In our second review of the year column Jason Loftus, former host of the Nottingham LACE show on Trent Sound, and oft used MC for promotional juggernauts I’m Not From London, gives us his thoughts on the past twelve months of Nottingham music.
Being asked by Nottingham LIVE to write my review of the year is an honour but also quite daunting for two main reasons: I have difficulty putting speaky words down on paper and where the flip do you start with such an epic year?
I suppose I better start with the beginning.
My first highlight of the year was really a hangover from the last so to speak, one big BLOWOUT! A Left Lion BLOWOUT! I had been asked by I’m not from London to host the regular launches for Left Lion as in 2013 they had started a party around their edition launches and these consisted of having some amazing acts such as; Youthoracle, The Major Oak Chorus, Miggy Angel, and little old me doing the speaky bit in between the talent. These events were so diverse and D.I.Y that you had a real feel of something happening in and around Nottingham and L.L were documenting most of it so it was a real joy to be able to contribute and enjoy the talent on show.
Next up (these events are chronological as opposed in order of ‘Awesomeness’ as they are all awesome in their own way) was The Great Notts Show. For those of you who may have missed it (in a coma, out of the country or in prison) The Great Notts Show took over the whole of the Market Square, that bit up near Primark and Kings Street. The show consisted of food stalls, live performance art, circus performers, live crab fighting (Pat Cannon from I’m not from London dressed as a Crab) bad dancing (on my part) and some amazing live music. I again, was asked by InfL (there is a pattern forming here) to host the music (which this year was huge) stage and the talent on show this year was truly epic and diverse. We had brand new acts in the form of The Corridors, more established acts taking the stage such as Alto Pueblo and crazy gypsy punk band (plus man in a crab suit Pat Cannon) The Seas of Mirth. All the bands were amazing in their own way and all had the crowds rocking, swaying, bopping as they saw fit but there were two stand out acts that will be indelibly burned in my mind for very different reasons. Royston Duxford (who played on Saturday night) are the first stand out act mainly because I lost the plot entirely and was dancing like a man with an affliction and as a three piece they kick audio ass like very few others. My second standout act would have to be the guys who finished Sunday off, The Gorgeous Chans. I know they are young upstarts with vast amounts of gigging experience but they sure do live up to the hype and deserved their spots at Bestival and Splendour as well as the Great Notts Show this (or if you are reading this in 2015, last) year.
Next up for me (and it seems a long time ago) is the Waterfront festival and its associated shenanigans. I say ‘shenanigans’ as it always seems with the Waterfront that the actual event itself is the easiest part of the whole process and it is the amount of work that goes in to it (from listening to demos, to putting the set lists out for the various stages, sorting tech dudes out, wrist bands, monies… I could go on) that leads to the aforementioned ‘shenanigans’.
The day itself could not have been better, blazing sunshine, awesome bands, lovely people and all by the wonderful River (you can see what they did there, name wise) Trent. The main thing for me about the Waterfront Festival are the people who come. You always seem to get a diverse, hyperactive audience that just loves the buzz of the ‘do’ and are willing to let it all out for the sake of an awesome time (and all for charity) There is also a really good vibe from all involved; the acts, security staff, bar staff and the ubiquitous floating punters who always like to wave hello and slow down for a listen, awesome!
Band wise my highlights were: The Most Ugly Child, BUD, Yasmin Issaka, Halluminati, Deaf Bridges, Sea Monster Eyes, Origin One, One Bomb and Captain Dangerous.
Hockley Hustle. HOCKLEY HUSTLE Hockley Hustle. HOCKLEY HUSTLE Hockley Hustle. HOCKLEY HUSTLE Hockley Hustle. HOCKLEY HUSTLE Hockley Hustle. HOCKLEY HUSTLE!!!
Need I say more?
The Breakfast Club, Cibele Ponces Alverenga, 8mm Orchestra, Sam Kirk, Adam Peter Smith, 1st Blood, Ashmore, Cecil Chamberlain, The Swinnes, DUKE01, Ryan Thomas, Gallery 47, Jaimie Jospeh Matt Henshaw… to name but a few.
Recorded music wise there have been some awesome releases from some established, brand spanking new and established who are in brand spanking new incarnations so to speak.
Brand new: Jaimie Moon and his Cold Hands EP (awesome launch at The Bromley House Library also)
Established: Gallery 47 – All Will Be Well.
Established: Ryan Thomas – Worries and Troubles (went to number 1 in the iTunes chart)
Established who are in brand spanking new incarnations: (M.C of the Afterdark Movement) Bru-c and his Kamehameha The EP.
All of the above are truly ace (buy em, stream em, borrow em just listen to em!) no matter what year you are listening to them in.
My final highlight of the year is the Orangefest. Taking place at the Orange Tree (no s*it) boozing establishment on North Sherwood Street. This yearly hoo ha is a new one to me but an ace one. Nice and intimate spot with music, food, psychics, tweed shop and Wild clothing all under one roof. The one thing that struck me about this particular do was the varied nature of the talent and the crowd. The acts consisted of theatre groups, Deathcore power pop punk, solo singer songwriters, power pop party people and psychedelic garage rock while the crowd was made up of young and old (from all over the planet) and all in between. Same again next year I hope!
This next highlight is more of a lowlight and falls in the category of ‘wish I had made it’ but I sadly could not due to being poorly. Will and Tommy Sing the Classics sounded like it was an epic way to end an epic year and I kind of feel my year will not be complete without going to such an awesome event to round everything off, sooooo I am going to be going to the Waterfront NYE at the Canal House to put a fuzzy full stop for what has turned out to be an amazing year for Nottingham, Nottingham music and most of all for me.
How are you going to end your epic year?