though we are teased with an acoustic performance from the young lads from York, it's clear that they've got potential. I'm instantly hooked to Zach Lount's (Frontman) voice, which strikes me with a tinge of Thom Yorke. 'Skin' and 'Plastic Knuckle' showcase their intentions. Their EP launch is due to take place on the 6th September at Fibbers, York, check them out.
Next up is London based electronic artist, Ghostpoet. Having been blown away at the Brudenell Social Club 2 months prior to his Beacons appearance, I was definitely not disappointed. With XXXY's 'I know this can't be love' piped through the main stage for pre gig entertainment, it was only going to be a belter. A mixture of tracks from his 2 albums made for a healthy set list, with 'Plastic Bag Brain', 'Liiines' and 'Cash and Carry Me Home' ensuring the loudest cheers. New single 'Cold Win' doesn't quite capture the crowds enthusiasm, but nonetheless, is a solid release. Ghostpoet is backed by one of the tightest live bands around, must see live artist for 2013.
Saturday entails a visit to Skipton town to watch the mighty whites (Leeds United, if you were wondering) take on Sheffield Wednesday and a perfect excuse to feel human again.
Midlands psych rockers,Temples bring the first flicker of interest to the Loud and Quiet stage on Saturday afternoon. 'Colours to Life' offers a spur of energy, which is sadly let down by a weak vocal performance. Newest offering 'Keep In The Dark' is definitely a 60's throwback track and does install some credibility to what appears to be a pretty half arsed effort on the main stage. Finishing on popular single 'Shelter Song', which induces a reaction from a stale crowd who look like they're suffering from a heavy Friday night. It's definitely a case of more hype than substance.
The 'You Need To Hear This' stage throws pop rockers Childhood into the equation late Saturday evening. Oozing with confidence, vocalist Ben Romans Hopcraft takes a charge into what is an energetic set. Favourites 'Blue Velvet' and NME tip 'Solemn Skies' produce the goods to a dazed Beacons crowd. The sound isn't great amazing, but the London four piece are certainly a band to keep a look out for.
The finale to an enjoyable Saturday was to be provided on the Loud and Quiet stage by LA headliners, Local Natives. Having rated their second album 'Hummingbird' as one of the greats of 2013 a great deal of anticipation ensued. Starting proceedings with 'World News' it was clear from the off that Local Natives were ready to cement themselves as a headliner. Single 'Breakers' triggered a sing a long, (mainly belted out by me) with 'Black Balloons' and 'You and I' backing up strongly. There's a sense of joy and sadness in the crowd. Local Natives can crush any soul with their delicate harmonies in 'Heavy Feet' yet prompt a rush of adrenaline with Gorilla Manor single 'Sun Hands'. Local Natives show versatility with different instrument changes and added percussion. I mean, who doesn't love double drumming on a floor tom? Yet, they balance their setlist with a mix of tracks from their two stunning albums. Finishing on 'Shape Shifter' the crowd are left yearning for more, leaving what had been an incredible headline set.
By Sunday, the crowds begin to falter. The less on form weather of the previous day had been forgotten, as the glorious sunshine shone over many short-sporting revelers. Leeds' noisey psychedelic heroes, Hookworms, signal the start of a promising day on the Loud and Quiet stage. Recently signed to Domino related label, Weird World Records, the 5 piece are currently rated highly. Producing my favourite set of the weekend, Hookworms simply are mesmerising. It's 5 insanely talented musicians playing spaced out rock with vocals that are leaking with reverb and echo. The volume is outrageous and my ears are left bleeding, but in a good way (I think)
Following immediately after are 3 piece American rockers, Moon Duo, who managed to temporarily deafen me with their load audacious rock. Close second for performance of the weekend, but the consolation prize is owning the best drummer I've seen in a very long time.
Coming to the penultimate act of the weekend and heavily anticipated Detroit rapper Danny Brown takes to the main stage. With much suspense weighted on this slot, I can't help but feel disappointed with a lethargic Sunday crowd. Brown's producer and DJ, Skywalker, plays 20 minutes of the dirtiest trap to encourage movement amongst the crowd, yet unfortunately fails to do so. Brown demands the audience's effort; with the odd person dancing and a push and a shove here and there, the whole thing falls flat. 'Blueberry Pills and Cocaine' and 'Blunt after Blunt' does create the smallest wave of interest. It's a shame that the crowd didn't deliver after positive reviews of his performance at Manchester's Parklife Weekender.
Walking into the Resident Advisor stage around 3 hours into their 5 hour marathon, Theo Parrish and Andres provide the mellow ending to a successful Beacons Festival with a Disco and House set to bring the weekend to a close.
Beacons Festival produced a diverse range of music for a very 'in' festival for 2013, a perfect balance of electronic music, psychedelic and indie which appeals to an audience with a defined taste in music. Food vendors Reds True BBQ supplied the goods to festivalgoers and Urban Outfitters created a frenzy of stick on tattoos around the campsite. With the capacity increasing on last year, I see no reason why Beacons HQ won't continue to expand and offer a consistently good alternative festival in Yorkshire!
Four piece alternative rock band from the York/Leeds area in the UK.