Doncaster Live 2007

Live Review | Market Place, Doncaster | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The weather was good to us this weekend, with only the slightest drizzle on Saturday evening for The Wedding Present and a perfect summer’ day today for all the local bands. Doncaster can put on a good show when it wants to and once again they managed to stage yet another brilliant, value for money (ie free), musical event. My only niggle and I suppose this goes out to the organisers, is that they don’t really go out of their way to publicise these events. There’s hardly anything online save for a few random comments on some of the bands’ own websites and blogs, and no printed programme to speak of at all, just a poster advertising the headlining bands. I appreciate that this would incur costs, but it does mean I have no idea of the names of half of the bands that played. I tried to catch the introductions, but as we all know, introductions at outdoor festivals come over as nothing more than a muffled grunt by some surviving Seventies roadie who once killed a man with Ozzy Osbourne’s shoe. I don’t even have to mention the fact that no one would really have a clue who was up next, unless you stopped the woman in a dayglo yellow top, who was running around everywhere with a clipboard and a walkie-talkie, frantically rounding up the next act due to play. An unenviable task as most of the musicians looked identical. Strange that isn’t it? That all these kids want to be unique and individual, yet they all have the same designer cropped asymetrical hairstyles. Shit, I’m getting old! Tiny Dancers, featuring the enigmatic Bowie-esque David Kay, brought some glam to the stage on Saturday night immediately before The Wedding Presents’ set and to be honest, I think they stole the show. The band invited half of the audience on stage with them in much the same manner as Iggy Pop did at this year’s Glastonbury Festival a month or so ago. I had my doubts whether the small Donny stage could take the strain, but fortunately the audience and band escaped unscathed by the end of the set. The Wedding Present were pretty much on form although I thought their set was criminally short. Today was gorgeous and turned out to be a perfectly sunny day, yet it brought out a fantastically sparse audience. Alyscamps is a local band well known in the area for having among its numbers, Eric Clapton’s sprog Ruth. I’ve previously taken this as not very much to write home about, figuring that ol’ Slowhand probably has a sprog in every port, and this one just happens to be Ruth. Of course I could be mistaken. Over the years, there have been numerous sightings of Clapton on Doncaster Railway Station, probably visiting said sprog and said sprog’s mum. Now said sprog is ‘of age’ and with a view to following in Dad’s footsteps, we have her name plastered in all the local newspapers almost every week. Alas, Ruth Clapton has in fact left Alyscamps after an acrimonious split and now the band, fronted by Ross Cameron, is trying it’s hand at success with no ‘name’ to rely upon. I really enjoyed their set and was pleased to see that my mate Ben Trott has joined the ranks on lead guitar. Silverfall, formerly Laconic, did a brilliant set this afternoon, featuring the unmistakable voice of Jenny Bailey. I always enjoyed Laconic and this band seemed pretty much the same except for the absence of their lead guitarist. Jenny commands a definite lead and her songs stand up besides the rest of them with no trouble. I left after Silverfall, although I’m pretty sure there was more goodies to come before the 7pm curfew. I’m glad I went along, and hopefully, with a little more effort, we can get the rest of Doncaster on our side next year…even the pubs. A couple of other bands I didn’t quite catch the name of, but enjoyed their antics.