CARNIVAL Fifty Six was music to my ears.

The debut of Dundee’s biggest music event in more than a decade came to an end after a weekend of superb sets held under mostly-smashing sunshine.

Organisers hailed the festival a success as 8,000 fans flocked to Camperdown Park each day over August 12-13.

The event, which was the biggest fest to be held in the city since Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2006, featured sets from the likes of Rudimental, The Charlatans, White, Model Aeroplanes, Prides and The Fratellis.

The View frontman Kyle Falconer “surprised” the main stage crowd on Saturday night ahead of his Sunday slot in the Jam: Live tent. The Dundonian got the audience jumping as he played four hits including Grace and Same Jeans.

As well as packed DJ sets from Hot Chip, Basement Jaxx and Sasha in the Festival of House Big Top Tent, Mark Ronson also took to the decks to spin some tunes on the Mardi Gras main stage.

Saturday's headline act, Ronson, paid tribute to his late friend Amy Winehouse, telling the crowd: “I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for her.”

Police Scotland were pleased to note that the event passed without “significant incident” and that the revellers got into the carnival spirit with only four arrests made over the two days.

The organisers of C56 will now make a decision on the future of the fest within the next month.

Festival director Craig Blyth said: “Overall it has been a good fun atmosphere with a great crowd and the feedback has been really good.

“We will obviously need to sit down with all parties involved and undertake a full review of how things went. We will work out a long-term plan from there.”

In the past year, eight Scottish music festivals have been cancelled. The organiser of the first Clamjamfry cited ‘prolonged bad weather’ as the reason for the decision to axe the event, whilst the inaugural Argyll Gathering was abandoned due to poor ticket sales.

For a debut, Carnival 56 offered a cracking line-up of music and comedy. The festival was not only easy to get to, but the site itself was set up so as you could effortlessly navigate between stages within minutes instead of having to rush across miles of land in the hope to catch another act.

The range of mouth-watering food and drink on offer was also impressive and joining forces with sponsors 71 Lager is an inspired move to set up a strong brand image from the get-go.

The only issue that C56 faced was holding the event on the same weekend as Party at the Palace and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I believe that it has all the makings of becoming another staple event during festival season – it just needs to get past that first-year to build up a loyal fan base.



Helensburgh Advertiser:

Surf-rock has never sounded better.

The Glasgow-based quartet, comprising of Chloe Van Thompson (vocals, guitar), Hannah Van Thompson (vocals, guitar), Joanne Forbes (bass) and Shaun Hood (drums), rocked the Jam: Live tent on the Saturday.

The band, formed in 2013 by twins Hannah and Chloe, have already made waves with the release of their second EP, A Coming of Age. With stellar appearances at the likes of T in the Park, Electric Fields and Tenement Trail under their belt, they have built up a solid fan following with their grungy alt-rock.

At C56, the band smashed it onstage with their heavy melodies and riotous harmonies as each member fought for your attention. 

If you like female-fronted rock with a kick of dirty distortion and reverb, then this is the band for you.

Standout tracks to check out: Fresh Meat and Blood Orange.


Helensburgh Advertiser:

Growing up to the likes of Veruca Salt, Hole and Sleater-Kinney, it’s easy for me to love the ‘riot grrrl’ sounds of Glasgow’s Honeyblood.

Made up of Stina Tweeddale (vocals, guitar) and Cat Myers (vocals, drums), the dynamic duo took to the main Mardi Gras stage on the Saturday to pump the crowd up with their punchy garage-rock.

The women have a captivating stage presence, not that they need it because their music kicks ass with killer riffs, snarling vocals and rip-roaring beats.

Every so often a live band comes along that takes my breath away – Honeyblood is one of them.

Standout tracks to check out: Babes Never Die and Killer Bangs.


Helensburgh Advertiser:

Be Charlotte is all about the ‘damn good vibes’.

The Scottish band, led by Dundonian and pastel-haired Charlotte Brimner, mesmerise with their swirling synth-pop.

Returning to her hometown to play the Mardi Gras stage on the Sunday afternoon, Charlotte pulled in a large dancing crowd with her infectious pop hits. She also took time out of her super set to thank all those who had supported her from open mic events to Carnival 56’s main stage.

If I were a record label woman, I’d sell my soul to snap up Charlotte. From sight and sound, she’d be easy to market to a Chart-based audience. Unlike other commercially-sold musicians however, Charlotte is a top-class talent that writes and creates her own mighty material from scratch. This young star has a bright future in front of her.

Standout tracks to check out: Discover and One Drop.