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YO1 Festival – The Knavesmire, York, 5th May 2013

The second annual YO1 Festival promised eleven hours of entertainment across five music stages on one big day out in York and on that pledge it firmly delivered. Having moved to its new location on the city’s Knavesmire, though, the organisers did fail to take proper account of the event’s 056aexpansion and a severe dearth of facilities meant interminable queues throughout the day for many. But unless you were unfortunate enough to be suffering from chronic dipsomania or diarrhoea this relatively minor hindrance should not have detracted from what was an otherwise excellent experience in a spacious, relaxed and friendly environment.

One of many things that the organisers did get very much right, though, was having the prescience to book as their headliners the east London foursome Rudimental. By the time that they took to the main stage at ten o’clock to close the festival in triumphant style ‘Waiting All Night‘ was jostling for pole position in the national singles chart with Daft Punk whilst their debut album Home had already gone straight to number one in the album equivalent. With a high energy all-action show built around the nucleus of the band and including a lone trumpeter and a roster of rotating vocalists, the Rudimental live experience owes much more to that of a soul revue than the drum and bass pigeon hole into which the group are often lazily pushed. Huge anthemic choruses built upon solid R&B/dance foundations ensure that the vast majority of the festival’s capacity crowd who had crammed into the huge marquee tent left for home happy.

The main stage had earlier played host to another London-based band who are also enjoying the best year of their musical lives, AlunaGeorge. They mined a similar seam of modern R&B, albeit inflected with an electro-pop heartbeat which has just about kept them one step removed from the026 radio-friendly mainstream. Before them DJs Jackmaster, Oneman and Yoda had each spun their respective turntables to rapturous acclaim and to the point whereby Lulu James somehow got lost in between. Whilst still a most commanding presence on stage, she could not replicate here the energy and passion she had poured into her set twenty four hours previously at the Live at Leeds festival. Watch her re-ignite though on Later with Jools Holland next Tuesday the 14th of May.

As is often the case at any festival, the real musical surprises are to be found at its margins and in that respect YO1 was to be no exception courtesy of the Bison Coffee and Please Please You stages who played host to an array of predominantly local artists. The former saw local hero Daniel Lucas in his Boss Caine guise proving that perseverance, an ability to reflect a road 090awell-travelled and no little talent will ensure that your dream is always kept alive.  Before him though, Wasted Ape had delivered the performance of the day. A bewildering collaboration between live coder Section_9 and Simon Micklethwaite in the form of his solo project Muttley on vocals, guitar and various effects pedals, they took a disappointingly small crowd on a mesmeric trip to the limits of infinite possibilities with a fuzzy head spin of sound that crossed the frontier between MBV and outer space.

Please Please You, self-proclaimed co-ordinators of alternative musical entertainment in the North East and beyond, had as their central premise for the day what would appear to have been the word indie though in the loosest interpretation of that oft maligned term. Fawn Spots gave the early evening lie to this tenet with a muscular half hour blast of wholesome noise that spelt imminent danger to anyone who had dared to venture into the tent for the duration.

Despite the apparent conceit of their name the ensuing Big Deal proved to be just about that; stronger on subtlety than their predecessors, perhaps, but still mighty vigorous in their execution of a truly robust rock sound. Any nod to nuance, though, was detonated out of the Knavesmire earth by Hookworms who reconfigured the concepts of psychedelia and rock into a virulent fireball that was everything that Rudimental two hundred yards away on the main stage were not.

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Eleven full hours later the organisers will know better than most that there is still work to do in terms of planning and preparation to get this festival truly off the ground. But they have promised to do just that and if this eye for detail can be married to the same sort of creative scheduling and wide ranging calibre of performer that was present here today then next year’s event not only promises to be even bigger and better but also one that will put both York and YO1 firmly on the national festival map.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.