Dot To Dot, aside from being yet another inner-city festival in the weeks prior to the start of the season proper, has become a popular draw since its inception in 2005 and has expanded into a weekend-long event with legs in Bristol and Manchester over the same Bank Holiday weekend. But it’s Nottingham, its original home, that I have decided to explore.

Over five venues there are more than sixty bands vying for my attention. Subsequently, this means that are many artists that we just can’t see. So I apologise now for not managing to catch glimpses of We Are Scientists, Braids, Hurts, Guillemots, Colourmusic (not Colour Of Music as I tried to explain to some guy mid-afternoon) and at least ten other shows recommended to me. However, the upshot was that there was a good performance at nearly every turn.

Needless to say, festivals like this are never all about the headline-grabbers; it’s equally about finding your new favourite band(s). Royal Gala, a local outfit, get things going with a carnival atmosphere in a university student union bar/cafe. To get a 2pm crowd on-side is a very respectable achievement and frontwoman Louise doesn’t stop dancing throughout. Foreign Office also fare well in the afternoon in the ridiculously warm basement of Rock City with an impressive set of funk-driven pop that gets audience members buying their merchandise without hesitation. However, at Stealth, Yaaks don’t quite deliver the same reaction. Despite being energetic and frenetic their rhythm-led tunes didn’t live up to their unique-sounding name and ultimately you’re left feeling quite cold.

In the evening, the place to be is the main hall of Nottingham Trent University’s Student Union with a terrific triple header. Dananananakroyd play a set that feels ridiculously brief, but they deliver more in the space of twenty minutes than most artists. It’s indie pop with an almighty-punch and a big dose of fun, which is best summed up by the following on-stage quote: ‘You may or may not like us but you can’t say we’re not silly!’. They don’t play a huge amount of new material from forthcoming album, There Is A Way, due to the unfortunate time constraints, but what is showcased doesn’t seem to deviate too much from their self-proclaimed ‘fight pop’ formula that won them plaudits in the first place.

Also bringing the noise are Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, who you will most likely see at a festival at some point this summer due to their mammoth tour schedule. The good news is that they are pretty much ready for them given that they’re now one of the UK’s most exciting live bands. Clearly enjoying themselves on stage, clearly well road-trained already and clearly with the big tunes that can slay a packed audience without prior warning. Not only that but they’re delightfully loud. The highlight is set closer Whirring, accompanied by unexpected disco ball lights that make things feel more like an indie high school prom than rock show, which ascends and ascends until it can’t go any further.

In a city filled to the brim with new, young, fresh bands it feels strange for a band such as …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, who are now seven albums into their career, to be featuring but they do provide a welcome change. They’re not as eager to impress, and you could argue they don’t need to with that many records under their belt, and their vast experience equals a tight and polished a performance over the course of an hour. It also takes them a while to properly get going but around the half-way mark something clicks and all of a sudden Jason Reece is mingling with the crowd and they illicit the only crowd-surfers to be seen all day.

As Fixers and Cults fulfil the needs of the remaining hipsters that decide to party on into the night at Bodega, which is packed way before midnight, Dot To Dot comes to an end. What did we learn? Nothing that you probably didn’t already know. Still, it was a fun day that should have left all punters with satisfactory grins on their faces.

Words by Max Raymond

Watch Fixers performing ‘Crystals’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Shoegaze and hip hop… polar opposites?

Perhaps not. Seminal noise merchants My Bloody Valentine were known to build their tracks on the odd Public Enemy sample, while London based newcomers Deep Cut are following in this tradition.

Guitarist Mat Flint has been around the blocks. One of the creative forces behind cult 60s inspired outfit Revolver, the musician spend a number of years on the road with Death In Vegas.

Exposed to different forms of music, Flint even spent time as a hip hop DJ. This rapidly expanding palette informs Deep Cut, with the new group mixing noise pop, classic 60s psych, Sonic Youth and more.

Hell, one track even builds on a sample from cult New York hip hop producer Godfather Don – which brings us full circle…

Working on their debut album, ClashMusic can present the new video from Deep Cut. Rattling through new single ‘About Face’ you can watch it below…

Watch Ólöf Arnalds play ‘Solitary Man’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Watch Mona performing ‘Trouble On The Way’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Watch Art Brut performing ‘Lost Weekend’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Watch Fionn Regan perform ‘100 Acres Of Sycamore’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

A new video has emerged of Peaches tackling the Franz Ferdinand track ‘Turn It On’.

Franz Ferdinand have won a few friends over the years. The Scottish indie gentry have toured across the world, sharing a stage with some well known – and sadly lesser known – acts.

A few of these admirers came together for work on a covers EP, released in time for Record Store Day. Amongst the surprising tracks on show were renditions of Franz Ferdinand by Debbie Harry, cult post-punk icons ESG and more.

Canadian electro filth merchant Peaches is obviously a fan of Franz Ferdinand, and volunteered to cover ‘Turn It On’.

The Glaswegian group perform the track with a nudge and a wink, the sauciness of the lyrics hidden behind a very British demeanour. However in the hands of Peaches the song is transformed into three minutes of all out raunch.

Fast gaining a cult appeal, a new video has emerged for the track…

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The complete tracklisting of the covers EP is as follows:

Debbie Harry & Franz Ferdinand – Live Alone
Stephin Merritt (of Magnetic Fields) – Dream Again
LCD Soundsystem – Live Alone
ESG – What She Came For
Peaches – Turn It On

Listen to the tracks HERE.

Watch Cloud Control performing ‘Gold Canary’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Watch Benjamin Francis Leftwich performing ‘Bottle Baby’ live at the Right Guard Off Guard Gig van, backstage at The Great Escape 2011 in Brighton.

Check out more Great Escape Off Guard Gig coverage on ClashMusic.com HERE.