Nottingham’s Clear Your Throat festival came back around pretty quickly. Seven months after the first, The Chameleon in the city centre was once again host to the eclectic all-dayer. This time it was the day before Mother’s Day, so being situated (literally) above a card shop had never been handier.
Kicking off proceedings were Nottingham’s Merrick’s Tusk who played a half-hour set of rocky emo. Reminiscent of early Jimmy Eat World, they did well at grabbing the attention of the early audience members. Their songs translate well in a live setting, sounding absolutely huge — the amazing sound in Chameleon can also be thanked for this.
Following them were Cheltenham’s Austeros. They’re one of the most exciting bands in the UK DIY punk scene at the moment; their brand of poppy-punk sounds pretty unique and they’ve already got some amazing songs in their catalogue. Their set at Clear Your Throat was nothing but an indication that they’re probably gonna blow up, they’re really great.
Isaac released their debut album Burner last week, so this served as a sort-of record release show, as well as a birthday party for their vocalist/bassist/Clear Your Throat promoter Shankland. The record is a major step up from their early stuff, and their live sets have improved massively too. The addition of another guitarist and playing their new record almost back to front showed just how good/catchy they are.
Up next were Happy Accidents whose brand of indiepop is engaging and fun. Again, another band which could easily blow up. They’ve got a great batch of songs, and so much energy onstage; it would be absolutely impossible to watch them and not enjoy them.
Doe have been going from strength to strength recently. Seeing them live definitely explains why. Their set was ridiculously great – this was the highlight of the festival. They play their indie-punk (with a definite hint of grunge at times) songs passionately and loudly; tracks like “Let Me In” in particular sounded incredible – which again is partly thanks to the great sound at the venue.
Closing out the all-dayer were Woahnows. They got the biggest singalongs of the day and continued the trend of playing great, catchy music, quickly and loudly. They had to drop off last year’s festival, but everyone was happy to have them this year. With their songs flitting between indiepop and louder punk rock, they were perfect headliners and put a smile on everyones’ face.
Clear Your Throat is becoming a great staple of the Nottingham scene. It’s nice to see such an amazing and varied bill, especially where entry is less than a tenner. Roll on September.
I’m glad I wore my earplugs, though.
Photos courtesy of James Birtwhistle
(Sorry we couldn’t catch Bluebird and Bear Trade, but they’re both great.)