BREVIEW: All Years Leaving @ Hare & Hounds 21.10.17

All Years Leaving @ Hare & Hounds 21.10.17

 

 

 

Words by Emily Doyle / Pics by Cameron Goodyer

Presented by This Is Tmrw, All Years Leaving is entering its fifth year – returning to it’s Hare & Hounds birthplace as a bona fide institution of the local live scene. I’m ashamed at this point to admit I’ve never been before, but the line-up for 2017 is too good to miss. I’m there for doors on the Saturday, unsure what to expect.http://birminghamreview.net/category/previews/

People are already milling in the Stables. Terror Watts are having a pre-set Guinness outside. Upon entering the main room, the smoke clears and animations by Johnny Foreigner’s own Lewes Herriot are visible; a giant with flaming fists looks down on the proceedings from projector screens hung around the venue.

Terror Watts @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewTerror Watts kick off proceedings to a healthy crowd. They deliver a pitch perfect set of fan-favourites. The stupidly catchy ‘Time Bomb’ is an ear worm if ever there was one – good luck shaking that from your head for the rest of the weekend. They close the set with newest single, ‘Tough Guy’, released this summer on PNKSLM. It’s a perfect slice of sunshine-y slacker rock.

The room is already a real who’s-who of the Birmingham music scene. Steve Hadley of Setting Son Records is ferrying gear up and down the stairs; He sports an ‘I Am A Hungry Ghost’ badge like a proud dad. Tim Mobbs of Table Scraps is snapping away as the event photographer. I step outside to take a call from Birmingham Review’s absentee editor, Ed King, who is checking I got there okay, remembered to take an exercise book, pencil case, packed lunch and the like. While on the phone I look down from the balcony onto the smoking area to see James Brown of Mutes, immaculately made up, sheltering from the drizzle and nursing a pint of Blue Moon.

BHer’s @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Reviewack upstairs, Her’s slowly fade in an uptempo drum loop. The Liverpudlian two-piece look at home on a stage. Bassist, Audun Laading, bops round wearing a floaty cardigan and high-hanging Rickenbacker. Fragile, sighing vocals float above lush interwoven guitars. The assembled crowd sways. The jaunty ‘Speed Racer’, complete with sequenced hand claps, snaps the room out of its dream pop reverie for a brief moment. Guitarist Steven Fitzpatrick speaks up:

Has everyone got a good strong beer? No? Thats good, we dont wanna be supporting beer all the time. I like Vimto.A pause as Laading configures the next drum loop. This ones a slow sexy one for all the lovers in the room – and all the straight edge people. 

Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewThey launch into ‘Cool With You’, the six minute centrepiece of their 2017 Heist or Hit release, Songs of Hers. Half way through it lapses into a bossa nova jam. Her’s closes their set on their swooning shoe-gaze waltz, ‘What Once Was’. I speak to Josh Frost of Mutes afterwards and he suggests that Her’s would have made a good roadhouse band in the new series of Twin Peaks.

Downstairs, the Stables are cosy and filled with the smell of pulled pork. The crowd floods down to watch Miles Cocker. It’s at this point I’m thankful of the lack of set time clashes – the line up is solid, and there’s not one act you’d be willing to miss.

Cocker usually supplies bass for notorious sex punks Youth Man. Today he shows his softer side, strumming on a beat up white Stratocaster. Heartfelt lyrics like, maybe shell grind my bones to make her bread / or shoot an apple straight off my head are quickly offset as Cocker comments, yeah, you can get pretty poetic about diarrhoea.

Back in the main room, Swampmeat Family Band are turning up the heat. A cover of the Rolling Stone’s ‘Down Home Girl’ slots neatly into the set alongside their own tracks. Classic rock ’n’ roll moves paired with numbers like, ‘Brand New Cadillac’ and ‘I’m a Fucker, Not a Fighter’ make them the perfect party band. And party they shall, as Danny C takes pleasure in announcing. Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewWere back here on the 21st for a Christmas party with the Hungry Ghosts!Fellow Hungry Ghost, Jay Dyer, is with me – we exchange excited glances and head to the bar. I run into a rather jet-lagged Bryony Williams. She fills me in on her set at The Sunflower Lounge supporting Denai Moore, and her recent adventures in New Orleans, both of which sound surreal.

West Yorkshire trio The Orielles saunter on to stage for some mellow indie pop. They sip beer from plastic bottles. They play their new single, ‘Let Your Dogtooth Grow’, which offsets a pleasingly sloppy riff against lilting drums. At this point my gig-going partner in crime and All Years Leaving veteran, Jo Chustecki, shows up. She is just in time to hear them close the set with the much awaited, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’. The ominous bass gets the crowd moving.

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewI realise it’s been hours since breakfast. Jay and I head out to the chip shop over the road for sustenance, and make it back just in time for PINS.

Since first hearing their track ‘Aggrophobe’, I’ve been looking for a chance to see PINS live. They waste no time filling the room with the driving bass of ‘Hot Slick’. Bassist, Anna Donigan, begins to pogo and the others follow suit. The strutting ‘Heart Is a Machine’ starts up and vocalist, Faith Vern, grasps the mic with both hands and wails at the crowd. Kyoko Swan delivers pounding synths.

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewNew single ‘Serve the Rich’ is anthemic, and Vern takes the opportunity to let the crowd know that, we told everyone that this single is sold out, but we have a few copies to sell after the set. Come find us later”. A savvy move indeed and one that causes much deliberation at the merch stand later (I am unable to choose a record and on Donigan’s sound advice end up going away with a T-shirt). At the end of their set it dawns on me that they didn’t even play ‘Aggrophobe’. As great as it is, PINS are certainly no one-hit-wonders.

Back in the Stables, The Bank Accounts are popping open a magnum of prosecco. They entrust it to a friend of the band who is here on her own, and tell her to go make friends. She hands it around the crowd as they sing: I just bought an Amazon Alexa. I dont need it, but its just nice to have someone to turn the lights off for you.

I am standing with Jo, Jay and James Brown. We all take a swig of prosecco, except for James, who is passed over for some reason. He wistfully watches the bottle drift away. Jo comments that she feels as though she’s just wandered into a rural pub, perhaps in Cornwall, and doesn’t know what’s going on.The Wytches @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Bank Accounts proceed to play a tongue in cheek interpretation of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ before producing a bottle of spiced rum. They are excellent hosts. They play a song about having rum and frontman, Benjamin P D Kane, wanders into the crowd to offer it around. He is immediately accosted by local artist and writer Priscilla Baker, who envelops him in a bear hug. James gets his hands on the bottle of rum and drinks his fill.

Hurrying back up the stairs we are greeted by the growling bass of The Wytches, The dirge of ‘Who Rides’ builds to a crescendo as the room fills up. The band are solemn on stage. Spring King @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham ReviewDoom laden riffs like ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Throned’ cement The Wytches as a much heavier band than they were in 2014 when Annabel Dream Reader was released, and the stuttering ‘C-Side’ is the star of the set.

As they’re packing down, I lean over the monitor to inspect bassist Daniel Rumsey’s pedalboard. In doing so I catch the eye of a similar die-hard fan, who narrows his eyes at me. I compliment him on his Black Angels shirt and ask if he was at their gig at the Institute last month. Yeah, he replies. We met at the merch stand for A Place To Bury Strangers. You tried to convince me to shell out £200 for a Death By Audio pedal. I maintain that this would have been a sound investment.

Sitting at the top of Saturday’s line up are Macclesfield alt-rockers Spring King. After a long day of drinking and dancing, the crowd were ready. As soon as they begin to play, the area in front of the stage is a churning mass of bodies. Their 2016 album Tell Me If You Like To is composed of wall-to-wall live winners, and they roll them out one after another without pausing for breath. Before long the crowd are up on stage dancing around the band, and Spring King revel in it. Drummer, Tarek Musa, hands a stick to someone so they can bash away at his kit.

Multiple circle pits later and it’s all over for Saturday at All Years Leaving. The audience members dissolve into the night, those with the prized black wristbands ready to do it all again tomorrow. PINS are outside chatting to Bryony Williams, smoking and planning their journey to Melkweg, Amsterdam. In a discerning booking, they will be opening for The Breeders.

 

 

 

Terror Watts @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Terror Watts @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review Terror Watts @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on Terror Watts, visit www.theterrorwatts.bandcamp.com

________

Her’s @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Her’s @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Her’s @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Her’s @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on Her’s, visit www.thatbandofhers.com

________

Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Swampmeat Family Band @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on Swampmeat Family Band, visit www.swampmeatfamilyband.wixsite.com/swampfb

________

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Orielles @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on The Orielles, visit www.soundcloud.com/theorielles

________

The Wytches @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Wytches @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Wytches @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

The Wytches @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on The Wytches, visit www.thewytches.com

________

Spring King @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Spring King @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Spring King @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

Spring King @ All Year Leaving 21.10.17 / Cameron Goodyer – Birmingham Review

For more on Spring King, visit www.springkingband.com

For more on All Years Leaving Festival 2017, including online ticket sales, visit www.facebook.com/allyearsleaving

For more from This Is Tmrw, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.thisistmrw.co.uk

For more from the Hare & Hounds, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

 

 

 

 

BPREVIEW: All Years Leaving @ Hare & Hounds 21-22.10.17

Words by Ed King / Flyer illustration by Lewes Herriot 

On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October, This Is Tmrw bring back their annual All Years Leaving music festival to the Hare & Hounds

Doors open at 3pm each day, with music running constantly until the ‘licensing committee says no’. Weekend tickets are prices at £28, with individual day passes priced at £28 – both subject to the standard booking fee.

For direct event info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here for Saturday (Oct 21st) and click here for Sunday (Oct 22nd).

N.B. At the time of writing, all weekend tickets have sold out but you can still get you mitts on individual day tickets – although these too will be popping like the proverbial hot chestnuts, so you might want to move fast.

This Is Tmrw are, now, a well known and decade strong promotions company – bringing a strata of cutting edge cool to the city’s music venues, from the Hare & Hounds to the O2 Institute. They’re grafters too, starting out in Solihull and booking bands that weren’t the easiest sell but probably more worth the ticket money than your mainstream line ups.

All Years Leaving, which held its debut festival weekender in 2013, is This Is Tmrw‘s annual showcase – celebrating the local line ups they have helped promote, whilst bringing back some of the great, good and garrulous from the more respectable fringes of today’s live circuit. There’s a fair few from across the pond this year too, which is somewhat of an endorsement in terms of bolstering Birmingham on the UK tour circuit – something our glorious Land of Osbourne really needs to sort out for itself. But that’s another feature…

I could run through a list of names that represent the This Is Tmrw roster, but a better indication of their approach is quite simply the line up on the All Years Leaving 2017 poster – but to save you some time here’s our Graham with a quick reminder… and some hyperlinks, if your typing fingers are tired:

All Years Leaving – Saturday 21st October: Spring King, The Wytches, Pins, The Orielles, Swampmeat, Hers, Terror Watts 

All Years Leaving – Saturday 22nd October: Idles, Traams, Priests, Diet Cig, Downtown Boys, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, Matters

So, yeah… Seriously, somebody give This Is Tmrw a greenfield site and some healthy commercial sponsorship. Marketing Birmingham should probably throw them a bone too.

(For a little background of the gents behind This Is Tmrw and the All Years Leaving Festival, read Ed King’s interview with them from back in 2014 – click here. We’re trying to get This Is Tmrw in front of a Dictaphone again, but this should tide us all over for now)

But enough sycophantic back slapping, the event may have sold out completely by the time you’ve finished reading this article. So I’ll shut up, you get your credit card, and we’ll meet back up again at the Hare & Hounds this weekend.

This Is Tmrw present All Years Leaving 2017 at the Hare & Hounds, running from 3pm on both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath). For direct event info, including venue detail and online ticket sales, click here for Saturday and click here for Sunday.

For more on All Years Leaving Festival 2017, including online ticket sales, visit www.facebook.com/allyearsleaving 

For more from This Is Tmrw, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.thisistmrw.co.uk

For more from the Hare & Hounds, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

BREVIEW: Beyond The Tracks… Sunday @ Eastside Park 17.09.17

Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

 

 

 

Words by Damien Russell / Pics by Michelle Martin

Day three of any festival weekend is always a tough one for me. Day one I’m mad for it. Day two is a recover and then get back on it kind of day. Day three is usually spent sober, tired, and can be a very tough sell.

There’s also no pretending I’m not hungover. So, having made it down in time for breakfast a fruit based recovery drink is in order. The city centre feel quiet as Paul and I head on the now familiar journey to Eastside Park. And whilst it takes a little longer to get through the gates with our bags today, the queue isn’t vast.

That being so, it’s a pleasant surprise to see a fair-sized crowd already watching Nadine Shah as she performs a mix of new and classic material; she is good naturedly takes requests and works well with the audience, as well as putting on an expressive performance. Shah is an artist who knows how and when to bring her political agenda into her art, mentioning it, tastefully, toward the end but in a manner that leaves little room for confusion on what her point may be. Dorcha – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham ReviewNadine Shah and her band put on a good show, and the few times where the saxophone and guitar clash – making the instrumentation a little muddy – can certainly be forgiven.

The next band on are Dorcha, on the second stage. Unfortunately they are absolutely not what my brain needs at the time of day they are on. They play well together, but the sound is high pitched and quite intense, and while I did on-site describe them as the sound I would expect a band to make when falling slowly down a hill, this was largely an expression of how they made my hangover feel rather than a statement on them as a group.

Not one to be driven to drink on a final festival day, I nevertheless relent and get a recovery cocktail – clutching it tightly in my hand, I head back to the stage as Peter Hook & The Light start their set. Peter Hook, being a previous Joy Division member, has brought with him a little slice of the 80’s. No bad thing in my opinion. But I must admit, I’d had never expected to see two bass guitars playing complimentary melodies and with different effects. And yet the result is definitely a positive one.

Peter Hook himself has a great, powerful stage presence. He jokes about being from up north and waiting for his son (being the other bass player, Jack Bates) to get ready. At 61, and with 41 years in the industry (possibly more), Hook puts on an excellent show. The band play  a mix of New Order and Joy Division numbers and end with, you guessed it, Love Will Tear Us Apart; a classic, but one that didn’t excessively stand out in an all-round high-quality set.

With little change-over time, Hoopla Blue take to the second stage. I can see straight away that these guys are what I would expect from the term ‘shoegaze’ – although perhaps ‘stargaze’ would be more fitting and would work well with their ethereal, spacey sound. Hoopla Blue have some great songs with ‘Rotten Sodden Loot’ arguably the best of the day.

Hoopla Blue – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham ReviewI must admit that seeing them in a live setting doesn’t work as well for me; having listened to their recorded material, I prefer the records. Not to disparage a good set too heavily, but some bands are just more effective in a studio setting; fact that Hoopla Blue come across as slightly shy, alongside the limits imposed by live sound, make me feel that their recorded sound wins out.

That being the case, I take the executive decision that standing for most of the weekend has made my knees hurt, so I retreat to an area of open space and take a seat where I can still see the stage. I’ve had a message from a friend telling me to be sure to check out both Slowdive and The Jesus & Mary Chain; knowing Slowdive are on next, I prepare to either stay put or make a move to the front.

Staying put it is. Slowdive are continuing what I’m beginning to think might be the theme for the rest of the day: ethereal, slightly psychedelic, rock. They provide a good soundtrack to sitting in the sun sipping an iced drink, and have the kind of trippy visual effects on stage that I was Slowdive – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Reviewexpecting from Friday night – with the video screen working wonders for their live show. It may be unfair to make comparisons, but in some ways Slowdive put me in mind of a The-Wall-era Pink Floyd. No bad thing; music to relax to, a great soundtrack to a Sunday afternoon.

While Slowdive’s ‘When the Sun Hits’ does indeed bring out the sun, the closing of their set seems to encourage the lovely rainbow over the stage to become the considerably less lovely rain. Blackash take to the second stage under a slightly gloomy mix of cloud, rain and sun, all paying Beyond The Tracks a visit in around five minute cycles. Not to worry, Blackash are here to brighten your day regardless.

The first thing that springs to mind is Assassin’s Creed, as the band are all dressed in partial face coverings and hoods. I was expecting this to some degree, but the image still makes an impact and it’s hard to know how to take them. None too seriously as it turns out; Blackash are a band here for a good time and here to make you have a good time too. They suffer a little with the sound and the vocals are both lacking volume and a little of their trademark Wild Beasts – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Reviewdistortion.

Nevertheless, they are up-tempo (which I am infinitely glad of at this stage in the day) and good fun – with an appropriate response from the crowd, who, I think, were a little uncertain to begin with. They seem to warm to this surreal bunch and there’s a good bit of dancing and nodding along before Blackash’s set is through. Another band I would definitely see again.

As Blackash finish, Paul and I get chatting to two lovely people who were enjoying the set as much as we were. They heartily recommend Wild Beasts, the next band on the main stage, and furnish us with glow sticks that would probably have been better fitted to Friday night, but will also work perfectly well with Sunday’s space-rock.

I’ve been forced to admit that I’ve not heard of Wild Beasts, but as they come onstage they kick into their set this thought gets pushed aside as they’re good; very good, in fact. Slightly dance oriented, they’re more artsy than Blackash but have a similar head nodding, foot tapping effect on the Sunday crowd. Exhibiting excellent musicianship, each band member seems to play at least two different instruments (excluding the poor drummer who is stuck where he is).

Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham ReviewWild Beasts also have two lead vocalists –  both very different, both very good. From all Beyond The Tracks’ Sunday line up, Wild Beasts have the highest number of catchy songs so and ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Alpha Female’ and ‘Get My Bang’ are stuck in my head for quite some time afterwards. They have quite a few songs about… well, as Ben Little says, “Fucking”, and that gives them even more of a dual image.

Funky but ethereal, artsy but obvious, sensitive but direct; it’s the sort of thing that appeals to me, in that my opinion of it can change dependent on my mood. As Wild Beasts’ set progresses, the good run of weather comes to an end and the rain comes down. A good few people retreat to the shelter of the beer tent but I just put my coat on and wait it out. No way am I missing this set for a bit of water.

With the rain slowing but still coming down, it’s time to commit to my no-drinking Sunday. I go and grab a coffee to warm my cold hands and move over to the second stage as Victories At Sea are announced.

And move offstage again.

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham ReviewWell, it had to happen sooner or later. Technical difficulties. Whether the weather is to blame or not is a matter for the event staff alone to determine, but between the rain and the delays Victories At Sea start their set with some ground to make up. And it’s hard to be sure what else is to blame, but to my ear the sound is still terrible. It does get better as their set progresses but not enough to save it for me. (After the effect, I’ve done some research and again Victories At Sea recorded music sounds nothing like the stage show I watched. So I attribute it to water logged or faulty equipment, but bad luck all round)

After this minor downer, and having been given somewhat conflicting opinions of The Jesus & Mary Chain, I keep my fingers crossed for the next hour. As they take to the stage and their set starts, I’m once again pleasantly surprised. The uber-80’s sound I was told to expect fails to materialise and it turns out that The Jesus & Mary Chain are a good up-tempo Country-influenced band. Admittedly, they’re not as entertaining as they could be on stage, and their music isn’t entirely my sort of thing, but they’re solid enough for a Sunday with a 16-song set that is quite varied.Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

When they’re in the throes of a song, the sound is good and the balance of instruments works well, but for some reason William Reid won’t stop playing between songs making the set seem a little unprofessional. In some ways Jim Reid’s voice sounds a little strained too, but it doesn’t slow him down any and it was always their style in a way anyway.

They kick their Beyond The Tracks set off with the slightly new romantic/punk-esque ‘Amputation’, with the rest of the follows that somewhat heavily guitar led feeling. In comparison to the stargaze space rock mood of much of the day, The Jesus & Mary Chain seem more grounded and more traditional rock oriented.

Their set does unfortunately feel a little long, so when the last strains of the curiously titled ‘I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll’ fade away, I head away from the stage and find somewhere to sit down. I can hear Josefin Ohrn + The Liberation starting up on the second stage, but they sadly take a backseat to my desire for pizza as I follow Lazlo’s hierarchy and get food.

Editors – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham ReviewThe main stage is now a hive of activity, as what look like industrial extract fans are set up and drum kits, pianos, keyboards, and other musical items are brought out; it all looks very exciting. As my hunger is sated and my interest is piqued, Editors begin, striking out with ‘Cold’, ‘Sugar’ and then ‘The Racing Rats’. It’s easy for me to see why they were chosen to headline; the setting they’ve brought is excellent, making maximum use of the stage and the available lighting.

Their performance is musically excellent too, as you would expect from a band of 15 years pedigree, but also very visual with Tom Smith throwing his all into it. It’s a set to rival Saturday night’s Maxïmo Park experience and with the light show to go with it; I’m hard pressed to decide which I think is best. I decide to just love them both equally, and by the time Editors’ set is halfway through and ‘An End Has a Start begins, I’m having a too much of a good care either way. Smith has a warm vocal tone and the 80’s leaning that he is known for, alongside their synthesiser driven backline, ties the day together well.Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Editors finish their main set 14 songs in with ‘Marching Orders’ and I can’t imagine what they could possibly do to top it. One cliched pause for applause later and they’re back out, smashing into ‘Open Your Arms’, ‘Bullets’, ‘Munich’ and finally ‘Papillion’ – arguably their most 80’s oriented track. It’s a fantastic encore and an excellent end to the day; Editors come across as the culmination of everything we’ve seen and heard throughout Sunday at Beyond The Tracks and what perfect headliners it makes them.

Slightly sad that it’s all over, but with one eye on work tomorrow morning, the walk to the train station is a swirling mix of emotions. The journey back to Wolverhampton is spent comparing highs and lows, reliving the highlights one more time, and making plans for the next event from this fledgling festival.

As we found out in our recent interview with the festival organiser, John Fell, Beyond the Tracks may not be back in 2018 – but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for it in 2019. In the meantime I guess it’s back to normality.

 

 

 

Dorcha – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Dorcha – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Dorcha – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Dorcha – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Dorcha, visit www.dorcha.co.uk

____________

Peter Hook & The Light – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin Peter Hook & The Light – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Peter Hook & The Light – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Peter Hook & The Light – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Peter Hook & The Light, visit www.peterhook.get-ctrl.com

____________

Hoopla Blue – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Hoopla Blue – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Hoopla Blue – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Hoopla Blue – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Hoopla Blue, visit www.soundcloud.com/hoopla-blue

____________

Slowdive – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Slowdive – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Slowdive – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Slowdive – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Slowdive, visit www.slowdiveofficial.com

____________

Wild Beasts – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Wild Beasts – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Wild Beasts – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Wild Beasts – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Wild Beasts, visit www.wild-beasts.co.uk

____________

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on The Jesus & Mary Chain, visit www.thejesusandmarychain.uk.com

____________

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, visit www.josefinohrnandtheliberation.bandcamp.com

____________

Editors – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin

Editors – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Editors – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

Editors – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 17.09.17 / Michelle Martin - Birmingham Review

For more on Editors, visit www.editorsofficial.com

For more on Beyond The Tracks, visit www.beyondthetracks.org

BREVIEW: Beyond The Tracks… Saturday @ Eastside Park 16.09.17

Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

 

 

 

Words by Damien Russell / Pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe

Morning has broken. Seemingly over my head. The choices of the night before, prompted by the engaging festival feel and the desire to get all dance-y, now seem like a catalogue of errors. The chance of getting breakfast slips away; I am forced to embrace the fact that lunch and a recovery pint are the only way forward.

And so, being in a pub already, this is what we do. Down the stairs, to the bar, a sandwich and a couple of pints of something light. Back to my usual self again. Ish. Thank goodness we didn’t try to do the ‘4am finishing’ after party or today may have been lost.

The Old Crown feels further away from the Beyond The Tracks festival site today, as Paul and Carl Barât and the Jackals - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewI wend our way through the town. We make it through the entrance process to find Carl Barât and the Jackals both looking and sounding cool. They’re a good choice for the festival daytime being slightly rocky, slightly punky, and slightly indie; a good balance of appeal across the audience.

They’re energetic but not so energetic it puts my shuffling state to shame, and while no one song stands out the set overall is good. Something in their deportment keeps screaming ‘LONDON’ at me, but I would be hard pressed to say exactly what.

Sandinistas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewAfter this solid introduction to Beyond The Tracks’ Saturday programme, the festival’s second stage hosts Sandinistas from South Wales. Sporting a bass made more of tape than wood, an approachable charm, and punk rock to knock your socks off they’re a total change of atmosphere. Upbeat and fun, with some excellent banter from lead singer/guitarist, Dan Hagerty, Sandinistas do a great job of entertaining; Beyond The Tracks is the first time I’ve seen this band but I would be keen to catch them again.

The Twang - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewFollowing Sandinistas, local lads The Twang take to the main stage. The Twang are a band I’ve heard a lot about but never seen before so, while I have an idea what to expect, I’m not too surprised to find my initial idea was totally wrong. It can happen. Musically reminiscent of The Streets in some ways, The Twang bring an urban edge to the day which, while not entirely my cup of hot beverage, does mix things up nicely.

The real star of the show is Phil Etheridge, having a laugh with the audience and swigging from a can of Red Stripe. Etheridge makes full use of the stage, which I like, and while I can’t help feeling his voice isn’t as strong as it could be, with the band covering the music and Etheridge covering the performance The Twang deliver and engaging and enjoyable set.The Americas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

A quick trip to the bar is in order while The Americas finish setting up; as they get started I’m reminded why I was looking forward to seeing them. Although I’m slightly surprised they’re on the second stage as I would have expected their ‘American road trip’ styled rock to be ideal main stage material.

Somebody has to take the smaller stage though and with a solid, easily accessible sound The Americas make it their own. Still reminding me of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in some ways, they continue the trend of bands either winning me over musically or by performance, but not both; it’s unfortunate, but with each of them being tied to an instrument the performance is a little static.

The Coral - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewI think it’s fair to say at this point that, while I try not to be biased, with three such different days it’s incredibly difficult not to have a preference in some way. So, I give up and admit to myself that this, the middle day, is almost certainly going to be my favourite of the Beyond The Tracks triptych. That confessed, I have an open mind towards The Coral while also half expecting them to follow the day’s pattern and wow me with their performance over their music.

They don’t. The Coral are pretty static visually but musically their back-catalogue shines; ‘In the Morning’, as you may expect, goes down exceptionally well. The crowd is building up now and with more people comes more applause, more appreciation and more singing along. I was never massively into The Coral when they first hit the charts and found their sound to be confusing, somehow both new and old at the same time. Something about that always put me off a little bit but seeing them live, but they win me over at Beyond The Tracks and I plan to delve a little deeper when safely offsite.Tablescraps - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

It’s pit-stop time, following The Coral, and while I hate to miss any of Table Scraps’ performance having seen them earlier in the year I know they’ll do a top job. I do wonder if it’s the wrong day for them though, and to my mind they would possibly have been a better fit for Sunday. The good and bad thing with festivals, in equal measure, is that there’s always so much going on that you can’t catch everything. Plus at some point there must be a welfare break, and right now the Persian Kitchen is calling. And then the bar.

Sadly then, the last number is all I catch of Table Scraps’ set, but the crowd seem to be fully on board and I’m sure they’ve hit it as hard as they usually do.

This of course means that Maxïmo Park are about to start on the main stage. Having reviewed their latest album, Risk to Exist, earlier in the year and not being too impressed with it, I’m not holding much hope for their live set. Maxïmo Park - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewIf I’m honest, I’m almost biding my time until Ocean Colour Scene.

What a mistake. As soon as they start I can see and hear that Maxïmo Park mean business. The sound is spot on and they look cool; proper ‘rock-star’ cool. By the end of the first song, Maxïmo Park win me over and I’ve move as close as I can get to the stage.

Paul Smith, in particular, is excellent – climbing on the monitors, striding across the stage and generally coming across like a caged tiger. The band start with ‘What Did We Do To You To Deserve This?’ and power through to ‘Our Velocity’ and beyond. My biggest surprise of the day and a band I would heartily recommend seeing live.

Superfood - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewAt this point the crowd is super dense, so there’s not much chance of getting too close to Superfood on the second stage, but they sound decent from where I can get to (which you may have guessed is the bar). Musically they make a good follow on to Maxïmo Park and while the second stage doesn’t quite offer the same opportunity for a ‘big show’, Superfood maintain both the atmosphere and the crowd set by their predecessors.

In fact, with Ocean Colour Scene ever closer to coming on stage the crowd is swelling more than ever. And although the announcement of a reduced-price Sunday ticket for Saturday ticket holders gets a mixed reaction, the crowd is clearly buzzing with anticipation for the Saturday night headliners.

Ocean Colour Scene - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham ReviewThey sound great too. All the concerns I had about another situation like The Twang are instantly put to bed; Simon Fowler hasn’t lost any vocal clarity or power over the years, and Steve Craddock is as dexterous on the fretboard as he ever was. More so, perhaps, as he makes everything seem effortless.

In fact they all do, yet somehow that doesn’t come across well. It’s the same situation that has occurred throughout the day; musically Ocean Colour Scene are just as good live as on the records, they’re just not very visual.

They don’t seem to have brought much in the way of staging or lighting, with the band members almost fixed to their spots onstage. Ocean Colour Scene have also chosen quite a downbeat set for a headline act, starting with ‘Profit In Peace’ which in my mind is more of an anthemic closer than an opener.

That said, Ocean Colour Scene deliver all the back catalogue bucket list hits and the crowd singing along to ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ is a beautiful thing. Clearly Birmingham still has a great soft spot for this once Moseley mob, and while the atmosphere on stage could be better the atmosphere in the audience is something to behold.

As the last echoes of the amplifiers fade away, Beyond The Tracks’ Saturday crowd begins to move slowly back towards the city centre. I find it hard to imagine anyone not having had a good time today – passing happy face after happy face as we head back to our temporary nest at The Old Crown. Two down, one more to go.

 

 

 

Jaws – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Jaws - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Jaws - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Jaws, visit www.jawsjawsjaws.co.uk

____________

Sugarthief – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Sugarthief - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Sugarthief - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Sugarthief - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Sugarthief, visit www.soundcloud.com/sugarthiefuk

____________

Carl Barât and the Jackals – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Carl Barât and the Jackals - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Carl Barât and the Jackals - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Carl Barât and the Jackals - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Carl Barât and the Jackals, visit www.carlbaratandthejackals.com

____________

Sandinistas – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe 

Sandinistas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Sandinistas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Sandinistas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Sandinistas, visit www.sandinistas-uk.myshopify.com

____________

The Twang – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

The Twang - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Twang - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Twang - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on The Twang, visit www.thetwang.co.uk

____________

The Americas – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

The Americas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Americas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Americas - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on The Americas, visit www.soundcloud.com/theamericasyeah

____________

The Coral – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

The Coral - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Coral - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

The Coral - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on The Coral, visit www.thecoral.co.uk

____________

Table Scraps – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Tablescraps - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Tablescraps - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Tablescraps - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Table Scraps, visit www.table-scraps.bandcamp.com

____________

Maxïmo Park – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Maxïmo Park - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Maxïmo Park - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Maxïmo Park - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Maxïmo Park, visit www.maximopark.com

____________

Superfood – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Superfood - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Superfood - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Superfood, visit www.superfoodjunk.com

____________

Ocean Colour Scene – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Ocean Colour Scene - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Ocean Colour Scene - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Ocean Colour Scene - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 16.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

For more on Ocean Colour Scene, visit www.oceancolourscene.com

For more on Beyond The Tracks, visit www.beyondthetracks.org

BREVIEW: Beyond The Tracks… Friday @ Eastside Park 15.09.17

Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

 

 

 

Words by Damien Russell / Pics by Denise Wilson

The plan is simple: meet my friend, get to The Old Crown – the pub we’re staying in, check-in, pick up the tickets left behind the bar for us, head to Eastside Park, enjoy the event.

However, plagued with overdue work the preparations to get to Beyond The Tracks are not going well. What should have been leisurely packing and hearty breakfasting has instead become telephone calls and frantic typing but, nevertheless, through more luck than judgment, at the absolute cut-off of 11:30 I’m closing my flat door behind me with a few mismatched items of clothing and a toothbrush stuffed into a hold-all and I’m on my way.

Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham ReviewStep 1: to meet Paul Gallear in Wolverhampton centre, and with timing to a ‘T’ we hop onto a train at Wolverhampton Station. The trip into Birmingham is a good one and we arrive at New Street Station with spirits high. Birmingham is surprisingly busy for that sort of time of day on a Friday and I wonder casually if many more people milling about are here for the festival.

I’m mindful of that John Fell said, in our recent interview, that about 40% of the people with tickets for the Friday are from outside the area; it does seem like too much of a coincidence to discount. We head across town to The Old Crown and check in to find that our tickets are yet to arrive. The decision is made; a warm-up pint is in order.

Our tickets are being brought by Birmingham Review’s editor, Ed King, and our anachronistic EDM expert. Sadly, we are set to experience Beyond The Track’s dance music throwback without him, as Ed is booked at another event. But with a pint prepared for his arrival, we vow to try our best to convince him to join us… Several hours and several drinks later, no avail. Ed is immovable on the subject and despite our best efforts we say our farewells, part ways, and Paul and I head on to the festival.Leftfield - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

At this point it’s only fair to address my experience and enjoyment of dance music. Little on both counts, I’m sorry to say. I was too young for the 80’s and 90’s rave scene and coming from Wolverhampton, there was little of that sort of thing around. That being said, I’m always open to a new experience and if the atmosphere is right, it could be great.

So, somewhat delayed but still looking forward to what lies ahead, we find ourselves at the transformed Eastside Park. The site itself is set up as I had imagined; tall solid fencing surrounds the arena with the main entrance on the city side. The entrance is predictably flanked by security and there is the usual ticket collection, ticket inspection, with body/bag search 3-tier entrance system that we’re all largely used to these days. Not as heavy on security as I was expecting given the political climate these days, I must admit, but to my knowledge the event is entirely trouble free all weekend so all’s well etc, etc.

Leftfield - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham ReviewIn no time at all we’re in and at the bar. Leftfield are in full swing and with the day still being quite bright it does seem a little incongruous listening to the sort of music usually hear at around 3am. Being the Leftism album performance tour, the music is more chilled out than what dance music can bring to a greenfield site, but with the festival ‘vibe’ still in full force. The field is full, not shoulder to shoulder but comfortably so, and with everyone seemingly very good natured about getting around.

Leftfield’s performance is interspersed with live vocals and songs like ‘Inspection (Check One)’ stand out from the set as having that extra edge because of it. The sky is grey and a bit drizzly but still fairly light, so while the lighting is far from lost the live vocal performances bring a welcome depth to the stage show.

The crowd are warm and receptive but if I’m honest, both they and Leftfield themselves are a little more subdued than I am hoping for.Sister Bliss - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review I know that the plaster ceiling of the Brixton Academy was always going to be safe at this distance, but somehow I still find myself wanting a little more. A little more bounce, a little more volume, a little more energy from the audience. I’m not sure which. But something. That said, Leftfield close their set to solid applause and pave the way for Sister Bliss to begin on the second stage.

The second stage is borrowed directly from Moseley Folk Festival, as, I’m reliably informed, are the bar and the catering stands. Not having been to Moseley Folk it’s not something that bothers me, but not giving this new festival more of its own identity seems a bit of a shame, if a forgiveable one given that it’s Beyond The Tracks’ first year.

With the crowd affording us little chance of getting close enough to see Sister Bliss in action, it becomes cocktail time, and as the strains of ‘Insomnia’ float over the field (one of my favourite Faithless songs) I can’t help but smile. I wasn’t sure if Sister Bliss would play it but I’m glad she has. Not the full song, of course, but enough.

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham ReviewHappily hydrated, centre of the arena and far enough back to see the full main stage in all its glory, the night feels like it’s picking up and I watch the crew building the tower of scaffold that is to be Orbital’s lighting rig and stage for the Friday night headline performance.

Orbital, brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll, take to the stage with trademark specs fully kitted out with headlights and kick straight in with ‘Lush 3’ which to me is a bit of an unusually mellow choice but gives them a long build into their performance. Plus while Sister Bliss has perhaps raised the bar slightly with regards to tempo and dynamic, she is the odd one out and Orbital and Leftfield are both bringing similar performances in many ways.

If I’m honest, I don’t feel their set ever builds much beyond that initial entrance and as track number two, ‘Impact (The Earth Is Burning)’ starts, again it’s more subdued than I was expecting. Somehow I thought there would be 8,000-10,000 people all jumping up and down and going mad but it’s far from the reality. The Hartnolls have some of the old ways still going strong, and I can see their heads bob and their hands raise through the lighting, but whether I’m a few drinks short of where I need to be I don’t know, the set just seems a bit flat.Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Orbital’s main set ends with ‘Belfast’ and I expect that to be all for the evening, but to my surprise there’s an encore scheduled in. I think the Leftism experience has thrown me; while an album based set is unlikely to squeeze out an encore, I have assumed that all dance music acts play a fixed set and that’s all. Not so. Not tonight anyway. Orbital have two more tracks on their agenda, finishing with ‘Where Is It Going?’ to a warm appreciation from Beyond The Tracks‘ Friday night crowd.

A very apt track to finish on too, as Paul (Gallear, not Hartnoll) and I are decide that where it’s going now is back to The Old Crown. We’re largely dance-music’d out for the day and a nice warm sit down and a drink is in order.

I remain conflicted on the walk back ‘home’, and Paul and I have a fair old discussion about the EDM evening. A discussion that extends into several G&Ts and some Belgian Beer. In the end, I remain unconverted to dance music and electronica for now. But as the saying goes, tomorrow is another day…

 

 

 

Jagwar Ma – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson

Jagwar Ma - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Jagwar Ma - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Jagwar Ma - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

For more on Jagwa Mar, visit www.jagwarma.com

____________

Leftfield – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson

Leftfield - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Leftfield - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Leftfield - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

For more on Leftfield, visit www.leftfieldsplash.com

____________

Sister Bliss – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson

Sister Bliss - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Sister Bliss - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

____________

Orbital – Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

Orbital - Beyond The Tracks @ Eastside Park 15.09.17 / Denise Wilson - Birmingham Review

For more on Orbital, visit www.orbitalofficial.com

For more on Beyond The Tracks, visit www.beyondthetracks.org