Now in it’s 11th year, Y Not Festival has come far from it’s overspilled house party beginnings. This year saw another sell-out for the line-up including the likes of Noel Gallagher, Editors, Madness and many more. So with so many acts on the bill that we wanted to see, we went down to Derbyshire to check out what the fuss was about. Here’s our top 12…
For those early birds who partied too hard after The Coral, or those too busy putting up tents, Chesterfield’s Trash might have been a bit too early to catch. But for everyone eager to their Friday bright and early (is 12:30pm early?) with some cheery summery tunes, the main stage was to place to be. With the likes of ‘Hot Coffee’ and ‘Workout’ kicking up such a fuss, not even the odd rain shower can put off the crowd from getting involved. They manage to create the perfect mix of laidback melodies and chirpy riffs, that couldn’t help but wake up everyone enough to dance along to their lively beats.
Dressed up like they’d belong to the cast of ‘Dazed and Confused’, Inheaven already seemed cool before they picked up their instruments. Their set brings together elements of pop and grunge, but with an added dirtiness that makes it sound that little bit better. There’s no chance of a rest for the crowd, from opener ‘All There Is’ to ‘Regeneration’ their heavy melodies give no other option for people to get involved. ‘Regeneration’ acts as the perfect closer with it’s strenuous vocals and high intensity that could only leave everyone wanting more. Also, proclaiming Y Not as their best festival yet, well, it was inevitable.
If you’ve never had a chance to see Glasgow funk outfit White, then get yourself to a show of theirs very soon. It doesn’t take long at all for the crowd to groove along with their insanely catchy tracks like ‘Fight The Feeling’ or ‘Private Lives’, and to chant their melodic harmonies back to their delighted faces. Taking everyone back to the 80s with their insanely catchy funk hooks, even those unacquainted soon become engrossed with the playful rhythms that will make White a very big deal very soon. Ending with a five-year-old fan begging security to get the band to sign her entire body, it’s obvious this won’t be a one-off for them in the future.
4. The Cribs
Wakefield’s finest. It’s easy to see how they headlined back in 2013, and how they’re ready to do it all over again. Causing the best pits of the Friday, The Cribs caused scenes with most tracks they played. The infamous ‘Men’s Needs’ and ‘I’m A Realist’ set off the flares and smoke bombs, whilst energy levels are on an all time high. The more recent ‘Pink Snow’ ends things, and leaves everyone to get ready for Editors, but not before starting one last pit as a send off.
5. Baby Strange
Baby Strange shows are renown for getting a bit rough but in the tiny Jack Rocks and This Feeling tent on Saturday night, things were intensified even more. Playing mostly a set of already well-loved tracks, the Glaswegian trio storm through their 45-minute set to nothing but praise from the crowd going mental in front of them. Decorated with chandeliers constructed out of Jack Daniels bottles, the intimacy and mood of the tent improves the atmosphere even more. Even songs released recently like ‘Want It Need It’ go down a storm, with everyone reciting frontman Johnny Madden’s vicious cries. With goodbyes said in ‘Friend’, the short and snappy track offers one last chance for the tent to let loose.
6. Mr Motivator
His bright spandex and revitalising dance routines brought the punters to the Big Gin Stage in their masses, all ready for their midday workout. Also bringing the sun with him from Jamaica, the former GMTV fitness instructor began everyone’s day with some hangover-curing routines and motivational words. Whether it be teaching everyone how to do the funky chicken or how to love, he sure knows how to work a crowd, and his words hit hard to all. If only we could have a Mr Motivator every morning after a heavy night.
You know those messes that are a good mess? Francobollo are that mess. Their set seems so weird but so right at the same time. Short interludes of bass and backing vocals in ‘Basketball’ leaves frontman Simon Nilsson running around the stage going crazy. Whether is be performing yoga or annoying his bandmates, he sure knows how to keep himself entertained. They even offer a quick Italian lesson between each song, with the reminder that ‘Francobollo’ translates to ‘stamp’. Who knew going to Y Not would make you learn some Italian?
8. The Amazons
They might have been bricking it backstage beforehand, but The Amazons managed to hide it well. Playing the huge Big Gin Stage, the biggest they’ve played yet, the Reading-based band brought their A-game. Their recent single ‘Nightdriving’ sees the best reaction from the crowd, with many joining in with the cries of “I don’t give a fuck” and pits forming right before their eyes. Ending with ‘Something In The Water’, they have one last chance to give it all and they sure do. From the calmer verses to the weighty chorus and breakdown, they end on a high and without a doubt, Y Not will be on their minds for a while.
9. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
“Who’s the best you’ve seen so far?” He asked with little time to reply as he soon joked “right fucking answer, me.” Did anyone think to miss Noel? Him and his High Flying Birds stormed through a set filled with HFB hits like ‘If I Had A Gun’ and ‘AKA… What A Life!’, and a few Oasis treats. As soon as the intro to ‘Wonderwall’ began, even the younger members of the crowd Noel ripped into earlier in the set join together with the rest of the crowd to have a good old sing-along to the classic. Though remaining his self-assured, cocky self we all love him for, Gallagher still left aside some time to dedicate ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and say some kind words about the Jack Rocks/This Feeling stage and all the new talent playing it over the weekend. He even said Y Not was one of his top festivals; we must have got on his good side.
Much like Trash on the Friday, Kagoule may have slipped the minds of those too ‘dead’ to wake up early on Sunday morning, but those who chose the option of sleep will definitely regret it. The Nottingham trio made full use of the large Big Gin Stage and kick the day off with their grunge 90s-style. ‘Glue’ stands out with its falsetto harmonies, whilst ‘Made Of Concrete’ gives a chance for bassist Lucy Hatter to take to the mic and show off her delicate, yet strong vocals.
With their album out on Friday (August 5), the Stockport lads packed out the Quarry stage way over it’s maximum capacity. Though many were left out in the cold, there could be no missing their loud, poppy take on rock. Playing mostly the singles, there was no chance of silence in the tent as the crowd serenaded the band back with their lyrics. New track ‘Deep Grass’ goes down as well as those already released off the album, but the crowd can’t help but feel lucky to have heard some of the album a bit earlier than most. The clash with Madness may have not proved in their favour initially, but closing with ‘Charlemagne’ meant everyone stayed for that track. If tonight’s set has anything to go by, it’s clear that the release of their album is going to make them even bigger than anyone expected.
Closing the final day of a festival wouldn’t be an easy task but Madness managed it with ease. From covers of ACDC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ to their renown ‘Our House’, every track gets the crowd dancing along with their take on ska. It was inevitable which would get the best reaction (‘Our House’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘House Of Fun’), but even the golden oldies like their cover of ‘It Must Be Love’ went down a treat. They ended the festival with the best throwback to the 80s we could have possibly had. So with one last dance with ‘Night Boat To Cairo’, they wrapped up Y Not 2016 and made it end the best it could have ever ended.
Tickets for Y Not 2017 are now on sale here.