WORDS AND IMAGES BY BILLY SEAGRAVE
‘As The Sun Was Going Down And A Chill Came Into The Air, Our Hosts For The Evening Were Ready To Take To The Stage’
The Lytham Festival (formerly and colloquially the Lytham Proms) is an annual five-day music festival held in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. The festival takes place adjacent to Lytham Windmill on Lytham Green, a strip of grass between the town’s coastal road and the river Ribble estuary. In promotion and ticketing, festival organisers refer to the venue as “The Proms Arena”. It is usually held in mid-July, with the final night often featuring an evening of orchestral classical music, in the style of a traditional promenade concert. Lytham Festival first took place in 2009 and is operated by Lancashire-based promoter Cuffe & Taylor, owned by Live Nation UK. The festival typically has a capacity of 20,000.
As the gates opened on a warm sunny evening and the various areas began to quickly fill up, most wanting to secure their place on the barrier for tonight’s Headliners Snow Patrol. First on to the stage was Jade Bird an English singer, songwriter, and musician. Bird’s music has been influenced by many folk and Americana artists. The media, when describing Bird’s music, have drawn comparisons with pop, Americana, country, and folk rock. Bird delivered a great set, drawing on her back catalogue of work, self-titled album “Jade Bird2 and “Different kinds of Light”, it was clear to see Bird was happy to return to performing even explain to the audience that she wasn’t high just overly excited and giddy to be back.
Next up to perform at very short notice was Maximo Park, literally 48 hours’ notice, as replacement for Kodaline, having to pull out because of an outbreak of covid. We don’t seem to have shaken that one off.
Coming on stage to bright sunshine is not normally the remit of an artist, Maximo Park gave it their all to bring their own brand of happiness to the stage, Front man Paul Smith was his usual bouncy self-covering the front of the stage with all the prowess of tiger hunting its pray, they played a lot of new songs which they have been working on through lockdown, “The Coast Is Always Changing”, Going Missing”, the stand out pieces, as you would expect the bands biggest reception was for the likes on “Velocity”, “Versions Of You”, and the real crowd pleaser to close out the set that lasted over an hour was, “Apply Some Pressure”, que the mass singalong, hats off to the band for stepping up to the plate and delivering a well-received performance.
As the sun was going down and a chill came into the air, our hosts for the evening were ready to take to the stage. Snow Patrol have not performed live in over a year, and it has taken them 4 years to finally get on stage at Lytham, their popularity has not altered, nor has their modus operandi. They remain masters of a strain of clinical, post-Coldplay arena rock in which every dramatic swell, every tasteful eruption, is forensically calculated. It is intensely formulaic, and yet it is a formula that many less skilled bands have failed to master.
The band has a fantastic body of work, one that allows them to open with “Chocolate”, immediately followed by “Take Back The City”, and “Crack The Shutters”. For many artists that would be the encore, After the first song, Gary addresses his loyal mass of followers and apologises for not really doing much in the last few years and expresses how amazed he is that anyone has bothered to turn up tonight.
What you don’t get with Snow Patrol is a band that tries to run away with the set, they maintain that smooth controlled warm layered sound as you would expect, as they shift through the set, “Open Your Eyes” provides the perfect opportunity for the band to simmer down on stage, as Gary commands each layer of the audience, from top to bottom and back again to repeat his lyrics. The top tier coming in late each time with the smallest of delays, much to Gary’s amusement. This is followed by the unmistakable “Life On Earth”, which proves a firm favourite with everyone.
As the set begins to come to an end and the stunning visual back drop and lighting illuminate the festival grounds, “Chasing Cars”, along with the stunning “Your All I Have”, has Lytham in full voice, to close the set.
Coming back for the encore, the laid-back strains of, “What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get”, que the camera phones, the couples siding up to each other, another magical moment. Final song of the evening is “Just Say Yes”, an anthem that builds and builds. What a fantastic ending to a memorable day at Lytham, Snow patrol leading the way and setting a benchmark in performance.
2/ Take back the city
3/ Crack the shutters
6/ Set the fire to the third bar
7/ You could be happy
8/ Open your eyes
9/ Life on earth
10/ Make this go on forever
11/ Shut your eyes
12/ Heal me
13/ The lightening strikes (What if the storm ends)
14/ Chasing cars
15/ Your all I have
16/ What if this is all the love we ever get?
17/ Just say Yes
FOLLOW SNOW PATROL
FOLLOW MAXIMO PARK
FOLLOW JADE BIRD