Event Review: Dummy AGM 2013

on Friday, October 18, 2013
Dummy AGM 2013 (28-29 Sept '13, London Fields Brewery) // Words: Saam Das

You're probably familiar with Dummy, the digital magazine/site that began back in 2005, with a current mission statement to cover 21st century pop music. The Dummy AGM was the first event of its kind for the team, collecting some of their favourite musicians in East London, including the likes of Brolin and Woman's Hour. Here's our rundown of the event.

Actually finding the Dummy AGM was the first challenge, with London Fields Brewery tucked away in a Hackney back street. Once there though, it was all simple enough with a large venue area flanked by a bar well-stocked with a series of special locally brewed beers. I started off proceedings with Greece's Larry Gus, and a pint of wheat beer. The music was a little more impressive than the beer, the melodic cacophony emanating from Larry's baffling setup proving quite hypnotic.

Considering the stage times were already behind schedule, it seemed somewhat perverse to indulge Larry with a near hour-long set but he maintained the standard throughout. The mysterious Brolin followed, happily wandering around the venue before donning a mask for his onstage performance. My confusion with the anonymity angle was merely increased.

Joined by a drummer live, Brolin delivered his catalogue of songs that have so far delighted bloggers and beyond in an intense yet accessible fashion. Indeed, his Yorkshire drawl and stage banter became steadily more endearing, even giving "Gus from 'Breaking Bad'" a shout out at one point. The likes of 'Portland', 'Rejkyavik', and 'NYC' all went down well, the crowd seemingly increasing in number after each offering.

With the stage times all at sea, I had to leave but had hoped to catch one of the later sets back at home - unfortunately, the promised live streams throughout the weekend never transpired. But I was back early for the second day, and with Eaux pulling out, Rainer had the job of being the warm up act of the day. The duo struggled at times with slight technical issues, although recent single 'Girls' sounded excellent, and unveiled tracks from a new EP. A little bit of fine tuning could go a long way for their live act.

Woman's Hour opted for an interesting lighting setup, facing floodlights toward the band amid the darkness, creating a suitably moody atmosphere to match their music. While engaging, the tracks were perhaps a tad too one paced, although an unexpected cover of 'Dancing In The Dark' re-ignited my interest.

Patten was one of the acts on the bill that I had no familiarity with, and I was greeted by a single man on stage who proceeded to deconstruct several genres ranging from hardcore to rap through his DJ set. It was a little too chaotic for my liking, and the nonchalant end to his set (closing laptop and jumping off stage) came across as surprisingly arrogant.

Previously known as Primary 1, Amateur Best brought a whole bunch of pals for his set - no arrogance here, just entertainment. There's something of an indie Michael Bublé to Joe Flory when he's crooning away but his tracks veered from electro to funk - the only constant being the sense of enjoyment that both the band and the large majority of the audience shared. A sparkling set.

I took my leave soon after, figuring that this was a pretty ideal end to my experience. Before making my excuses, I did give some of the other beers a go along the way - I'd recommend avoiding the unfiltered lager but suggest you try the porter. Similarly, it might be worth trying some of the other acts who played including Only Real and Deptford Goth. And if you haven't already, you can check out Dummy at dummymag.com.

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