Dot to Dot 2011
The best way to kick off festival season returns once more, bigger and better than ever.
If this is your first Dot to Dot you won’t have experienced just how good a night’s sleep you get after it. Euphoric from amazing music, exhausted from the estimated 15,000 steps you take that day. It’s not a bad time to start as the line up, as ever is amazing.
In terms of up and coming artists the potential on show is incredible and when you include the heavyweights also on the bill and the usually splendid weather you have all the ingredients for a perfect weekend. Where to start?
Well firstly, there are still some tickets left so cancel all plans, book the time off work and get yours- Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester. I’d love to do a couple or maybe all three one day but i’ve only just started back at the gym, maybe next year- don’t let that stop you though! See it as the ultimate musical marathon.
Before I get started, go download the Outr0version Dot to Dot 2011 Collection, a whole load of mp3s to help get you introduced to all the artists that will be blowing your mind that weekend.
Over to the music...
Firstly- On the way up…
Catching Ed Sheeran this summer is like seeing Kate Nash before “Foundations” or more sexually appopriate- Jack Penate before Glastonbury. I don’t want to encourage you to see him too much as I already fear the room will be packed with those ahead of the game and I want to be able to see! Make no mistake, this highly talented wordsmith should be one of the first names circled on your schedule, the phrase “I was in the same town as him before plus…” doesn’t have the same ring… (“+” is released in September)
Chances are you’ve heard some pretty chill people talking about Stagecoach but haven’t checked them out for yourself, I only assume this to be the case as they should be a lot more well known than they are. Definite but not obvious similarities to Los Campesinos! and more noticeably- Johnny Foreigner, a cover of theirs the London five piece have recorded below. They were selected by Huw Stevens of BBC radio one as one of the “introducing” highlights of last year and they’ve got a packed summer ahead of them, it’ll be hard not to leave dancing after they target you with their feel good hits of the spring.
These typically English boys with typically English names (Dave, Dean, Danny and lead singer- Alex) are from a typically English City. Wolverhampton, a city that might be relegated from the premiership the weekend before they play so they might need you there to cheer them up…
Quirky intro aside, I really like them. Their sound harks back to early Verve, before all the orchestras. I only heard them after I put up the mixtape so here’s three tracks to get into-
New Zealand Five Piece Naked and Famous are on somewhat of an ascent, one might say. The likelihood of someone coming out with something as pretentious as that was made all the more likely by them being voted NME‘s breakthrough act or best new band at their awards ceremony that includes categories such as best dressed and best blog. So excuse me if I’m a little peccimistic of praise from that quarter.
Fortunately, having a mind of my own I listened to them to make sure I wasn’t going to be missing out. Turns out they’re fantastic. They are what Chew Lips so nearly were, what I wish The Pains of Being Pure of Heart were. I don’t usually like synth but they pour it over melodies so sweet you might end up with diabetes after 5 minutes alone with their music.
The track i’ve included here, Young Blood is humungous. It couldn’t BE any bigger. They’re already playing two events I’m at this summer and I am all about this! Loads more tracks available on their site. Oh and a couple more on the dot to dot preview ;)
I advise you to see Nikki and the Dove if you want to see an artist that a lot of people are really excited about but that you might not get. It’s the kind of style that is usually described using adjectives such as “soaring” and “euphoric”, essentially meanlingless terms when you could just say if you like Pains of being pure at heart and Bats for Lashes then you’ll absolutely LOVE this. But if you didn’t then it really is a judgement call, what you’re in the mood for at that time on the day for example. Last year we missed a band because I was in the mood to drink 4 litres of pepsi… You know, just take it as it comes (:
Now onto The big game players-
To gloss over the fact Texas leviathans … And you will know us by the trail of dead are headlining the festival would be callously ignorant. The fact that their latest album is a stripped down affair suggests that they may be without the fanfare of the previous couple of outings and that will make for an incredible show. Whether that turns out to be the case live, remains to be seen. They’ve been unceremoniously quiet for the past year and making serious noise is what their good at, no matter what- they’re going to be UN.MISSable.
I can personally give a lengthy endorsement to The Joy Formidable, as back in 2009 when I heard Cradle and was grabbed, checked out their pre-album a balloon called moaning, loved it and went to see them live a half dozen times over the next year. Live they are the greatest time and have paid their dues, now they’re getting serious attention from all areas playing the NME radar tour and finally releasing their killer debut album Big Roar. Do not miss.
Unbelievably New Yorkers We are Scientists have now been around for over ten years! In that time they’ve released FIVE albums! Incredible. Their sound will always be a familiar one but at the same time it’s their signature. Glorious 4 minute pieces of indie pop perfection. After Hours is one of my favourite songs of all time and it’s not even their best song. They’re definitely more relevant to our generation than similar achitypes The Futureheads or Rooney and even if there were, God forbid, to be a clash- you should have no regrets choosing these guys.
So there you are, bookmark this for the day in case you forget what a band sounds like. I love that period between getting the schedule and the event kicking off, choosing where to be and when. Dot to Dot is the best. Get your ticket, download the playlist, be there.