With new festival wristbands acquired for the collection, and the numerous bags of equipment on our backs giving us the appearance of a small pair of donkeys, we were finally ready for Meadowlands 2022. We’d actually already been blessed with a small taste of what was to come, and the excitement could not have been more real. Having taken the tram down to Notts’ absolutely stunning Victoria Embankment, we decided to sit down and eat our lunch on the banks of the River Trent, accompanied by the soundcheck of main headliner, Gerry Cinnamon. 

After officially setting up camp for the day in the media tent, it was time to go and properly get a sense of our surroundings before the crowds were let in, of particular importance naturally being the bar, merch stand and ice cream van. The festival itself was split across three stages: Main Stage, Second Stage and the BBC Introducing Stage, which was comfortably tucked away from the rest of the festival. As the clock passed 2pm, the original time that crowds were due to be let in, Cinnamon’s soundcheck was still going on and we were becoming very intrigued as to what could require so much prep time. Little did we know that soon, all was to become clear…

The first band we were extremely keen to see were Birmingham-based quartet Overpass, who kicked off the day on Stage Two. Consisting of members: bassist, India Summer Armstrong; lead guitarist, Elliot Rawlings, drummer, Joe Gallagher; and vocalist/rhythm guitarist, Max Newbold, it was an absolute pleasure to get to see these guys again, after having had the opportunity to see this band support The Fratellis back in April at O2 Forum Kentish Town. I’m really glad to say that I felt I got to appreciate them so much more the second time around. Although the crowd was perhaps slightly less owing to the overrun of soundcheck, it absolutely wasn’t long before they started to gather attention. Whilst their 2020 debut single ‘One Night Lover’ is certainly an ultimate crowd-pleaser, it’s ‘Stop the Clock’ that personally remains my absolute favourite. If you’re anything like me and are always on the hunt for new music, please, I beg, go and give this one a listen if you haven’t already. The BASSLINE, and don’t get me started on that guitar riff. After being let out from the pit, we got the chance to enjoy the rest of their set on the grass, and we could absolutely feel the excitement of the crowd beginning to brew. A small group of ardent fans were carrying the energy right from centre-barrier, and with all credits due to whoever was put in charge of arranging the day’s set times, Overpass were absolutely the best choice to set the vibe for the rest of the festival. An absolute must for fans of Inhaler, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and The Reytons. 



We then slipped over to the Main Stage to catch The Mysterines. Hailing from Liverpool, and led by front-woman, Lia Metfcalfe, the band are a perfect embodiment of alternative rock. Now I’m going to apologise in advance to fans of this band. I have to hold up my hands and take a moment to confess, having not listened to these guys before, I may have gone in there under the assumption that they would be a bubblegum indie-pop band. Thinking it would be a relatively chill gig, I could not have been more wrong if I tried. Although heavier than I would perhaps usually listen to, and strongly reminiscent of Black Honey and Royal Blood, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their set. Having gone back to listen to their debut album, ‘Reeling’, released just back in March, it was ‘In My Head’ that really did live up to its name. With a US tour lined up with AWOLNATION later this year in October, I’m very excited to see what this band has in store next for us. Don’t fret though folks, you can, however, catch The Mysterines this side of the pond, headlining O2 Forum Kentish Town on Friday, December 9th!



1/ Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)

2/ The Bad Thing

3/ In My Head

4/ Reeling

5/ Old Friends Die Hard

6/ Dangerous

7/ Hung Up



 It was my fellow Brighton-natives Black Honey for us next, arguably one of the bands that I was most excited to get to see. Having seen these guys support Royal Blood at the Brighton Centre alllllll the way back in November 2017, it was such a pleasure for me to see how much they’ve progressed as a band. Characterising their set with a mix of old, and new songs, notably All My Pride (I’m sure you’ll agree with me, what an utter banger), it was certainly a true nostalgic moment for me, going back to pre-COVID times. Now, it would be absolutely criminal of me to write a Black Honey review without giving an honourable shout out to lead vocalist, Izzy B. Phillips’, outfit choice. In a gold dress, complete with a hat that would make Little Bo Peep cry with envy, my only emotions as the band appeared, sheer anticipation aside, was the overwhelming urge to go home and cut up my curtains. I was in complete agreement with the couple next to me who mused that this woman knows how to make an outfit work. My only possible criticism for this band is that they decided to remove not only the song that has continued to have my heart in a chokehold for the past five years, ‘Somebody Better’, but also ‘Cadillac’, from their set list. I’d be lying if I said my heart hadn’t chipped just a little tiny bit. I suppose I can find it within myself to look past it though. Releasing their second album, ‘Written & Directed’, back in March last year, I was immediately hooked. That said, it was ultimately ‘I Like the Way You Die’ that ended up being the certain song of choice that I had on repeat for weeks. With no plans for a UK tour at the moment, those lucky enough to be attending Truck Festival and Reading and Leeds later this festival season, can get a taste of what this band has to offer. 



1/ All My Pride

2/ I Just Want You To Be OK

3/ Back of the Bar

4/ Spinning Wheel

5/ I Like the Way You Die

6/ Disinfect

7/ Corrine

8/ Run for Cover



Okay, I’m going to take a step back now and let you take a guess at just who the next band we had the honour of seeing was. Winner gets a virtual high-five from me. Ready…? Here we, here we, here we f*cking go… you guessed it! THE REYTONS. Having had the chance to review the Sheffield-natives for their O2 Academy Islington show back in April, Alex and I were absolutely buzzing to see whether the Meadowlands crowd could live up to the energy brought on by the London crowd. I can confirm, they absolutely did. I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that you know you’re in for a good time when you’re going into a Reytons gig. Complete with potentially the most stunning smoke flares I’ve ever seen (Alex did an absolutely beautiful job of capturing these), this was the first proper moment all day that I felt that I was truly at a festival. Although I did enjoy seeing these lads the first time, it was now, having had the chance to go back and listen to them again, that I was truly in a position to appreciate just what a hold this band truly has. Whilst sadly they didn’t end up playing ‘Expectations of a Fool’, it was more than made up for by ‘Kids Off The Estate’. Hearing this in an intimate venue like Islington is one thing; however, put in a festival setting… *chef’s kiss*. This is one song that was absolutely written to be played live, and I cannot wait to hear it again. 



1/ Red Smoke

2/ Antibiotics

3/ Harrison Lesser

4/ On the Back Burner

5/ Low Life

6/ Slice of Lime

7/ Kids Off The Estate

8/ Broke Boys Cartel



Ready to throw it back to the early noughties, albeit now also mixed in with remaining chants of ‘HERE WE, HERE WE, HERE WE F*CKING GO’, the crowd could not have had a better warm-up for the day’s penultimate Main Stage headliner, utter indie legends, The Kooks. A band that tends to dominate more or less every indie playlist on Spotify, this band is one for everyone, and I was over the moon to see that they were on the festival line-up for Meadowlands 2022. As soon as the intro to ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ came on, the crowd, myself absolutely included, were AWAY. Despite having an 18 song-long set, I have honestly never experienced 45 minutes go by as quickly as they did when The Kooks were performing. Having been a fan of this band for the longest time, ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ remaining a true coming-of-age album, I was absolutely not prepared for just how good they would be live. Getting to hear ‘Naive’ in person will forever be ingrained in my head as a core memory, singing at the top of my lungs with an equally-mesmerised crowd, they were the ideal band for Meadowlands. With their new collection of EPs ‘10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’ due out to come out as their sixth studio album in July, I will be thrilled to hear any new material that they have to offer.



1/ Seaside

2/ See the World

3/ Sofa Song

4/ Eddie’s Gun

5/ Ooh La 

6/ She Moves In Her Own Way

7/ Bad Habit

8/ Connection

9/ Shine On

10/ I Want You

11/ Jackie Big Tits

12/ If Only

13/ Always Where I Need To Be

14/ Do You Wanna

15/ Junk Of The Heart (Happy)

16/ Matchbox 

17/ No Pressure

18/ Naive



Now armed with the biggest ice cream of my life (and no, I am absolutely not still thinking about it), it was finally time to prepare for the last, and clearly most-anticipated, performance of the night, Mr. Gerry Cinnamon. Before I ultimately offer my experience of Cinnamon’s set, it’s important now that I give a shout out to everyone in the crowd that afternoon whilst we waited. Your rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’ was nothing but beautiful, and it was an honour to dance alongside you. I’ve truly never felt more proud to be a Brit. With another core memory ticked off, I think it’s time that I finally reveal just what required so much preparation for his performance. Unfortunately, as Alex got to the pit, he and the other photographers were forced to go to the back of the crowd and shoot from the sound booth. The reason? The most insane pyrotechnic display that you’ve ever seen. From start to finish, Cinnamon’s set was characterised by chants of “NA NA, NA NA, NA NA NA NA, GERRY CINNAMON, CINNAMON, GERRY CINNAMON’ and incredible fireworks. This was not merely a performance, it was a microcosm of a festival fit into an hour and a half. With absolutely class hits such as ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Canter’, I could truly not have asked for a better way to round off the festival. Well played, Meadowlands, well played. 



1/ Lullaby

2/ Sometimes

3/ What Have You Done

4/ Fickle McSelfish

5/ Ghost

6/ Sun Queen

7/ War Song Soldier

8/ Keysies 

9/ Fortune Favours The Bold

10/ Roll the Credits

11/ Sacred

12/ Dark Days

13/ Belter

14/ Discoland

15/ Mayhem

16/ Kampfire Vampire


1/ Where We’re Going

2/ Canter