Y-Not 2012 festival review
'It's becoming an important feature on the festival calendar'
Photographer:Tony Thompson and Sara Wells
Jamie Barker - 06 August 2012
Set amongst the Peak District's rolling hills, Y Not is the perfect location for a weekend of loud guitars and tent-based
The £43 taxi fare from Buxton train station does show that isolation has some drawbacks for punters who missed out on the limited shuttle bus seats.
Unfortunately the recent weather means that mud has already made itself at home and, as a result, the first three bands on the main stage are relocated while the field is readied.
FOE (8/10) find themselves starting later than expected in a tiny tent. Regardless of the move they deliver a powerful set and their early material and captivating frontwoman make it inevitable that today's performance is the beginning of a success story.
The same can't be said for local act Cocktail Mondays (4/10) and their seeming disinterest is perfectly mirrored by the audience. Delta Alaska (7/10) cavort their way through a variety of genres on the festival's new Giant Squid stage and their pulsating aggression is the perfect mid-afternoon wake up call.
Sound Of Guns (7/10) are starting to make waves outside of their native Merseyside and they deliver a solid, if slightly repetitive, main stage set. Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun (7/10) have been a regular fixture of Y Not Festival since its inception and their 'friends of the festival' tag certainly spurs crowd reaction during their second performance of the weekend.
&U&I (9/10) were formed from the ashes of Blakfish but have never received the column inches afforded to their previous guise. They're clearly overwhelmed when their furious set prompts a number of crowd singalongs.
King Charles (8/10) has had no such problem with press coverage but his main stage performance blows away any lingering doubts that the 'media darling' role might lead to a case of style over substance. The crowd aren't too familiar with his material yet but it's clearly only a matter of time.
Frightened Rabbit (8/10) have been away for a while but they pick up right where they left off today. With a balanced set and even a sneaky new song the future is looking very bright for the Scottish collective.
THE PIGEON DETECTIVES (9/10) have never claimed to be reinventing the wheel and today's set is a triumphant retrospective of the anthems they've quietly amassed since their inception. The crowd reaction is deafening and The View (3/10) are almost beaten before their headline set begins. Unfortunately , they then kill themselves off completely with a weak, disinterested set, complete with frontman Kyle forgetting lyrics and failing to engage the rapidly diminishing, crowd.
Saturday begins with ominous clouds lurking over the rolling fields and the safety of The Quarry's walled tent leaves Crushing Blows (7/10) with a sizeable crowd to entertain. The duo step up to the occasion with a set which swaps between meandering epics and snappy bursts of pop fury.
There's no meandering with InFlightProgram (8/10) as they launch into their Giant Squid set with gusto. Choosing to focus mainly on new material they certainly open a few eyes and ears during their early afternoon attack.
Ironically, the rain finally wins its heavenly battle just as Boat To Row (7/10) offer up their sun-kissed folk. Perfect summer music with a side helping of mud. Freeze the Atlantic (7/10) have beefed up their sound but today they're party let down by a ropey vocal performance.
It's inevitable that Bastille (8/10) are destined for big things. From their piano-led dance pop to their choreographed style and demeanour they're stars in the making. Today they even find time for a City High cover before leaving their adoring public to wade out of the tent.
Summer Camp (9/10) are the fuzzy sound of summers past and even the rain briefly pauses for their outdoor set. 'Ghost Train' still hits with the same thud it did first time round and their move towards beefier, electronic tracks is sounding promising.
Turbowolf (8/10) always risk falling into novelty act territory but tracks like 'Read and Write' remind the audience that they do have a clutch of tracks to back up their stylised rock n' roll claims.
Reverend and the Makers (2/10) defy logic. How they're still being booked for such high profile slots is baffling. They stumble their way through some forgotten singles and even the once entertaining stage presence has faded away to a whimper.
Pulled Apart By Horses (7/10) are new to the league of stage headliners and tonight it shows. Songs like 'The Crapsons', used as an explosive opener tonight, still sound positively colossal live but there is a constant feeling of a band punching slightly above their weight.
After that all that's left is for The Wombats (7) to close out the Saturday night. Their set only clocks in at ten songs and when they opt to close with an instrumental jam over an omitted single the crowd are left feeling a little short changed.
Sunday morning in The Quarry starts with a selection of artists that BBC Introducing are tipping for success. Hopefully they're way off the mark with Indiana (4/10) as her set starts with a Fragma cover and never gets out of first gear. She's clearly a talented singer but everything about this morning's set is achingly dull.
Over the weekend it seems that somebody has been subtly ratcheting up the volume in The Giant Squid stage and as Bleech (7/10) take to the stage it's reaching almost unbearable levels. They deliver an accomplished set of grungy pop but a lot of the crowd decide that it's not worth the tinnitus risk and make an early exit.
Max Raptor (8/10) are a late replacement for The Plea and are the band who finally kick start the climatic day of the festival. They may have got most of their musical ideas from their Billy Talent album collection but the likes of 'The King Is Dead' detonate the front few rows this morning.
It's difficult to muster anything but disinterest for Frankie and the Heartstrings (5/10). Their brand of overworked indie is inoffensive enough but it's all too pedestrian to pull off a main stage appearance.
Future Of The Left (8/10) are finally working McLusky classics in alongside their own material but there are only a handful of people here to see it. It's a fantastic performance but they never quite hit their peak.
Lucy Rose (4/10) has been attracting a lot of mainstream attention lately and The Quarry is fit to burst as she makes her way on stage. It might be that her fragile voice struggles to fill the packed tent bristling with anticipation but there are a lot of disappointed faces heading for the exit at the conclusion of the set.
Marmozets (6/10) have achieved a lot in their relatively short career and the energy on show is truly inspiring. It doesn't quite work today but they're still a band finding their feet and the new material sounds promising.
Slow Club (7/10) clearly know the power of a festival singalong and they mine their Sheffield connection to segue into an acoustic cover of 'Disco 2000'. It gets a good reaction but, as one of the few stripped down moments of the set, it would have been better utilised with one of the band's own songs.
The Subways (9/10) have faded from the limelight in recent years but on the main stage tonight they step up to rock star status once again. The debut album singles are all still present and correct but tonight they sound beefier and reborn alongside the more accomplished, new material. It's unlikely to reignite mainstream attention but it provides a definite festival highlight.
We Are Scientists (8/10) are left to bring the curtain down on Y Not 2012 and they rise to the occasion with aplomb. By the time they clatter to a conclusion, minus first album single 'It's A Hit', the crowd are screaming for more but the plug has already been pulled and the band are left to wave their apologies from the stage.
Y Not has grown from strength to strength over the past few years and the 2012 edition continues the upward trajectory. Big enough to build atmosphere but intimate enough to retain its charm - Y Not is becoming a very important fixture on the festival calendar.