Sports Team, The Amazons, Baby Queen and more make 110 Above 2021’s hidden festival gem

Indie's mightiest heroes converge on a Leicestershire farm for a weekend of live music fun.
Photo credit: Ami Ford

Remember when festivals announced they were coming back? Whether you lived at the top of a mountain or in a remote cave, the buzz was felt across the land. It’s understandable why. Big stages, big moments, big acts; it’s everything we’ve been talking about for months while staring at yet another non-plussed sad night’s dinner.

Enter 110 Above.

Nestled in the heart of Leicestershire, it’s a perfect embodiment of what a festival weekend should be, and jam-packed with Dork favourites. Strewn across barns, old halls and general farmland intrigue – it’s a hidden gem of the festival season.

Here’s just a sample of the best acts from across the weekend – and don’t worry, it’s not ‘110 highlights from 110 Above’. We definitely didn’t think about doing that for Quite A While…

You’ll find a lot of words about Baby Queen across Dork – over the past year, she’s skyrocketed to the top of our shiny favourites list, all without ever playing a live show. That unstoppable kingdom is brought to life in a blistering 40 minutes of big-time pop bangers for just her fourth-ever set.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

With the crowd in the palm of her hand, it’s a fizzing trip through the stone-cold hits she already has in her back pocket. ‘Pretty Girl Lie’, ‘Dover Beach’ and ‘Internet Religion’ rip away any cobwebs for Day 3 stragglers, while ‘Want Me’ has the sort-of vital boost that’ll become a go-to as the year goes on.

Impossible to not be drawn into every dash across the stage, there’s the feeling of watching a superstar emerge in front of your eyes. With fans screaming along in unison, you can guarantee things are just getting started.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

Sweeping in as Friday night headliners, Sports Team know the drill. Throwing a metaphorical bag of firecrackers into a crowd that’s here for the ride, their set is nothing short of a triumph. Effortlessly at ease, they’re the perfect act for a festival season everyone’s been waiting for – big-time hits and a communal bond with all in front of them. They might just be the best live band on the planet right now.

With a glimpse at what’s to come with unreleased tracks getting an airing, Sports Team remain at the top of their powers. Oh, and they also play ‘Angels’ after, so that’s another tick.

522 days. That’s how long it’s been since The Amazons played a show. It’s a fact that makes their Saturday-topping performance that extra bit special – and it’s clear from the get-go they’re here for a party. The stomping festival anthems keep coming, jumping across their two albums to date and commanding a packed crowd to move in ways most haven’t in a very long time.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

More than anything, their set feels like a statement of intent. One that shows how confident they’ve become in being “that band” who can go on to play bigger and bigger stages. That presence blows 110 Above away, and after a huge second airing for ‘Junk Food Forever’, it’s clear that 522 days has only made The Amazons hungry for more.

On the festival’s new Elizabeth Stage, Black Honey close out Friday night with an emphatic exclamation point. In ‘Written & Directed’, they not only have a Top 10 album, but an identity that’s added more confidence to their already standout mix.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

From the first note, fans are screaming every word – tracks like ‘Run For Cover’, ‘I Love The Way You Die’, ‘Back Of The Bar’ and ‘Disinfect’ perfect punctuate a set that draws across their journey to date. It leaves no doubt that Black Honey are a must-see live band in 2021 and beyond. And that’s not even mentioning that Izzy chipped her tooth getting involved in the pit…

It wouldn’t be a festival without some rain. What shines during those overcast spells are the artists able to keep everyone close. Olivia Dean is one such act whose effortless summer-infused bops come to life in a festival setting.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

‘Reason To Stay’ proves a highlight, one that takes any damp frowns and turns them upside down. Once you see Olivia Dean, there’s no way you’re leaving. Rain be damned.

Photo: Jake Haseldine

Drawing a sizeable crowd in the middle of the day, Alfie Templeman is a boy wonder reborn in front of our eyes. Since the last time he was playing festivals, Alfie’s star has continued to rise and rise. It’s no surprise here that back on stage, he’s thriving. Cuts from his recent mini-album go down a storm, whether that’s ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’, ‘Film Scene Daydream’ or ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough.

Truly having a ball, it’s easy to see where Alfie Templeman is heading – just look up.

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