WORDS AND IMAGES BY DESH KAPUR
‘AND THE SUN SHINES ON’
Sunday was day two of the NBHD Weekender and again the sun shone, and the people came out in their thousands to sample the musical fare that was being served up.
The Rills started my day and it was a great way to start, grungy Indie with big choruses and tons of energy, the band seemed to be having the time of their lives, Then I headed to the main stage, for something very surreal The Bootleg Beatles, walking on to the stage, and if you squinted just a little it really looked like the legendary Liverpool band and the next half an hour or so we were thrown back to the sixties and the birth of modern indie, bizarre and brilliant at the same time, loved it.
So, with ‘She Loves You’ ringing in my ears I headed down to the Big top to check out The 502s and Baby Queen and they could be much different. The 502’s served up a high tempo, high energy modern take on country bluegrass, highly entertaining and impossible not to get sucked in and start dancing to. The other end of the scale was Baby Queen. Baby Queen is 24-year-old South African native Bella Lantham, reminiscent of 1975 but with cutting lyrics, I guess you could call it Indie Grunge pop, but go see her and make your own mind up, she is going to be big. Take it from me.
The next three bands were Liverpudlian supreme songsmiths and a band I love very much Cast and the Jam influenced Rifles and Irish indie popsters Inhaler, Cast is 60’s inspired Brit-pop and its supreme best, sings like Walkaway, Finetime, Alright and Sandstorm are just perfect examples of how to write a song. The Rifles are another naughties band who have had a long and rich career and when you see them live you understand why, punchy Mod inspired power indie pop, built for an audience of parkas, Paul Weller haircuts and jam shoes, but today it was bucket hats, shorts and shades, with that, said they still brought the house down. It’s great stuff, then it was time for Inhaler, who I had seen earlier watching the Bootlegs Beatles and you hear that influence in their music, As has been mentioned many, many times, Elijah Hewson has a very, very famous father, but this band should be judged on its own merits This band are riding high at the moment, and it has nothing to with nepotism. What is relevant here is that Inhaler is a bloody good band, with some bloody good songs and their success right now is a product of that and nothing else. Elijah Hewson has the perfect Indie Rock Pop voice; the band write clever, interesting songs and delivers them immaculately. It’s The Strokes, it’s Two Door Cinema Club, it’s Johnny Marrs The Smiths, but most of all it’s Inhaler. These young Irish lads have captured the musical attention of the young and the old and I am going to go out on a limb here and say I think this band is going to be big
It was Manchester indie emo’s Pale Waves on the big stage, they are an amazing hybrid of sparkling guitar, synth-driven pop which gives more than a nod to 80’s artists such as Prince, Madonna and maybe a little of The Bangles thrown in for good measure. Add to this mix, lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie’s voice, which is a sweet melting mixture of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan and Taylor Swift (yes Taylor Swift!), a band that is only going to get bigger and bigger. The Amazons were up next Would they deliver? Simply put, deliver they did…and some! Incredible! In My Mind” started it all off and with the soaring vocals of Matt Thomson and belting guitars in full flight, the crowd were instantly and wantonly bouncing. The tone was now set and this Indie rock ‘love nest’ of huge choruses, ear melting guitar riffs and the appreciative audience were as one. There was an awesome balance between heavy and dark, light and shade, The whole performance was a standout just as it should be
Starsailor, Blossoms and Razorlight were the aperitifs before the main course of Kasabian and each of the bands did bring it, Starsailor is the understated side of Brit-pop, gentle and lilting, in the same bracket as bands like Embrace and Keane, hugely underrated and criminally overlooked, well, tonight they showed why that is wrong, they have some amazing songs, they are a great live band and lyrically sometimes they do make your heartbreak. Blossoms on the other hand are the other end of the scale, young, 3 number one albums, and riding the crest of a huge wave, and when you see them live you understand why, brilliantly written pop music, full of melody, with soaring chorus’s and hooks that just never leave your head, i think its up an up for Blossoms, Razorlight bounce onto the stage, with flashing lights and big fan fare and launched into what Razorlight do, a set of some of the most iconic songs from the naughties, led by the enigmatic Johnny Borrell, they blew the top of the packed-out big top.
Then it was time for one of the best bands of the last 20 years, the brilliant Kasabian and the crowd in front of the main stage stretched back as far as the eye could see,
Serge was like a man possessed. After the departure of Tom, Kasabian is his now his and it shows. He prowled and bounced across the stage like a man who had done nothing but drink Red Bull all day and Kasabian has never sounded better.
This was very much a greatest hits show. Every song was a banger and to be honest I’m not sure the band needed a frontman at all, as the crowd seemed to sing every word to pretty much every song; sometimes it was even hard to hear Serge’s vocals at all. What a beautiful thing to behold!
As the band rolled out all the hits the packed-out crowd wanted to hear, “Underdog”, “You’re in Love with A Psycho”, “Empire”, “LSF”, “Vlad the Impaler”, “Switchblade Smiles”, there was nothing about Kasabian’s performance that wasn’t confident to the core, A brilliant end to a brilliant weekend of brilliant music, genius and thank you Neighbourhood
FOLLOW PALE WAVES
FOLLOW THE RIFLES
FOLLOW BABY QUEEN
FOLLOW THE 502S
FOLLOW THE BOOTLEG BEATLES
FOLLOW THE RILLS
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.