Dot To Dot Festival 2011 – Nottingham

Nottingham was the second stop on the Dot To Dot agenda, and they took over the city's various venues to showcase some briliant acts.
Nottingham is a vibrant city with loads of bars and venues. The festival was made up of 4 venues all with a range of bands to watch.
The day started with us getting our wristbands from the Dot To Dot tent. The wristbands allow you to hop from venue to venue. The bands didn’t start till 1 so it’s a nice time to go exploring.

AlpinesThe first band we did go see was the Alpines from South London. You were quickly taken in by their unique sound and mesmerizing presence on stage. The band had a unique indie sound. The lead singer had an amazing voice that you couldn’t tier of listening to. They played in the Rock City venue which was the main venue for the festival. It also had a basement room were smaller bands played. The Rock City’s main room was large with 3 bars and a balcony view point. Even though it was large, when the bands got in full swing it filled up very quickly.

The next venue was the Rescue Rooms, and as said on a sign approaching the venue it’s up for NME Best Small Venue!. Inside the tiny venue was a long bar and two outside drinking areas. The atmosphere was amazing with it being such a small venue. The band we went to see are called Wolf Gang I had never heard of them before but they had a very big backing from the crowd. Everyone was packed into the venue like sardines it was so busy people were lined up outside. We got a little spot on the balcony were we could just about see. They were worth elbowing through the crowd to get a glimpse of. With their stylish indie sound and the lead singers punching vocals leaving me amazed that I hadn’t heard of them sooner. You could understand why Wolf Gang played in Rescue Rooms as it made them sound vibrant and in your face!


After the aftermath of pushing my way out of the Rescue Room’s venue I quickly made my way back down to Rock City to catch Swimming. As we got in to Talbot Street which was closed off for the festival. There were stalls and bars outside, they were also giving away free Kopparberg tasters that seemed to go down well with the festival goers.

Inside Rock City it was already very busy. We wormed our way through to a good spot, were we got to see the last few songs of Swimming, a 5 piece band from Nottingham. It was great to see a band playing in their home town. They lit up the town with brash electronica music like warp techno. This was mixed in with guitars and the striking voice of the lead singer. Swimming are a fantastic group of guys with great song writing skills, which they write from events that have happened in their own life’s.  

Ed Sheeran

After it had all calmed down waited patiently for the critically acclaimed Ed Sheeran. The excitement in the venue grew it was the busiest I had seen it all day. After the 30 minutes we waited Ed Sheeran made his way to the stage with his guitar and the determination to please the waiting crowd. Ed layers the sounds from the guitar and his voice by recording them and playing the sounds back adding the vocals, when all combined together gives the feeling of an entire band from just one person and his guitar. Ed Sheeran is just 20 years old, but his style of music flirts between dubstep to hip hop, and sometimes just with his outstanding voice and guitar. He sung his hits like City and A Team which the entire crowd got behind and sang with him. He has a lot of talent and writes songs with a lot of passion which people can relate to.

The Naked and FamousAfter all the fuss and excitement of Ed Sheeran we stayed in the main venue to watch The Naked and Famous, a band tipped to be big this year. The band is from New Zealand and the calming vocals of the lead singer Alisa Xayalith give the band some personality mixing in with the guitarist. It has an electro pop sound which gives the band’s music a lot of depth. The crowd loved this band and knew there music well.

My highlight of the festival has to be The Naked and Famous, a great band with fantastic stage presence.

Overall an awesome festival day out and would recommend to anyone who enjoys watching bands in great venues.

The Great Escape 2011 Review

The atmosphere was amazing and addictive during the day it was relaxing and chilled with the few venues in the town down all the little winding streets, full of street performers and shops selling all sorts of weird and wonderful things. The venues were spread all over Brighton so you could get a different atmosphere from the different venues. Including the Pavilion Theatre which is a nice pub turned into a venue, to Digital which is a club with amazing banging base. In the evening it came alive on the seafront with venues and bars, the place lit up with people drinking and having a good time.
Day One: I got there late Thursday evening and went to pick up my pass. It was already very busy you could hear bands coming out of all the different venues.  I was already thinking in my mind which bands I was going to see.  I had a plan mapped out but it got turned upside down when I got my pass as I walked down to the sea-front and it turned out that 

frank turner

was the place to be, so I didn’t leave for the rest of the night.  There were crowds of people outside the bars and venues enjoying themselves and socialising.  Armed with my wristband, camera pass and anticipation, I went into my first venue to see the band Fight Like Apes. They are a very energetic band that liked to jump about and use the stage to its maximum advantage. They had a large fan base that enjoyed it and joined in with the bands enthusiasm. After that I went down to see Example at the Concorde. It wasn’t too busy but the people that did decide to make the walk down the other end of the seafront were not disappointed. Example sang all his hits including Unorthodox and Won’t Go Quietly and even some new material.  Example was dripping sweat from jumping back and forth around the stage!  I walked back down to the Coalition on the front where I caught Frank Turner, who turned out to be one of my highlights of the weekend. He came out with just his guitar and a smile and wowed the crowd with his acoustic sound and the joy he had from playing his music. He sung hits from his album such as Still Believe and Pass It Along.  Definitely one to watch out for!
Day 2: I woke up all ready and excited in my hotel room, by the looks of it everyone else was already drinking and getting into the festival spirit. I took a walk down one of the main streets in the town before the bands started and checked out some of the street performers. Then I made my way down to Above Audio which was a little pub/ bar on the seafront where I listened to a few bands. The Jezabels stood out for me. They are an Aussie 4 piece band with a rich indie sound very enjoyable to watch with great stage presents. I walked down to Life and in the tiny unique venue I caught Mishima, a Spanish indie pop band, they were addictive to watch with songs in both English and there native Catalan. In such a small venue you felt you were in your own little show that no one else new about. 

vision of trees

For the next few hours we just chilled out. I spoke to some of the festival goers who seemed to be making the most of the bars and venues.  They all seemed to be in high spirits and enjoyed being down the seaside. There was a range of ages from teenagers to the more mature all having an awesome time. As the evening grew the next lot of bands started.  I started out at the Brighton Coalition which was a large bar/music venue under the arches on the sea front.  After seeing a few bands i came across Handsome Furs, a great band with lots of energy very exciting to watch. At one point the lead singer ended up in the crowd. The crowd loved this band and the excitement they brought to the venue with their fresh dark sounds. I walked back down to Life, the tiny venue with a great atmosphere. I got to see Visions of Trees that were amazing!  The lead vocalist's voice was gripping with their electronic sound.  I took a stroll down to the Corn Exchange in the town and caught a glimpse of Katy B, and the venue was very busy.  It was what you expect, she’s an amazing and talented artist and is going to go far with her dub step and drum and bass style of music.  She sung hits such as On a Mission, Perfect Stranger and came on for an encore of Lights On. The atmosphere in the Corn Exchange was big with everyone excited to see the next big thing.
Day 3: We started at the Relentless Bar where I ended up catching Seekae on the outside stage. Such a talented group of people pushing out there dance tunes. I also saw them later that day in the Digital venue which is obviously made for a band like this, the bass was unbelievable, definitely one to watch out for in the future. A bit later on that day I saw Benjamin Francis Leftwich who with just his guitar was amazing to watch the line was huge to get in to see him and I’m not surprised. He is very talented, the crowd loved him, and was singing along. And to top of my weekend I popped in to see Foster The People and White Denim. I was not disappointed with what I choose to end my weekend with, they just blew everyone away. After a packed fun filled weekend I got ready to go home. I really enjoyed my weekend, it’s great to come across bands you would never normally choose to see. Overall The Great Escape was a great weekend with great weather and great bands.