It was a damp and drizzly evening when the good people of Croydon started arriving at the remarkable Scream Lounge (Saturday 7th July) to witness some great musical acts – warming up for this year’s incredible line-up at Redfest. Redfest is a 3 day music festival set in the beautiful rural surroundings of Robins Cook Farm in Redhill, Surrey.
The evening was hosted by Gozibe Limited – formed to manage talented artists and assist them in taking sensible and steady steps to achieve realistic goals. Their mission is the discovery and career development of the next generation of young and aspiring artists. The Gozibe crew are hosting this year’s ‘Introducing Stage’ at Redfest.
First up to the microphone was the young talented singer-songwriter ‘Alice Dale’ – her luxuriant locks managing to make her look like the ‘Lady of Shallot’ as she sang about old, unhappy, and distant things… but with a voice of incomparable grace and polished, breathy emotion. Her sweet set was over far too quickly. But luckily for all of us, she will be the opening act for RedFest 2012.
Then the audience were served up some cool blue, jazzy offerings by ‘Sam TM’. Dramatic, deep and probing -the Sam TM songs have a heavy tone and distinguished power. While maintaining a sense of humour and lightness of touch, Sam still manages to evoke an authentic sense of solemn reality in her songs.
Up next were the superior hip hop, rap and RnB crew ‘Critical State’ revealing their super-pure brand of hyper-ambitious Croydon slickness to the rooms. These guys wrote their first track ‘Calm Before The Storm’ in collaboration with Noodles Production, partially written in NY and the UK. They are a fun-filled energy pack of pure talent.
Then ‘Tree House Fire’ played an exhilarating set, providing the eager crowd with a generous helping of mashed up reggae, ska and pop sounds. The audience started to dance right away to the hot and twangy rhythms. This bunch like to create music to move to, and they played a hot and humid set to the excitedly animated punters. We cannot wait to see them at this year’s RedFest.
Keeping things totally electrified, the bold Brighton trio ‘Loose Lips’ threw themselves onto the stage, roaring into a riot of punk-shaped sounds and semi-permanent colours… the sensation was like being stood next to a soda-bath full of hyperactive primates … too dizzying to watch – but you wouldn’t want to turn your back on them. ‘Loose Lips’ are a whirlwind of action and energy.
Top of the bill were the infinitely artistic rockers and reliable “odds-on” early rock ‘n’ roll casualties ‘New Ivory’. The ferocity of their musical assault caused some initial damage – a cymbal was smashed in two (quite literally) by the drummer Nite – whose excessive strength and almighty violence whilst performing would even make hammer-wielding thunder-god Thor wince. Simultaneously, the perma frosty James Dean lookalikey Mickey (lead guitar and vocals) managed to break not one, but two, strings during one of his guitar solos. Having stomped off stage in a mood of sulking anger at this outrage, the show was luckily saved when the ‘Loose Lips’ frontman (Jason) kindly offered up a replacement instrument to the ‘New Ivory’ wunderkind – in an act of ritual offering. This meant that the Young Turks could continue their enigmatically pouting performance. But Mickey seemed constantly possessed by a sort of irritating truculence, hunting around the stage looking for the next thing that he could urgently huff, puff or hump. And not necessarily in that order.
In the end, all finished well – and we were left the final sonically inglorious moanings of Jason’s once pristine instrument, now vengefully slung to one side, abandoned in a sprawling, ugly heap by the guitar amp. The rumble and squeal of heavy feedback clang around the room ….. as Mickey flounced off and disappeared into a back stage broom cupboard.
Ah! Rock ‘n’ Roll ….
© Neil_Mach July 2012