Hackney Wonderland 2016: Lucy Rose and Kitty, Daisy and Lewis light up day two
Hackney Wonderland returned to north east London yesterday for a second blitz of diverse music to liven up a dreary on-the-cusp-of-autumn Sunday.
Where day one had been dominated by variations on a rock theme, the part-two line-up was impressively varied, bursting with female talent and energy. Though sadly – despite being sold-out – far fewer Londoners were up for the party on a school night.
But what was lacking in audience numbers was certainly made up for on stage: mysterious duo Glass brought a slick, otherworldly sound and a theatrical performance to the Pickle Factory. Paradisia had a similarly feminine allure, with trio of Sophie-Rose, harpist Anna and Kristy on keyboard playing an intimate show with crystalline and ethereal vocals on tracks such as Silent Lover.
Cabbage seemed to be about 30 years too late with their shirt-ripping, sweaty, drunken singing and swinging-off-the-Sebright-Arms’-basement-ceiling punk performance, placing them firmly as a convincing 21st century reincarnation of the Sex Pistols. Derivative? Perhaps. Entertaining? Absolutely. These guys are wet and wild.
Johnny Lloyd brought a far more refined indie performance under moody blue lighting to the London Fields Brewhouse. The former Tribes frontman’s distinctive vocals and contagious chorus-lines – such as “happy humans in love” – were pleasingly reminiscent of an early Kings of Leon, backed up with heavy guitars.
Jake Isaac’s playful, self-deprecating humour couldn’t help but draw in a sparse audience: “You can clap or go in for a cheeky two-step you know: they’ve got insurance.” Providing a masterclass in how to perform to a half-empty room, Jake had every person present bouncing around to the infectious beat of Fool for You, and their breathes held to his emotive I’m a Man. With his unique soul-meets-folk sound, catchy choruses and heart-warming charm, this South London singer-songwriter will be one to watch when his first album comes out next year.
Kitty, Daisy and Lewis
Kitty, Daisy and Lewis made quite the entrance on stage: a hotchpotch of outfits and ages, each carrying coats and half-drunk pints, the troupe looked ill-prepared. But as metallic-catsuit-clad Kitty stood up to the microphone with her electric guitar at the ready and opened her mouth, any doubts regarding their ability were swept away. Setting their retro-loving tone from the very first track, this North London sibling trio proved themselves to be a seriously talented bunch with stunning vocals, effortlessly spanning influences from all things past including swing, blues and ska. Throughout the performance, the three siblings shuffled around to each take up singing, keyboard, drums and even the harmonica in turn. Not only their unique sound and stage antics, but their hilarious lyrics playing on the preoccupations of a Londoner, were wildly engaging – bum-pinching guys who need a slap, the rollercoaster emotions of facing an empty bed and dreaded property developers: “Go to London town before they tear the place down.” A Wonderland highlight, this gang were leading the pack in terms of originality, raw musical talent and pure entertainment value – this is the epitome of festival performance.
Lucy Rose ended the weekend with an exquisite voice and some big band sounds to fill the Oval Space, delivering some beautiful renditions of well-established and newer tracks, from singalong-inducing Like an Arrow to fresh Find Myself. Her range of pop-indie and folksy numbers took the audience from high-emotion to high-energy with ease. It was hard not to feel the tempo wasn’t quite right for a festival finisher but nonetheless some gorgeous music that had the crowd enthralled.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Hackney Wonderland visit here.