Long Division 2012

Wakefield’s very own multi-venue festival, Long Division, returned for a second outing last weekend.  The festivities began on Friday night at The Hop, with proceedings opened up by One day After School; the set began with lead singer Dean Freeman playing two solo tracks before being joined by the full band for some quality indie rock.  Next up are the brilliant Penguin who played a blistering set full of heavy riffs reminding me of an early Biffy Clyro with their take on progressive rock.  Finally on stage was Johnny Foreigner providing more great indie rock, who’s set I unwisely ducked out of early as what was supposed to be a quiet night didn’t quite happen for me.
I arrived to help out at Mustangs, slightly bleary eyed at eleven o’clock which seemed a lot earlier than it actually was due to the previous night.  After a few hours of lots of heavy lifting the time had come for the venue to open its doors.  Opening up were The Neat who have been receiving a bit of attention recently which seemed completely justified after a really good high energy set which belied the tiredness of the band after travelling up from Brighton in the early hours.  Up next was the sublime Rosie Doonan who really began to fill the room with her spine tingling take on folk.  Bradford five-piece Redwire brought some indie pop to Mustangs and their charismatic frontman really seemed to get the crowd going.
I returned to Mustangs after nipping out for some food from the delicious catering stand at The Hop, to see a full room waiting for the first big name of the day to appear, Art Brut.  The band didn’t disappoint, playing tracks spanning across their four albums while the enigmatic Eddie Argos had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand.  Wakefield’s very own The Spills who for me absolutely stole the show, it was also great to see them playing in a bigger venue, which undoubtedly led to them picking up some new fans as they were sandwiched between two such big bands.  Headlining the evening were cult legends, The Vaselines who played all the hits and drew the curtain on what had been an absolutely fantastic day.
Although I was only at one venue a massive well done has to be given to the organisers who managed to put on 75 bands at nine venues and for providing a great day which seemed to make so many people happy.  Unfortunately boring stuff like work commitments stopped me from getting to any of the fringe events which were held around the city on Sunday.
Long Division 2012 was another great success and many thanks have to be given to the Rhubarb Bomb and The Hop for putting on such a great event in Wakefield, after experiencing the last two festivals I’m already looking forward to next years.
Matt Hill

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