Festifeel @ Queen Of Hoxton 4th June 2012

Festifeel was a festival taking play at the Queen Of Hoxton in aid of Coppa Feel. This was the first time I had attended this yearly event. Festifeel 2011 took place at Monto Water Rats and was headlined by Noah and the Whale. Even though I wanted to attend that year I couldn’t as it clashed with The Camden Crawl. This event took place over Jubilee weekend and it was in fact the same day of the big concert outside Buckingham Palace. Thankfully it wasn’t busy when I made my way to the venue and this was most likely down to the fact I was there at 11.30. The afternoon of live music was set to start at 12pm with the first music artist playing in the basement at 12.25pm. Its line up was really good and bands that took my fancy were Yes Sir Boss, Kyla La Grange, Slow Club and the delectable Lianne La Havas. Also Holly Walker turned out to be a right revelation.

Taking to the stage around 12.30 was London’s very own Holly Walker who was playing in the downstairs basement. With the fact that she was the first on the audience was rather intimate which was actually a shame because the set that was performed was brilliant. It was the first time I had witnessed Holly Walker’s music and I was left enchanted. I definitely would see her again in the future.

Aside from that the set started with Modern Life. This song was very tongue in cheek and it sounded very similar to the style Kate Nash’s early music. Modern Life was a upbeat keyboard driven infectious pop song. “I’m Holly Walker. This song is called Penelope” Walker said introducing herself to the intimate audience. Penelope showcased Holly’s startling vocals. This song was a lot different compared to Modern Life. For starters it was a strong tune which had excellent lyrics. Once over it was straight onto Panic Breeds Panic. There was a slight pace to this tune and you also had the drum beat. Its lyrics were soft and wonderful. Once over Holly introduced the band then launched herself into Serial Killers which was a soundtrack to a horror film. This was one fragile song which detailed the story of a jealous partner who killed someone. You would of expected that when hearing the title of this fantastic song the melody would be a lot darker but this wasn’t the case. It was then onto a take of Rude Boy by Rihanna. “You might recognise this” Walker said to the audience. I finally realised what it was once this tune reached the chorus. Holly’s take on this song was superb and the fact that I didn’t pick up on what it was straight away shows that she did her very own interpretation of Rude Boy. “This is out last one. Thanks for listening. Thanks for having me. Whoever you are. The Queen” Holly said before ending with another tongue in cheek song and this being Sterile Facile. I found this number upbeat and infectious as well.


Modern Life
Panic Breeds Panic
Serial Killers
Rude Boy
Sterile Facile

Yes Sir Boss are an eclectic collection of six college friends including Matt Sellors, bassist Josh Stopford, guitarist Luke Potter, drummer Reuben Nimmo, trumpeter Tom Lad, and saxophonist Jehan Abdel-Malak. Together they have cultivated a truly original, distinct and indefinable sound that has elements of everything from a brooding Balkan blues band to a horn injected indie rock outfit. This performance was a showcase of material that features on the current Desperation State album as well as a couple of songs from the forthcoming album. Things opened up with Na Na Ooh which does appear on the début album. After having been a fan of the Desperation State EP this song gave the listening audience an insight of what to expect. There were actually ska roots throughout this powerful number. “It’s an absolute privilege to be here” Matt said before going onto say “We haven’t got very long and we wanna play some songs. So we’re just going to get on with it”. Pretty Thing was very laid back and was about girls.  The horn-led Desperation State, says front man Matt Sellors, “a reflection on young people’s state of mind and the choices we make”. The vocals were incredible and this was one catchy number. “We’ve got a bunch of EP’s so come and get them at the end” Sellors then said before an Untitled song. Based from the album samples I have heard this new song doesn’t even feature on that. Next up was the reggae-tinged Not Guilty, with its Spaghetti-Western style intro and infectious refrain, its lyrics all about “greed, conspiracy, and the contradictions flaunted by our world leaders”. “This is it, this is our last song” Matt then said before the band ended with Never Know. This fast pace song involved plenty of clapping. This was the perfect backdrop to YSB’s Matt’s husky vocals and nice turns of phrase. Never Know has to be one of my favourite songs by Yes Sir Boss.


Na Na Ooh
Pretty Thing
Desperation State
Not Guilty
Never Know

Next it was then onto a blistering short set by the one and only Kyla La Grange. She opened with début single Been Better which was released on Chess Club last year. This song was a full on force. Kyla literally belted it out at ease. The harmonies were tight and this tune also had a strong folk vibe. Its lyrics were amazing and the I especially liked the punchy chorus. It was then onto the next song and this being Walk Through Walls B side Courage. Now I really liked this song first it had verses which showcased La Grange’s stunning/ distinctive vocals. Secondly the chorus was belted out and this oozed plenty of energy. “I’m not allowed to talk for very long cos the stage is running a bit late” Kyla said before getting stuck into very sad song and this being To Be Torn. This was a beautiful ballad which showed off La Grange’s vocals to perfection. It sounded like she was channelling Kate Bush as her vocals were high pitched and chilling. “Thank you for listening so quietly” Kyla said after when she had finished singing To Be Torn. It was then into something utterly infectious. The song was the pacey Walk which does not appear on the Ashes track listing. Still Walk was a fun song and is very in your face. You can easily have a good dance to it. “Thank you so much for listening. I have an album coming out on July 30th” La Grange then said before ending with Lambs. I picked up on an Irish feel and the lyrics were rather luscious and extremely sweet.


Been Better
To Be Torn

Just a little before 6pm Slow Club took to the stage and opened up with Where I’m Waking. The verses were shared between Charles and Rebecca. This song was extremely infectious and oozed plenty of energy. My favourite part had to be the middle 8. “Hello everybody” Charles said before they went straight into If We’re Still Alive. This tune was infectious and it oozed plenty of energy. If We’re Still Alive was a song which was packed with a punch plus it was extremely up tempo. “Hiya, is everyone OK? We’re Slow Club. This is a song called Beginners off of our incredible album” Rebecca then said before getting stuck into my favourite song. There was a little bit of a full start. “This is what happens when you rush me” Watson said before they whizzed through Beginners. Taylor sang the majority of this up tempo/ infectious number on the electric guitar. The reason Beginners is one of my favourites from Paradise is the fact that it’s so entrancing. “Is everyone having a good day here? It’s a pleasure to play here at Breast Fest” Rebecca Taylor then said to the audience.  Never Look Back was a nice, gentle and chilled out. At first this tune started was played at a slow pace which picked up nearer the end. The parts Rebecca sang were belted out. Whilst Charles parts were laid back and soothing.  It was then onto a quieter song and this will appear on the forthcoming EP. Everything Is New was a Charles solo with Rebecca adding the harmonies. This song was delivered at a steady pace and had some brilliant lyrics. “We’re going to play 2 more songs then we’re going to go” Watson then told the audience. What followed was another new track and this being Not Mine To Love which was a beautiful ballad. Rebecca took the lead for this song. This hypnotic song had lyrics that perfectly fitted to the mellowing melody. I actually picked up on a soulful vibe. “Thanks again for having us Coppa Feel” Taylor said before they both got stuck into Two Cousins. This song was really catchy and you’re captivated from the very start. Also it was very upbeat.


Where I’m Waking
If We’re Still Alive
Never Look Back
Everything Is New
Not Mine To Love
Two Cousins

Once over it was then off to the roof terrace for the hotly tipped Lianne La Havas. So once at the terrace everyone wanting to see Lianne was informed that she would in fact be playing on the ground floor. What was to follow was a short set which did feel like a busk which made this performance rather memorable.

This short but sweet set was basically a showcase of material from the debut record which comes out this July. “Thanks everyone. So I don’t have a microphone so we’re gonna go rock and roll” Lianne said before quiet number No Room For Doubt. There was plenty of chatter in the back and there were plenty of people hushing the chatterers. There was a strong folk vibe to this song. La Havas’s vocals were really soothing and mesmerising. I was extremely fortunate as I was right in front so I could hear every single word that was sung. Someone held up a microphone for Lianne so she could deliver the rest of the set to perfection. The song which followed was the upbeat Au Cinema. This tune was excellent I really liked the lyrics which were delivered at a steady pace. Its chorus had to be my highlight. Next it was onto Forget which was a song about an Ex Boyfriend of Lianne’s. This number serves as the 1st release taken from the forthcoming LP Is Your Love Big Enough. Forget was delivered to perfection. There was a dash of soul and the vocals were silky smooth. “Thank you for persevering” La Havas said as she finally got a stand for her microphone. It was then onto Tease Me. It’s lyrics were very clear to the point and you could picture what was happening. “I’m going to leave you with 1 more song. Thanks for being so lovely” Lianne said before ending with the quirky Age. Through the lyrics La Havas was basically saying that age doesn’t matter in the relationship sense.


No Room For Doubt
Au Cinema
Tease Me

OVERALL: Once Lianne had finished playing her set I then made my exit. My experience at this one venue festival was a good one and I witnessed some top class acts.

Holly Walker performed her new 4 track EP Bedroom Bangers in its entirety. I will most definitely see her play again as I was left captivated and I was left wanting to hear more.

Yes Sir Boss were a talented band whose music involved instruments such as guitars, trumpets etc. This group are signed to Joss Stone’s record label and I liked the ska vibe of each song sung. Début EP Desperation State (which was previewed here a couple of months ago) is a right cracker and makes me look forward to the début album.

I have been a fan of Kyla La Grange for a couple of years now and her vocals blow me away. Yes you may think it is just Kyla but she has an amazing band backing her. What was sung was fantastic (Walk had to be my favourite along with To Be Torn) and it was unfortunate there were some technical problems before she kicked of the set.

Words cannot describe how amazing Slow Club were. I have been a fan for 5ish years and I have seen them grow up during that time. What was showcased was mainly from the incredible sophomore album Paradise along with 2 newies which will feature on the forthcoming untitled EP. The thing I most like about this band is the fact the songs are rather infectious and I especially like Rebecca’s personality.

Finally Lianne La Havas. This girl is someone who has the potential to be massive. Thinking about it she already is as she sold out her residency at The Social earlier on this year and she is also playing 2 nights at Village Underground this July. Lianne is by far a hotly tipped artist and the closeness of her performance this evening was something really special and at the same time surreal.


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