WORDS AND IMAGES DESH KAPUR
It’s Neighbourhood Weekender again, and if I’ve said it once then I have said it loads of times but I am going to say it again, I love this festival, from top to bottom it’s brilliant, and the organization of the whole event, the people that run it, the bands from the big headliners to the newer bands on the other stages, some playing a festival for the first time, the food and so much more there is something for everyone, and the people come in their thousands to experience it.
It’s only 40 minutes from my house to Victoria Park, Warrington, the sun was out, I put my cameras in my car, popped on my bucket hat and shades, I must for any indie festival, jumped in the car and I was off.
It was a big lineup this year, well it’s a big lineup every year, to be honest, but this Year Pulp, Paul Heaton, The Wombats, Ann- Marie, Self Esteem, The Reytons, The Lottery Winners, Sugarbabes, and so so much more.
After arriving on a very beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon at about 1sh, we quickly grabbed our photo and review passes and wandered into Victoria Park the place was already buzzing with happy festivalgoers, painted faces, silver flares, bucket hats, band t-shirts and Ray Ban sunglasses. Gin bars, street food, wood-fired pizza, beer and fairground rides add to the atmosphere. The bands were split over 3 stages, and thankfully the distance between the 3 was not too far, meaning with some exceptional timing, you could get to see most of the bands you wanted to – perfect!! Add to that the sun was bloody shining; it was going to be a good, good time.
Saturday started for me with the big top and Welsh indie wonder kids The Royston Club, and they delivered a great set of stadium-size indie bangers, and the crowd they pulled to the big top at this time of the day was very impressive indeed, Wrexham might have a football team everyone is talking about right now, but it won’t be long before everyone is talking about these lads.
I stayed at the Big Top for the next couple of bands the first being the mighty mighty K’s, last year if my memory serves me right they played the main stage and they were great, but playing a packed-out big top this year fitted even better and they ripped a hole in the roof with the hi-energy four on the floor indie rock. After that was the volatile Scottish band The View and they didn’t disappoint either, I have to say I can’t remember seeing the big top so packed and so rocking so early on before, it was the place to be.
Then it was time to leave the big top to head to the main stage for the first time to catch modsters and one of my favourite bands Ocean Colour Scene, looking older but sounding the same as they did 20 years ago, they pulled out all the big hitters, and “The Day We Caught The Train” sounded epic floating over the early evening crowd on a beautifully warm day, it was as near to a perfect festival moment that I have experienced. It was a predicted highlight for me and that prediction came to fruition
Jamie Webster was up on the main stage so i headed there to catch the scouse balladeer, and i have to say Jamie Webster is an astounding live performer who isn’t afraid to say what on his mind, Webster’s music, is anger and optimism in equal parts, and we could all do with a little optimism right now. Webster’s choruses just get stuck in your head and once there you end up humming them for hours, and in his anti-establishment i.e his “F**k The Tories” slogan has made him a hero in Liverpool, and he left the stage a hero here today.
The Kooks, were on the main stage next and after a quick visit to the bar for a beer it was back to check them out, Just like the OCS they sounded as fresh as they did when I first listened to their first album Inside In/Inside Out back in 2005, I like the Kooks, their blend of of ’60s-style Britpop, and indie punk, always made them stand out from other bands.
Next up was Coventry’s finest The Enemy and as I entered The Big Top the vibe and excitement seemed to be hanging in the air, this was a massive indication of how this set was going to be, a hot, sweaty noughties house party. Playing mainly songs from their debut album WE’LL LIVE AND DIE IN THESE TOWNS. they smashed into tracks like ‘AWAY FROM HERE, ‘PRESSURE’ and ‘HAD ENOUGH’ and The Big Top was bouncing, but when they played the title track “WE’LL LIVE AND DIE IN THESE TOWNS” It went bonkers, people singing at the tops of their voices, beer flying through the air, mosh pits erupting all over the tent, it was a sight to behold, The Enemy were glorious tonight, from start to finish, I’d nearly forgot how good The Enemy are and what an awesome record We’ll Live And Die In These Towns is, The Enemy = brilliant Indie, unashamedly British,
I finished the day back at the Main Stage for the brilliant Paul Heaton, a true genius songwriter and it was a beautiful way to finish the day, and even though he was brilliant and even though Rian Downey did an amazing job stepping in for Jackie Abbot, it wasn’t quite the same without Jackie, so get well soon and ill see you at the front.
A BRILLIANT FIST DAY
FOLLOW THE K’S
FOLLOW THE ROYSTON CLUB
FOLLOW OCEAN COLOUR SCENE
FOLLOW THE KOOKS
FOLLOW THE ENEMY
FOLLOW PAUL HEATON
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.