Tomorrow sees Nottingham one-dayer charity festival Macmillan Fest make it’s way down to to Bristol for the first time. Earlier this month the event made its usual stop at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms – you can check out what we made of the festival in full here. For now, here’s our favourite bits and piece of the festival…
I’ve never been one for cover-dominated sets, especially among a line up of original acts, but acoustic duo Amy & Lily have made it on to my list of rare exceptions. Upstairs on the slightly out-of-the-way stage, the pair weren’t greeted with a crowd as full as they deserved, with covers ranging from First Aid Kit to Paramore and shaking things up with more instruments than your usual straightforward girls-and-guitar act. In short, if you like acoustic covers sets done well, but you fancy things a little different, Amy & Lily are your go-to on the Nottingham scene.
Let’s carry on with the theme of acoustic-ness; since the popularity of Jake Bugg, all the acoustic acts of Nottingham seem to have risen to the surface, though I’m sure they’d all be insulted with any sort of association or comparison in such a sense. Whether the rise of Bugg was relevant or not, there’s not denying that the smoothly-run acoustic bar stage of Rescue Rooms showcased some of the best local talent of the day. The likes of Josh Kemp with his irresistible enthusiasm and loop-pedal expertise, blending covers (Oh, What A Night) with originals (Stupid Cupid), and throwing in a dash of comedic brilliance to The Train Song (“I find myself falling in love seven times every train journey”), and Sam Jones, the sort of artist that leaves you thinking, “this is what acoustic music should sound like”, topped my favourites for the stage’s line up.
Taking to the off-the-beaten-track Spanky Van Dykes stage, Chasing Cadence put on a solid show that proved they knew how to work with a crowd. And of course, the headliners of the day proved second to none with industrial strength enthusiasm that the crowd were nothing but eager to reflect. Fearless Vampire Killers’ performance on the newly added Rock City Basement stage and Evil Scarecrow making their mark in the packed out Rescue Rooms main room ended the festival with a fantastic buzz that something wonderful had just occurred.