An excellent day out in South London. Good to see this event is becoming a fixture following its launch immediately before Lockdown. With no stellar acts on the line-up it was evident that everyone who went was willing to take in and enjoy the full panoply of the undercard.
A minor hitch at the beginning with gates opening late due to difficulties with the ticket scanning and some tickets not working; but otherwise a well organised event. Notably, there were beers on offer from several London craft breweries – not cheap at £7.30 a pint but excellent quality and a wide selection
And so to the bands we saw:
Enumclaw – from Washington state, 4-piece guitars, playing grungy indie pop. They tried to get a mosh pit going by walking through the crowd before one of their songs, but at 1.00 pm the assembled were not sufficiently wide awake to respond. The lead singer introduced the final song ‘Fast N All’ as his personal favourite.
Blondshell – Blondshell is the moniker of Sabrina Teitlebaum. Today with bass, guitar and drums. “I released my album about a month ago…. Gonna play most of that”. This eponymous album is excellent and the tunes were given a further lift in their live renditions. Sadly didn’t play the album closer ‘Dangerous’; would’ve made an excellent acoustic closer
Glass Beams - Perfect for a sun-drenched afternoon festival slot. Playing in bejewelled masks, this tight three-piece played a great set of South Asian influenced instrumentals. With a hint of Khruangbin and more than a dash of classic instrumental hip-hop sounds they were one of the best new acts at the festival
Model/Actriz - Industrial tunes delivered by lead vocalist Cloe Haden in a silver lame dress
Greta Hamlyn – came on slightly late so played a slightly curtailed set of happy songs with jangly guitars that the crowd all too willingly sang along too.
Molchat Doma – from Minsk. 3-piece dancey vibe with dark vocals and plenty of synth
Jockstrap – twice I’ve seen Jockstrap at a festival (also EOTR last year) and each time they’ve been placed on a stage far smaller than their popularity demands. Today they were on the MOTH Club stage, a sizeable tent but not large enough for the number of people who wanted to see ‘em. With bandmate Taylor Skye, Georgia Ellery has moved deftly from quirky, fringe, alternative rock to present a set infused with dance sounds and moves. It is excitingly all-embracing with the younger fraternity knowing the words to every song and a mosh pit incredibly self-combusting for Concrete Over Water, a song I’ve always regarded as on the quirky edge of this band’s oeuvre, here transformed to a mainstream hit.
Sunset Rollercoaster – Unashamedly playing songs with mass appeal; they even introduced one song as a “really cheesy love song”. Soulful, lounge tunes to be thoroughly enjoyed in the afternoon sunshine. Played their latest single ‘Jellyfish’, a sweet pop number but with no sting in it’s tail
Black Country, New Road – a whole host of reasons why this should not have been an enjoyable set: a rather annoying disco karaoke singer noisily making shapes at the front of the stage while the band were tuning up; sound bleed from the main stage when the set got going, a rather too high level of chatter amongst a small section the crowd at the front. BUT, this band’s proficiency shone through as they ran through their ‘Live at Bush Hall’ set. Whilst increasingly familiar these songs don’t fail to mesmerise each and every time.
Osees – John Dwyer in beach shirt and short, the manic band leader for the drum duo, guitar and keys. Simply a beautiful noise, with spellbinding drumming throughout
Caroline Polachek – caught the last 20 minutes of her set, and glad we did as she confidently delivered tunes from her solid ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’ album.
Si (with contribution from Russell)