An Alternative Escape

Brighton 9th – 11th May 2019

Every year, The Great Escape brings a heap of music to venues and makeshift spaces across Brighton (not to mention a swarm of confused looking industry types with oversized lanyards, trying to find the nearest pub and referencing 6 Music loudly in every second sentence in case you didn’t understand how serious they are). If you prefer to catch a glimpse of what the city’s regular DIY scene is like, or simply can’t afford the ticket price, The Alternative Escape traditionally runs parallel, offering mostly free access to some of the best local and visiting bands, plus there are a few free main festival events in public spaces. This year, the Alt Escape shows were limited amidst rumours of hefty fees being charged for use of the title but thankfully the showcases continued under other names. It’s impossible to even come close to seeing everyone on your wish list but here’s our photo gallery with 12 of the best to look out for.

The Nude Party at East Street Tap

Los Bitchos at Jubilee Square

White Room at Beyond Retro

Nice Biscuit at Casablanca Jazz Club

The Cosmics at Casablanca Jazz Club (plus header photo)

BDRMM at The Hope & Ruin

Ugly at Beyond Retro

Average Sex at Beyond Retro

The Slaughter House Band at East Street Tap / Hare & Hounds

Italia 90 at The Admiral

Mint at The Richmond

False Heads at The Richmond

Photos by Siobhan

13th May 2019

Portsmouth Psych Fest

Portsmouth Psych Fest, The Wedgewood Rooms, 4th May 2019

Making a welcome return this weekend, Portsmouth Psych Fest stormed into its third year with an event packed with another amazing array of artists. Throughout Saturday, eighteen acts played across the main stage in The Wedgewood Rooms and its more compact counterpart in the Edge of the Wedge, hosted by local collective Calamity Cratediggers. Kicking things off at the Edge, Fat Earthers, The Howlers and Number 9 gave us a glimpse into how diverse the day was going to be, from psych-punk to desert rock to 60s’ infused psychedelia all in the first few hours.

Over on the main stage, Drusila impressed once again with their unapologetically 80s’ tinged electronic dance tracks – big things ahead for this local duo surely.

With the room transformed by vibrant liquid colour projections from visual artist Inner Strings and psych mascots in the form of graffitied mannequins by street artist My Dog Sighs, the scene was set for poetry-fused guitar tunes from Freya Beer, melodic indie-pop from Mystic Peach and the unlikely but irrepressibly fun blend of Cumbian psych provided by Los Bitchos.

Back at the Edge, Japanese Television were a joy to hear and see, the self-proclaimed space surfers proving that lyrics aren’t always a necessity. Sleep Eaters continued the momentum, a great live band bringing Americana flavoured garage to the table, followed by post-punk four piece Egyptian Blue.

Space age psych up next from Brisbane’s Nice Biscuit, just about managing to squeeze everyone onto the stage, easily managing to impress.

Picking up the pace, Brighton’s GURU produced the most animated set of the day with plenty of crowd interaction and discordant tunes galore.

Over on the main stage, Black Country, New Road gave a more sombre performance pulsated by dark set vocals, before the costumed krautrock-influenced beats of Snapped Ankles lightened the mood and continued the mystery behind the woolly headed noise-lords.

Concluding proceedings at the Edge of the Wedge, Scalping provided some heavy techno-punk before handing over to the grittily wonderful world of Glasgow’s Sweaty Palms, an intriguing melee of cowboy hats, garage guitars and saxophone worthy of any stage headliner.

The last two acts on the Wedgewood Rooms stage completed the eclectic mix. Brooding shoegaze over industrialised visuals from The KVB followed by an energy filled set from indie rockers Yak brought the festival to a suitably intense close.

Joining the legion of psych fests up and down the country, Portsmouth has firmly staked its place amongst the more established events. The line ups every year so far have been solid from start to finish. When tickets go on sale for next year there’s really no need to wait for announcements on who’s playing; just buy one and thank yourself later.

Keep up to speed with Portsmouth Psych Fest here

Words and photos by Siobhan 

7th May 2019

Suede at Brighton Dome

Suede / BC Camplight, Brighton Dome, 23rd April 2019

Suede… the story behind the band’s rise, fall and emphatic comeback has been told many times. Still, there’s an intrigue as to what they might do next. With latest album The Blue Hour released last year and a huge tour underway, one thing’s for sure – Suede are far from done yet.

Opening support on this tour has largely come from the much lauded BC Camplight. The man behind the tunes and the piano is US born singer-songwriter Brian Christinzio; his tale of starting a new life in the UK, gaining a record deal then being deported before winning back his right to live here sounds like a fine set of lyrical fantasy but in this case is all true. Having had to pull a couple of dates through illness, it was good to see him back and well, providing an eclectic start to the evening with tracks from his latest album Deportation Blues.

The anticipation for Suede’s arrival on stage is met with a suitably atmospheric outpouring of smoke and dramatic lighting, from which the band emerge to the strains of haunting new track As One. The capacity crowd, many of whom have been there since doors, are rewarded with an ample dosage of songs spanning an incredible 30 years. It’s not long before some older material surfaces in the set – We Are The Pigs and So Young reminders that there is a back catalogue here worthy of its place in the music history books. As a frontman, Brett Anderson appears to have fallen into Neverland as his endless energy and off stage excursions seem no less enthusiastic then they ever were.

Anderson gives a thank you to the crowd, rightly noting that without a great crowd it’s hard to have a great gig. And the respect is clearly mutual; there are moments where he talks to the audience or during stripped back songs (Everything Will Flow / Europe Is Our Playground) that you could hear a pin drop, no background chat, no need, still it’s a welcome change to the annoying conversational hum that often accompanies performers. But then Suede have never been your average band. Oddly labelled with the Britpop tag in the early days, their refusal to conform has seen them become something of an institution on their own terms, an institution that puts on a show to be remembered as it turns out.  After a quick break, the band return to finish the evening with a huge singalong to The Beautiful Ones followed by closing track Life Is Golden, a track that Anderson says he wrote for his son but which it is likely everyone there is happy to take as a message for themselves. From the start, Suede were something a bit different, something a bit special. Turns out they still are.

Click here for remaining tour dates and all things Suede related

More from BC Camplight here

Words and photos by Siobhan

25th April 2019

Instore – Fontaines DC at Rough Trade East

Fontaines DC, Rough Trade East London, 17th April 2019

The last year has seen Fontaines DC morph into the band that everyone’s talking about. Promoters are selling out live dates months in advance and desperately seeking venue upgrades; the Dublin five piece have already been announced as one of the headliners for Rockaway Beach Festival in 2020 – some achievement this early in their career (by way of comparison, 2019’s headliners were Maxïmo Park, Gary Numan and Echo and the Bunnymen).

Inaugural album Dogrel was released into the world a week ago; a sharp and unrelenting reflection of the times we live in – an upward nod to the poets of the past, an incredulous sneer at the capitalists of the present. Fontaines DC will be a heavy presence on the touring scene throughout 2020 and come into their own in a live setting. If you can find a date that hasn’t sold out yet, grab a ticket while you still can. 

Gallery from their packed instore at London’s Rough Trade East this week below…

Keep up with the latest news from Fontaines DC
Dogrel is available now on Partisan Records – watch the video for Big here

Words and photos by Siobhan

19th April 2019

Tugboat Captain at The Green Door Store

Tugboat Captain / Ciel / Probably Oslo / Bébe, The Green Door Store Brighton, 10th April 2019

What to do on a cold Wednesday night by the sea? This week at least, the answer was pretty simple. Bringing optimistic melodies and a bassoon of impressive proportions, Tugboat Captain arrived in town taking their DIY tour to top local DIY venue, The Green Door Store. Headlining a four act line up, the multi vocals and instruments spread across the band brought a refreshing dose of charm and catchy tunes to the floor.

First on, Brighton’s Bébe offered up gentle pop refrains and managed to squeeze all seven members onto the stage, pulling in a good crowd.

Next up, Probably Oslo quickly pulled everyone back in from the bar, upping the tempo with a set full of indie tunes and chats with the audience.

The penultimate act, Ciel, gave a beautiful performance with the purest vocals from Dutch artist Michelle Hindricks. Bringing to mind the likes of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, definitely a band to look out for.

And so to Tugboat Captain. With a great turnout for a midweek gig, they seemed completely at ease and in sync with each other and the crowd, latest single Be Strong, Smoke Less proving both popular and a fine opportunity for high kicks. An early broken bass string could have been the spanner in the works but Nat from Probably Oslo came to the rescue with a substitute and, in time honoured fashion, the show went on. It’s clear to see that Tugboat Captain’s hard work is paying off – a great night with a lovely atmosphere. If you’re quick there’s still time to see them at The Smokehouse in Ipswich tonight and The Victoria in London tomorrow.

Links to all bands here:
Tugboat Captain    Ciel    Probably Oslo   Bebe

Words and photos by Siobhan

12th April 2019

 

The Slow Readers Club at The Haunt

The Slow Readers Club / BRIDGES / Greenness, The Haunt Brighton, 9th April 2019

With 3 albums under their belt and an ever growing following, it’s surprising that this is The Slow Readers Club’s first year as a full time band. They’re certainly making the most of their new situation, currently working their way through a massive 48 day tour, arriving last night at The Haunt in Brighton.

Opening set from Brighton based duo Greenness offered a welcome antidote to the wind and rain outside, hypnotic electro acoustic tunes creating a relaxed atmosphere with a whiff of Massive Attack / The Sugarcubes. Check out their new EP Cyclicity for more.

Next on and upping the indie guitar quota, BRIDGES have been filling the support slot for the last week and look to have picked up some new fans who clearly recognised their material. A well fitting choice whose energy and humour set things up nicely for the main event. Latest single Amor is out now.

And so, as the strobe lights kick in to the sound of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love under The Haunt’s huge glitterball, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d turned up on 70s’ disco night. However, as the members of The Slow Readers Club take to the stage things come crashing up to date with the writhing pulse of Lunatic, an instant crowd pleaser. Next up is Lives Never Known – reminiscent of John Foxx’s Europe After the Rain, it continues a steady stream of singles and album tracks spanning The Readers’ career so far.

The band are a long way from their home town of Manchester but it doesn’t seem to matter where they play, they take an army of loyal fans with them. Having seen them play festivals at both ends of the country in Glasgow and Portsmouth, I can attest to the fact that the chants of ‘READERS! READERS!’ never dim wherever they are. There are people in the crowd who are following them around on as many dates as they possibly can, seeing their favourite band and catching up with friends old and new at the same time.

As the songs continue through the popular Supernatural, Start Again and Lost Boys to closing track On The TV, there is no let up in enthusiasm and the crowd respond in kind. It’s a clever juxtaposition created between hard hitting lyrics and ridiculously catchy riffs that make this a band to take notice of. The Slow Readers Club have always sounded like they were made to fill arenas and have a fan base dedicated enough to make sure they don’t regret that decision to make this their full time career. Catch them while you can.

Check out Greenness and BRIDGES and get the latest news on releases and live dates from The Slow Readers Club

Word and photos by Siobhan

IDLES at Brighton Dome

IDLES / Crows, Brighton Dome, 29th March 2019

Some years ago, with a bit of time to kill at a festival, I wandered into a marquee to see what was going on. Even pre-IDLES’ mania, the band clearly had a strong following. Joe gave a shout out to ‘our bassist who can’t be here tonight’ and the crowd started chanting ‘Dev! Dev! Dev!’ It was loud, chaotic, late in the day and, not knowing who they were or any of their names, I thought they were yelling ‘Dead! Dead! Dead!’ A bit taken aback that this seemed like a shout of joy, I wondered what I’d stumbled into. It turned out that joyful shouting was pretty appropriate as things became clearer and I came out at the end with a chance encounter having turned into a festival highlight.

Fast forward to March 2017 and an army of people trying to find tickets for their sold out show at 100 capacity venue The Albert in Brighton, coinciding with but presumably booked way before the release of Brutalism. A night to remember, new fans picked up along the way and the start of widespread acclaim for the five piece now described by The Guardian as ‘Britain’s most necessary band’. It’s to their credit and fits with their ethics that their sold out show at Brighton Dome was booked with the same promoter and drew the same crowd (just with about 1700 of their friends joining in this time).

Opening up on the night, Crows made their second trip to Brighton in a week. Giving a formidable performance as always, their songs filled with brooding darkness had the crowd onside straight away. The support slots on this tour will doubtless open them up to a new audience and, with their long awaited debut album Silver Tongues picking up positive reviews and plaudits, perhaps it’s finally time for Crows to get the wider recognition they deserve.

With the instantly recognisable percussion and bass of Colossus filling the room, IDLES took to the stage to a huge welcome roar. If anyone had concerns that the band couldn’t scale up the usual chaos and interaction of their shows they would have been kicked straight into touch. The larger venue served only to magnify what’s gone before; a wider stage for Joe to pace, longer guitar leads to allow the forays into the crowd to go further, a bigger crowd to surf. Second up, Well Done lightened the mood and had the Dome jumping and singing along in full voice.

With no let up in pace and energy from the band or the crowd, we were treated to tracks old and new; Mother, Never Fight a Man with a Perm, Exeter and Samaritans all firm favourites and each sounding great. Despite the continuous mosh pit and conveyor belt of surfers, the atmosphere was good-humoured and offered up a bit of much needed positivity in a climate where oppression has been all too prevalent lately.

Where IDLES go from here is anyone’s guess. Right now they are more than holding their own as their reputation and following continue to soar and things don’t look like slowing down any time soon. Defining IDLES sound and ethos isn’t easy but their album titles do a decent job – Brutalism and Joy as an Act Of Resistance sum them up pretty well. Another step on the upward journey of chaos, another night to remember. Well done indeed.

See what else IDLES and Crows are getting up to here

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st April 2019

 

Instore – Crows at Resident

Crows, Resident Brighton, 24th March 2019

I first saw Crows back in 2015 opening for Slaves; one of a bunch of bands on the circuit with a buzz surrounding them, you had to wonder which ones would stick around and hold people’s interest. Since then, I’ve seen them play tiny venues and huge festivals and there’s never any let up in the intensity of their performance or their propensity to spend half the set in amongst the crowd. Playing in a record shop was never going to be any different and their instore at Brighton’s Resident was as untamed as ever. A very fine way to spend a Sunday evening.

Their newly released album Silver Tongues is a force of nature, bringing to mind strands of Killing Joke, PIL and The Birthday Party. It’s hard to choose a standout track as the quality runs right through but Empyrean and new single Wednesday’s Child would be up there for certain.

Crows will be giving another instore performance tonight at Rough Trade Nottingham before heading out on the road supporting IDLES on a string of sold out shows (Silver Tongues is released on Joe Talbot and Mark Bent’s label Balley Records), followed by headline dates of their own in April and May. If you have any chance of getting along to see them, don’t miss it.

Get the latest news on releases and tour dates from Crows here

Words and photos by Siobhan

25th March 2019

 

 

Calva Louise at The Prince Albert

Calva Louise / Kid Kapichi / Short People, The Prince Albert, Brighton, 13th March 2019

In Brighton for the last night of their UK tour and fresh from the shouts of acclaim for their debut album Rhinoceros, Calva Louise had a crowd full of anticipation squeezed into The Prince Albert.

Local support from Short People got the evening off to a solid start. Fronted by Rich Fownes (ex Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster / Clever Thing), their mix of rock and folk-punk eased us nicely into a memorable night in the making.

Kid Kapichi have been the main support throughout this tour which, conveniently for them, ended up pretty close to their home town of Hastings. Bringing along their own army of fans, their set was an absolute stand out ball of noise from start to finish. It’s a confident headliner that picks a band who are this good live to play before them. Firmly on the would love to see again list.

As the Countdown music hit the speakers, it was time for Calva Louise to show why they’ve gained a glowing reputation on the live circuit. With a pretty accurate prophecy, they hit straight into I’m Gonna Do Well, energy levels set to max from the outset. Sounding like Bis with Topper Headon on drums, their brand of indie-punk is refreshingly feel-good.

As the packed room got hotter and hotter, Jess stated that the temperature reminded her of home in South America; that didn’t stop her from jumping off the stage to join the party taking place in the audience. On or off stage, the trio were totally engaging and created a brilliant atmosphere with loads of reaction and reciprocation from the crowd.

Finishing up with the punchy Getting Closer, the set appeared to be over but the chants of ‘one more song’ received an unexpected rendition of Eleanor, despite being past curfew and with instruments already unplugged – clearly not a pre-planned encore but much appreciated anyway. We live in an age where social media can elevate a band’s status beyond its capabilities but, in the case of Calva Louise, you’d very much better believe the hype.

Check out more from  Calva Louise,  Kid Kapichi and Short People

Words and photos by Siobhan

18th March 2019

She Drew The Gun at Patterns

She Drew The Gun / Man & The Echo, Patterns Brighton, 8th March 2019

Straight from a support slot for The Coral, She Drew The Gun have been selling out gigs across the UK on a headline tour of their own. If their final night in Brighton on Friday was anything to go by, they’ll need to be booking bigger venues for the next one.

First up, Man & The Echo warmed up an already busy crowd with a set full of soulful reflections on modern life. Sounding something like The Style Council might have if they’d been pulled into shape by Richard Hawley and generally been a bit less concerned with striped blazers, the four piece entertained with some strong tracks, things notably stepping up a gear with latest single A Capable Man, well worth a listen.

The brainchild of Louisa Roach, She Drew The Gun are currently touring as a very complimentary five piece. Kicking straight into recent singles Resister and Something For The Pain, the band began their journey through the myriad of genres and musical influences that make up their discography. With hints of Elastica and Republica pulsating through the more upbeat tracks, there is a much deeper, darker tone to Between Stars, reminiscent of Portishead mixed with spoken word, not a phrase you get to use often. 

Louisa’s vocals are compelling, the lyrics full of powerful social comment and the tunes infectious, a stroll through indie, melodic psych pop and poetry with just a hint of country thrown in for good measure. She Drew The Gun thoroughly deserved the capacity crowd, catch them if you can before they head off into the stratosphere, rising stars for sure.

She Drew The Gun website
Man & The Echo website

Words and photos by Siobhan

11th March 2019

Instore – Drenge at Resident

Drenge, Resident Brighton, 28th February 2019

With the release of their third album, Drenge are well and truly back in business. The Loveless brothers have just completed a string of instore appearances at record shops across the UK, playing electro-pop versions of tracks from Strange Creatures under the banner of Drenge Philharmonic. It’s been an interesting diversion from the usual acoustic instore performances that tend to abound and a chance to see Drenge in a different light. A far cry from the mayhem of their regular shows but it would be great to see Drenge take this version of the band on the road in the future. For now, mayhem is reinstated with live dates booked in March and April which will doubtless be well worth an evening of your time. Strange Creatures is dark, fierce and addictive; it’s been a long wait but some things are worth waiting for.

Gallery below from their final instore stop-off at Brighton’s Resident:

Strange Creatures is available now and you can get the latest news from Drenge here. Upcoming tour dates as follows (with support from The Wytches):

March

27th – Glasgow, King Tut’s
28th – Northumbria, Institute
29th – Manchester, o2 Ritz

April

1st – Cambridge, Junction
2nd – London, Electric Brixton
3rd – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
5th – Bristol – SWX
6th – Birmingham – o2 Institute

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st March 2019

Allusinlove at Komedia Studio

Allusinlove / Mantra / Grymm, Komedia Studio Brighton, 13th Feb 2019

With new music and a new name, Allusondrugs are no longer and Allusinlove have very much taken over. With fresh songs shared back in November, the band are currently working their way through a string of dates across the UK before heading to Europe. On Wednesday night they hit the stage at Brighton’s Komedia Studio, grunge rock still at their core but with a more accessible edge, latest single All Good People translating into an instant live anthem. Excellent openers for the evening came from locals Grymm and London’s Mantra, both pulling in a good crowd and making a strong case for getting along early for the support bands.

Check out our gig gallery below…

Allusinlove

Grymm

Mantra

Allusinlove

Click through for the latest from Allusinlove, Grymm and Mantra

Words and photos by Siobhan

15th February 2019

Independent Venue Week – Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess and The Anytime Minutes / The Silver Field / Average Sex, St Paul’s Worthing, 1st Feb 2019

The past week has seen gigs arranged in over 200 independent venues right across the UK from Inverness to the Isle of Wight. It’s been a chance to catch new and established artists in some unlikely places and the news that Tim Burgess was coming to town, to play at a local arts centre in a converted chapel, definitely took a few residents by surprise in the seaside town of Worthing.

Running his own independent label, O Genesis Recordings, Tim has long been a vocal supporter of smaller venues and emerging artists, curating new music on Tim Peaks stages at festivals nationally. On this occasion he brought with him the fantastically energetic Average Sex (who later became his backing band as The Anytime Minutes) and The Silver Field, whose enchanting debut album Rooms has just been released on O Genesis. In an intimate setting with no gap between the stage and the crowd, Tim showcased an eclectic mix of his solo work – and a cover of Culture Club’s Time (Clock of the Heart) – and was his usual charming self, chatting to audience members between songs. The surroundings at St Paul’s make an impressive backdrop with many of the church’s original features still in place. Now run as a cafe and multi arts centre it has become a vibrant hub of the local community but needs ongoing support to maintain its offer as so many local venues do. IVW provides just one such opportunity. This is how it works…

‘Independent Venue Week is a 7 day celebration of small music venues around the country and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out. These venues give artists their first experience of playing live in front of an audience and for fans, somewhere to get up close to artists that one day, may well be playing stadiums and festival main stages. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England in the UK and also the wider music industry and brands globally, Independent Venue Week brings together these venues along with breaking and established artists, promoters, labels, media, bloggers and tastemakers to create a nationwide series of gigs. These venues are the backbone of the live music scene in their country and Independent Venue Week wants to recognise all that they have done to create some of the most memorable nights of the past so they can continue to do the same in the future.’

(Independent Venue Week website)

Simple really, it’s free for venues to take part, they get to keep 100% of ticket sales, can put on one or more shows in the week and get support from regional IVW reps and volunteers to promote and run their events.

The last year has proved that grassroots venues are still at huge risk of closure with Bristol’s Thekla under threat and Brighton neighbours Sticky Mike’s and The Globe both clearing their stages for the final time – just a few casualties amongst a host of others struggling to survive. Independent Venue Week offers a helping hand to all those who remain open with the hope that the ethos behind it will last all year.

For a packed crowd in Worthing, Friday night was a great reason to brave the freezing weather and get involved in a brilliant, unexpected line up of live music. Tim, come back soon and bring your friends, we’d love to see you all again.

You can find out more about Independent Venue Week, what went on and the application process on their website (UK and US each have their own week of celebrations)

Click through for more on O Genesis Recordings, Average Sex and The Silver Field

Words and photos by Siobhan

4th February 2019

 

 

Icebreaker Festival

Icebreaker Festival, Portsmouth, 25th-26th Jan 2019

Billed as ‘The South’s largest unsigned metropolitan music festival’ Icebreaker has become a staple in the winter festival calendar. Chasing away the January blues, this weekend saw over 150 artists play over 2 days in venues along Albert Road and Elm Grove in Southsea, leading to the much loved and established Wedgewood Rooms. As well as providing a host of stages large and small, there was a real community feel and the event clearly brought visitors and business into the local area.

The beauty of Icebreaker is not just in the number of acts to choose from but the diverse range of genres and music. With a lot of festivals it’s easy to go and see the bands you already know and love and maybe catch a few new ones too. At Icebreaker it’s equally easy to change that ratio; see a few favourites then take in as many new names as you can. And be left in no doubt that unsigned doesn’t mean there’s less quality around.

It’s impossible to see everyone but here’s how my Saturday played out. Despite being early in the day, The Vitrines opened Edge of the Wedge with bags of indie energy; down the road at Emporium Bar, Something Leather showcased their hauntingly gothic melodies and Currls kept everybody smiling with some soul-tinged new wave at Lord John Russell.

My first visit of the day to the Wedgewood Rooms was for BBC Introducing favourites Drusila, a two piece with a love of synth and some infectious tunes. It was a pleasure to see them perform and to slow things down later with an engaging acoustic set from Me and the Moon at The Wine Vaults.

Over at The Fat Fox there was a whole heap of reasons to stick around; a reminder from Heebie Jeebies that there aren’t enough saxophones about, suitably psychedelic lighting and much 60s style partying for Number 9 and plenty to please those looking for heavier riffs and fierce drumming from Violet Mud and You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons.

One of my favourite sets of the day came from The Howlers, currently gaining acclaim across the country with their raw psych rock performances. Pending live dates will be well worth checking out.

Back at the Wedgewood Rooms / Edge Of the Wedge – kudos to FLOWVERS (header photo) for having their own mosh pit at a packed main stage as well as being the pit for punk duo Bird Shoes’ next door in the Edge. Brother Deep completed a trio of local bands all getting a great reception and winning over new fans in the process.

Again, a tough call with headliners at every venue (I spoke to people throughout the day who were all finishing up in different places) but I opted to head back to a now very hot and sweaty Fat Fox for Skinny Milk’s closing set. Quality fuzz punk garage from one of many acts on the day whose sound belied the fact that there were only two of them on stage, a magic pedal board turning the bass into something much more dynamic and distorted. I chose well; the perfect way to end a solid day of being drawn in to see what I could hear from a distance – maybe the best part of any festival.

All in all, Icebreaker offers something different, an easily walkable multi venue festival with lots of choice and an excellent way to spend the weekend discovering new music. It looks likely to keep growing so keep an eye on announcements on their website later in the year to stake your place for 2020.

Words and photos by Siobhan

28th January 2019