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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Three days of magic

Dingo Barracks Weekender, The Derby, June 1-3

Bands22.jpg hampson
LOCAL FAVOURITES: Philip Hampson lead singer and rhythm guitarist with Barrow's of Audio Conspiracy


THE Bank Holiday weekends see South Cumbria’s incredible music scene at its finest.

A wealth of all-day events, festivals and impromptu gigs act as a showcase for this surprisingly talented pool of musicians to rival any other region.

Over the course of this weekend, the majority of them took to the stage at The Derby for the first Dingo Barracks Weekender.

Ironically, the headliners on the opening night of the three-day festival were one of the only ‘out of town’ bands to make an appearance, but the hardcore ska of Manchester’s John Player Specials – fusing Capdown and Leftöver Crack – is worthy of heading up almost any bill, but there’s a lot to be said for the supporting cast too (unfortunately there isn’t enough space to do them justice).

Opening the whole show was solo artist Harvey Lord, with a very much unique poetic delivery in an Ian Brown accent and set to minimalist acoustic guitar. On the other end of the spectrum you had Cassie, whose heavy math rock continues to impress and improve show after show, and nine-piece ska outfit Bad Transmission, with a sound to fill any venue and a flawless delivery.

Atmospheric indie band Sootytern are destined to become one of the town’s most recognisable names, and it won’t be long before they’re the star attraction at events like this. Nobody seems to have a bad word to say about them, regardless of what genres they’re fans of.

The second night had a lot to live up to, so the pressure was on youngster Theo to get it off to a good start, and luckily he delivered with an accomplished acoustic set.

The pressure was also on New York’s Finest Taxi Service, who were playing their first-ever live show. Their slow-burning alt rock – very much in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins and The Pixies – will have surprised a few. Definitely ones to watch.

By contrast, Runt Hörnet were playing their second show of the day. Their solid stoner metal set showed off just how many memorable riffs this well-established trio have in their locker.

Taking loudness to the next level though were the Deatbeats. A large-scale carnival drum band, they made everyone sit up and notice, and the applause afterwards was almost as deafening.

An undoubted highlight of the weekend was Stellar Caprice’s strangely heavier-than-normal set. Maybe it was the sense of occasion that gave their usual laidback alt rock added impetus and gusto?

Rounding out the night were local favourites Audio Conspiracy, and their well-crafted indie provided the perfect mellow ending to what was a heavy night all round.

Local singer-song writer Jade Connolly kicked-off the third night with an acoustic set, including a beautiful rendition of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know.

Shed Sessions then staked a claim as one of Barrow’s slickest young covers bands with a terrifically mixed selection.

Pumping out 50s and 60s jives like Johnny B. Goode and Twist and Shout, as well as some modern favourites from the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the group were one of the best-received acts of the night.

Kendal’s Midnight Landing then had everyone dancing to their high-energy ska tunes, before Collie Stewart and The Roomers performed the penultimate set of the weekender.

A stalwart of the Derby, you know what you’re going to get from Messrs Collie and co: great covers, catchy original songs and top banter.

And their set finale, a cover of Prince’s Kiss, is legendary in Barrow.

The Righteous Bees wrapped up the Dingo Barracks weekender in style.

Bringing lots of support from their native Ulverston, the Bees’ enraptured the crowd with their soulful reggae-funk.

It would be great if these fantastic events weren’t strictly limited to the Bank Holidays.

KARL STEEL – Day 1 and 2



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