Beacons is fast becoming something of a new music mecca for those in the know and it’s not just the Leeds hipsters who are converging on Heslaker Farm in the picturesque Yorkshire dales, with people travelling far and wide to attend the three-day event which continues to grow steadily year on year.
Sustained improvements have been made to the layout of the festival and this year saw the Noisy stage get a much needed capacity upgrade after the 2013 edition saw the stage constantly oversubscribed.
Kick-starting the weekend for new music connoisseurs was Sheffield duo Nai Harvest who, supported by a small army of friends in the crowd, brought their rollicking post-emo licks to the Noisy Stage for their early afternoon set, and also bringing about the first (failed) attempt at crowd-surfing of the weekend.
Just as the heavens opened and Heslaker Farm got its first taste of big Bertha, Kult Country took over the unfortunately-uncovered DIY stage, and for those who were brave enough to endure the rain, thunder and exploding stage lights, got treated to an anthemic 25-minute set from the quintet featuring recent singles ‘Trembling Moon’ and ‘Atlas Haze’.
There is nothing less glamorous than standing in a field up in the Yorkshire dales getting lashed on from above so the sanctuary of the well covered Loud n Quiet stage brought some much needed rest-bite as DZ Deathrays hit the main stage, with their axe-wielding riffs and thunderous drum beats that gave everybody a much needed lift.
He may not have been headlining, but Friday belonged to East India Youth aka Will Doyle, who was the first artist to really pack Noisy stage out for his late-afternoon set. Dressed in a dapper suit he wooed the crowd with his lush synth-based melodic-pop featuring his euphoric single ‘Looking for Someone’ and it can only a matter of time before the mainstream beckons him.
Capping off Friday night was London three-piece Daughter who were closing a main-stage for the first time when they hit the Loud n Quiet stage. From the word go it was obvious their brand of melancholy-pop wasn’t suited to a Friday night headline slot (Sunday maybe) and with most of the crowd stood nonchalantly half interested or over at Action Bronson they sent those of us in attendance to our drowned tents feeling more sombre than we really ought-have been.
Reviews of days two & three will be online shortly.
By Michael Jamison