Y-Not Festival 2013 Saturday Review

Y Not 2

Day two of Y-Not Festival did not start off promising weather wise. Waking up to the sound of the rain beating down on the tent and the squelching of mud outside is not the way to put CackBlabbath in the best of moods! Coffee is however, so that was first on the agenda for our Saturday morning. Feeling slightly more human after a much needed caffeine injection we wondered across to The Allotment Stage to catch the first band of the day, The Satsuma Elephants. Now I was going to give these guys credit for the amusing name but then they instantly ruined this by exclaiming as they came on-stage, “We are here to brighten you up and give you your morning dose of Vitamin C”.

Shut up.

(The bad mood clearly hadn’t completely lifted by this point).

A few songs in and a couple of disgruntled looks later we started to get into the funky, rock vibe the young duo were providing us with. This was a nice chilled way to start off another day of eclectic music and the sun had even started to shine. Bonus.

Next up we slid through the mud to The Quarry to see Indie band, Siblings. There seemed to be a buzz about these guys and the tent was packed, not bad for being just after 12pm. The boy’s feel-good rock style went down a treat with the crowd and their closing song ‘Colours’ had everyone singing along. They also receive a gold star for playing the banjo in this song. We do love a good banjo solo at CackBlabbath.

StoY Not 1machs were now rumbling, so we headed over to the Main Arena where it was quickly decided a Chicken Burrito was needed. Dangerous choice at a festival some might say… I would disagree. The spicy goodness was just what we needed to perk ourselves up. While chomping away we caught the tail end of Naymedici who were playing on the Big Gin Stage. These Manchester boys were a fun, folky band who played loud and graced us with some ‘interesting’ dance moves. We are now fully awoken.

Feeling energised and ready to see a band who felt a little bit more within our comfort zone we moved over to The Giant Squid where we saw, for me, one of the best bands of the festival. Bring on The St Pierre Snake Invasion. These Bristol lads are loud, hairy, offensive and best of all they did not give a shit! Damien Sayell on vocals was right down at the barrier, pouring whiskey into any open mouth available and interacting with the crowd. While asking us what we thought of the bands so far at Y-Not, he quickly informed us that anyone who hadn’t played at The Giant Squid was “Like the weather…. wet and shit!”. You can’t fault the man for his honesty. They then proceeded to sing a song which included the chorus, “If they only way is Essex, you can kill me now!” while also slagging off any band which included a lead singer wearing a vest. Amazing. These guys are heavy, loud and great fun to watch. Definitely a band CackBlabbath will be keeping an eye on.

Wanting to continue with the metal vibe that seemed to be coming from this tent we decided to stick around to watch the next band on the line-up, The Hush. After a couple of songs though we decided they sounded like something off the OC Soundtrack and the singers whiny voice was bringing back our hangovers, so back into the sunshine we went.

Just getting started on The Big Gin Stage were Fiction. These guys are a perfect example of a band who take themselves far too seriously and think they are doing something special and unique because they have a video which is projecting random images along with the music which scream, ‘look how weird and unique we are’… time to move on again? I think so.

After a short wonder across the festival site (and a quick dance to Aqua – ‘Dr Jones’ which was playing on one of the stalls… don’t judge us!) we stumbled across Alaskan Faction who had drawn a good crowd back over at The Quarry. I liked these guys. Simple Indie rockers from Nottingham, who were unfortunately hampered with a couple of technical difficulties, but this gave Vocalist Daniel O’Keeffe chance to get some banter going with the crowd about the bands so far today… just in a more positive way than The St Pierre’s Snake Invasion did! Their songs were catchy, fast paced and got everyone moving. They were a good band to raise energy levels back up again and give us the motivation to brace The Giant Squid again after our earlier disappointment.

Hitting the stage there were My Preserver. The best way to describe them? Frustrating. They should have been very good. Instrumentally the band were tight and their songs were musically interesting. They started off well with heavy drums, a catchy guitar riff and were off to a hopeful start. The issue was when the singer opened his mouth. He had no power in his voice and very little stage presence to match. To make matters worse for him, his bassist, on backing vocals, had a stunning voice which completely outshone him and he was much more captivating to watch. They really struggled for an audience reaction and it wasn’t until the bassist stepped in and asked the question of if we were all asleep that the crowd warmed to them a little. These London rockers also received the first ‘boo’ of the weekend we had heard. Now I admit, I was disappointed by these guys but I feel this was harsh. They definitely showed potential and there were another three bands playing at the same time as them. If you don’t like them… go and see someone else. So we did.

It’s now mid-afternoon and we are feeling a bit tired on our old feet so we headed to The Saloon. This place is great. A purpose built old fashioned Saloon bar complete with all the fittings and even the bar staff were dressed as cow boys. Awesome. We sat in here (and enjoyed a small whiskey) while we waited for an acoustic set from Jack Harris… who never turned up. After a while we got tired of waiting and stepped back outside just in time to see people piling out of The Allotment apparently all very excited about who had just played in there. Upon looking at the line-up it turns out Micro Jupiter had just finished. I don’t know anything about these guys, but hindsight tells me we should have gone to see them instead. You win some, you lose some.

Feeling we had been cheated out of some acoustic guitar loveliness we decided to take a seat amongst the hay (yes, an actual seat on actual hay) in The Hog and Barrel. There was a wonderful family vibe in this tent as children had hay fights and dads got drunk on cider and buried other drunk dads in the hay. Always good fun. Here we saw the rather beautiful Josh Kemp. He went down extremely well with the crowd with his inoffensive, soft guitar playing and sickly-sweet songs mainly about love. My only grievance about this local lad was that he was playing along to a pre-recorded track of his own vocal and guitar harmonies, which I personally didn’t feel he needed, but that’s just me nit-picking. Highlights of his set were a cover of ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from The Jungle Book which had everyone singing along and his closing number, ‘The Hangover’ which was very funny and showed a slightly more edgy side to him. Now feeling far too comfy in the hay we agreed to stick around for a bit longer and see something a bit different. Comedian, Duncan Oakley. I’ve always found comedians to be a bit hit or miss at festivals but this man was without a doubt a complete hit! Y NotHe started off his set pretending to be Spanish, then got his guitar out a sang a very strange song about a little cat before proclaiming my favourite phrase of the weekend, “Burp and taste it, fart and waste it”. Clearly we at CackBlabbath are easily amused! This guy is way more than just funny though. His technical skill on guitar was fantastic and he had the voice to match it. Team that with clever song writing skills and it’s no wonder he went down such a storm. He finished his set with ‘The Headless Bird Song’ which I strongly advise you to look up on YouTube as soon as you finish reading this. It sums up this guys humour perfectly and is quite simply hilarious. Definitely an act to catch live if you fancy something a little bit different in a festival environment.

Dinner time now. We decided to carry on the spicy vibe from earlier in the day and have a bowl of chilli and rice. Best thing about this was the tent it was served in had lots of comfy pillows and blow up chairs to sit in while we sat and watched the now, once again, pouring rain. From here we saw the end of Drenge’s set on The Big Gin Stage. This rock duo looked like they couldn’t have been more than about fifteen years old and just looked like they were having the time of their life. Due to the rain they had a pretty small crowd unfortunately so their request for a circle pit was probably quite optimistic, however the guitarist still finished off the set in rock star fashion by throwing his guitar on the floor and beating it while the drummer walked off stage. Bless them.

The next two bands we saw were to put it politely, cack, so we are going to brush by these quickly. We subscribe to the “if you’ve got nothing nice to say” school of thought here at CB, so we’ll just say the first band could be summarised as “Shit name. Hideous outfits. Offensive music… and not in a good way”…. And then there were the ladies playing in The Giant Squid, who sounded a bit like this, ‘Wah Wah Wah… we are girls. Wah Wah Wah… we know how to hold a guitar.’ Know the type? Okay, let’s move on. To the bar!

Being from Scotland it sometimes pains me to admit England is good at something, but one thing they do extremely well is cider. Y-Not had one of the biggest range of ciders on draught I’ve seen at a festival so I made it my mission to taste a few of them at this point in the day. I wish I could remember the names to recommend them to you, but I can’t. That probably tells you how good they were though!

Next it was time for a band I was excited about. Someone I had heard of on the line-up. The mighty Zico Chain. I felt a little sorry for these guys. Their stage times had been moved around so the crowd were expecting The Gnarwolves and throughout the first couple of songs made it very clear they weren’t happy this wasn’t who they were watching. Zico Chain persevered through this though and soon won the crowd over and even got one of the biggest pits of the weekend going. They were due to open for Iron Maiden at the O2 the following night so this was a nice warm-up gig for them.

Back to The Big Gin now for another band I had actually heard of. A band I will admit I have been disappointed by in the past: Kids In Glass Houses. They had attracted a big crowd despite the weather and played a set filled with hits which got everyone moving a singing along. I take back any harsh words I may have said about these guys in the past because they tore the place apart. A definite highlight of the day.

Next were a band who were recommended to me (recommended !!! Iain ordered me to go see them, the slave driver), The 1975 who were playing The Quarry. Unfortunately we hadn’t anticipated quite how popular they were going to be and couldn’t get inside the tent. As the rain was now back on in full force we only stuck around for a couple of songs but there was a really great atmosphere despite the weather and everyone who was inside and dry and clearly having a lot of fun.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 19.56.04The second last band for the day was Mallory Knox in The Giant Squid. I felt very old watching this band as the entire crowd seemed to be made up of teenagers banging into each other and throwing beach balls around, but it was a lot of fun. I even ventured into the pit myself at one point to help a drunk girl before being punched in the face, quickly deciding I was too old for this and taking back up my rightful position at the back of the tent! They were a good, heavy band though to keep the energy levels up into the night. The final band we caught were InMe, also in The Giant Squid. They proved to be pretty disappointing. The crowd had thinned right out, the crowd that were there appeared to be heckling the singer somewhat and the set-list all seemed very samey.

It was about this point that The Ice Bucket suddenly became a more appealing place to be.

The Ice Bucket was a small tent which held inside a bar (always a winner) and then a load of sofas and old fashioned cars which you could sit in to watch a movie on the cinema screen. We had heard they were playing Pulp Fiction so this seemed like the perfect way to end our evening. As we headed inside Life of Brian was just finishing off, so we made ourselves comfy on the sofas, settled down… and then started to nod off. How metal can you get? This was the night I came to the conclusion that I am now getting old and it is okay to head back to your tent at midnight to sleep. Especially as just as you are dozing off you hear the following conversation:

Boy 1: “Aw mate, you’re supposed to be my wing man..”

Boy 2: “Mate I am, but those girls were all dogs.”

Girl: “Er… We can still hear you…”

Cue lots of laugher from us as we head into another sleepless night of rain and screaming teens. Where’s the nearest hotel?