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Festival Coverage: Y-Not Festival, Pikehall, Derbyshire : Day 2

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Glasgow's Prides play their “sort of single” on the Main Stage. Rain falls, sideways. A single balloon in the shape of a Minion from Despicable Me floats somewhat vigorously across a bleak sky. Welcome to Saturday morning at Y-Not. The mornings on the Main Stage are typically reserved for up and coming bands and today is no exception, as the aforementioned Prides, Bang Bang Bang and Neon Waltz all entertain those up early enough to make the journey through the rain to the arena.

It really is a little more than just rain though. Wind and hail also make brief(ish) appearances forcing everyone outside back to their tent or the nearest bar; the effects of which are evident later in the day. Unlike Kendal Calling however (another festival taking place this weekend), the weather subsides early enough for us to don our wellies and take a trip across the site to The Quarry Stage in a bid to catch folk-punk troubadour Beans on Toast, whose occasionally irreverent, often political acoustic numbers are likely to lift any dampened spirit.

Arriving a little way through his first song, it's clear a lot of people have had similar thoughts; the crowd spilling out backwards down the small hill in front of the tent. Although there's an undercurrent of seriousness to Beans' plight, he intersperses his political ideals with tracks about blow-jobs and getting drunk, even recounting an instance from Standon Calling, in which he impressively ended up being “bitch-slapped” by an Australian drum'n'bass duo for being too drunk. It's brilliant afternoon entertainment, and we can't wait to check him out on tour later this year.

Surprisingly enough it seems the weather is finally on our side, and despite a perpetual ring of grey that surrounds the site, the sky above is clear and we head on over to the Main Stage to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen. Having taken last year in their stride, the band have already garnered an impressive reputation, and their forthcoming debut The Balcony looks set to see them explode. Though this is one of over thirty festival appearances over the Summer, the sheer energy they exude is enough to make you believe it's their first and only this year. Despite an early warning that they “may have to finish early due to an electrical storm” the band manage a full set of tracks including each of their six singles, whilst last year's 'Homesick' even sees the band fall in to Rod Stewart's 'Do You Think I'm Sexy'. The crowd lap up every moment too, 'Kathleen' and current single 'Fallout' going down especially well.

Oddly, the crowd thins somewhat before and during Swim Deep's set, while unsurprisingly Shed Seven draw the biggest of the day so far; their '90s anthems appealing to those of the crowd old enough to remember them, yet going over the heads of those present only so as to reserve a decent spot for The Fratellis. Like Razorlight the previous night, The Fratellis seem to be here to sate an appetite for nostalgia. Like Razorlight again however, they put on a fantastic set that's only marred by a few members of crowd throwing bottles, spurring frontman Jon Fratelli to threaten to leave if it happens again, “No 'Chelsea Dagger'. None of it.”. It seems strange for a singer to admit that a crowd only really wants to hear one song. It does later prove true, however, as the closing notes of said track ring out, people appear to lose interest. It's a shame really, as despite them feeling like your traditional festival nostalgia trip, they put on one of the best performances of the weekend.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was Saturday's headliner Dizzee Rascal. Having seen Dizzee before, I really wasn't expecting much, but figured I'd take a gamble and see if this time round, we wouldn't be as disappointed. We weren't. Playing an impressive number of tracks from his first two albums, as well the expected hip-pop of his collaborative efforts, it really does seem that Dizzee is back on form. Knowing just how to get the crowd going, a moshpit opens up and doesn't relent once; lazers, confetti cannons and smoke machines are all par for the course, whilst an already-lairy crowd (that seems to stretch back to the arena gates) out-do themselves with each and every track he drops. 'Bonkers' sees an end to the set, but also sees the crowd reach the peak of its craziness, almost literally losing its collective shit.


With that we once again head back to our tent for a few quiet drinks, safe in the knowledge we're probably going to feel fresher than most in the morning, though secretly yearning to be able to party like we used to.  

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