Music Reviews

“A Range Of Diverse Music On Offer”- Live Review: Meadowlands Festival @ Victoria Embankment

Gemma Cockrell and Emily Campbell

Impact’s Gemma Cockrell and Emily Campbell headed to Victoria Embankment in Nottingham for the first ever Meadowlands festival, headlined by Gerry Cinnamon and The Kooks. Here are their thoughts.

The Mysterines were the first act to grace the main stage, and tracks from their debut album ‘Reeling’, including Hung Up and In Your Head, got the day off to a great start. The band didn’t interact much with the crowd, but this didn’t matter too much since it was very early in the day, and the crowd probably hadn’t warmed up enough to respond with much enthusiasm yet anyway.

Meadowlands did a great job with diversity within their line-up

They were followed on the main stage by Black Honey. Meadowlands did a great job with diversity within their line-up, with two out of five of the main stage acts including female members. A highlight of Black Honey’s set, as well as Izzy B. Phillips’ glorious gold outfit, was the track Corrine, which was dedicated to all of the women in the audience who had faced hardships due to their gender.

The third act on the main stage were The Reytons, a perfect support act for the headliner Gerry Cinnamon. They energised the crowd, and got them ready for an evening of music. It was clear to see the band had a dedicated fan base, who showed their support by singing back lyrics, using flares, and dancing in the crowd. Their upbeat alternative- indie sound and vibrant presence ensured that by the end of the set, they had made their mark on the main stage.

His music explores meaningful topics in an honest style

We then moved to the BBC Introducing Stage, for Tik Tok star and singer, Michael Aldag. He immediately grasped his audience’s attention from his first song, so much so that audience members continued to flood in during his performance. His music explores meaningful topics in an honest style, which probably explains the hype around him and his music.

Aldag sang his most popular songs such as Teenage Drama and LOML with a real passion, and had people up on their feet dancing. Aldag certainly has a long career ahead of him in the music world, with his sublime vocals, and his down-to-earth nature.

However, it was a shame that Michael Aldag and Zuzu’s sets clashed, since they were two of the most exciting artists on the line-up. Determined to catch at least half of each their performances, we made our way from the BBC Introducing Stage to the second stage, to catch the latter half of Zuzu’s performance. It seemed she played most of the tracks from her album ‘Queensway Tunnel’ towards the start of the set, but as always, she saved the title track until last. It is an emotional, slow-burning showstopper, and it was the perfect way to end the set.

Pure musical talent and recognisable lyrics

Heading back to the main stage for The Kooks, it was clear to see that they were a favourite for many of the audience members. Their catchy and well-known tracks like Naïve and She Moves in Her Own Way had the crowd singing along in unison.

They captivated the audience from the start with their pure musical talent and recognisable lyrics. Their summery, light-hearted sound was a perfect match for Meadowlands, and for the start of the long-awaited festival season. The 45-minute set went by too quickly, but left the crowd buzzing and ready for the headline act, Gerry Cinnamon.

Gerry Cinnamon, the main headliner of the event, was evidently the artist that everyone had been waiting all day to see. It appeared that there were many Gerry fans in the crowd, with people wearing his merch and waving Scottish flags in the air.

In his parka jacket and bucket hat, with a guitar in hand, he reminded me of a distant Scottish relative of the Gallagher’s, and he could be clearly distinguished from the rest of the artists who had performed, due to the stunning and intricate visuals on the screen behind him throughout his set. A highlight that came early on in his set was Dark Days, a track from his latest album, ‘The Bonny’.

Overall, Meadowlands was a success. It was well organised, with plenty of food and drink facilities spread out at various locations around the festival, so they were always easy to access and the queues were never too long. The stages were all within walking distance of each other, but the sound did not carry over or bleed from one stage to another, allowing you to hear each artist in high quality.

Inclusive for a large demographic of music fans of all ages

Even though it was the festival’s first year of running, it attracted big crowds and created a respectable line-up, which included well-known artists, but also up-and-coming musicians. Despite being a smaller festival, the three different stages allowed for there to be a range of diverse music on offer to suit different festival-goers tastes. The one-day format of the festival made it inclusive for a large demographic of music fans of all ages, and meant that many residents from the local area attended.

Further to this, the festival’s spotlighting of rising artists on the BBC Introducing Stage and the Second Stage ensured that everyone would come away from the festival with new artists to add to their Spotify playlists. Hopefully, Meadowlands becomes a regular festival in Nottingham, and we can’t wait to see which artists are on the line-up in future years.

Gemma Cockrell and Emily Campbell

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images 1 and 2 courtesy of Gemma Cockrell. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to these images.

In-article image 3 courtesy of @gerrycinnamon via Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

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