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Y Not 2017

Festival (28/07/17 - 30/07/17)

Derbyshire, UK
By

Rating: 1.5/5

 
 

 

 

Set in the rural countryside of Derbyshire in the UK, Y Not is a uniquely situated and diverse festival. Now in its twelfth year, the festival offers an array of musical acts spanning multiple genres from mainstream pop, to dance, rap, acoustic and heavy alternative bands, and its past success led to Broadwick Live acquiring the festival at the end of 2016, as part of its expanding festival business.

In previous years, Y Not has enjoyed the benefits of its end-of-July calendar slot, which has traditionally bathed the Derbyshire hillsides with glorious sunshine. This year however, the weather has taken an ugly turn, and the new owners struggle to deal with the adverse conditions. As well as the weather, the organisers have attempted a new layout, mainly related to the camping areas, and as we sit for 2 hours queuing in traffic to enter the festival grounds, teething problems are already showing. 

Due to the traffic, we’re still on the road outside the festival while Bad Sign perform. It’s a shame to miss the band, who were excellent at this year’s 2000 Trees festival, but at least they were able to play. On entry to the festival, we’re greeting by signs on the Main Stage advising that acts are temporarily cancelled due to rain-related safety issues, the open-fronted stage having no barrier to stop rain pouring onto the electrical equipment. Reports of performances being cancelled continue throughout the day as the rain shows no sign of stopping.

Luckily, we’ve come for the alternative bands, and under the tented shelter of The Giant Squid, the show goes on. Though the rain certainly doesn’t delight the punters, it works in SHVPES’ favour, as people pour into the tent for shelter. The screamed vocals and heavy riffs certainly give a different vibe to the pop artists performing on the other stages, but those in the tent don’t seem to mind. It helps when your execution is spot on and that’s exactly what SHVPES manage.

It’s a sign of an excellent band when you can endure technical difficulties on stage with no impact on performance and Grumble Bee tick that box. The trio may well be struggling to hear themselves on stage, but front of house things sound perfect, Jack Bennett’s heartfelt voice pristine and powerful against the punchy instrumentals. Grumble Bee keep going from strength to strength with every performance and with new singles “Red” and “Bravest Soul” sounding huge, we’re excited for more new material in the not-too distant future.

Vukovi are one of the tightest acts of the bill, the band flowing in complete unison throughout their set. Their brand of alt-rock is ideal for a festival; the pop hooks and up-tempo rhythms make for an easy listen and there are plenty of heads bobbing and feet tapping in approval. Midway through the set songs do start to feel recycled, but it’s fun and enjoyable and brings some much needed sunshine to combat the quagmire forming outside the tent.

When you see Heck on a line-up you know that at the very least you’ll be entertained; the band have built a reputation on their unconstrained performances and this is no exception. Half an hour before Heck are due to play, guitarist/vocalists Matt Reynolds and Jonny Hall are side-of-stage surveying the tent, checking out their boundaries. More than once their eyes set on the two scaffolding poles holding up the tent and sure enough midway through the set, Reynolds starts to climb one, much to the dismay of the security staff. Between Hall and Reynolds walking across the bar, stage diving and starting circle pits in the mud outside the tent, there’s a solid backbone of loud, in-your-face hardcore that’s somehow always brilliantly executed no matter how insane the performance.

Roam have the songs to be a popular festival band and their catchy pop punk should be a bit here, but the execution is too sloppy to fully captivate the crowd. Front-man Alex Costello is entertaining with his backflips and general high energy, but it’s not until the second half of the set that his vocals settle and start to produce. It’s strange to see the rest of the band largely static and not sharing Costello’s energy, making this performance a bad day at the office for the Eastbourne quintet.

In contrast, Young Guns’ alt-rock can be too middle-of-the-road to hold a festival crowd’s attention for a long set, but when you have the confidence and energy on stage to back it up, the crowd can easily warm up. For Y Not festival-goers, Young Guns are an ideal choice; their more recent material is more in-line with the mainstream rock acts across the rest of festival and as such, their set goes down as well. 

Although the mood inside The Giant Squid is positive, outside there are plenty of people suffering. A quick check of social media reveals complaints of wide-spread thefts in the campsites, burst water pipes restricting access to clean water, unclean toilets and no hay being laid out on paths to soak up the mounting rivers of mud. Y Not festival has been a safe haven for families to enjoy the festival experience in the past, something that differentiates it from mainstream festivals and makes it unique, so it’s even more distressing to read about a lack of security measures to prevent the general public being able to set up camp in the family camping areas, putting children in an unsafe environment.

After a day of torrential rain on the Friday, the site’s fields are churned to mud making it difficult for vehicles to enter or exit the site. With continued bad weather not helping the situation, on Sunday morning the festival has to be cancelled, the safe exit of all guests from the site becoming a primary concern. With the help of local tow trucks and helpers, Sunday’s itinerary is sadly filled with rescuing cars from waterlogged fields rather than enjoying live music. 

Over the past eleven years, Y Not has been a hugely successful and enjoyable festival, making 2017 a definite exception rather than the rule. Though the adverse weather has been an unwelcome guest for new owners Broadwick Live to contend with, it has masked other issues that can’t be solely attributed to the rain. Festivals can function in the rain and mud, as any veteran of Glastonbury or Download Festival will tell you, but it requires solid contingency planning and infrastructure to do so, particularly in upholding high standards of security and safety across the event at all times. As an ever-expanding festival company, Broadwick Live have enough tenure and experience to repair Y Not‘s reputation in the future, but if a repeat of this year’s experience is allowed to happen, it could mean a sad end for this otherwise popular festival.

Vukovi Reveal Summer Festival Dates And Short Film

Vukovi Summer 2017Ahead of their performances at 2000 Trees and TRNSMT festivals this weekend, Vukovi  have shared an album making-of film, offering a behind the scenes look into the studio as the band track their breakthrough self-titled debut album, that is out now via LAB Records. Vukovi have toured constantly since the triumphant release of their debut album, fresh from wowing audiences as at Slam Dunk Festival their touring schedule continues across the festival circuit throughout July and August.
 
The Punk Site Review of Vukovi‘s debut LP is here and you can order the album here
 
You can view the making of film, and Vukovi‘s summer tour dates, below

Read More…

Vukovi Confirm Headline UK Tour And Festival Appearances

Vukovi May Tour + FestivalsFollowing the release of their stunning breakthrough self titled debut album and a packed out headline tour across the UK, Vukovi are now heading out on another UK headline tour with dates beginning tomorrow, May 24th, which will be followed by a series of summer festival appearances, including Reading, Leeds, 2000 Trees and the Y Not Festivals.

The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be read here and a live review is here

You can view the video for the track Weirdo, and Vukovi‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Vukovi Release Music Video For ‘Weirdo’

VukoviFollowing the release of their stunning breakthrough self titled debut album and a packed out headline tour across the UK, Vukovi have revealed a thought provoking new video for their single, Weirdo, and confirmed UK headline tour dates beginning in May that incudes a series of summer festival appearances.

The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be read here and a live review is here

You can view the video for Weirdo, and Vukovi‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Vukovi March 17 Tour

Vukovi

Sound Control, Manchester, UK

13th March 2017
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

It seems that getting to gigs on time anywhere in central Manchester is becoming impossible, tonight’s surprise was that Oxford Rd, the main road through this side of town, is closed, meaning a hefty stroll through the roadworks is required to get to the venue, this was followed by a few problems on the door before we finally got into Sound Control. These delays meant that we only arrive in time to catch the tail end of Jekyll‘s set, the one song I do hear sounds promising and has me cursing the local council even more than usual. The sole number I’ve heard, and I accept this isn’t really a fair way to judge a band, reminds me of early Muse, before the self indulgence kicked in, I’m hopeful Jekyll will return to Manchester soon and I’ll be able to catch a full set.

Vukovi March 17 CriticsNext up on the bill are Critics, this up and coming indie act have bought their twisted alt pop up north from London, there are elements of pretty much everything in their sound, the guitar hooks are huge, sinister keyboards underpin their sound and bring a distinct garagey undercurrent on the early stages of their set, an influence that sits happily alongside the dominant indie sensibilities. The material from the recent Spilt Milk EP sounds vibrant and lively, however, at the midway point their set develops a funkier feel that is a distinct shift away from the material that shone so brightly at the start, thankfully they return to more energetic indie fuelled finale for the close of their set. 

Vukovi March 17 1Despite the fact the venue has run out of decent draught beer and it seems that everything is shut or awkward in Manchester tonight, things are looking up as tonight’s show has been moved to the main venue in Sound Control, a better experience than the cramped stage downstairs in the bar area, and one that is better suited to Vukovi‘s energy levels. Lets make no mistake why we’re here, Vukovi have just released what is guaranteed to be one of my favourite albums of the year, and the chance of seeing them play on my home turf early on in a tour that’s in support of their stunning debut full length is a temptation that means we have dragged our weary feet to our third gig in four days

Vukovi March 17 2Some bass heavy hip hop precedes Vukovi taking the stage, they arrive without fanfare and promptly launch into the lead single from their debut album, La Di Da, live they are even heavier and more urgent than they are on their debut album, something that I didn’t think would be possible. On stage their vocalist ,Janine Shilstone, is a captivating centerpoint, whether she’s applying snake hipped moves around the stage, bouncing like she’s possessed or taking the phones from people that are inevitably filming the show, something that will provide a few fans with some truly unique live footage. She is backed up by three powerhouses that provide a crunching high energy soundtrack for tonight’s show.

Vukovi March 17 3Tonight’s show was originally scheduled for the smaller venue, but a blown PA has seen them move into the larger venue, for me the venue where they rightfully belong, and I suspect they will soon be packing out larger venues than this. Vukovi provide a unique balance between Rage Against The Machine and the fuzzy punk soundtrack, even from ten feet back the  intense bass riffs are vibrating my ribs and doing strange things to my internal organs. Make no mistake, they are a captivating blast of energy live, if they are coming to a venue anywhere near you then I’d recommend catching them live as they are the best live band I’ve seen so far this year, everything about their set was perfect and it has made the road closures and even the lack of decent beer distant memories.

Vukovi March 17 4I’ve never seen a singer embrace mobile phone technology like Janine Shilstone, from encouraging the crowd to light the stage via their phones, to taking them from unresisting members of the crowd and making unique fan footage, this is a band born of the modern age and embracing technology instead of moaning about it, something I’m all too guilty of myself. They leave the stage in a squall of feedback, of course the delirious crowd demand more and Vukovi duly return for two triumphant encores, ending with the frantic Boy George. This has been an unforgettable night, bands that are this good live don’t come along very often and Vukovi are a band you need to see live if you get the opportunity.

Vukovi March 17 5The Punk Site review of Vukovi‘s debut album can be found here and it can be ordered here

Vukovi‘s website can be found here and their Facebook page is here

The Critics website can be found here

Jekyll‘s Facebook page is here

Photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,

You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

 

Vukovi

Vukovi

Vukovi

LAB Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Vukovi have been with us for a few years, they’ve been leaving a sporadic trail of EP’s and singles in their wake since 2011, but now the Glaswegian quartet have finally released their debut full length today, the 10th March 2017, via LAB Records. Vukovi‘s self titled album seems to have created the definitive snapshot of their technicolour wonder to date, earlier recordings and singles are included on here, but re-recorded and amped up to create a riotous and eclectic debut. Make no mistake, this is a band that demand your attention, both musically and visually, from the outset it’s clear that Vukovi have produced a debut that’s as strong and individual as anything I’ve heard this year.

La Di Da opens the self titled album with a hectic crash of guitars and an forceful emotive vocal delivery that blows away any cobwebs, it’s a fine blast of furious punk energy that lies somewhere between Daisy Chainsaw and Hands Off Gretel, and that’s about as high as praise gets in my book. And He Lost His Mind continues the unique crunching assault on your senses, but this isn’t just a constant punk onslaught, tracks such as Weirdo, Wander and Prey bring a more melodic sensibility to the album, but still maintain the discordant edge that this album carries, whilst the staccato assault of Target Practice brings another dimension to Vukovi‘s impressive arsenal. Amongst the dark subject matter and personal themes the album carries you’ll also find numbers such as Bouncy Castle, Animal and I’m Wired that are guaranteed dancefloor fillers, as the album approaches it finale the full on assault returns on the glorious Boy George, whilst the deceptive introduction of He Wants Me Not precedes another infectious hard edged riff kicking in. Vukovi‘s self titled debut bows out on the comparatively mellow Colour Me In, a song that grows with every single listen and will touch anyone that’s ever lost a loved one.

The twelve songs contained on Vukovi‘s self titled debut take in themes of individuality, drug abuse, depression and suicide, but this is no introspective dour album by any means, these themes sit alongside personal influences and straight up floor fillers to produce an idiosyncratic album that embraces punk, indie and all manner of alternative music to create a unique hybrid of styles, and it’s one that marks Vukovi out as a band to watch in 2017. Vukovi are a welcome noisy splash of colour that is the perfect antidote to the current turbulent political climate, the world needs bands like Vukovi, and they seem to have arrived in the nick of time, this impressive debut bring a heady dose of technicolour energy that celebrates individuality and reflects the good and bad in human nature, and delivers it all in a whirlwind of styles and influences that are irresistible.

You can order Vukovi‘s self titled debut via the band’s webstore here

Vukovi‘s upcoming UK tour dates can be found here

Vukovi Share New Single ‘Weirdo’ And Confirm UK Tour Dates

VukoviFollowing Vukovi‘s snake infested lead single, La Di Da, the video of which saw vocalist Janine Shilstone grappling with a six foot Boa Constrictor, the new single, Weirdo, arrives melodically dominant and upbeat. The track is taken from Vukovi‘s forthcoming self titled debut album that is a definitive snapshot of their technicolour wonder, the album is due out on March 10th via LAB Records. Vukovi have confirmed a full UK tour for March and a review of their debut album will appear on The Punk Site shortly.

Your can stream Weirdo here and you can pre-order Vukovi‘s debut album here

Vukovi‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Vukovi Announce Debut Album And UK Tour

Vukovi BandVukovi have announced their self titled debut album will be released on March 10th via LAB Records, with a full UK headline tour beginning March 10th at Glasgow’s King Tuts. Vukovi‘s debut full length is the definitive snapshot of their technicolour wonder to date, its twelve songs take in themes of individuality, drug abuse, depression and suicide. The lead single from the album, La Di Da, is a frantic and explosive opener and the video for the single erupts into a snake infested frenzy in seconds

Vukovi‘s debut album can be ordered here

You can view the video for La Di Da, and their tour dates, below Read More…