Last weekend I attended the Topshop Bandstand Picnic at Birmingham University; a free event but the proceeds from the food, drink and competetions (raffels, sack races etc) all went to national charity the Teenage Cancer Trust. Playing were: Eliza Doolittle, Summer Camp (fresh from a tour with Slow Club), I Blame Coco, and Cardiff’s Los Campesinos! T4’s Mequita Oliver hosted the event and the DJ sets inbetween acoustic bandstand sets came from Broken Hearts and Blonde Ambition, both dj’s doing an excellent job.
It was the perfect day for it. It was hot, sunny and the end of university/school/college/exams etc.. I unfortunately missed Eliza Doolittle and Summer Camp, the latter very regrettably, but I only found out about the event about 30 minutes before it started and Birmingham is an hour journey from Stoke and I then had to hop into a the first taxi I saw from the train station as well, for which I was ripped off £7 for.
Coco Sumner and her band took to the bandstand at around 3 o’clock, playing a beautiful acoustic set which included a divine cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ – very topical considering they’re playing at Glasto next weekend. It was interesting to see what she would play, as these days, technology is involved a lot in her music, this contrasts to her earlier reggae/ska tinged sounds.
Later, came Los Campesinos! With it being an acoustic set, there were only four of them, playing even more stripped down versions of their more lo-fi songs. They played a lot of songs off their most recent album which came out at the start of this year, Romance is Boring, and then a couple of songs from earlier albums, including ‘We Are All Accelerated Readers’ from their glorious début Hold On Now, Youngster!. Their set went down well, especially as there seemed to be a few young Los Campesinos! fans in the audience, rather than people who just seemed to find themselves there.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone there enjoyed the various sets; the perfect thing to do on such a lovely day. Bravo Teenage Cancer Trust/Topshop. Bravo.
For more information on the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust visit their site here.