My first festival coverage of 2017 saw me take a trip down to the East End for a blistering hot Flying Vinyl Festival 2017.
We had the absolute pleasure of covering last years festival, which introduced myself to the likes of Asylums and The Magic Gang. This year was no different.
The whole day was a superb showcase of some of the hottest new talent, including Black Honey, Yassassin and Palm Honey – whilst still bringing in some fantastic artists that I had privilege to discover at easily one of London’s best indie festivals.
This years venue was incredible. A rooftop terrace kind of old abandoned factory house with an outside and inside bar and a balcony with the most east end industrial view imaginable. Easily twice the size of last years festival, only highlighting how massive the festival and brand as a whole have become.
We kicked off the day with the fiery Yassassin. A hard-hitting all female rock group with the grooviest kind of indie rock and roll. I hate having to describe them as a “female rock group” because it airs out such a shit stereotype that they are so beyond. A genuinely all round solid group of musicians with an important message and even better fashion sense.
I don’t know why but I’ve came across Palm Honey so many times but have never really sat down and listened to their music? So strange, because I really loved the layers they put into every single song. Every track is driven with a calm chaos that is both subtle and unnecessary. They are a perfect oxymoronic indie group with a serious sound and big vocals to match.
Willie J Healy – Where have you been all my life? The boy can sing, his lyrics are awesome, he sounds like a mix between Weezer and RHCP! I’ve been waiting so long for a genuine solo artist with a band to come along with a larger than life rock sound with those skater vibes. An absolute must to check out and keep an eye on for the coming years.
Finally, my day ended with who I’m calling, one of my favourite new bands on the block. Trudy And The Romance. The trio are a brand new take on 50’s slow-jam rock with a velvet voice and licks and riffs for days. An absolute joy for any and all occasions. I could listen to Mr Oliver Taylor sing and play guitar to me for the rest of my days. Plus he looks like Cook? And who the fuck doesn’t like Cook?
The second half of the day saw the venue filling up with more and more people in time for the set from London based ‘bitter dream pop’ band, Anteros. Having recently discovered Anteros thanks to Flying Vinyl, I was rather excited to see them perform but I had no idea what was in store for myself and the rest of the crowd. As soon as they stepped out, front-woman Laura Hayden stole the show with an almost theatrical performance, wrapping herself up in the mic lead and jumping from one end of the stage to the other in seconds.
You could tell all 4 of the band were having as much, if not more, fun that the crowd. As Laura pranced around with incredible stage presence that got the crowd immediately involved and interested whether they were previously fans or not. These guys are certainly ones to listen if you haven’t already to with upbeat music that makes you want to dance the whole time and a set that was a lot of fun, thank you Anteros for allowing me to experience the beauty that was your performance.
Next up on the bill were Dream Wife. Dream Wife are insane. Genuinely mental. Their performance got the first proper mosh of the event as they open with their single ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ screaming out the lyrics and thrashing about the stage with each other. They even mashed up one of their songs with Blondie’s “One Way or Another”, and their song “FUU” which uses lyrics from Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”. “FUU” was a performance to remember getting the crowd so involved and belting out the lyrics for the angry grunge rock they’re known for.
After soundcheck it was time for TRAAMS, a indie/punk trio from Chichester, Sussex who played a whole host of their songs from two separate albums. Something that never ceases to amaze is the ability bands like TRAAMS have to absolutely fill a space with noise despite being a three piece, the constant bass line bouncing off the walls and into a crowd being filled with energy. Their single ‘A House on Fire’ providing an almost shoegaze-like vibe to their indie/punk style and a steady drawn out explosion of an ending.
Hidden Charms had a really interesting performance. Highlights like their funky “Cannonball” where they were soaking in the almost pop aspect of their sound. Ranging from psychedelic rock to this groovy pop was a beautiful experience, but I’m not sure anything prepared the crowd for what was to come after.
The group switched to classic rock legends in seconds, putting all their energy straight back into the crowd and a tone reminiscent of Led Zeppelin with the voice of classic rock angels. Hidden Charms certainly wont be hidden for much longer, these boys are set for bigger things. Oh, and apparently all their songs are written by Ed Sheeran which they made sure everyone knew after each song. Shoutout to Ed.
“To anyone who says guitar music is dead it’s fucking not” yells Tarek Musa (lead vocals and drummer) as he points to the band and then to a mosh pit that was the most intense of the event until this point.
The Manchester four piece brought out songs from both their 2016 debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To” and EPs ‘Demons’ and ‘They’re Coming After You”. The extremely fast paced feel good hits blared out and the crowd lived for it dancing non stop for the entire set.
I caught up with Tarek after the set who said “I don’t know how people in the pit survived I was sweating so much up there let alone being in the middle of all that”.
They were as much fun to watch as their music is to listen to and any chance you get to see them would be a terrible opportunity to pass up.
The lights are down, the crowd is silent, a banshee like scream of feedback destroys our ear drums and then a silhouetted band start a rip-roaring performance of their song Gravedweller. Completely backlit as if higher entities, The Wytches put on a performance of a lifetime, sounding exactly as they do recorded but more intense. The fuzzy grunge tones fill the hall with the crowd getting more violent song by song until C-Side where a circle the size the whole room opens up.
Surreal is the best way to describe this set and The Wytches delivered such an incredible performance with music unlike most others around today growling and fuzzing their way through to bring their music to the forefront of the scene.
And so FVF2 was over, certainly a day to remember, incredible performances, incredible day out with lovely weather and some incredible bands. I’ll be renewing my subscription soon in preparation from next year’s festival which I’m sure is going to be even bigger and better than this year’s, thank you to the lads at Flying Vinyl, keep doing god’s work.
Words by: George O’Dell (first half )// Toby Henley (second half).