ReFused for Restless Beings at Rich Mix
Rich Mix is a social enterprise that offers an eclectic mix of cultural events – it’s an appropriate venue for ReFused, a gig organised by charity Restless Beings. They fight for the most marginalised groups in the world, currently involved in helping Bangladeshi street children, the Roma community, forced brides and the Muslim Rohingya group in Burma. The night is a chance to find out more about them and experience a mix of varied music.
The roster begins with Milo M, creating chilled, atmospheric guitar washes with gentle and repetitive melodies. He has a soothing voice, not unlike Iron and Wine’s Samuel Beam. Unfortunately, the spaced-out sound gets a bit lost amid the growing crowd – not a problem for the night’s second act Tythe. They start in a similar vein: a soundscape based on atmosphere rather than catchy hooks, but they progress to a heavier sound with laptop and loop pedals, overseen by producer Julian Peck and accompanied by live guitar and vocals. There are elements of trip hop, with some stunning vocal lines and hearty beats.
Regime provide a stark transition with their instantly political and polemical rap; they open with Queenie (‘She’s an arms dealer/she’s got a lot of funds… God save us all from the Queen’) and move on to a rap extolling veganism. The crowd really picks up and loudly supports Regime, demanding an encore, which charismatic lead singer Jez King is happy to provide.
The tone shifts again with Siloet, who have a fairly conventional indie-rock sound. Again there are expansive guitars and repeated lyrics, and the audience responds to the well written and well performed songs – particularly impressive because this is Siloet’s first live gig.
Five-piece female vocal outfit Baby Queens close the night with a soul-infused sound. They perform a pared back set, including the popular single Red Light, with just their voices and a couple of guitars. Unfortunately one of the guitars is out of tune, which throws off the accuracy of their singing. Despite this it is apparent that their voices are fantastic and the songwriting is catchy, moody and tight.
ReFused is a reminder not only of the quality of so much emerging talent, but also of how privileged we as an audience are – free and unoppressed – to be able to attend and enjoy it.
Photos: Milica Ivanovic
For further information visit Restless Beings’ website here.