Dot To Dot 06
Lords, Amusement Parks On Fire, The Long Blondes, Mystery Jets, Computerman, The Hellset Orchestra, The Swarm, Good Shoes, From The Shards Of Comets!, Bromheads Jacket, The Automatic, Harrisons, Klaxons, and BricolageEdit this event
- British Sea Power »
- Klaxons »
- Harrisons »
- The Automatic »
- Bromheads Jacket »
- From The Shards Of Comets! »
- Good Shoes »
- The Swarm »
- The Hellset Orchestra »
- Computerman »
- Mystery Jets »
- The Long Blondes »
- Amusement Parks On Fire »
- Lords »
- Bricolage »
One year on from its inaugral launch, Dot To Dot 2006 is now bigger than anyone could have expected. So big, in fact, that the number of punters far exceeds the capacity for all of the venues hosting the 60-plus bands and DJs participating across eleven hours of revelry, therefore making it difficult to actually be able to get into some of the smaller venues. That slight gripe aside, Dot To Dot is still head-and-shoulders above many of the other newer festivals that have emerged in the wake of Michael Eavis' self-imposed hiatus - you don't have to wade through six inches of mud and cowpats whilst walking between stages for starters. Also, the line-up is about as varied as you can possibly get, with just about every genre known to man covered before the sun rises on Bank Holiday Monday morning.
Normally, the late arrival of a band onstage can cause a rapturous fury of moans and groans, but the fact that DiS has spent 45 minutes queuing for wristbands outside Rock City means that The Pipettes' late arrival - "We got lost somewhere over there!" admits a sheepish Gwenno Pipette, pointing admirably to the back of the room - actually sees them play to possibly the main hall of Rock City's biggest crowd of the day. If you haven't seen them before, and most of us north of the M25 haven't before today, the Pipettes straddle the fine line between acceptable kitsch and good-natured pop tunes that generally follow the gist of boy-meets-girl, boy-dumps-girl, girl-mets-boy, girl-dumps-boy. Not necessarily in that order. After 20 minutes we're still undecided whether their unsynchronised dance routines and Grease meets the www.sheilaswheels.com TV ads schtick is a deadly serious musical statement or self-reverent pisstake, but for a starting point they set the scene fine. With a smile, naturally.
In need of some liquid refreshment, DiS seeks the more salubrious confines of The Social where The Chemistry Experiment's backdoor Johnny Cash eulogies and Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - imagine Stephen Merritt, a crate load of valium and a malfunctioning drum machine - quickly turn the grins of clowns into kingsized frowns.
Moving onwards and back upwards into Stealth, Sheffield electro quintet Neon Plastix briefly remind us why the whole futurist revival of 2004 wasn't such a bad thing after all, but then half-a-dozen of the same DuranModeForFears retreads later DiS runs for cover from the wedge haircut and leggings brigade. Why? The Morning After Girls are about to start their set, of course. The Melbourne five-piece turn out to be one of the highlights of the day, engaging in what can only be described as drone rock with an added touch of 'roll' for those not intent on staring at the front row's boots for the duration of their set. With ear-crushing feedback punctuating the beginning and end of every song and Martin B Sleeman looking like a younger Jason Pierce, The Morning After Girls are the perfect pick-me-up from Eighties-induced hell - 'Run For Our Lives' would be this summer's anthem in a parallel universe.
With ears now swathed in tremolo and distortion, DiS heads for the main hall of Rock City one more time to catch the stoned comedown of Dead Meadow. Grand it is, too, although one fears that too long in their company and an afternoon nap might be par for the course - not a good thing as there's still another seven hours to go. Bearing all that in mind, it's time for another breather and we head off back to The Social, briefly catching a bit of Dan Sartain before making the fatal mistake of leaving the venue for five minutes, arriving back outside to find a queue almost as long as the River Trent itself, meaning that we have to miss The Rumble Strips' white-boy soul train. Damn. Tail between legs and deli sandwich digested, we troop back to the Rescue Rooms where we catch the last four songs of the Harrisons' set, which sound surprisingly underwhelming by their standards, although one of the band later claims the sound wasn't up to much. Hmmm...
Walking back around to the entrance of Rock City, an even larger queue has formed to try and get into the basement for The Automatic. "What's that coming over the hill? A one-hit wonder, a one-hit won-DER" we scream before legging it for our lives into the safety zone of the venue's upper echelon just in time for the Mystery Jets. And boy, is it worth it.
They play what is fast becoming a greatest hits set: 'The Boy Who Ran Away' and 'You Can't Fool Me Dennis' open the show, father Henry and son Blaine singing in sweet harmony like Coca-Cola promised to teach us all to do many years ago. It's the back end of their show though that causes most mayhem, as the chant of "Zoo Time! Zoo Time! Zoo Time!" becomes synonymous with an increasing rabble of stage divers, causing DiS to leave the photo pit amidst a hail of blood, sweat and fear.
As hard an act to follow as the Mystery Jets are, the ferns and hedge cuttings adorned on mic' stands can only mean one thing: British Sea Power are in town. Without further ado, they launch into a set mixed with old favourites ('Remember Me', 'Please Stand Up' and 'A Wooden Horse' proving particularly engaging) and a couple of newies enjoying a road-testing. As always with BSP, the band finish with the drawn-out dementia of 'Rock In A', and although DiS would normally love to stay and chat 'til the finishing line, we have some business to attend to. Namely Bromheads Jacket in the Rescue Rooms.
With the crush at the front getting more frenzied before Bromheads even take to the stage, DiS probably makes the right decision in arriving that little bit early. Half an hour later, and with a pair of Dunlops destroyed and jeans covered in beer and footprints, any sane person would be rueing the last 30 minutes, but not us. Bromheads Jacket's splatterpunk is the perfect way to end a festival of this kind, as 'Wooley Bridge' and 'Trip To The Golden Arches' instigate, first of all, mass bouncing, then communal singing, and finally a stage invasion that makes it difficult to work out who's in the band and who isn't.
Battered and bruised, DiS just about makes it into Stealth for a quick vodka and coke where Spank Rock spit out deliriously funky rhymes like they've gone out of fashion. Sadly, though, we're too knackered to care, down our drinks and hail a taxi. Roll on next year...
Photo by Neil McGwyre
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