They really do get it right…….

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Picture this, I’d been at Dot to Dot since roughly 12.30, it’s now about 9.15pm and I was thinking what’s next, I’d seen allot of great artists during the day, I could have stayed at Stealth or gone to the Rescue Rooms or of course there is always the headliner at Rock City.

In my view the track record of headliners at Dot to Dot over the years has not been great, the best I can think of being The 1975 a few years ago. So this year I thought I may as well give it a punt. I didn’t know the band (I’d checked out allot of the earlier acts) but with the headliners I thought I knew what I could be in for, and I had doubts.

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It was just under 30 minutes from show time and Rock City was filling up very fast, I found the last space upstairs against the rail, I was looking over the edge of the stage. My mind was working on ‘if these guys are as good as last year I could always go early’. But something was different, the preparation of the stage was very exacting, then false foliage was put across parts of the stage. A silhouette of a person was added on both sides of the stage. This was definitely was not the usual fare…. so who exactly was going to turn up and what’s their music, ……Crystal Fighters…… could be anything.

Being so far to the side I saw 3 guys arrive on stage but could not see what was happening, it looked like they were playing drums, a very rudimentary glockenspiel and some small tubular bells…… but it was hard to see and this was looking as if it could be different, the 2 female singes came next and as things got started the lead singer arrived.

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The next hour and a quarter blew the roof off, it was superb, it was very well produced, the sound was as near perfect as you could get, the music was great and it was allot of fun with a band that clearly wanted to share and build a relationship with the audience.

I can say with out hesitation it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to, all the fun, energy and stage presence of the Vaccines and a style and vibe I’d associate with St Etienne. For the first time in years the headliner was the highlight of the festival – well done Dot to Dot, the best show in years at a festival with quality from one end to the other.

I was not quite sure who was first on at 12.45 at Rock City, they had changed slots but it was good, after that it was in to Beta to see the Mocking Jays, I knew I was going to spend allot of time in Stealth and the first act I saw was ‘Robinson’. Stealth is almost the secret corner of the festival and the place where jewels are to be found, occasionally it’s packed and then you know a treat is coming. For Robinson it was packed – and she was brilliant. I saw 4 other acts there all good, Rachael Chinouriri was just a pleasure to listen to.

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I did venture to Rock City before the headliner, in Beta Phoebe Green’s guy on rhythm guitar was fighting the technology, before that though I saw ‘Sheaves’ on the main stage in Rock City who delivered a great set with attitude, later I returned to see what ‘Swim Deep’ had……. I did not stay long, with this level of expectation I later returned to see the headliner…….

Crystal Fighters is a band I want to see again, they were a brilliant headliner – when Dot to Dot get it right they really do it in style, well done!!

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