Dot to Dot festival, Manchester, review: A surreal urban celebration of music

Festival proved as diverse and distinctive as Manchester itself

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The Independent Culture

In its tenth year, Dot To Dot is proof that you don’t need to pitch a tent in a muddy field to get that festival feeling.

This urban celebration of music involved the city’s most unique venues, including Manchester Cathedral, where drinking a can of beer under the stunning stained glass windows felt utterly surreal.

Highlights included the energetic early set from Manchester dark indie boys Gorgeous Bully, and lo-fi garage rockers Hinds, who gave a brash, raucous performance without any hint of ego or pretension. Birmingham four piece Swim Deep failed to impress, their immature sound struggling to fill the cavernous expanse of Manchester Cathedral.

Notorious South London rockers Fat White Family provided an authentic rock n roll experience, despite not stripping off or throwing a pig’s head into the crowd (this time). LA rock duo Best Coast and their band offered a more polished sound, and Bethany Cosentino’s confident voice brought a splash of Californian sun to famously rainy Manchester.

As the majority of venues were clustered in the city’s Northern Quarter, the format of the festival worked well. On the whole, the acts had enough distinction and vitality to make the event as diverse and vibrant as Manchester itself.

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