published: Wed 18th Jul 2007
last updated: Fri 29th Jun 2007
Things seem to run smoother on Sunday right from the outset. The doors today, open on time, and I again head straight for the BBC6 tent. Where it is Figure 5 who have drawn the short straw. This proves to be something of an injustice, as the local boys turn in one of the best performances of the weekend. Having already played at Rockness and T in the Park, the band are now firmly comfortable with the festival surroundings. What really sticks out is the variety of songs on offer. Set opener 'Rock of Gibraltar' sounds like the Horrors stuck on an old pirate ship, while 'Never Believe' (with the aid of a trumpeter) could have easily been a stand out track on 'Forever Changes'. Their set was brought to a close with forthcoming single 'Nitty Gritty', and it wont be long before Figure 5 dont have to worry about filling in the graveyard shift at any festival.
Over on the main stage we have Make Model, from the seemingly never-ending production line of Arcade Fire sound a likes. They just dont do it for me Im afraid, the little girl fronting the band just seems to shout aimlessly whenever she feels like it.
What strikes me about this festival is how small the actual arena is. You can get from A to B in no time and the nature of the layout means you are never far away from a pint or a burger. The addition of the curry tent was quite frankly a masterstroke!
However, the proximity of the stages was definitely a problem during some of the quieter acts. Spiritualized brought their 'Acoustic Mainlines' set to a festival for the first time. Having been told how great the show was by friends I had high hopes. My disappointment then, was not with their performance, more the surroundings. 'Acoustic Mainlines' is probably not right for a festival, or at least one with 3 stages so close together like we have here. The general spillage from the 2 tents did put a dampener on this, which was a shame - I could really see myself enjoying it in a quiet, dimly lit indoor space, i.e. theatres and the like.
One thing the organisers did get right was the Sunday night headliner. The Flaming Lips (or Flips as they are affectionately known by some) never fail to pull out all the stops for a live show. Wayne Coyne takes to the stage (or the audience rather) in his now customary giant sphere. This really has to be seen to be believed its a miracle hes done it so many times and still remains unhurt! Throughout the course of this show, we also have huge (and I mean HUGE) balloons sailing in to the crowd, of which I saw a good few being piled on to the number 62 bus afterwards. You cant fail to love the F-Lips set. Even if you dont like their music you will be bowled over by the stage show, and vice versa.
This is a festival that is still growing, and still trying to find its own identity. You have to admire their determination to put on bands that THEY like, whether they will sell tickets or not. Its difficult to tell if its busier than last year, maybe marginally so. However, the festival scene in Scotland, and the UK in general, has reached saturation point, with everyone trying to cash in, so time will tell if any are to survive. Indian Summer has more chance than most.
review by: Cyril Sneer
last updated: Fri 29th Jun 2007
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