Sunday, 9 August 2015

Live review & pictures: Visions Festival, London 8th August 2015

The sun always seems to shine on East London for Visions Festival, and so it was yesterday for the third edition of this annual event. This is a blessing in disguise as although it makes for pleasant strolls between the venues, it makes the venues themselves incredibly hot (especially the Brewhouse which was so hot and humid that it managed to turn the bar of chocolate in my bag from a solid to liquid state in about 30 minutes).

Oscar at The Laundry 8/8/15
First on my agenda was Oscar at The Laundry. This was an upbeat way to start the day - Oscar Scheller has a deep, rich voice and some great, melodic hooks to go with it. I was surprised at the quality of his songwriting and although it might be hard to pigeonhole him into a genre or market I hope he makes it.

Girl Band on stage at The Laundry
Next at the same venue were one of the current buzz acts, Girl Band. This four-piece from Dublin are loud and intense and definitely bring something fresh to the scene. It's hard to make out what he's singing but that's never been a barrier to success in the past and they definitely seem to be the sort of band they will inspire a rabid following.

Loyle Carner on stage at The Brewhouse 8/8/15
Just over the road from The Laundry is the aforementioned boiling hot Brewhouse, where the heat was matched with the talent. Loyle Carner is the future of British hip-hop. He writes brilliantly aware, emotional and heartfelt lyrics, and is a great performer to match. As well as his raps he did 3 poems which were well received, especially the one about his mum who was in the front of the audience. If you get a chance to see him then grab it, you won't be disappointed.

Torn Hawk
Next in the Brewhouse (after one of their excellent homemade pizzas) was Torn Hawk, who matches video images with experimental music. I couldn't see all of his performance though as I had to head down to The Oval Space to see one of my picks of the day, Son Lux.

Son Lux on stage at The Oval Space 8/8/15
I've loved this band for a while so it was great to get the chance to see Ryan and the boys live. They played mostly tracks from the latest but with a couple of older ones for good measure. It was a really powerful performance, Ryan definitely puts his heart and soul into the performance and his emotion was matched with a rapturous reception.

Ryan Lott (Son Lux) 8/8/15
Next it was time for a double bill back at the Brewhouse. Norfolk's finest Luke Abbott twiddled his modular knobs to perfection, building up to an electronic crescendo.

Luke Abbott
He was followed by California's Peaking Lights, who played a set of electro-pop-dub with some thunderous bass lines that got everyone dancing (including one or two of the guys from Merchandise who'd played The Laundry earlier.

Aaron Coyes (Peaking Lights) 8/8/15
Finally it was back up the road to The Oval Space for Holy Fuck, Having been away for some 5 years they treated us to a shitload of new tunes and their performance got better and better as they went on. No photos for this one as they were on a darkly-lit stage (and I was too busy dancing anyway).

Overall it was another great day, although I have a couple of (connected) gripes. St. John's Church in Hackney is a pretty long way from The Oval space, and led to people basically deciding whether to stay in Hackney or Bethnal Green for the evening as it wasn't feasible to move between the two. Also the organisers seemed to be trying to brand it as a 'Hackney' festival, no doubt for the hipster value, but most of the venues were still in Bethnal Green. So let's have the venues a bit closer together or if not, maybe a shuttle bus between the two?

No comments:

Post a Comment