The day after the night before. It’s always hard to go at day two of these things with as much vigour as you did the previous day, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!
The big event for me was happening at 7 PM at Whelans, and that was to see Pictish Trail, the nom de plume of singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch. Johnny is Scottish and currently lives on the island of Egg, where he runs the fence collective, a record label that has released King Creosote and James Yorkston among others. I’ve loved his music for a while now, but due to fate/ happenstance, I haven’t managed to see him live up until now!
Johnny is quite a character on the stage, and kept the crowd smiling between songs with the banter revolving around the fact that he didn’t want us (the audience) to see other bands, now that we were exclusive, going steady so to speak! There was also a few quips were aimed at King Creosote, who Johnny used to play with, before he stole away with Jon Hopkins. Johnny played with a three piece band on the night, the other members of the group are also Egg island natives and are the only other musicians on the island, a heavy metal band! They banged out a number of songs from Pictish Trail’s two albums and also Johnny’s first project Silver Columns with great style.
Next up on the night was another Fence Collective band, Kid Canaveral who are a four piece also from Scotland. They are a tight band performing good honest rock and roll music, with a touch of flair. They were at their best on the louder numbers, and a number of the songs really took off. Forrests played in the Village shortly after, who are a two piece, mainly focused on the electronic sounds, but with guitar and live percussion also. Their set was enjoyable but I dashed off a short time into it, to see Pictish Trail play his second set of the night in the Unitarian church. There was a very different vibe to this one, as it was a solo acoustic set as well as being performed in a church, but Johnny had the same humour and the quality of the music was obvious.
No Ceremony/// were next up in the Village, and the three piece electronic band from Manchester lived up to the pre-festival hype and looked great on stage, with interesting visuals and lighting. Another short hop over to Whelans to finish the night with French band ‘Concrete Knives’ who were ripping it up! Their live show had so much energy that it was hard not to love what they were doing, and are certainly a band to check out the next time they play here live.
Overall the festival was a lot of fun, it’s great to dash between venues and see bands you’d never see otherwise. There’s no risk involved, so you end up seeing people you’d never see normally, and make a few discoveries along the way. Two real finds on the night were Pictish Trail and Concrete Knives, and both were very different, but nearly all the bands I saw over the three days had something interesting going on. Here’s to next year!