Summer Sundae Weekender Day Three: Review & photos

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson
Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson
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Perceptions of John Lydon have changed over the years as his own public image has moved from pariah to butter-promoting national treasure.

But that is not to say that the man himself is any less angry or passionate about the subject matter of his songs.

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

Lydon, and his band Public Image Limited, headlined the Summer Sundae Festival in Leicester on Sunday night with a set that combined his wailing vocal style with a driving, raw sound.

Dance to it, listen to the words or just feel the energy. The choice was yours.

The crowd in front of the main stage dwindled somewhat during the performance it has to be said, but the hardcore of men and women of a certain age who remained were more than happy.

Equally passionate and political was Billy Bragg who played earlier in the evening with his celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday.

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

I did not know a great deal about Woody Guthrie before this, but Bragg’s engaging way with the audience and his clear love of the man and his music made it enjoyable to learn about him and made me want to find out more.

Guthrie, who died in 1967, was a prolific songwriter but the work from his later life was never recorded and the music for those songs existed only in his head.

So his daughter Nora invited Billy Bragg to write music for these lyrics and some of the results were recorded in the album Mermaid Avenue.

Death, sex, politics, Guthrie’s songs dealt with the important stuff of life and you can hear the connection with Bragg’s own work.

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

Summer Sundae Weekender 2012, Leicester. Photos by David Jackson

Then just as he seemed to have finished and the crowd started to move off, he treated us to Waiting For The Great Leap Forward, but with updated lyrics taking in what matters to him now from the coalition to the Pussy Riot sentencing.

Both these artists in their different ways brought visceral and truthful performances to the final day of Summer Sundae 2012.

DeMontfort Hall’s stage had a suitably heavier feel to it on the final day of the festival.

Her Name Is Calla and Maybeshewill kicked things off with blisteringly-loud post rock followed by Canadian duo Japandroids.

Despite only comprising of a drummer and guitarist, Japandroids’ stage presence and huge sound sound outdid most of what followed on the indoor stage for the rest of the day.

On the main stage, another highlight of the final day was Sheffield’s Reverend & The Makers, back playing tracks from their third album @Reverand_Makers amid their classics including Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Frontman Jon McClure did his best (and largely succeeded) in getting the Summer Sundae audience on their feet and dancing for the final day of the festival.