Words by Tom Horn
The sun shone on Nottingham for the inaugural Meadowlands festival, a one day,
three stage show featuring rapidly rising indie band The Reytons alongside stalwarts The Kooks, and Scottish superstar Gerry Cinnamon, who is midway through a mighty festival and stadium tour.
Based in the heart of the city at Victoria Park, the festival is the perfect place to mark the start of the summer in a city known for a vibrant music scene which was well on display, with a BBC music introducing stage showcasing the best local talents. But growing talent was not just confined to the smaller stages, as Cinnamon himself picked a series of acts which gripped crowds and made for a fun event packed with talented performances. From Zuzu’s light-hearted indie, to the more hardcore (but nevertheless immaculately dressed in a yellow summer dress and bonnet) Black Honey, a wave of summery vibes lapped through the park.
A standout was Sheffield’s The Reytons, who provided an expectedly raucous performance of their hits including 'Slice of Lime' and 'Kids off the Estate', which hyped the crowds for what was to come.
The Kooks provided a more subdued, lower energy warm up to Cinnamon with folksy guitars and a more conversational performance more suited to a Sunday afternoon than a Friday night (perhaps a setback of a one day event), nevertheless the band put smiles on faces and even prompted a few swaying singalongs, including to 'She Moves in Her Own Way'.
The lightning speed advance of Gerry Cinnamon is clearly set to strike us for another summer, as his loyal fanbase were demonstrably out in force for another festival season. Cinnamon provided an impeccable balance of style and substance, as he belted out hit after crowd-pleasing hit, finishing with 'Canter' and a blaze of fireworks illuminating the stage.
Starting a new festival just after a pandemic must have been an uncertain prospect, but what’s certain is that Meadowlands has put itself firmly on the map as the unofficial beginning of summer.