Dot to Dot Festival 2012 – Nottingham

Michael Rose

Taking place across three bustling cities and hosted by a variety of venues, Dot to Dot Festival proved to exceed all expectations as our festival season began in style in Nottingham.

With a reputable history of showcasing the world’s most acclaimed up-and-coming artists and bands of all imaginable dimensions, 2012 was certainly no exception – displaying an eclectic mix of electronic, rock, indie and folk music.

There was no better way to kick-start the day than with the explosive and heart-wrenching set provided by Nottingham’s home-grown talent The Barnum Meserve. Playing to a packed basement beneath Rock City, this trio audibly took the breath away from several crowd members, as eerie piano ballads rose to a climax of blinding intensity in almost every song across a ghostly backdrop of smoke. Perhaps an exhausting experience for some, but hugely satisfying to say the least.

As the day continued and more and more pints of Red Stripe began to paint the walls and floor of Rock City’s main hall, we were delighted by an uplifting and energetic set from Bastille and left enamoured by the adorable charisma and charmingly soft acoustics of Lucy Rose. If this hadn’t been enough, we were pounding with adrenaline following the uniquely talented beatboxing and solo produced tracks provided by The Petebox – another local to Nottingham’s increasingly impressive music scene.

After experiencing what felt like every emotion possible before 6pm, we headed over to the Rescue Rooms to catch a glimpse of Clock Opera. Having already supported the likes of Marina & the Diamonds prior to appearance at Dot to Dot, it was immediately clear how this four-piece have managed to maintain themselves within their field for as long as they have. A captivating set throughout ensured we did not regret our decision in choosing Clock Opera before heading over to catch the incredibly successful Dog Is Dead.

A return to the main hall of Rock City saw a suitably successful close to our Dot to Dot experience thanks to headliners The Drums. Having been infamous for an arrogant and somewhat pretentious presence on and off stage, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to dislike this beach pop/rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Thanks to a graciously theatrical yet still stylish performance fronted by Jonathan Pierce. Forget what you know about The Drums – they will have you moving in seconds.

Overall, Dot to Dot fulfilled every expectation gained from looking at past years. Having already established the fame of bands such as The xx, Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and Florence and the Machine, it is safe to say that we can all expect great things from the majority of acts experienced across the day. With that in mind, we have good enough reason to promise our return to Dot to Dot 2013 and beyond.

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