Review: Little Festival Of Live Music, day three

24 Oct 2013 @ 8.40 pm
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Warmly received… singer songwriter Zak Ford. Photograph: Sam Griffiths
Warmly received… singer songwriter Zak Ford. Photograph: Sam Griffiths

Review: Little Festival Of Live Music
Venue: Parliament Street, September 28

The third and final day of York’s Little Festival of Music was another successful showcase of local acts performing at the close of the food stalls in York’s Festival of Food and Drink, raising money for charity IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services).

First up was singer-songwriter Zak Ford, playing and harmonising with a cellist. From the very beginning of his set Ford was warmly received, with his powerful, bluesy tones hushing the audience.

The near-studio quality of his voice gripped the largest crowd this festival had seen for his entire 40 minute set, with songs that represent acoustic pop in its finest form. The harmonies were clear, the cello a fine accompaniment, and an Adele / Ed Sheeran likeness in the voice and appeal gave Ford possibly the best reception over these three days.

The songs themselves will not revolutionise the course of music, but for 5pm on a Saturday afternoon under the Fountain Marquee, Ford’s set could not have been more welcome.

Gilded Thieves

Zak Ford was followed by the Gilded Thieves, a three-piece folk outfit from Newcastle. The reason for two open-tuned guitarists quite escaped me, as they seemed to be doing almost exactly the same throughout the entire set when they were both played, though other instruments, such as ukuleles and mandolins, were introduced to colour the performance, and were used well.

Although I was only particularly impressed with one of their own songs, Siren, the “old folk” attire and “new folk” songwriting entertained a slowly dwindling crowd as the evening progressed. The highlight of their set, which actually lifted the performance to one of the best of the day, was their version of AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long, with Gilded Thieves leaving us on the highest note of their set.

Lost Trends

York-based indie act Lost Trends put on a well-rehearsed, but otherwise reasonably uninteresting performance. Although they seemed to be trying to be loud indie punk, the songs were lost on a crowd of food and drink festival-goers, and despite their constant insistence for the audience to dance, the numbers dwindled as their set went on.

They may have had a better reception elsewhere, however, with similar acts at Fibbers, for example, and their musicianship has to be admired.


Finishing the night, and the Little Festival of Music, was ilovecolour, a six-piece with an interesting arrangement. With a trombone, a trumpet, an active bassist, two guitarists and drums, I was intrigued from the start (for some reason, I am under the impression that no unsigned band with brass can ever go wrong), and was not disappointed.

Although not right for the food and drink festival, with screaming in their songs and a song called Carcass, ilovecolour showed themselves to be one of the most promising up-and-coming bands in the local area.

Both chaos and order were supplied by the brass, with an otherwise tight set-up and genuinely interesting songs, ilovecolour are a definite recommendation, both live and to explore online.

Their closing the festival represents the variety as well as the level of music the local scene can supply, as shown over these last few days.