Long Division Review

I began my weekend with One Day, After School… who were playing first at Long Division’s opening party at The Hop on Friday (10th June).  I’ve seen this band on several occasions and they have been through a few line-up changes but now seem to have found a settled one.  This has enabled One Day, After School… to recreate the sound they have on record in a live environment as well as sounding a lot tighter which the new found familiarity has aided. 

One Day, After School… also premiered new songs which sounded good and also bode well for future releases that they are planning.  The organisers had also generously put on the opening party for free which also boasted Eagulls as well as headliners Shrag on the bill.  However as I am not into either of those two bands I felt like it would be a good idea to head to some other drinking joints with the intention of arriving home at a sensible time, this eventually proved to be a terrible idea.

Onto Saturday (11th June) which was an all-day extravaganza in several of the cities venues including some less traditional ones such as the Town Hall and the Cathedral.  My intention was to arrive at The Graziers in plenty of time for The Passing Fancy’s 12.45 set.  Instead of this I found myself exchanging my ticket for a wristband slightly after then after failing to get out of bed in time thanks to a drinking session that ended sometime between four and five in the morning.  So unfortunately I only caught a couple of songs but everyone seemed to be enjoying it and it was good to see the number of people that had made it out early.

Next up I had a walk down to Henry Boons to see The Lovely Eggs, the walk also freshened me up a bit and I felt ready to enjoy Long Division.  I was pleasantly surprised on walking into Henry Boons back room that it was absolutely packed the only problem being that I had an extremely restricted view.  The Lovely Eggs began with People Are Twats from their latest album Cob Dominos which made up the bulk of their set.  I had only seen this band a couple of weeks ago but they still sounded really good with Why Don’t You Like Me? particularly standing out.  After blasting through half an hour of vociferous punk rock The Lovely Eggs finished off with a raucous version of Have You Ever Heard a Digital Accordion?  and if this was anything to go by then this would definitely be a good day.

I then got myself over to the Town Hall for Tiny Planets of whom I missed the start of the first song.  The venue looked really good and suited the event really well and is definitely something that should be used again if possible.  Tiny Planets grungey pop sounded really good with Barrows rising above the other songs.  However as the bands set started drawing to a close I could feel my energy going and I started to wonder if the previous night’s exertions were a huge mistake.

Still in the Town Hall Spectrals were on but I’m not a fan of them and took this time to smoke some cigarettes and try and compose myself.  So I don’t really have much to say about Spectrals except that I was just hoping that I would see the day through.

Eventually I must have got my second wind because I felt like a new before Fonda 500 came out.  When the Hull band appeared typically fronted by a man in mouse ears they didn’t disappoint.  Despite some early sound issues Fonda 500 manage to make synthy indie pop that sounds both melodic and heavy at the same time.  They have really impressed me every time I’ve seen them and this was no exception as they mostly played tracks from their Je m’appelle Stereo album.  Definite highlight was Electronique Bee 101 which seemed to make everyone want to dance, although frontman Simon’s beat boxing did push this song close.

After my spell at the Town Hall I took a trip to Mustangs to see Darwin Deez who I was rather sceptical about.  Despite this Darwin Deez provided a set full of dance infused indie and after my initial doubts I came to really enjoy them.  Even moments like the whole band doing some choreographed dancing to the likes of Enya should have made me cringe but instead it was quite simply fun.  Darwin Deez went through their self-titled debut album finishing up with Radar Detector, the song that initially put me off them but I really liked it on the night.  They then took their plaudits and exited the stage following some more dancing, Mustangs was also pretty full as had all the other venues been that I visited.

Last up for me on Saturday was Los Campesinos! at The Hop, the room was really packed and I was right at the back but by the looks of things definitely looked quite crazy down the front.  Their brand of glockenspiel inspired pop went down really well and I was surprised how loud they were after listening to their records.  Los Campesinos! played songs of all three of their albums with songs such as Miserabilia and Death to Los Campesinos! really showing up well.  After playing fan favourite You! Me! Dancing! Gareth of the band got everyone to raise their wristbands in a slightly clichéd moment but I was also really nice to see everyone having such a good time in Wakefield.  The band resisted the temptation to play lots of new material from their forthcoming album instead opting to play just one track which did sound good.  Finally Los Campesinos! rounded off with The Sea is a Good Place to Think of the Future they were a great end to what had been a brilliant day at Wakefield’s inaugural Long Division.

On Sunday (12th June) there was a fringe festival held which showcased some of the local talent around in Wakefield.  I only managed to catch a couple of bands, most notably was Buen Chico downstairs at The Hop.  They started off by going through their recently released The Seasons EP.  They then played a few songs from their previous two albums, finishing up with Choosing My Religion which is a real indie pop gem.  Buen Chico were a really good way to finish up what had been a highly enjoyable weekend and left me looking forward to more of the same next year.

I must also give out a massive well done to the organisers and anyone else involved in Long Division as it was something Wakefield has been missing.  It was great to see so many people around and for all the venues to be busy throughout the day.  Although I have heard of minor problems involving security I can safely say that I had no problems and found access to the venues went really well.
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