Notts To Dot!

Dot To Dot has been a staple in the Notts music calendar since the mid naughties. But this year it featured more Notts acts than every other D2D put together! So we decided to dedicate the day to checking out as many of them as we could cram in.

The day got off to a flyer with BABY GODZILLA in the Rock City basement. Why bother with breakfast when you can fill up on tunes like The Disenchantment Boogie and We Dine on Wine and Parking Fines instead? A short trip upstairs led us to LONG DEAD SIGNAL. Their high tempo brand of soaring guitar licks was ideal for the main stage. Upon hearing tunes like Nostalgia and Again and Again, the folks I was with made the inevitable comparisons to Muse, and with the right backing these guys could become just as big as those behemoths.

We wanted to catch a bit of our favourite old growler WILL JEFFERY in the Bodega too. Unfortunately the timeclash meant something had to give – sorry Will. So instead we went onto Pulse bar in Trent Uni to sample a bit of ROYAL GALA. An uncharacteristically early start for these guys didn’t matter – the high energy of the band, coupled with the absolute mentalism of leading lady Lou Barnell kicked a weary crowd into action. By the time they dropped Boss, towards the end of their set, the whole crowd was swaying.

Straight downstairs in the students’ union for a quick bit of SPOTLIGHT KID. The bigger stage and PA system made their sound fuller and, for a band that seem to have been around the Nottingham scene for decades, they can’t ever be accused of lacking energy. A quick trot over the road to Stealth followed, to see YUNIOSHI and their usual joyous stage antics. As well as their usual bangers like Thunderbird being on offer there was free cake too – woop woop!

SWIMMING looked and sounded great on the main stage at Rock City. Some bands could get lost in a place like that, but they just looked at home and the crowd lapped it up right until they closed with Sun In The Island. Meanwhile KOGUMAZA at The Bodega proved to be possibly the loudest gig of the day, so I’m told. I wasn’t around for this but I am reliably informed that it’s probably the most pleasant-sounding way to go deaf that you could ever wish for.

With a bit of a break in the Notts-tastic schedule we took the opportunity to fill up on greasy food from Mr Amigos, before we entered The Bodega to catch Notts’ first lady of electro-pop RONIKA. Imagine a synthed-up Kylie with lashings of sugar-coated ass shaking rhythms and you’re somewhere near. By the time she closed the show with Do or Die she had the crowd eating sugar-coated pop treats out of her hands.

The last bastian of live Notts music on the night was provided by FRONTIERS in the Rock City basement. A frenzied crowd jived around to the likes of In Pursuit and Alibi, as their Interpol-esque rhythms abounded.

A great day of local vocals all-round! Yeah, there were other more famous names on the bill as a whole – but we were proud to see the Notts contingent more than holding its own. Our only minor quibble is that several other quality acts including NINA SMITH and HARLEIGHBLU ended up busking their sets outside on Talbot Street, as the amps and PA systems failed to materialise. However there’s always something to learn for next year and, aside from this (we confess quite a big aside!), it was a great and well-put together day. Congrats to all at Dot To Dot for listening to the people and embracing the local Notts scene! If we can have the same level of local involvement again next year then expect more and more Nottingham musicians to follow the likes of Dog Is Dead and Liam Bailey into the national consciousness.


Jared Wilson