To start off the day at CloseUp Festival in Shoreditch is South-East Londoners Hows Harry with wavy guitar riffs and a heavy irresistible punchy rock chorus, the four-piece made a big impact by releasing the weight off their shoulders and going crazy. Even with the guitarist messing about sound checking his vocals you could tell they were ready to party, and that’s just what they did. Hows Harry have built a big reputation as a thrilling live band to watch, and ‘Othello’ – premiered on ICM – showcases their superiority, a superb dark pop track which would appeal to anyone with a great taste of indie-rock music.
Recently moved over from Canada, Little India kindly took FOURS’ place sharing their nostalgic rock with an 80’s pop twist. For a band that’s is completely new to London, it has been reasonably easy for the lads to settle in. ‘Youngblood’ is a very anthemic track that could be featured as a FIFA soundtrack, the danceability, a sing-along chorus that’s already stuck in my head, driving drums is a perfect tune to get anyone ready for a festival.
From a four to three, to now five, Glass Peaks are back in full strength have shown sheer determination since we saw them play at The Horn, St. Albans on their UK tour, they have impressed us, as most bands would probably hang up their guitars. But not these guys, now with a female backing singer and a saxophone to spice up their classic indie rock giving a 60’s jazz feel to their music which was a soothing feel compared to the rest of the lineup which focuses more on a heavier rock sound.
Leeds indie-pop band Marsicans are one of the hottest bands around at the moment because they absolutely smashed their set. Lively, sweaty and full of energy, Marsicans knew how to wow their crowd in style. ‘Swimming’ and ‘Friends’ had everyone jumping up and down, it was madness! When it comes to live and recorded music, you can clearly tell the difference but Marsicans sound exactly the same live as they do recorded, purifying their sound so that it’ allowed to do both with ease.
Model Aeroplanes seemed to dip into the darkness after releasing their EP ‘Something Like Heaven’ in 2016 travelled all the way from their hometown, Dundee to come down and play a couple of new tunes as well as a few classics like ‘Electricity’ and ‘The Wild’. Model Aeroplanes also treated us to a new song, but as someone in the crowd noticed as well as the band was they the performed it out of time. We’ll let them off as its a new song, it would be a bit worrying if they couldn’t play ‘Electricity’ in tune with each other.
Nominated for Best Live Performance at our annual ICM Awards, The Bulletproof Bomb braced the stage with the lead singer showing off his Chelsea colours after they won the Premier League as well as showing off their electrifying alternative rock music in a crazy give no sh*ts attitude, which the crowd loved. Most people hadn’t seemed to have heard of The Bulletproof Bomb before, including my mate George, but no one was going to forget their name after the adrenaline filled performance they put in. Must listens include ‘My Mates Say’, ‘Seige’ and ‘Sportswear Punk’.
You wouldn’t catch me listening to KYKO on my phone. I’ve never really been a fan of the really indie dance music. It’s the type of sub-genre that’s not my ‘go to’ choice of music to relax too. I think the magic of KYKO is his through and through musical ability. He’s not just one man and his guitar. His whole persona and musical image is heightened by the array of noises that accompany him. KYKO also dropped a brand new song ‘Good Life’ – a summery collision of KYKO’s essential indie pop, with a big chorus and enchanting supporting vocals that drove the crowd crazy and instantly got every member of CloseUp Festival singing along.
Jerry Williams headlined the acoustic stage right at the front of Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for everyone to see, and even people not part of the festival who just came for a drink were abe to watch the rising star perform ‘Mother’ and her new single ‘I’m Not In Love With You’ sung to perfection, her soft dazzling voice has received huge amounts of praise, over the last two weeks especially after becoming BBC Introducing’s Track of the Week on Radio 1 and is set to play The Great Escape Festival this weekend will see Williams set to great heights over the coming months with her indie pop music that has relatable lyrics it’s easy to connect with has everyone.
The headliners EKKAH are a fabulous 3 piece with a twist. Their open-vested, daddy cool, Miami Vice dance infusion is a breath of fresh air. I’ve really been vibing with 70’s soul and disco at the moment – I genuinely believe this sad world of ours needs a dance evolution. Perhaps EKKAH are the answer the dance-craze prayers. They certainly got everybody at the festival grooving to one beat. It was a joy watching them perform.
More photos of CloseUp Festval coming soon. Written by George O’Dell and Alex Pearson.