Festival Review: Flying Vinyl – London

flying vinyl headderFlying Vinyl

Hackney Shapes, 9th April 2016

Words: Lauren Grigor

flying vinylFlying Vinyl sure know how to put on a good show. The vinyl subscription service has had healthy growth in the last year, proving that vinyl is still alive and really doing more than just well. It was great to see the amount of people under 30 in attendance. Clearly they are right. The revolution will not be digital!

Good old industrial East London, I walked into Hackney Shapes and scoped out the area, old warehouse, nice big coat check and a bar at the back that wouldn’t have queues crossing over into the crowd, there was a sweet Vinyl shop where you could purchase any pressings you might have missed and a covered smoking outdoor area with plenty of seats and 2 well run food stalls. What a treat: a well produced London day-festival!

 

It has to be said, when you attend a one-day festival with one stage, you know that you will have a chance to see everyone on the bill, as long as you have the energy. Sadly I did not step up to the challenge but managed to see 5 bands play, chat to people and artists and get some people watching done.

When I walked in I was pleasantly surprised to see the three-piece The Orielles, made up of a guy on guitar and two girls on drums and Bass/vocals, already getting into their set. They had a good heavy sound and were obviously determined and confident playing to a crowd but as they mature I reckon they will have a greater stage presence, Their single Jobin was really well received and I reckon it will be an exciting year for the talented trio.

Flying Vinyl MD and absolute legend Craig Evans helped me seek out some bands to have a chat to. Since I couldn’t see Juice play, I thought it would be awesome to get them featured and I was happy I found them. The 4 Birmingham lads, Davis (vocals and guitar), James (lead guitar), Matt (the bassist) and Damon (drummer), have had a good response to the tracks they released in the last year, Sugar and Acid Kids and were still pumped from opening the day’s acts. Looking like an exciting year as they play Why Not Festival in Birmingham and support Sunshine Underground in October. Davis has been the common denominator in this band but with a love of Rock & Roll and Wayne’s World, this ginger-friendly band has obviously found a tight connection and the perfect foursome to keep up the energy

Then it was time for my highlight: The dark force of nature that is Yonaka. Lead singer Theresa treats her time on the stage as a dramatic performance that alongside her energetic band members, makes their gig fantastically compelling, fierce and loud! They played their singles Run and finished with new track Ignorance. Each of their songs is unique and i could hardly contain myself when watching them. Their songs have electric pop riffs with the most well executed tempo changes throughout. They are tight and clearly well rehearsed, except I doubt drummer Rob’s ‘Triple H’ was planned.
I was lucky enough to have a quick chat to Theresa, George (Guitar) and Rob whilst bassist Alex had run off to another gig.The band has been playing together for about a year, eventually arriving to a point where they can conceive and write songs in a full band session. George tells me that this is the first band he’s been in where his mad jerking around the stage has occurred organically (trust me, it looks really fucking cool). The lyrics come from Theresa who says that Yonaka means “The Dead of Night” and she wants their music to explore the darkness that exists within ourselves – a lot to hear from 3 very perky and funny people. She told me that her inspirations are MØ, Amy Winehouse and Jeff Buckley and likes to write about her own mother’s life taking bits and pieces from all sorts of music including rap, pop and punk. The atmosphere they created was astounding and I implore everyone to see them live.

Next up it’s The Amazons, and if you haven’t heard that name yet it’s time to get out from under that rock (our interview will be live soon!). They’re a heavy 4 piece with gritty pop-rock riffs that have just got the whole hall jumping and dancing around. Definitely a crowd pleaser in every way with catchy tunes like Ultraviolet that you can’t help dancing to. They’re definitely in hot demand, according to the organisers, everyone was trying to have a word with them!
It will be awesome to see these guys appear at other festivals this year as they are booked for so many, though lets hope they look after themselves, those tracks are demanding on vocal chords and energy levels (also, how does a whole band play to a sweltering venue while wearing leather jackets? I built up a sweat just watching them.

 

After the raw energy that was The Amazons, I was excited to see the 6-piece The Jar Family, a folk, indie instrumental powerhouse. Just seeing them play you can understand why their sound is a beautiful eclectic amalgamation of genres because they are all clearly very unique people. Placing them here in the line-up was a very good plan, you can’t have too many raucous bands one after the other, people would collapse in exhaustion. This band was still really lively though, using 3 guitars and 5 part harmonies, musically they are all evidently talented though I’m not sure how all those different outfits work together…
At around 6:45, and the last band I got to see, The Magic Gang came on stage all smiles and happiness, yet still a band to be taken seriously. The four guys have created some great pop tunes like Lady, Please and clearly a lot of fans, they had most of the audience jumping and singing along. Must be something about Brighton that makes these bands so great.

All in all, I was upset to had to leave early, seeing pictures afterwards made me realise how much of a force to be reckoned with Black Honey can be. I’m sure there’ll be another opportunity and I can’t wait to see what Flying Vinyl have planned for us next year!

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