Live Review: Meadowlands Festival

Last Friday saw the inaugural edition of Meadowlands Festival, an indie-centred event located on Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment. With crowd-pleaser Gerry Cinnamon heading up a lineup that also included the likes of The Kooks, Black Honey and The Reytons, Benedict Watson was very excited to attend. Here are his thoughts.

My first act of the day was Birmingham-based band Overpass, who warmed up a small but enthusiastic crowd on the second stage with their brand of soft indie. Whilst nothing ground-breaking, it was a lovely way to start the day, with debut single One Night Lover a personal favourite.

"It was a powerful set from the fast-rising band"

After a quick visit to the BBC Introducing stage to catch a part of Ewan Mainwood’s set, it was time to see The Mysterines open up the main stage. Starting with the hard-hitting Life’s a Bitch (But I Like It So Much), it was a powerful set from the fast-rising band. One small gripe was the use of the guitarist’s voice to sing the chorus of In My Head, whose mic never seemed loud enough to pack the punch that chorus deserves.

Back to the second stage it was to see Liverpool band Rats, who delivered a high-energy, politically-charged performance. Their upbeat indie sung in a thick Liverpool accent was well-received, although a move into more rap-based music in the middle of the set wasn’t enjoyed quite so much.

Next up were Black Honey, who rocked the main stage with their intense guitar lines. Lead singer Izzy B. Phillips almost looked like she was possessed with her glares at the crowd and shrieks on stage. It was a bit of a shame that they only had a half-hour set, as I would’ve gladly seen more.

The day started to get towards the business end with The Reytons, which saw the first rowdy crowd of the festival. Red flares went off for Red Smoke, and whilst I don’t particularly rate The Reytons, the rest of the crowd certainly seemed to enjoy themselves.

Time for the big-hitters now, with The Kooks starting their set with a solo performance of Seaside by lead singer Luke Pritchard. The rest of the band then joined Pritchard for an hour-long set laden with hits like She Moves In Her Own Way, Eddie’s Gun and Naïve. A thoroughly enjoyable performance from the indie stalwarts as the sun started to set in Nottingham.

"It was the most visually detailed set I’ve ever seen"

Gerry Cinnamon was always going to draw the crowds in, and he certainly showed why in his headline set at Meadowlands. It was the most visually detailed set I’ve ever seen, with stunning graphics used for each song and plenty of fireworks, flames and smoke. Some technical issues annoyed Cinnamon, with him criticising his sound engineer on stage, but that didn’t stop him from putting on a great show. A three-song encore of Where We’re Going, Belter and Canter certainly ended the festival on a high.

Meadowlands Festival was a fantastic day out, the sun was shining and the music didn’t disappoint. I was slightly concerned that a brand new festival might experience some teething problems, but everything ran smoothly all day. Hopefully the festival organisers also deemed it a success and it will become a permanent fixture in the Nottingham festival calendar.

Benedict Watson


Edited by: Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Gemma Cockrell.