Bingley Music Live (BML) started in 2007 and although it is only in its 5th year BML has been a sell out for the past 2 years. With weekend tickets only costing £35 I was very surprised at how good the line up was, definitely value for money, and they also seemed to have something for everyone with the line up having a variety of music types, from the folk-pop sound of Eliza Doolittle to the drum and bass sounds of Chase and Status.
The festival is also very keen to help bring money into its local community and does this by not having its own campsite and instead allowing local business’ with land to offer camping at a small cost to festival goers. However I must admit that when we first heard that the festival did not have its own camping we were slightly worried, but once we arrived at our campsite (which we found through the BML website) we soon forgot about our worries, the campsite was spacious, had food stalls and simply the nicest toilets I have ever seen at a festival campsite.
The main festival site was only a 15 minute walk from the campsite and once on site I was a little bit surprised at the size of the arena as I expected it to be bigger for the 15,000 festival goers that would be attending over the weekend, however no one appeared fazed by this and the size of the arena must have been deceiving, because once the crowds came in to enjoy the music and atmosphere it was never too crowded (unless you were in the mosh pit).
Friday – BML hosts a free day on the Friday, where you can go and enjoy the music without having to pay to enter the arena. You would think with there being no charge for the day they would put on less than great acts but with the acts for the day being Alice Gold, Young Guns, The Go! Team, Skindred, and Fun Lovin’ Criminals, this was far from true and the day was a big success.
Saturday – With the arena being small we decided to check out Bingley’s town centre on Saturday and it was clear that many were doing the same, with the shops and restaurants being full with other festival goers. After grabbing some lunch in a little café we then headed over to the arena. We missed the first two acts but got there in time to catch the end of Dionne Bromfield’s set. We spent the rest of the day watching the other bands with Feeder being a big hit with the crowd. We were especially looking forward to seeing Maxïmo Park, and once onstage, though we personally thought they started off not so great they definitely got better to the end of their set, playing their better known songs, they put a great end to a good day. There were also some fireworks to watch before heading back to the campsite so all in all a really good day was had, even the rain had held back with only the odd drizzle earlier in the day.
Sunday – Started the day with a full English breakfast in one of the local cafes that opened on the Sunday especially to be able to feed us festival folk. It was another day with a chilled out atmosphere during the day with most just sat with a drink watching the first lot of bands and enjoying the sunshine. Sunday held a special treat for those who had access to the VIP/hospitality area; this was because Dynamo, the illusionist/magician had flown in from America to perform some tricks at BML. He even did a small performance just for press and posed for pictures.
My favourite act of the day had to be Eliza Doolittle, she sounded great and was the best kind of act to just relax in the sun and listen to. She even spent some time backstage posing with fans for pictures. The highlight of the evening though and what everyone was looking forward to was Chase and Status, and the crowd went crazy for them. They were definitely the best act to end the weekend, and just like Saturday night, the day was ended with a fireworks display.
My personal experience of BML was great and I will definitely be going back. It has to be the best value for money festival around and although it is not a big festival and you didn’t get a true festival feeling from it, BML still had a friendly and fun feel to it.
The quirky and cultured Patrick Wolf is hailed by many as Britain’s most underrated pop star. The eccentric singer songwriter mixes electronica with classical instruments to create a unique brand of techno inspired power pop. Due to release his fifth album ‘Lupercalia’ next week, he’s a seasoned live performer who charms and fascinates audiences around the UK gaining him a cult following and solid credentials. T in the Parkers will be amongst the first to hear material from his new album and are certain to catch a performance to remember.
Kentish Town siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis play more or less any instruments they can lay their hands on, jumping around on stage from banjos, to ukuleles, accordions, xylophones and trombones. They’ve had worldwide success with sold out tours and have opened for Coldplay, Razorlight and Jools Holland among others. Recently released second album “Smoking in Heaven” is receiving yet more critical acclaim and T in the Parkers can judge for themselves in July.
Californian rock and roll heavyweights Rival Sons are known for bluesy soul vocals, memorable guitar riffs and deep, pounding grooves with flourishes of reckless abandon during live sets. With debut album ‘Pressure and Time’ set to be released next month the band are making a stop at Balado on their ‘Epitaph’ world tour – get ready Scotland for the swagger that is Rival Sons.
There aren’t many new musicians who can harness the elemental rock’n’roll soul of both Ike and Tina and Jimi and Janis. Alice Gold though, comes close. Gold by name and gold by nature, there’s an immense warmth in Alice’s voice which will radiate through the fields of Balado.
Fresh from reforming this year and releasing second album ‘Elettorama’, Glasgow band Thrum are and heading straight to Balado for a much anticipated comeback. Vocalist Monica Queen worked with Belle & Sebastian and Shane MacGowan during the band’s 6 year hiatus and is now bringing back the band’s indie-rock sound.
Seattle based indie post-punk band Romance will be making the trip to Scotland bringing a sound that is at once familiar and strikingly fresh. Their music blends dark, catchy and epic songs with an intelligent and unique ideology, one for the thinkers at T in the Park.
Molotov Jukebox are self-professed pioneers of GypStep with the band citing gypsy, ska, funk, dubstep, flamenco, house, electro, pop, reggae, and soul as their influences. With lead singer Natalia Tena having recently starred in “You Instead” the feature length movie shot on site at last year’s T in the Park, she certainly knows her way around Balado.
Tartan clad tribe Clanadonia will kick off proceedings on the Main Stage to an almighty thunderous sound. The drum thumping, stage pounding traditional Scottish music is the perfect way to welcome in an epic weekend of spine tingling musical moments.
Traditional Scottish music will continue throughout the weekend as the Ceilidh Tent returns for 2011. T in the Parkers of all musical persuasions can’t resist a fling round the tent at some point during the festival – the infectious energy of the Ceilidh Tent in full flow will see even the hippest festival goers enter for a lively session of elbow swinging and foot stomping!
Set 20 miles south of Manchester in the Cheshire landscape, Live from Jodrell Bank is arguably the UK’s most diverse and imaginative setting for a live music event. Throughout the day visitors will take part in experiments and workshops delving into the undiscovered and the obscure; exploring space research and examining the stars; whilst having free access to the newly, redeveloped and magnificent visitor centre. As night falls, the site will be transformed into a musical fervour with this mind-blowing and totally unique show.
Saturday’s Transmission 001 features The Flaming Lips who will bring their space-influenced alternative and ground-breaking rock music to the site. Hailing from Oklahoma City and founded by the eclectic Wayne Coyne, the band have been named as one of the 50 Bands to See Before You Die (Q Magazine). Famed for their elaborate live shows featuring costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands and frontman Wayne Coynes’ signature man-sized bubble, The Flaming Lips are the perfect partner to the backdrop of the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world.
Adding to the eccentricity, British Sea Power bring to the table a promise of intensity and the spectacular with a live performance of their epic rock music. No stranger to astronomy with their Lights Out track created in support of the Dark Skies campaign, the performance is set to ricochet across the entire telescope site. BSP are no strangers to performing in weird and wonderful venues. Whether in a tiny pub in Sussex, the Jersey Opera House, the National History Museum or a church up in the Arctic Circle, Jodrell Bank will certainly add to their impressive catalogue of locations. They even recently embarked on a boat on the River Thames to perform and support the British Wave Power campaign.
Chicago based OK Go are renowned for their infectious songs, inventive videos, surprising live shows and forward-thinking back-end, making them arguably the world’s most bleeding edge independent outfit. Expect the unexpected given the show stopping performances the band are fast becoming famous for.
With diverse influences from Janis Joplin to Alicia Keys, Alice Gold makes the kind of blues tinged indie pop that is infectiously foot tapping. Working with producer Dan Carey, a man whose produce credits include La Roux, Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen and Kylie, Gold’s debut album, Seven Rainbows is destined to a smash.
The giant Lovell Telescope, playing host to Live from Jodrell Bank, has been quietly probing the depths of space since 1957 being the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the world when it was built. This combined with the fervour of The Flaming Lips, the charm of British Sea Power and the unlimited possibilities from OK Go, Transmission 001 is set to place Jodrell Bank firmly on the map as arguably the most unique and spectacular live show in the UK in 2011.
Kendal Calling co-promoter Andy Smith comments, “We’re a big fan of the unusual and the unique and by combining the incredible venue of Jodrell Bank and an amazing live performance by The Flaming Lips, this is going to undoubtedly be one of their most memorable shows. British Sea Power and OKGO are the perfect accompaniment atmospheric and thrilling performances in equal measure. Roll on July!”