Bingley Music Live: Day 1 Roundup

By on Friday, 30th September 2011 at 1:00 pm
 

Bingley Music Live has been going for a few years now. Up in the heart of West Yorkshire, Myrtle Park, each is a great pilgrimage of music to see a host of acts for what is really a very reasonable price (£35 for the weekend!) and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere for the weekend. This year is no exception, as this year BML has become even bigger. On Friday, the 15,000 strong crowd were treated to a day of free music at one of the most diverse stages music can give.

First up was Alice Gold (read a recent interview with her here). Mixing elements of experimental rock with a punk rock attitude and catchy pop tracks with a genuinely beautiful voice, she further warms up an already quite warm crowd and certainly wins over some new fans, many of which are only here for the last two bands of the day.

Young Guns (pictured right) come on second as the stage already starts to lag behind, for one reason or other. They appear unsettled by the daylight setting they’ve been placed in, and whilst their most dedicated fans don’t seem to care where they are or what time it is, many of the others assembled don’t appear to be sold by Gustav Wood and company’s breed of rock. Their attempts at singalongs only really work with their fans, especially as the lead microphone is playing up. The band sound so much better on record or at their own show that you have to feel like they just got a bit lost on this stage here. That said, the track ‘Crystal Clear’ still sounds huge no matter what.

Their performance, however, is nothing compared to the next band who I kind of wish had gotten lost. Caught somewhere between Balamory and indie-pop, The Go! Team are a hugely enthusiastic group playing a kind of music that I’m not sure is tolerable in a live situation. I’m not sure if it’s the heat or just the naive sense that they’re a fantastic band,  but the Go! Team just don’t cut it in person. The less said the better.

But today is all about the next two bands. Playing a sunset set to a crowd that seems to have appeared out of nowhere and prepared itself completely, Skindred (pictured below) come on stage with the kind of confidence that can only come through years of reinforcement of their brilliance live from their fans. Playing from throughout their entire back catalogue, everyone starts moving as if they haven’t moved all day. ‘Stand for Something’ and ‘Ratrace’ of course bring some of the biggest responses of the nigh,t but they blend in fantastically with new tracks from ‘Union Black’ such as ‘Warning’, and both Skindred and crowd appear to be in unison. Lead singer Benji is a fantastic showman, pulling off the robot (with full participation; it really is a sight to behold) and even joking with the crowd calling them both the worst and best crowds of their tour, just to evoke different responses. Sadly, all of this must come to an end, as tonight’s headliners are still to come.

After using up so much energy in the last hour, the crowd are virtually still panting as Fun Lovin’ Criminals take to the stage. Their breed of cool funk takes a while to get going, but once the crowd has readjusted, especially with such a big changeover in those at the front, it’s a chilled out party all the way. With such a nice atmosphere, it’s easy for Huey Morgan to take charge. Only on a Friday night can the Criminals play ‘Friday Night’ and they do it with the usual flair you would expect. ‘Barry White’, ‘Scooby Snacks’ and ‘Loco’ all feature in a set that you can’t help but enjoy. Before you know it, the night is over and after a brief firework display, everyone goes home happy for the night. Friday was free which made it extra special, but the rest of the weekend has an awful lot of promise.  As it stands, thank god for diversity and Bingley Music Live.

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