Bingley is home to a host of rising stars

Bingley Music Live 2012 review

published: Mon 10th Sep 2012

around the festival site (crowd)

Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2012
Myrtle Park, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 2LQ, England MAP
£45 for 3 day weekend
daily capacity: 15000
last updated: Mon 16th Jul 2012

When someone asks if you want to go to Bingley Music Live just dont hesitate as your answer should be an unequivocal and resounding yes without even knowing the line-up, and this is exactly what you should be doing now as they are offering a special price of £40 for a limited number of tickets as a special Thank You for those who have come so far. To buy tickets, here.

Since being taken over by Bingley Council with massive guidance from the team at Ten Feet Tall in 2007, this year backed up by a team from Wonderberry assisting in all the backroom organisation, Bingley has firmly placed itself in a unique position within the small festival market.

This year the Team was backed up by an amazing team from Wonderberry assisting in all the backroom organisation and certainly from where I was stood ran a very smooth ship.

Having essentially the same Team running the show since its rebirth in 2007 means that theres a place for everything and everything in its place, and this year for the first time this included not One or even two but three stages to showcase the brilliant lineup its been come to be known for. If you want the best breaking talent rubbing shoulders with Legends and top charting acts as well as a fine spattering of local talent all interwoven into a family centred environment then Bingley surely is the place to be heading. Its heady eclectic mix means there simply is something for everyone. This coupled with the amazing natural setting of Myrtle Park providing a natural ampitheatre and the new stages nestled in a wooded glade, alongside a children's playground.

Security was ever present but so relaxed it was almost horizontal which is a pleasant break from the heavy handedness I've seen at oh so many festivals in previous years. Once again on the whole its the same Team which carries on the consistent theme.

Bingley Festival puts a great effort into accommodating Disabled punters each year despite the actual layout of the park not favouring wheelchair access for the main stage itself if weather is inclement in any way due to the steep incline into the main arena. However there is tracking laid down after the asphalt track stops if you want to venture down into the main arena. To overcome this Bingley Music Live has utilised a terrace to one side of the arena and have closed this off solely for the use of its disabled punters. This means you can access the main arena more or less on the level and also have a raised perspective on the mainstage instead of the usual two foot high platform about a million miles from the stage which we have become accustomed to at most festivals. Having spoken to several people they all agreed this made a refreshing change. On top of this the festival also lay on a buddy system to assist with any needs as well as offer carers tickets.

Traditionally this event has been three days with the friday being a free event and should really be seen as three one day concerts. However there is camping available but its all off site and the majority of people actually bus in which once again makes it a very relaxed show. Also being set nestling within a town centre amongst houses adds to this ambience.

However this year saw slight price increases with the friday now being a paid ticket only affair which for many I think may have been the straw which broke the back on deciding wether to go. The venue certainly seemed quieter this year but having three stages for people to spread themselves over may have just dissipated the crowds just that little bit. There was much comment about the prices this year but as shown above if you get in early theres real bargains to be had.

There will always be criticism about the line-up, but Bingley never purports to being anything Genre specific infact fights actively against it to give the broadest spectrum of music currently available. This year was no exception with the likes of roamers the New York Brass Band to the The Lancashire Hotpots through to breaking bands like Jake Bugg, King Charles, and Delilah, returning bands like Space and then greats like The Charlatans, and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas.

As in other years I chose to drive down each day with a 220 mile round trip but for this line-up it seemed a minor insignificance to me, even managed to park right outside the gate each day!!!, with its midday starts and reasonably early finishes I could even manage to get home each night as well as have a reasonable lie in each morning before setting off. This is a real change and quite refreshing. The timings also mean its relatively easy to bring kids and give them that special treat of staying up late as a last blowout before school restarts so its timing in the year is perfect. What better way to round off a summer holidays than going to your first Music Festival!!

Such is the talent of the Team selecting acts for this festival that many of this year's batch of breaking acts had already broken by the time the festival had come. So much so that Saturdays Second Stage acts would have quite happily graced the main stage, as they have indeed at many other festivals this year. Saturdays line-up included Jake Bugg whose November Tour is now sold out, King Charles whose latest single has Munford and Sons guesting on it, Karima Francis whose already appeared on Jools Holland and The Milk who after relentless touring have opened many festivals this year. Add to this award winning Driving Lolita who were specially selected by BBC Introducing to play Hackney Weekend, Delilah and Clement Marfo & the Frontline and you can see the depth of music talent which Bingley showcases. So much so that if you want to know who will be main staging at festivals next year you only need look at this festival's lineup and pretty much without fail it will be about 90% of their selected acts.

Bingley is never afraid to throw international bands in to the mix and this year saw Motown classics Martha Reeves and the Vandellas hit the stage and to my great surprise saw many of the young kids present joining in with Jimmy Mack!! Despite her age Martha still proved she has exactly what it is that is needed to entertain a large crowd, and boy did she have it by the bucketload.

Another highlight was Oslo based female foursome Katzenjammer who delighted the crowds not once but twice with their multi instrumentation on both the mainstage and the second stage. Beautiful to listen to and to watch!

Friday as well as Martha Reeves and Driving Lolitta had massively talented vocalists StooShe who have been smashing up the charts and the Olympics this Summer. Unlike other well known girl bands these girls can actually sing and boy did they perform their little hearts out with high energy performance. With three Albums in the top 30 in the last 4 years Kids in Glass Houses graced the main stage with their anthemic choruses delighting the crowd.

Headlining the stage on Friday was mop topped Tim Burgess fronting the one and only The Charlatans which was a return for them having opened the first Bingley Music Live. Their set gradually grew into an epic climax helped by an immense lighting rig. The set proved to be a hefty sing song for the mainly middle aged crowd who had fought their way to the front.

Saturday saw the Main stage opened by local band from Otley The Chevin with their uplifting songs and highlighting their Champion EP. Black Spiders brought in a heavier set throwing their guoitar rifts and horns all over the stage and sending the mosh pit into a spinning frenzy around the collecting mud pool.

As Jim said its "a role you just feel in your bones" After a hiatus of 6 years Space once again returned with their Liverpool twangs to the stage ahead of this Winters Tour. Their set built up to their classic hits Neighbourhood, Ballad of Tom Jones and of course Female of the Species as well as a collection of new material much to the delight of the crowd...and me!!

Delilah unfortunately had a lot of technical problems which delayed the set making me miss Jake Bugg on the other stage. However once on stage she was faultless. The Pigeon Detectives offered yet another intensely lively set which electrified the stage in readiness for DJ Fresh with his take on drum and Bass. Headlining Saturday was eagerly awaited Johnny Borrel's return with Razorlight. Was a strong performance although his guitarists left me wondering if they were seeking out the Black Pearl as donning a fairly good likeness to Captain Jack. At the end of the night and completing Razorlight's set Bingley laid on a massive firework display from behind the Main Stage, singularly impressive and very loud!!

Sunday saw a much more dance orientated line-up feel to the Main Stage and consequently a much younger livelier audience rolled into the arena, from early doors many young girls hung on tightly to their spot at the front starting with MTV nominees for Brand New for 2012 Award, Clement Marfo and the Frontline. This South London collective brought a massive smile to the crowd with their exuberant performance and are heavilly tipped and I can certainly see why!

Katzenjammer continued the smiles both for the young kids in the audience and I hasten to add many of their dads! From here on in everything stepped up a notch commencing with Hard-Fi. Their performance was very strong and they somewhat owned the stage and interacted strongly with the crowd starting the bouncing off which stayed for the rest of the evening. Next up was the acclaimed male Amy Winehouse in the one and only Maverick Sabre. His gritty yet soulful voice pulled the audience in to hang on his every word. White Lies also owned the stage once more with a polished performance. This set up the evening excellently for the closing act of Nero.

The crowd literally surged forward in anticipation as the giant set of TV Screen and speakers and podiums was wheeled in and when the lights came on and the guys rose through the smoke we knew we were in for a massive treat the crowd literally sparked into a mental frenzy with missiles literally raining in from all directions. Remember kids its not big and its certainly not clever to launch a pint or so in a bottle a hundred feet in the air in a crowd as believe it or not it has to land, and with some force. Several youngsters were pulled out of the crowd with blooded noses and gashed heads making backstage resemble a warzone medical centre for first thirty minutes. However it soon calmed down and the shapes and arm waving got into full flow.

On the other stages we had a complete diversity of acts with Gods of Hellfire literally tearing up the stage with their blood soaked set. Not really my cup of tea so I literally went for a cup of tea, well a cream tea by the bowling green next door. Kind of surreal me sitting there sipping on my Earl Grey with my Blue mohican watching a bowls match with Hellfire screaming their set out in the background but hey it worked! Also in view were Miles and Erica who is actually The Wonder Stuff's frontman teamed up with violinist Erica Nockalls. Headlining the other stage on Sunday was The Idiot Bastard Band comprising of four comedy heroes in Bradford's own Ade Edmondson, Neil innes from Monty Python Rowland Rivron from the likes of The Tube and Comedian and presenter Phil Jupitus. Sadly they seemed to rely on their status rather than their musical talents to entertain and unfortunately this was very lacking.

Anyway all in all a great time was had by all and I'm sure those £40 tickets for next year won't be hanging around for long so get in there quick folks - you have been warned!
review by: Nic Burne-Cronshaw

photos by: Nic Burne-Cronshaw

Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2012
Myrtle Park, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 2LQ, England MAP
£45 for 3 day weekend
daily capacity: 15000
last updated: Mon 16th Jul 2012

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