Festifeel (Queen Of Hoxton, 4 June '12) // Words: Saam Das & Raman K
Festifeel is the annual all-day gig from the people behind the Coppafeel! breast cancer charity. Not only is it a great cause but it's a great festival too as we found out last week. Featuring plenty of FG faves as well as some more prominent artists, such as Newton Faulkner, there was more than enough to keep everyone contented.
Kyla La Grange’s voice shook the basement of the Queen of Hoxton and may have sent tremors around Liverpool Street. Her seismic vocals channel elements of Kate Bush, Anna Calvi and Bjork; raw with emotion and overcooked in melodrama, well exhibited in the likes of 'Vampire Smile' and 'Been Better'.
Llanelli quartet Cut Ribbons followed, with frontwoman Anna Griffiths sporting striking 'Beetlejuice'-esque trousers. Which rather distracted from their unique brand of melodic rock, like 'White Horses', their debut single released by Kissability, a label involving Radio 1 DJ Jen Long (incidentally, one of the DJs at Festifeel.)
Making our way up to the venue's rooftop, we encountered several reminders to check our boobs. Consider this notice for you, the now vigilant reader. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the apex, Among Brothers were disappointingly drowned out by the chattering masses. A real shame.
After a brief nourishment break, we returned for Slow Club, the popular duo who now appear to have a full backing band for their live appearances. A riotous start proves to be a false dawn as the set slows to a crawl with the introduction of sadly uninspiring new songs.
The stunning electro-pop of Chew Lips is one of the obvious highlights of the event. Plundering a number of tracks from their debut album, while cleverly inserting a new track or two, such as 'Do You Chew', successfully revitalising proceedings.
Rather unexpectedly, we wander up to the ground floor only to discover Lianne Le Havas performing an acoustic set amongst an attentive rabble. We only catch a couple of songs but can see why she's already appeared on 'Later With Jools Holland' as well as the Blog Sound Of 2012.
Another emerging female superstar YADi begins her invigorating performance back in the basement. Down to merely a duo, instead of the usual three-piece, they nonetheless delivered a kaleidoscopic array of engaging electro, including belters like 'Guillotine' and 'Gold'. Wider success is surely on its way.
Once again heading unto the breach/rooftop, we find Jamie N Commons forming a barbershop quartet and providing acapella goodness. If only more of his material was like this. Trying to catch the final moments of sun, next act Angus Stone moved his performance into the crowd. Perched on a stool mounted on a picnic table, his distinctively warm voice began a hushed and mesmerizing set.
Better known for his double-act alongside his sister (Julia Stone) and armed with some of today’s finest alt-folk music, Angus’ solo material was strong enough to lull the crowd to his charm. Songs like 'Broken Brights' show that his personal project is more nuanced, reflective and delicate. Ending on the irresistible 'Big Jet Plane', it was the perfectly intimate way to cap a successful festival.
Find more info at Festifeel.com and the Coppafeel! breast cancer charity.