Summer Sundae 2009 Preview
Leicester's long-running family friendly festival has a long tradition of poor, uninteresting headliners and a fantastic undercard, and this year the rule is truer than ever. The Streets, The Charlatans and The Zutons are this years arbitrary picks for top-billing, but beyond this there is a diverse and extremely strong line-up.
Highlights on the main stage include early nineties dance darlings St Etienne and majestic Wisconsin songwriter Bon Iver, whose renditions of acoustic tearjerkers and demi-hits such as 'For Emma' are sure to provide some of the festivals most memorable moments. Live he is backed by a two piece band, who add another dimension to his introspective, intimate music and breathe life into tracks from his more recent, disappointing 'Blood Bank' EP.
It is on the smaller stages however where the true gems can be found. Leeds native David Thomas Broughton's five-track EP 'The Complete Guide To Insuffiency' is one of the most overlooked releases of the past half-decade. Both haunting and full of dark humour it offers a gritty, slightly off-key mirror to the folk stylings of Nick Drake. Using loop pedals and samples his epic tales of heartbreak&headrush crescendo into unexpected and oft-unsettling forms.
Idlewild head up a Scottish contingent that also includes My Latest Novel and Broken Records. All three will provide earth-toned and emotional hearts-on-sleeves indie-rock, with Broken Records being the main recommendation out of the northern triumverate. The seven strong Edinburgh group are playing on the back of the long-awaited release of their debut album 'Until The Earth Begins To Part', which reassigns Arcade Fire's lofty ambitious pop to rain-washed city streets.
Further north Icelanders Múm make a rare trip to the United Kingdom to play the festival. The band weave post-rock schematics typical of their homeland across rugged landscapes of electronics and broken instruments. With an ever-changing live set-up and a propensity to play selections from early records that are unavailable in the UK it is hard to know exactly what to except from the reclusive Reykjavikers, but their set promises to be unmissable all the same.
Elsewhere Monotonix will no doubt provide the most unhinged, uninhibited performance of the weekend. At odds with the calm, friendly atmosphere of the festival Tel Aviv, Israel's finest musical sons live shows are a potent blend fun, fury and fire and often come with a body count.
With Fanfarlo, the heads down American-rock of The Airborne Toxic Event and fantastic local acts such as Her Name Is Calla and Minnaars arguementing all this, not to mention the sites close proximity to the city (with entrance and exit from the festival allowed) Summer Sundae is undoubtably the Midlands premier festival, and one in which many a discovery can be made.