Not A Summer Festival

Not A Summer Festival


I forget that February is a really wintery month. Once January is out of the way it’s summertime right? Sadly not and it’s another chilly afternoon in Manchester, but luckily I can feel like it’s summer by attending an all dayer split between The Castle and Gullivers, aptly titled Not A Summer Festival. This is the second year for the festival which boasts a really eclectic line up of bands and artists all making waves in their respective scenes.

I must admit, I do favour the line up The Castle a little more, so I spend most of my evening milling around there but I’m glad I do as I make discoveries and see incredible sets from some of favourites. My discovery of the day is Yellow Fever, a polite, young Oxford based quartet who made catchy, danceable indie with quick fire guitar lines backed by a solid rhythm and hooks to boot. With a set full of indie dance floor fillers in the making, these guys just need a few high profile support slots and they’ll be the buzz band they deserve to be.

Although there are a few out of town bands, there are also a few hometown heroes chucked in for good measure. My highlights from the local lot are Math-Rock heavyweights Cleft and everyone’s favourite new Manc band, Flesh.

Cleft don’t play bad shows and I’ve seen them quite a lot, however I do know for them to be at their most bone crushingly awesome, the PA needs to be loud so Dan’s earth shaking riffs can be heard over John’s planet shattering beats. Tonight, the sound is huge and the duo play with pure strength as they blast through a bunch of tracks from last year’s excellent debut LP Bosh. Quite simply Cleft are a superb unit and they smashed it as per. Flesh also blew my socks off  tonight with their tongue in cheek take on Brit-Pop with 80’s metal guitar solos and grunge rock tendencies. Their songs are really well written and the hooks are just sublime; recent single ‘Avin It In Ibiza’ gets stuck in my head on a daily basis and just makes you want to extend your arms and strut about like Liam Gallagher on top of a windy mountain. They seem to getting the tours and the shows together and with tonight’s set packed with top notch snot-pop gems, I seriously think these boys need keeping an eye one.

Tonight’s headliners are Brighton based trio Tigercub. With some really sought after tour supports with Royal Blood and Blood Red Shoes under their belts last year, I’m expecting big things for these chaps. Tonight they prove they are worthy of the hype as they rip through their scuzzy blend of grunge, punk and indie-rock. Nirvana may be an easy comparison but with the showcase of new songs, the sleazy stoner rock grooves of Queen Of The Stone Age seem to shine through here. But although they are some influences there, Tigercub do bring something fresh to the table with an ear for a strong hook and a catchy chorus; recent single ‘Centerfold’ being the best example of this. A seriously exciting end to a really great little day. With a well suited yet varied line up and generally nice vibe throughout the day, I think Manchester has itself a new festival to look forward to and get exited about every year.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.