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Preview: Splendour 2012

17 July 12 words: Andrew Trendell

A day of fun and music, set in Batman’s back garden...

The Main Event
Splendour’s milkshake has already brought many of the biggest boys in pop to the yard – from camp kings Rufus Wainwright, the Pet Shop Boys and Scissor Sisters through to Brit-rock heroes Feeder, dance-pop maestro Calvin Harris, the mighty Blondie and Celtic demi-gods The Pogues. This year, you Notts kids are spoilt once again with appearances from pop royalty; Dizzee Rascal brings the grime and good times, while Mercury-tipped street diva Katy B effortlessly blends substance with style.

Whoa, Are They Still Going?
Yes, Hard-Fi are still around - who knew? They may have wandered off your radar since the release of smash number one and award-winning debut album Stars of CCTV, but they’re heading to Wollaton Park to prove they can still start a party with indie anthems like Hard To Beat, Cash Machine and Living For The Weekend. Razorlight are still on the scene, but not as you know them. After shedding the rest of the original line-up, Johnny Borrell will be peeling off hits like Vice, Golden Touch and Rip It Up.

The Dad Bit
If your old man combs the last few strands of his ginger dreads over his bald spot and pours out a drop of mushroom tea into his saucer for his thirteen dogs, chances are he’s very excited about the return of The Levellers. The standard-bearers of the crustie movement of the early nineties, they’ve been a firm fixture on the festival scene for over two decades, and will be returning to Notts in November for a gig at Citeh.

One for your Mam(a-mia)
Adding a spot of parody to their homage to Swedish pop royalty, Australia’s Björn Again are described by many as the definitive tribute band, never mind the best Abba tribute band in the world. Björn Ulvaeus himself even said; “I am flattered by everything except for their accents. I hope my accent isn’t as lousy” while bandmate Benny Andersson added: “Bjorn Again are the closest you can get to seeing Abba.”

The Notts Representation
Two of the finest acts that our fair city has to offer will be gracing the main stage this year; Jake Bugg is an eighteen-year-old youth who plays spiky folk with a soul and wisdom far beyond his years, blending old-school, toe-tapping country with infectious sixties beat-pop and a whole lotta spirit.

Regular readers of LeftLion will be very familiar with local pop princess Ronika. She recently supported Little Boots in That London, and it’s only a matter of time before Notts’ own disco-pop queen is giving her a run for her money. Make sure you catch her before she’s off jet-setting around the world.

The Winners of the Future Sound of Nottingham
Why, it's The Afterdark Movement, who will be opening the main stage as their reward for smashing it at Rock City.

The LeftLion Courtyard Stage
Oh yes, we’ve been making the courtyard our own for years now, but this year’s line-up has shocked even us with its through-the-card brilliance. The mighty Natalie Duncan has an afternoon off from her steep ascent to the top to bless us with a second appearance on the LL stage, which will probably be the last time you’ll see her this close-up and personal. After our own Nina Smith charms the pants off of Wollaton with her sultry but sweet style, Derby duo Miss 600 are on hand to bring a spot of chic, classy swing to the proceedings. This outstandingly fresh stall of local produce also includes Rob Green, who blends tender melodies with urban beats and the angelic Opie Deino, who will  provide a little acoustic sunshine, just in case the Nottingham skies choose not to.

The non-music bits
If all that glorious noise wasn’t enough for you, Splendour are also laying on a comedy stage, compared by the Alan Carr-recommended Dave Twentyman. Look out for the critically-acclaimed and slightly deranged Vince Atta, the warped musical musings of The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, the inimitable Anil Desai (from Goodness Gracious Me and many other ace things), hard-rockin’ Aussie bloke Dave Eastgate and something called The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.

Splendour Festival, Sunday 21 July, Wollaton Park .Tickets are £15 - £27.50 for Notts residents, £37.50 standard entry and kids 10-years-old and under go free.

Splendour website

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