Sunday, 5 July 2015

110 Above Festival

110 above festival (previously known as Lainfest) is a small, family orientated festival situated in the idyllic pastures of Leicestershire. Such a luscious backdrop went on to compliment so well the truly spectacular talents on show over the weekend.

Narrow Plains on the main stage
The small, peaceful festival has just two stages and as they are relatively close to each other, the scheduling was organised to ensure two bands were never on at the same time. Although this might seem detrimental it meant that as a punter you would never really miss a set from an artist you wanted to see, something that happens all too often at larger festivals! As soon as I arrived I was lucky enough to catch Narrow Plain's set on the main stage.  Narrow Plains are a folk inspired, acoustic band based in London. Despite the rain, they played a brilliant set and kicked off my festival experience perfectly.

Lucy Rose on the main stage
Arguably the most anticipated act of the weekend was singer-songwriter - Lucy Rose, and her band. Lucy's set did not disappoint at all and closed Saturday's musical proceedings with an ecstatic crowd singing along to tracks such as 'Like an Arrow' or 'Middle of the Bed'.  Although her set was great, I thought it provided quite a soft end to the evening and even though this was good, her set may have been better off slightly earlier.

Another set I enjoyed on the main stage was Amber Run, who performed a high energy set attracting practically everyone in the vicinity to come and sing along to huge tracks such as '5AM'.  A great set, showing exactly how they have gained such a great and dedicated fan-base across the U.K.

Amber Run on the main stage
The smaller, Tipi stage was home to some tranquil acoustic performances but also to some more lively sets from bands such as Model Aeroplanes. Model Aeroplanes are a band based in Scotland, who's signature upbeat indie pop made for great dance music. They really stole the show on the tipi stage and definitely engaged the listeners, whilst still fresh from their headline show at London's KOKO. They were kind enough to agree to interview, stay tuned for that!

Model Aeroplanes on the Tipi stage
Another set I really enjoyed on the Tipi stage was that of Luke Sital Singh. Luke's music is generally quite 'depressing' as he puts it himself, however remarkably beautiful. A masterful sunset rendition of the track 'Nearly Morning' was truly a highlight of the festival for me. Luke's set however was subject to a disruptive sound check on the main stage which made it fairly difficult for him and the audience. After his set, his leading comment seemed to be 'it was tough'. From what I could see, the small audience coupled with the low height of the stage made for an extremely intimate stage which made it very different to the larger festivals, and although it provides an excellent experience for the listeners, as Luke said; for the performers, it can be 'tough'. I was also able to have a brief chat with Luke after his set, look out for a feature on him!

With Sunday came great weather and some equally great performances. A particular strong point was
 Bwani Junction's set. The band who came down from Edinburgh performed a particularly impressive set and the crowd were incredibly receptive with a surprising amount of dancing for an early set!

Bwani Junction on the main stage

Overall, the festival was an excellent experience and one of the best festivals I have been to, as it wonderfully amalgamates aspects of the bigger festivals with it's own intimate twist. Although there is need for a bit of refining and organisational work, 110 above looks set to run for years to come and to grow and flourish even more! Early bird tickets are on sale now so head over to their website and be there!
Luke's Beautiful Sunset performance on the Tipi stage

All Photos by Alex Astruc

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