When the email came in that I would be heading to Bristol for the day for Dot to Dot Festival, I was ecstatic. And then after being named an ambassador of CAT boots, I was more than a bit excited. CAT or Caterpillar Boots have been well known over the years as reliable, hardwearing work boots, but recently, their reputation has taken a more fashionable turn.
In collaboration with London based Camille Walala, a graphic designer and artist, CAT boots now offers a range of exciting new footwear, with funky patterns, fresh designs and eye-catching colours. I was lucky enough to blag myself a pair of the Beet Red Ridge Walala boots, which are already a staple of my festival season wardrobe. And what better way to start it off than with Dot To Dot Festival in Bristol.
The festival started off nine years ago in Nottingham, where it still parties hard today, but now the event also visits Bristol and Manchester with a whole host of underground bands under their wings. From London Grammar to Annie Mac, and Ellie Goulding to Foals in previous years, it’s won a 2013 award for being the Best Metropolitan Festival, for good reason. Spanning over 10 venues across the city, this year’s headliners included Saint Raymond, Hudson Taylor, Swim Deep, Fat White Family, Best Coast and the Wytches.
I arrived in Bristol after a three hour, sweaty megabus journey that left me with a numb bum and a swirling travel sickness belly, but I was excited to get to the Thekla and start my Dot to Dot experience. Donning my Ridge Walala boots, my favourite Tom Selleck Mostache Records tee and some classic high waisted shorts, I was ready for the unexpected 20 degree heat and beautiful sunshine.
Starting off with All Tvvins at the Thekla, a floating boat venue on the River, me and my Bristol pals were entranced by the Dublin boys and their bass heavy, synthy Foals-esque sound. After a quick dance and a tin of strawberry Brothers, we headed to our next destination, the Trinity Centre.
I was pretty impressed that after several hours of trekking around Bristol as well as a good time dancing, I still hadn’t gotten any blisters or sore toes from my new CAT boots. The phrase ‘wear them in’ didn’t even cross my mind as I floated on the comfy cushions keeping my toes safe and warm. I couldn’t help checking them out in every reflective surface on the way!
After a feast of Thai food, we got down to the Trinity Centre for Fat White Family. Getting overexcited at the Thai restaurant, we’d managed to miss the Wytches, which I was a bit gutted about but the Fat Whites more than made up for it. The Trinity Centre, formerly known as the Holy Trinity Church, is a converted church with two stages, where on the day they had back to back performances, with Best Coast headlining towards the end of the festival.
Fat White Family did not disappoint. Vocalist Lias Saudi got the crowd going, taking his top off and rubbing his crotch all over the adoring fans at the front, as they played such hits as ‘Touch the Leather’ and ‘I am Mark E Smith’. The hall was buzzing, with everyone dancing and liquids of unknown origin being thrown around, one can narrowly missing my head. I didn’t care much though, used to big crowds at punk rock shows, what’s a can to the head? As we pour out of the venue, the cool air of the evening was definitely welcomed.
A more relaxed vibe was host to Best Coast’s performance, who’s indie rock pop got everyone swaying with summer tunes and cute lyrics about bittersweet love affairs and living in California. It was getting late, but we were still restless, so found ourselves in the infamous Stag & Hounds pub just down the road from Trinity. There we got the treat of listening to Something Anorak, two cousins from Bristol who specialise in lo-fi indie rock. The broken down drum kit and one guitar set up means for simple tunes, that delivered a lot more. With brash beats and spacey riffs, it’s something that gets you moving even if you were as wiped as I was!
Knowing I had the coach to catch the next morning, we headed back to my friend Freya’s to eat Wotsits and talk about what fun we’d had and I found myself falling asleep on a sofa bed, listening to the sound of drunks down the road. All in all, it was a fantastic day and a super cool festival, and I can’t say thanks enough to CAT boots and their festival diaries for giving me the opportunity to check out some new bands in some very swish new boots. If you’re after some ideal festival loving boots to keep you warm, dry and protected this summer, the Ridge Walala’s are where it’s at. Check them out here and excuse my silly dancing!
If you’re interested in bagging yourself a pair of these beautiful boots, you can do so here!