Bluedot Festival has garnered a reputation as being one of the festivals of the summer, a must for all musical fanatics regardless of genre choices. This year’s line-up has been carefully curated to appeal far and wide, the addition of the unique settings and scientific slant mark it out as a curiosity not to be missed.
Being of a psych persuasion, after getting over the awe of the surroundings, Friday kicks off at the Lovell Stage with The Moonlandingz, a scantily clad semi-fictional outfit who feature members of Fat White Family and the Eccentronic Research Council. With an infectious energy and having sprung to public consciousness with the release of Interplanetary Class Classics in November 2016, they impress with a funked up vibe that gets people moving. ‘Black Hanz’ is featured early on and is even more intimidating live than on record, if that’s even possible. They take it in good humour that the field begins to empty as Leftfield begin at the Orbit tent, but those who stay lap it up and enjoy every second of the mania. ‘Lay Yer Head Down in the Road’ from their self-titled EP in 2015 is another catchy ditty which channels more than a hint of early Nick Cave. Concluding with ‘The Man in My Lyfe Suite’ which features carnival esq. synth sounds and a booming rhythm section, they go off to woops and cheers – as they said, their shift is done.
Next on the agenda is Lost Colours, a cinematic, psychedelic/electro production duo who perform live with an eight-piece band. Being managed by Eddy Temple Morris, they have received accolades since their creation in early 2016 and with their first ever performance here at Bluedot last year, it’s like a homecoming. With stickers by the thousand handed out before the show, the tent is packed and there is a real dance vibe in the air, everyone is enjoying it and who can blame them – this is perfect festival music.
The Miracoco Luminarium installation courtesy of Architects of Air is just one of the many non-musical treats on offer at Bluedot and is quite possibly the most psychedelic entity at the festival itself. Natural light filtered cleverly through coloured panels in a structure completely supported by air is something rather special, and even with hundreds of photos hastily snapped in the twenty minutes you can enjoy in there, it doesn’t do it justice.
Pixies are a band on everyone’s agenda for tonight and even as the heavens open, that doesn’t stop the crowds rocking away and chanting along. They rattle through the hits, including ‘Debaser’, ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’, Where Is My Mind?’ and ‘Caribou’ and even without Kim Deal, they deal out a very strong set which is enjoyed by young and old all round.
The last stop of the day is at Mission Control, where Andy Votel who is best known for his role in the creation of Twisted Nerve Records and Finders Keepers Records, and is also a notable DJ who blends psychedelia with jazz and hip hop. With that in mind and the promise of a ‘History of Space Rock’, this makes his set a must visit for anyone psychedelically inclined. Mr Votel does not disappoint with a superb set of tunes that ensure your feet cannot stay still for long, rounding up the day perfectly.
We’ll be back for more on Sunday, until then…