Photos by Laura Patterson

After a week of complete upheaval in a lot of major cities in the UK, the Summer Sundae Weekender's self proclaimed musical treat certainly delivered, providing music lovers of all ages the perfect break, or desert, from what can go down as one of the worst weeks in history. 

So it was Thursday, I was sat at a desk and I got that sudden realization that I was going to a festival tomorrow. Why not go now? Things happened and there I was at Summer Sundae. The campsite was no bigger than your local park which in fact, to me it was, and the main stage was just a hill. This was no problem though, it added to the feel of togetherness, everyone knew everyone and after this week, it was just what was needed. Plus, you didn't have a 45 minute walk on your hands to get to a stage where you find out you've missed Radiohead but that's another story. 

Friday came and the first act of the day was Elliot Morris. Life must be hard for people like him at the minute. They are on the fringe of becoming a renowned, well known artist but there are just so many people doing such similar stuff and unfortunately in this case, better. Yes, he has an interesting and unique twist on acoustic music but for me, it just doesn't seem to go anywhere.

By The Rivers were next up and what a show they put on, showing that Leicester really does have something to offer when it comes to music. Would you associate reggae with 6 white lads from Leicester? Probably not but they definitely have the right chemistry. The Musician stage was rammed full and to quote drummer Jordan Birtles, they had the crowd "grooving from front to back".

While a certain Graham Coxon was bossing the main stage, I spent most of the time during the gig to find the best food stall. Would curry leave me in tatters? Would the burger be good quality? Am I hungry enough for pie, mash and gravy? Those were the questions I was asking myself, so I can't remember much of Coxon. (I know I am sad). It did seem to be quite energetic and he drew a large crowd but what else can you expect from the ex-Blur man.


Throughout the day the act everyone was murmuring about was Uncle Frank, a band pieced together by Fun Loving Criminals drummer (Frank Benbini) and a very rare outing for them to perform. No one knew what to expect when they arrived in the crowd dressed as basket-ballers drumming and the same feeling was felt when (Frank Benbini) was rapping. Picture Al from Al's Toy Barn in Toy Story and imagine him dressed up, rapping. The arrival of scantily clad women just made everything all the more unusual and when they started to hand out balloons made to look like sunflowers, I turned into one of the dragons and said "I'm out".

It was 9:30 and so that meant one thing, the turn of the headliners, The Maccabees. 'Child' was chosen to kick off proceedings, a track which will be almost certainly part of their next release, expected in early 2012. Songs such as 'Lego' and 'William Powers' helped to really spark the crowd but in the end there were just too many new songs that you just cannot judge. If I could see this same set 1 year later, I would probably adore it but you just can’t get to grips with a set full of songs you don't know. The highlight of the set had to be precious time, with Orlando finally looking at full confidence. The low point for me? 'Walking In The Air'. A beautiful rendition but just not the time or place. Bring back 'Latchmere'!

Saturday

The day started with the most commercially successful band at the festival, Showaddywaddy who took the crowd back to the 60's although a lot already thought they were there.

Benjamin Fancis Leftwich entertained a near full indoor stage, playing songs of his new album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm. It was a perfect time to be on, entertaining an upbeat crowd in what was a very gloomy De Montford hall. Up to now I hadn’t seen an act, which really caught my eye, until, that was I saw the illustrious Little Comets. Tracks like 'Dancing Song' and 'Joanna' helped to create great energy in the intimate Last FM rising tent, really showing what they have to come in the future.


So Newton Faulkner drew the night to a close, on the main stage and I Am Kloot on the indoor stage. I decided to call it a day there and went for a well-earned rest.

Sunday

The Day began at 2:30 for me, with Peter Silberman’s New Yorker’s, The Antlers. After not knowing much about the band, I have to say I was very impressed. Soft indie-rock combined with Silberman’s quite majestic vocal provided a near perfect start to Sunday morning.

3 hours later I was back at the same stage, with Factory Floor, another act I hadn’t came across until the festival. Heavy electronica with no breaks for 45 minutes, was, hard to deal with to say the least but if you can withstand continuous sound for long periods, these definitely have some potential. Underworld fans eat your heart out.

One of Summer Sundae’s biggest draws, Warpaint, again followed in an almost full De Montford Hall. The all female 4-piece played through their current album, The Fool. For me, I think that Warpaint lack a certain pizzazz and energy but all in all they put on a good performance, to a mass crowd.


After some absolutely delicious cupcakes, handcrafted by the wonderful people at Bitsy’s Cupcakecakery and a couple of, well, strong to say the least mojitos at the press reception, Example graced the main stage. Well I say graced, it was an all male, ego booster for the rapper from London, full of testosterone. From an interesting performance the only thing I could take away, was that Watch The Sun Come Up is one of the best records ever made. Fact.

At the close of the festival the main decision was; cheesey pop with McFly or a good rock band in the form of Blood Red Shoes. I went with Blood Red Shoes, until I heard 'Stargirl' (probably my karaoke song). Blood Red shoes put on a good show but in the end did a bit too much too soon. Playing fan-favorite’s like 'Light It Up' and 'Heartsink' in the first 3 songs just left nothing for later but all in all it was a decent performance.

So what did we learn from Summer Sundae in Leicester?

  • Don’t play too many new songs
  • Don’t play your best songs too early
  • People are amazing, just a few spoil it.

Bonus Gallery












Fri - The Maccabees (7) Fri - The Bees