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Y Not Festival 2014 | Festival Review

We headed down to Y Not Festival in Derbyshire to check out the bands and the festival atmosphere!

Credit: Festival poster

We headed down to Derbyshire’s Y Not festival to check out all the fun! Here’s what we thought…

Friday Aug 1st 2014


If festivals were a film, rain would be the villain – the constant threat that no one likes to talk about, but could ruin the day at any moment. Unfortunately, it struck on the Friday, the first day of Y Not Festival. There were heavy showers that barely broke all day. It’s difficult, almost unfair, to review a festival in the rain. It’s hard to build an atmosphere, and at a small festival that doesn’t have the pull of big acts all day, building a good atmosphere is crucial. Still, bands played and we went to see them – here’s what happened on Friday:

Credit: Facebook

Emperor Yes – 2.5/5

There’s only one thing to do when it’s raining outside, and that’s to go into one of the tents. We chose the Giant Squid Stage, where Emperor Yes were on hand to guide us through a set of songs that seemed to be exclusively about animals, and more specifically animals in space, punctuated by synth blips and bloops, sound effects from old sci-fi films. It was a unique set and offered a few catchy moments, but eventually it started to feel a little repetitive as they repeated the same themes over familiar music.

Credit: Facebook

Tangled Hair – 4/5

Also on the Giant Squid Stage, Tangled Hair managed everything that a good festival set should do: they made you forget that you were stood in a field, at a festival, and created an intimate feeling as though you were at one of their own gigs. Their subdued mix of complex math rock and ethereal vocals was beautiful, displayed well in the track ‘Yeah… It Does Look Like a Spider’.

Credit: Promo

Itch – 4/5

The former King Blues front man delivered an aggressive and energetic live show with all of the adrenaline of punk rock injected into his exciting and varied blend of rap, rock and electronic music. He incites a lot of movement and circle pits, at one point climbing into the crowd himself and performing a song from the floor. It’s reminiscent of an Odd Future show, with the same energy and feeling of chaos, and it’s something that hasn’t quite been caught on his records. Definitely someone to catch live before you make your mind up.

Credit: Facebook

Reel Big Fish – 4.5/5

The Quarry Stage headliners were exactly what was needed at the end of a cold, wet day. Everyone in the tent was skanking and singing along to warm themselves up as they were reminded of just how many great songs the band have been responsible for – there aren’t too many bands that could get a packed tent to square dance on request, but that was just part of the fun they inspired.

Credit: Facebook

White Lies – 3.5/5

The Friday main stage headliners came out strong, opening with ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ and following it up with ‘Farewell to the Fairground’ and ‘To Lose My Life’. The opener was great, but the latter two tracks emphasized how, with perhaps the exception of the former, the band have never quite managed to reach the heights of their 2009 debut. There are some great tracks buried in their set, but it just misses the mark that a festival headliner should.

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