I don’t suppose I’m the only one that on occasion can be found day dreaming of my ultimate festival line up. How good would it be to get a whole bunch of your favourite bands and get them all to play one after the other. Well, the people behind the Gigantic Indie All Dayer did just that, and for the second year running pulled off another dream line up. Ten hours of live music from fourteen acts spread over three stages, it would be impossible to catch them all, but deciding who to see is always part of the fun at any festival – right?

We arrived just in time to catch the last few numbers of the opening set from The Primitives. Tracy Tracy was in fine voice and resplendent in sparkly bomber jacket, polka dot scarf and pink tutu. A great opening act that set the bar high for the rest of the day.

It was time to score some beers, check the running order and debate who would should see…

HURRICANE#1

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It took a good ten minutes to get an amp working for Alex Lowe, but it was well worth the wait. Alex has been battling some serious illness of late, so it really was great to see him back on stage with a new line up, and new material. Yes, they dipped into their back catalogue to remind us all how good they had been, but it was their new single, ‘Think Of The Sunshine‘ that defined the set. Hurricane#1 are back, and it was great to see Mr Lowe back up front – top stuff!

(For a look into the songs that mean the most to Alex and the band see our Soundtrack Of Our Lives feature – click here)

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GANG OF FOUR

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5:35pm – that was the time all the deliberations began. Three bands all starting at the same time – Gang of Four, Bob, and The Milltown Brothers. We wanted to see all three, but in the end opted for Gang Of Four, it was to prove the right choice.

Taking to the stage in a flurry of activity, Andy Gill has put together a band that within minutes have you spellbound. Lead singer, John ‘Gaoler’ Sterry lurched on to stage and claimed it as his own. Behind him Gill and bassist, Thomas McNiece engaged in a superbly choreographed piece which saw them swapping places, narrowly avoiding collision over and over again. Visually stunning the music was no less disappointing. ‘Damaged Goods‘ was good, but ‘At Home He’s A Tourist‘ blew me away. It would be a tough call, but looking back a few days after the gig, Gang of Four just, and I mean only just, stole the day for me.

(For a look into the songs that mean the most to Andy Gill and the band see our Soundtrack Of Our Lives feature – click here)

Gallery – to view full size just click on any pic

POP WILL EAT ITSELF

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And so to the second dilemma of the day – PWEI vs. Mark Morris vs. Diesel Park West . Again three acts all performing at the same time and three acts that we were struggling to choose between. However as soon as PWEI bounced (and continued bouncing throughout) onto stage, it was hard to pull yourself away. Their set was an energetic blast of nostalgia that had the crowd singing and bouncing along throughout. By the time they got to close the set with ‘Their Law‘  the venue had been whipped into a literal frenzy.

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INSPIRAL CARPETS

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The next decision of the day was considerably easier than the rest. Yes it would have been really great to have seen EAT, and The Woodentops, but the main hall was full to bursting and we, with what seemed like everyone else had opted for Oldham’s finest and Madchester favourites, The Inspiral Carpets. Clint Boon and co. set up camp to a resounding chorus of ‘Moo’s!’ and set off on a journey for their well known and well loved back catalogue. ‘This Is How it Feels’, ‘Sackville’, ‘I Want You’ they’re all here and all go down a storm. Clint, as always, is ‘cool as fuck‘ behind his Farfisa, giving the Inspirals their depth and defining their sound. Up front, original vocalist Stephen Holt is good but is upstaged by bassist Martyn Walsh, who within minutes of getting up, goes into overdrive and gives one of the outstanding performances of the day. It’s a great set, of greatest hits with ‘Saturn 5’ the obvious crowd favourite. For myself I thought “She Comes in the Fall” was particularly outstanding. But no matter what your preference, there was no denying that The Inspiral Carpets playing to a hometown crowd was something hard to beat.

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ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN

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And so to the finale. This one was a bit of a no brainer. Although it would have been nice to see Echobelly again after all these years, and it would have been pretty cool to catch The High, there was only one place to be at the close – the main stage for Echo and the Bunnymen. By now the main hall was packed to capacity and as Ian McCulloch took the spotlight, arms, fists and pints were thrown into the air to welcome him onstage, alongside his ever faithful side kick, Will Sergeant. Opening with ‘Crocodiles‘ this was a romp through the bands extensive and wonderful back catalogue, all the highlights right from their very inception up to the present day. ‘Meteorites‘ from their latest album commanded the full attention of the crowd and earned them a  “10/10 for attentiveness” from an on form Mac. Ian maybe mellowing with age, or maybe he was just taken aback by tonight’s reception, but whatever the reason, he seemed to be in exceptionally good mood and was happy to engage in banter with the crowd and on occasion step back and let us sing his own songs to him. The Gigantic crowds rendition of ‘Bring On The Dancing Horses‘ was allegedly the best McCulloch had ever heard. As for Mr Sergeant, as always he keeps to his side of the stage, an unassuming presence, but with a far from unassuming sound. But it wouldn’t be a Bunnymen gig without witnessing some of that legendary McCulloch stroppiness. Mid way through the set Ian lets rip at the sound techs. Someones added a bit of reverb and echo to his voice …”Why’ve you done that? I don’t need no reverb. I can fuckin’ sing you know !” It’s a brief interlude and soon sorted.

The Killing Moon‘ is a personal Bunnymen favourite and tonight’s live rendering is truly amazing, in fact I’d have to agree with Mac when he claim’s “You’ve just heard the third most beautiful song ever written.” Arrogant, but quite possibly true.

Returning for the encore, McCulloch, Sergeant and co. skillfully meld Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side‘ with ‘Ocean Rain’ and the Bunnymen bring the days events to a euphoric close.

Gallery – to view full size just click on any pic

Gigantic Indie All Dayer 2 was  a great day out. More top bands in one place than you can shake a stick at and a great party atmosphere. It’s a real shame we couldn’t  have caught more bands, maybe the organisers could consider staggered set times so at least when one band finishes you could dash across and catch the end of another. But this is a minor gripe, on the whole the Indie All Dayer is a great success, only real question we have is – what happens next year? How on earth can you equal, let alone top, this years line up? Dare to day dream, ‘cos if any team can make it happen the team behind Gigantic can.

 

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