Summer Sundae Weekender, Leicester 13-15/08/2010

August 22, 2010 by  

Summer Sunday started as a small one day event back in 2001 and over the years has blossomed into a fully fledged, three day five stage festival. On it’s 10th anniversary Summer Sundae finds itself in the enviable position of being big enough to attract a great line up, but still remaining intimate enough to make the most of a quirky and relaxed vibe.

Friday’s headliner Seasick Steve enthralled the Leicester crowd despite a massive downpour of rain. His unique brand of hobo blues is always engaging, as is his between song patter. Each new instrument he straps on (with a bit of rope of course, no leather guitar straps here) has its own charming story. There’s the familiar ‘Three-String Trance Wonder’ Steve introduces this guitar with a story about how he was ripped off by its previous owner ‘Sherman’. But added with a chuckle that it was true that the guitar “Had luck in it”. Then there’s the ‘Morris Minor Guitar’ Two Morris Minor hub caps attached to a broom handle. And of course the almighty ‘Diddley Bow’. Steve tells us this consists of “One string on a 2×4, a handle from a 1975 Chevrolet van, a can of jolly green giant corn and some Christmas decorations” queue massive cheers from the watching masses. “None of this make it sound any good” he adds.

All joking aside it is truly amazing how he gets such a massive sound out of these rudimentary devices. Great songs twinned with awesome guitar playing and a fascinating back story will make Seasick Steve a festival favourite for years to come. Steve finished his set by coming off stage and getting up close and personal with the Summer Sundae crowd. Or as he put it – “Gettin in the rain with Y’all”

The rain continued throughout the night and Saturday, but thankfully Summer Sundae is blessed with an indoor stage! Around 2.30 Mancunian singer-songwriter Liam Frost took to this most civilised of festival stages to showcase his ever engrossing back catalogue. Frost rattled through a delightful set of songs including Your Hand In Mine from his latest record and closing with the always stunning The Mourners Of St. Pauls. Excellent.

There’s plenty of non music related attractions to be getting on with between bands too. The Garden is a beautiful area to chill. There’s big chess, a beach and we even caught a Punch and Judy show!

On Sunday the sun came out and the feel good factor was turned up a few notches. To be fair the rain hadn’t exactly dampened spirits anyway, the site had a friendly atmosphere all weekend.

Sunday nights headliners were the excellent Mumford and Sons on the Main Stage and the ever vibrant Futureheads on the Indoor Stage. This clash of two hugely popular bands resulted in the festival phenomenon known as ‘Drift’… Well here let’s call it ‘Officially watching Mumford and Sons whilst sneakily trying to catch The Futureheads doing Hounds Of Love’.

The Mumford’s performance was outstanding and they looked well deserving of the headline slot. Little Lion Man and Winter Winds were flawless. This kind of thing is what makes festivals like Summer Sundae so special. At every other festival this summer Mumford and Sons will be on the undercard, but here they have been given the chance to spread their wings and really show what they can do. They didn’t disappoint. A perfect end to a great weekend. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable festival experience. Friendly, helpful security, excellent camping/facilities and a great line up. Highly recommended.


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