‘Daughter’ & ‘Sigur Rós’ live at Jodrell Bank, 30th August 2013. ✓


So I’m lucky enough to live near Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in Macclesfield, which is one of the largest steerable radio telescopes in the entire world. And when I say I’m lucky, by that I mean that I’m 28 years old at the time of writing and this was my first ever visit to the site – I have however driven past is a couple of times; it’s kind of hard to miss. Anyway, every once in a while since 2011, Jodrell Bank have hosted an event called ‘Transmissions’, a one or two day mini festival which takes place in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope. The festival itself is a fairly bizarre one. For the most part, the layout is pretty standard compared to any other festival (aside from the spectacularly extravagant looming dish in the background), It features the old reliable festival favourites like “overpriced burger stand”, “overpriced real ales tent”, “smelly gross portable toilets” and even “overprice ice cream van” – but what sets ‘Transmissions’ apart form your standard festival is that they heavily promote an interest in science. Not only is the visitor centre open during the day with various scientific talks, but also a large science fair welcoming both for children and drunk festival goes alike. Who said learning can’t be fun?

sigur-ros-band-finalFollowing in the footsteps of the Flaming Lips, Elbow and New Order, ‘Transmissions 006’ featured the soothing melodic tones of Icelandic band Sigur Rós with support from ‘Nik Colk Void’,  ‘Poliça’ and ’Daughter’. I arrived just in time to hear ‘Nik Colk Void’ finish what I assume was their set, but after 5 minutes of what sounded like a cat playing with a tambourine on top of a guitar, I was quite happy that I didn’t catch the start. Luckily, soon afterwards I was treated to the beautiful sounds of English indie folk band ‘Daughter’, who were superb. I was recently introduced to Daughter and they have quickly become one of my favourite chill-out bands of the moment. The lead singer has an amazing shy, unconfident charm about her – despite the fact that they nailed every song and the entire band just seemed so humbled that people actually wanted to hear them.
I sat towards the back of the venue for ‘Poliça’ relaxing and talking with friends, so I can’t really give them a fair review, but what I heard was great and I’ll definitely be giving then a listen, their relaxing electro-pop nicely bridged the gap between Daughter and Sigur Rós.

At this point, the endearing science nerds managed to grab the microphone and gave a 5 minute presentation on astrology to all the drunks in the audience. I can’t say it didn’t seem out of place, but hey, it’s their giant dish, who am I to argue? With minutes to go, the dish has been positioned with it’s side facing the audience and soon we are informed that the sounds we are about to hear have been composed by the band from sound bytes captured by the Lowell Telescope. As the music slowly builds we begin a countdown and dish begins to spin towards us – the dish stops – out walks the band and it is just amazing…

Out bursts the incredible ambient tones of Sigur Rós as a series of beautiful images are projected both onto the screens behind the band and onto the 76 metre telescopic dish behind the stage, and just when you can’t think it can get any better, the smoke machines begin to churn and the haze is met by a roof of lasers which completely covers the entire venue. I can say without a doubt that it was one of, if not the most visually spectacular shows I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. The music sits perfectly with the surroundings and creates an atmosphere of ambience that just made this entire gig completely unforgettable. I absolutely loved both Daughter and Sigur Rós but as you’ve probably guess by now, for me, the venue itself really stole the show. It’s really not hard to see why…

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A huge thank you to James Kennedy for buying my ticket.

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About Ryan

This site is intended as a dumping ground for my interests and thoughts, but above all it's a here to record my progress on my ever expanding list of life goals. I want to impove myself, to learn new things, to see the world and to experience everything I possibly can. It's a simple goal which has led me half way around the world and given me some amazing memories to keep, stories to tell and friends to cherish. I try to enjoy my life as much as anyone can and I record these memories and thoughts for my own purposes, but the hope is to inspire.
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