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Vegas Tones - Leicester, 17/8/3012...19/8/2012

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 27 / 8 / 2012

Vegas Tones - Leicester, 17/8/3012...19/8/2012


Anthony Strutt attends high quality local Leicester three day festival Summer Sundae, which saw this year sets from among others Public Image Limited, Billy Bragg, Reverend and the Makers, Ocean Colur Scene and Adam Ant.

Summer Sundae is a Leicester festival, which has been up and running since 2001. It takes place on the third weekend of August, which means its main competition is the V Festival. A mere 10 minutes walk away from the local train station, it is set in the De Montfort hall, which is the biggest seated venue in Leicester. The De Montfort now caters mainly to the older audience crowd, and in the past Morrissey and the Pixies have played here. This year's theme is Safari, and what becomes very apparent from the moment I get there is that A) it is a local festival, B) it is child friendly, and C) it has none of the usual bullshit associated with festivals i.e. bad toilets, and overpriced anything apart from the Adam Ant shirts. As a newcomer to this, I treat the festival like a pick and dip menu, taking in this and that and feasting on the main acts as required. I'm surprised that the Orange Tree is the main bar and sells Guinness on tap. Also I have wonderful festival food here from Simply Thai for a bargain of £5 a day. The first day is the wet day. It rains. That's life. The main stage is the outside one called The Lion's den, My first band is a local band, Kyte, whom I know because they were signed to the Sonic Cathedral label. They are huge in Asia, where their new album, ‘Love to Be Lost’, which has not come out yet in the UK, has already been released. They are a bigger band then they were last December the last time they played locally. They make a huge shoegazing noise, playing half the numbers from the new work. Lonely, Dear follows. He is a Swedish solo artist and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanänge who samples his material as he plays his very twee, but endearing set. Dark, Dark Horse played a local mini festival the night before as a warm-up gig to their set here, I have wanted to see them for a while, but they disappoint me as, consisting of several ex-Kyte members, they are a whining Radiohead-style outfit. The music on this first day is so loud that my head is throbbing and wants to explode, so Uncle Frank is the final act that I watch. A local hero, as well as member of Fun Lovin' Criminals, he is great, funny and amusing with an ego to fill this venue. You can’t help but love this guy. He sings songs everyone understands and sets the standard high. ADF and Katy B headline but by then my head needs rest. On the second day I get there later. Cashier No. 9, are my first band on the Into the Wild stage, which is actually in Victoria Park next door. They are on Bella Union and a lot of what has been written about them doesn’t really add up as, rather than being a baggy act, they come across a decent, solid and amusing pop band. My friend arrives and buys me a cold Guinness, and I treat her to the delights of Jonathon Richman. The legend sadly plays no old hits and solo with just his drummer Tommy Larkins to accompany him. He warms us up with ‘Madness on an Acoustic’. Totally original, he is true star and charms us with his folky new world set. He has the crowd begging for me. Adam Ant's new band plays afterwards on the Lion’s Den stage. It is the first time I have seen him apart from walking in Soho. He is dressed in a Pirates of the Carribean style outfit, but that was his look anyhow. His band are his juniors and include a rather sexy backing vocalist. He plays a greatest hits set that includes ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Car Trouble’, ‘Vive Le Rock’, ‘Stand and Deliver’, as well as a cool delivery of T Rex's ‘Get It On’, Marc Bolan being his favourite pop star. Ocean Colour Scene headline. They are not my cup of tea but they pull in the biggest mod crowd. They play for eighty minutes, and everyone sings along and leaves at the end happy. The first act that I see on Sunday is Japandroids. They are a Canadian two-piece Raveonettes-style noise act. I love them, and they give my ears a good wash out with their fury. After this I watch Billy Bragg, who does a more then entertaining tribute set to the wonderful folk hero that is Woody Guthrie, Billy has promoted him more then Dylan and is always friendly. He plays to a full tent, melting our hearts, and we leave as learned students of Guthrie and his causes. Reverend and the Makers, who are from Sheffield, are basically a pop version of the Arctic Monkeys and it shows. They are well loved here, but it rains during their set and they bore me. Public Image Ltd headline on the Sunday. At 9 p.m. they wander on stage and security are immediately everywhere in case of trouble from the crowd. The crowd is, however, gone, but it soon comes back. John Lydon is his usual playful self and asks us, “Are we one sort of a council here?”, nefore launching into ‘This is not a Love Song’ 2012 style. PIL in 2012 is a new band so you cant judge them on their past work. Their new album, ‘This is PIL’ is, however, excellent. It is world music not post punk, and for me the new songs work best as the current line-up know how to play them. The older material, is rearranged and simply works in that form. Too many later not-so-great PIL numbers take up the set, and not enough older stuff is played in my old eyes, but a decent version of ‘Religion’ is knocked out showing him he has lost none of his edge. ‘Warrior’ shows he is still battling the old demons. Their first ‘Public Image’ single is not played, leaving me a bit disappointed, but on the whole they are excellent. Lydon still has that edge that puts most of his contemporaries to shame. God save the Rotten. That is what I say.

Picture Gallery:-
Vegas Tones - Leicester, 17/8/3012...19/8/2012

Vegas Tones - Leicester, 17/8/3012...19/8/2012

Vegas Tones - Leicester, 17/8/3012...19/8/2012

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