Kicking off the weekend with sultry songs and sassy attitude is Alice Gold. With a deep bassy backing rhythm that matches her deep voice, she looks like a young Blondie, easing the crowd nicely into her set to get them warmed up for the acts to come. The Young Guns fling themselves around the stage with unchallenged energy, singer Gustav Wood’s arrogance making him the perfect front man to get the girls screaming, although he did lose face a little when his mic lead got caught up onstage. Packing the stage next is Brighton six-piece The Go! Team, their mix of garage-indie-pop providing a fresh and interesting sound for the Friday night crowd. Ragga-metallers Skindred are by far the highlight of the night, if not the entire festival. With an insane energy, vocalist Benji Webbe storms round the stage, playing tracks old and new, berating the crowd for not cheering loud enough and introducing the ‘Newport Helicopter’ to Yorkshire, an action which involves everyone in the audience removing an item of clothing and on the count of 4, whirling it round in the air. Not many bands could follow such an intense performance, and it’s up to the Fun Lovin’ Criminals to try. Fortunately, these guys know how to play a crowd, and playing massive hits from their back catalogue such as “Barry White”, “Friday Night Supermodels” and the timeless classic, “Scooby Snacks”. FLC are one of those bands that lure you in with the assumption they have only one big hit, before letting rip and playing countless songs you know and love, and their show tonight demonstrated that perfectly.
Dionne Bromfield’s summery soulful songs open up Saturday wonderfully. Mixing a cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” into her own songs including such as “Yeah Right”, this young singer couldn’t go without taking a moment to pay tribute to her late godmother, Amy Winehouse. Though no names were mentioned, it was a poignant moment for everyone in the crowd. Dot Rotten, despite sounding like the title of a crusty punk band, is actually just one man and a backing track which left me a little uninspired, but the younger members of the audience seemed to appreciate it. Texan’s White Denim seemed to be the token slightly ‘odd’ band of the weekend, their psychedelic blues rock seem a little out of place amidst the lively performances of the other bands, and whilst many other bands thrive off audience interaction, White Denim thrive off doing exactly what they love; playing music. Assuming Jon Fratelli would be performing solo tracks, it turns out that he has the support of a full backing band onstage with him today. Whilst again assuming he’d be playing mostly new material to promote his solo career, he pleases the audience by whipping out Fratelli’s hits “Whistle For The Choir”, “Baby Fratelli” and “Chelsea Dagger” amongst others. Next up, back to back, are two of the indie scene’s biggest bands, starting with Athlete, who demand that as many people as possible try and climb on their neighbours shoulders. Their set was dominated by “Salvador” and of course, the beautiful “Wires” which, when played live, is so full of the raw emotion that it was written with. Mystery Jets’ prompted a sing-a-long from the audience for almost their entire set, their power-pop style combined with tricksy melodies keeping the crowd on their toes as the day progresses. Walking onstage to the Wild West theme tune, Feeder take this opportunity to play some of their more recent songs, which in this environment doesn’t seem to go down as well as if they’d packed out their setlist with all their best known songs, but that just made it all the better when they did play “Just A Day”, “Come Back Around” and the one and only “Buck Rogers”. Saturday’s headliners Maximo Park were far more impressive than I’d expected, their front man Paul Smith a bundle of livewire energy, taking the lead ahead of the rest of the band to get the audience going, making their performance truly outstanding and fully deserved of their headline slot.
Wretch 32 unleashes his grimy hip-hop on Bingley with one of the biggest tunes of the summer, “Unorthadox”. Despite proclaiming himself as an original British rapper, he samples some essentially non-British acts such as AC/DC and covers Jay Z’s “99 Problems”. The beauty of Bingley Music Live is that they manage to find such diverse acts that sometimes render people completely blank when trying to think of the song that made said band famous. For me, this was Stereo Mc‘s, but as soon as the opening bars to “Get Connected” began, I realise my complete naivety at not realising the this was the band behind such a massive tune, and despite many of the audience members to the front of the crowd looking far too young to remember their glory days, they certainly transform Myrtle Park into a 90’s styled dance rave for the duration of their time onstage. Sunshine Underground didn’t leave too much of an impression on me, however Eliza Doolittle teases the sunshine from out behind the clouds with her bubblegum pop that provides the perfect easy listening on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There’s no disputing this girl’s talents; she has the crowd in the palm of her hand as she performs her radio friendly hits “Skinny Jeans”, “Rollerblades” and “Pack Up”. The Coral’s performance seemed a little lacklustre, almost as though they didn’t quite want to be onstage, and it didn’t take long for their set to be blighted for those in the VIP area by the antics of Bradford’s very own Dynamo, who’d flown in all the way from America. If you’ve not heard of him before, he’s a master of magic and card trickery so complex my head hurt from trying to even begin to decipher how he performs the tricks he does. Whilst keeping an entire roomful of people entertained, not only with magic but a bit of dancing too, he manages to turn sceptics into believers and leave every participant and crowd member dumbstruck. Closing the festival is Chase & Status with their dubstep/drum and bass tunes. It’s down to MC Rage to whip the crowd up into a frenzy with a constant stream of “Chase-and-f**king-Status” and striding round the stage and up onto the amps. Their set is a treat for the eyes and the ears, with a mind blowing light show and the big screen mounted at the back of the stage showing bizarre and unreal videos in time with the music. As if Chase and Status didn’t bring the weekend to enough of a banging close, a secondary firework display rounds the weekend off nicely. Roll on Bingley Music Live 2012.
Words by Emma Stone.