Dot To Dot – A Very Special Day
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I wanted to say a few words about just how special this Sunday 25th of May was. I had planned to write a little statement after the gig and put it out on social media on Monday but I just couldn’t find the words. I have left it a few days and now feel that rather than a short generic statement like ‘thanks everyone for coming and making it special blah blah’ I would write a small review of the day’s events.
This year Dot2Dot looked set to be bigger and better than ever before, with more venues involved especially through Hockley. I also had the pleasure and honour of organising the acts myself this year which was a lot easier than I originally had thought it would be thanks to the loyalty and effort that all the bands put in. Out of the 9 bands we had on over the day 3 of them were suggested to us by the DHP team. The first of which who went by the name of ‘Life’ were impossible to find online before the event. After not hearing anything from DHP regarding their set up or style we had no idea what to expect. Due to perform at 4pm I had an idea that they might be a female harmony group or something of the kind. Anyway 3:30 pm arrives and a van rolls up outside, out jump a full on punk band who claim to create a wall of noise. What a way to start the day, they were awesome! The frontman was climbing all over the furniture but luckily he was only 5ft tall so nothing broke. The drummer took me back to my teenage years of listening to Sum 41 and the like. A great indie punk band and ones to look out for if you ever see ‘Life’ appear on a bill near you, just don’t try to google them.
Then it was our local punk rock n roll band ‘Catbone’. Firstly I want to extend a massive thank you to the ‘Catbone’ boys for their indispensable help in supplying back line for the whole day. Bands like ‘Catbone’ epitomise the Nottingham music scene. Hard working, friendly, sharing, honest and above all; bloody good musicians. They played a set full of songs to keep you dancing and at 5:30pm Jamcafé was already rammed. By the time they played ‘Bones’ I had managed to push to the front and was multitasking by dancing and acting as doorman.
The sun was out and it felt like the whole of Hockley was alive with music and great people. I couldn’t help but dream of it being like that all the time. After the rock n roll it was time to take it down a notch with some visitors from London. ‘Jay Brown’ stood with a guitar accompanied by a friend on Cello. A still busy Jamcafé was entertained by a unique and fantastic voice, great song-writing matched well with the music provided by the Cello. They added a touch of class to the day’s entertainment and Jay Brown made sure to let the crowd know that this wasn’t even half of the usual band and that we should look out for them as a full band. I also learnt that they are good friends with Jamcafé favourites ‘Francobollo’. We discussed the possibility of a ‘Jay Brown’, ‘Francobollo’ show at Jamcafé later on in the year so watch this space.
Next up was one of the most anticipated acts of the day. People were arriving from midday to make sure to get a good space to sit/stand ready for ‘The Golden Troubadours’ performance at 7pm. The Troubadours are without a doubt one of the most adored Nottingham bands. Every member of the band is super talented and it comes together to create a mesmerizing sound. The set was made up of a mixture of old and new songs crossing many genres but maintaining the sound that is most definitely and unmistakably the sound of The Golden Troubadours.
8pm and we welcome to the stage our furthest traveller of the day. The charming but modest ‘Alice Boman’ had travelled from Sweden for Dot2Dot so we were of course honoured to have her on our stage. Alice stood alone on the stage with only a piano for company. This was a brave move after the Troubadours but she pretty much owned the stage. She had a packed out Jamcafé in silence which I should point out was the only point in the whole day where the room achieved total tranquillity. Her voice was enthralling and the key playing matched. It felt at points like we were sitting in a church and some of her songs could have been prayers. I think by the end of the set the whole room felt a lot closer to Alice, like we knew her. Her songs were passionate and intimate, the song ‘What’ is one to listen out for. ‘Alice Boman’ was definitely a highlight of the day.
The day slowly turned into evening and Huskies were welcomed to the stage. Indie pop happiness for the sunset. A band that I am sure we will soon see on main stages at festivals playing to a crowd sporting sunglasses. Huskies perform a sound which is impossible not to enjoy and will sure have you feeling like part of something special. Songs like ‘Whatever Together’ will have you singing along to the chorus. The frontman’s stage presence is also a point of interest. The band loves their music and this comes across. We expect great things for Huskies so keep your eyes and ears open.
Now it was time time to turn the amps up a notch and invite into a sauna hot Jamcafé ‘Sea Monster Eyes’. Another act the staff were excited to see and of course the customers too as by 10pm there was a queue building up outside the café. They dropped straight in at the start of their set with a couple of their better known tracks and already the crowd were hooked. There was lots of dancing up at the front which I was most definitely involved with. The group’s vocalists come together on harmonies in many of the songs and somehow their voices together sound a little like David Bowie. Not a bad thing. The room was full of Jamcafé regular faces and a few new faces who we assume were attracted to Nottingham to the day for the festival and stumbled upon us but whoever they all were the atmosphere in the room was fantastic and every one was excited for the final two acts of the night.
The penultimate act was legendary ‘Whisky Stain’. Well if they weren’t legendary before the gig they most definitely are now. What a performance. Arguably the best set of the night Whisky Stain played track after track of riff heavy blues and garage rock. The crowd were uncontrollably dancing along and were all in awe of the bands awesomeness. Yes that is a word. Next time they play Nottingham make sure to go along.
The final act of the night were the loveable rogues that make up ‘Brothers Rasputin’, the last time they played Jamcafé they had the whole room in motion as if it were a night club and this time they did not fail to repeat the performance. Jam had turned from café to bar to gig venue to night club once again. The crowd went wild and circles of dancing broke out all through our tiny little space. The singer moved out into the crowd and became part of the mayhem. They play what they call soul surf but it sounds like funk to me. The songs were full of funky basslines and catchy drumbeats with some top riffs to match. They play a sound which may be difficult to define but it sure makes one boogie. By the end of the set the crowd weren’t giving up and the night moved into the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday. We continued to dance until curfew and everybody left happy after a few last drinks of course.