110 Above might just be the best kept secret in the world, the intimate indie festival which takes place in Gopsall Hall Farm celebrated its 10 year anniversary this year and you truly run out of superlatives to describe it, you’re spoiled with the créme de la créme when it comes to UK music artists.
The festival kicked off on Thursday evening for a couple of hundred of lucky early birds who were treated with special stripped-back performances from the likes of Saint Raymond and indie-rock outfit Airways who had both performed last year.
After touching down in Atherstone and locating Gopsall Farm, the anticipation and atmosphere was building with drones of indie lovers arriving at the entrance.
It’s superb how the festival provides a platform for artists of a variety of statues so when your favourites play you can check out a new upcoming artist. The Friday commenced with Reading-based Roves at The Gopsall Inn, arguably the best stage at the festival with its intimate and homely atmosphere.
As the day progressed, there were multiple highlights including the highly rated The Modern Strangers who were touted as having the most radio ready song in Margarita (speaking of margherita, shoutout to the food outlets one of which being a real wicked woodfire pizza stand.) No Hot Ashes, Marsicans, Anteros, Clean Cut Kid, & Swim Deep all put on stellar, show-stopping performances that ensured the weekend set off with a bang.
The Old Town Hall couldn’t contain the amount of eager Eliza and the Bear fanatics, the London/Essex band are festival favourites and are renowned for the inflatable pink flamingos at 110 Above, but they’re also notable for their incredible comedic stage presence, they’re certainly a band that refreshingly do not take themselves too seriously, they played all their old but gold hits from their debut album as well as a couple of covers of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus.
The music carried on into the early hours with the night sessions coming from The Tin Pigeons & Casey Lowry.
Among The Citizens energetically kicked off Saturday at the Old Town Hall stage, their sound reminiscent of an early Jaws / High Tyde which warmed up the crowd for the rest of the day’s antics.
A real highlight of Saturday and the whole weekend was an incredible afternoon performance from Deco, which was followed by a fun stripped back set at 1:20am.
Kawala fronted by Dan and Jim put on a ‘funky’ performance. Big things await the feel-good quartet who are playing the main stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival.
Easy Life admitted they that were blissfully unaware they were playing 110 Above until the day prior however their army of fans certainly knew, it was a rare show very close to home for the Leicester natives who had a few friends there.
Old-school Mystery Jets headlined the Commune Stage, playing favourites ‘Young Love’ & ‘Two Doors Down’, there was a very nostalgic atmosphere bringing audiences back to the simpler times of 2008 when the songs were released. The indie rockers provided a moment of unity for the audience with their newest single ‘Hospital Radio’, inspired by the band’s “frustrations and fears” regarding the future of the NHS.
Sunday soon came in the blink of an eye, thunder was expected however did not arrive which was a welcome weather surprise.
Far Caspian put on an enchanting afternoon set, their dreamy and heavenly sound certainly felt congruous with the quaint setting of the Gopsall Inn stage.
Ten Tonnes returned for his third year at the farm, and nobody could of prepared for the sensational performance Ethan Barnett was about to G.I.V.E us.
Other notable highlights of Sunday came from songstress Lauran Hibberd, with her infectious on-stage bants between songs and indie-rock anthems.
Maisie Peters wowed with her heart-wrenching, relatable & emotive lyricism, Maisie’s performance at the Old Town Hall stage was a real lighters in the air moment. With multiple sold-out UK shows to her name, the 19-year-old is set to play in and headline in the United States for the first time.
Indie-pop quartet Flyte were last to play but certainly not least, old but gold banger Light Me Up the perfect song and setting at the unique Gopsall Inn stage. The Londoners finished the weekend with a special acoustic version of Faithless off stage, in and amongst the festival goers. A very fitting immersive end to this year’s 110 Above festival. It’s no wonder that so many of the artists love coming back year after year.
It truly is a special festival like none other, shoutout to the many volunteers who are always friendly and helpful as well as the people behind the scenes that really work extremely hard all year round to make 110 Above Festival what it is. Roll on next year!