The end of summer generally also marks the end of festival season. This year, Bingley Music Live returned at the start of September to round off another year of excellent festival entertainment. Boasting a refreshingly eclectic line-up for a small festival – from legendary arena-sized acts to tomorrow’s indie leaders – it seemed like a no-brainer for any music fan.
Upon entry, the site felt like something of a hidden gem amongst plenty of woodland and greenery, highlighted by the Main Stage’s wonderful backdrop of nestled trees and foliage. The retail area had a relaxed feel to it, with the usual festival clothing and accessory stalls, as well as the familiar smell of incense. It being very compact made access around the site quick and easy, and a constant stream of Bob Dylan hits playing from a single speaker was soothing as I made my way to the gin bar; the food experience was also great across the weekend (honestly, a vegan paella should not taste that good).
Friday is a late starter, with music commencing from 4pm. Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic truly kicked the festival into gear with a set packed full of anthems including ‘Free’ and ‘Heart and Soul’ – anyone not familiar with the band couldn’t help but be drawn in by their positive energy and huge presence, making the set a true winner. Maxïmo Park followed suit with one of the tightest live sets around, with frontman Paul Smith bringing out his ever-razor-sharp stage persona as the band thundered through their songs.
The first night was closed in spectacular fashion with Manic Street Preachers exuding solid energy and mass singalongs for one and a half hours; at a family-centred festival, this was the moment for the Dads. It was a brilliant set list, including lead guitar epic ‘Motorcycle Emptiness,’ ‘Your Love Alone (Is Not Enough)’ and album favourite ‘No Surface All Feeling’. The highlight was of course the closer ‘A Design for Life,’ with confetti adding that final stadium rock touch.
Saturday saw another great collection of bands grace both stages including indie darlings Sundara Karma, British Sea Power, Yak, The Big Moon, Anteros and the legendary Peter Doherty. Despite the intermittent weather, spirits were high all around.
Leeds electronic outfit Krrum were one of the highlights of the weekend, bringing out some serious earworms to both new and existing fans on the main stage. Over at the Discovery Stage, ISLAND blessed us with their stadium-sized songs before Indoor Pets tore up the stage with the weekend’s most gripping and frenzied performance. Feeder provided a hit-packed set as the penultimate main stage act. The Wombats’ headline appearance was delayed due to most their equipment being stuck at Heathrow (“We’re going to have to play a lot more first album material”) but despite this they delivered a huge set and seemed genuinely astonished that everything worked at the right times, and only further proved their worth as headliners and in turn a very tight live act.
Bingley made itself known as a great contender on the small festival circuit with music that catered for everyone, a family-friendly atmosphere and competitive prices for good festival food.
For more information on Bingley Music Live, head to the Website.
All photos credited to Tom Saunders.