Mississippi magic, sassy ska and everything in between...
Posted by xxrosannaxx on Tue, 17 Aug 2010.
Due to unforeseen and incredibly unfortunate circumstances (namely a ridiculously badly timed car accident) I only managed to go along for the Friday of this year’s Summer Sundae Weekender, an annual music festival held in DeMontfort Hall and grounds. Yes it may well have been the worst day weather-wise, with torrential downpours trying their hardest to dampen the moods of welly-donning crowds. But musically, and this isn’t just me trying to make myself feel better about missing Saturday and Sunday, it really couldn’t be beaten.
After a lovely interview with the delightful Eliza Doolittle, I pottered along to the Last.FM Rising Stage where Mississippi’s hottest new singer-songwriter Lissie wowed crowds with her gentle blend of country-rock. Showcasing songs from her recently-released debut-album Catching a Tiger, the endearingly modest and simply dressed muscienne was as gorgeously captivating as she was unbelievably talented. Winning over the rain-bedraggled festival-goers with songs such as “When I’m Alone” and “Little Lovin’”, Lissie was my own personal highlight of the festival. She even had Seasick Steve complimenting her during his headlining set that night!
Eliza Doolittle also graced the Rising Stage, bringing a similar crowd of kids, teens and adults alike. Having flooded our charts recently with hits such as “Skinny Genes” and “Pack Up”, Eliza worked the crowd, with dozens ascending to the shoulders of companions. An amusing Justin Bieber/Iyaz cover had the crowd singing along, almost as religiously as they did to Eliza’s own tracks, most of which came from her number 3 charting eponymous debut album. Whilst her unique brand of reggae-pop was pleasant and engaging, I wasn’t fully convinced. Great singles, that’s for sure, but whether the album would be quite as good I really don’t know. One crowd-member summed it up brilliantly: “Great voice, shame about the song-writing.” Sorry Eliza, but Lissie’s beaten you on this one.
Next up were Slow Club over on the indoor stage. Another boy-girl guitar-drum effort, the Sheffield duo’s folksy rockabilly had the crowd in raptures, warming them up perfectly for said stage’s headliner , the one and only Roots Manuva. Edgy, ballsy and effortless in his crowd-working, the British rapper stunned crowds with a career-spanning set featuring classics such as “Witness (1 Hope)” and “Let the Spirit”. Meanwhile, Seasick Steve wowed the crowd outside with an equally awe-inspiring set of rock-tinged blues, bringing Friday night to a close. Depsite terrible weather and first day fatigue, I think I speak for everyone when I say a good time was had by all, musicians and fans alike.
By Rosanna Pound-Woods