When Dot to Dot 2011 kicks off in Bristol, it’s in abominable weather conditions. It’s raining the kind of rain that goes straight up your nose and seems to soak you in seconds.
As any festival-goer knows, the earliest acts run the risk of playing for a meager crowd, but today, Louisiana is packed for one of the first acts of the day, one-man-band Cajita.
The born entertainer, he’s joking freely with the audience between his melancholic songs, only accompanied by the orchestra of loops he builds up before every song.
I hurry along to Thekla to catch Allie Moss, which proves itself hard as this venue, too, is filled to the brim and it’s hard to hear Allies delicate beautiful voice over the noise from the audience. It’s time for some heavier tunes.
At the Fleece, a wall of guitars greet me as I enter and I can’t help but feel at home. Turns out that the Suzukis has been replaced by local Bristol band Parrington Jackson, and they are rather good at the kind of straightforward rock that the Hives are the masters of and that we’ve already established that I have a soft spot for. Oh the joy of festivals: To discover a new band.
Later, I stumble across Danish Veto and can add another discovery to the list – Even harder rock in the uncompromising way of the Danes.
The highlight of the day has been clear all along: It has to be Hurts.
It’s the duo’s third gig in Bristol. From the first gig in the intimate belly of the boat Thekla, not many weeks after their first concert ever in Salford, they’ve grown to become a headlining act who travel all over the world, all in the space of a year and a half.
Their set has grown with them and does now include a guitar player as well as a girl who doubles on saxophone and violin and who immediately becomes my new hero. Luckily, the stone-faced opera man is still there, adding a certain grandiosity. A few songs, like Evelyn and encore number Better Than Love has gotten some proper dance beats added to them, and it works surprisingly well.
Although their music has strong influences, they sound like nobody else. In short? It’s how music is supposed to be; dramatic, hopeful, beautiful and bigger than life.
Published on Music-News: http://music-news.com/showreview.asp?H=Dot-to-Dot-2011&nReviewID=7127