A hugely popular city-wide music festival made a welcome return last weekend following an enforced pandemic absence.
Billed as a festival of new music, international record labels showcase their performers at a three-day event attended by music-industry workers and gig-goers.
Your reviewer’s festival began in the unlikely, nicely carpeted surroundings of the Queens Hotel and the growling guitar and punchy drums of Fräulein (inset).
The considerably less carpeted, but always marvellous, Green Door Store once more hosted performers from Canada.
Highlights included the groovy country stylings of The Bobby Tenderloin Universe, the driving energy of Slow Down Molasses, and the sibling harmonies and surf-guitar sounds of the The Garrys.
One of the festival’s charms is seeing bands in city’s pubs and clubs. Casablanca’s hosted some crackers this time around, including endearingly enthusiastic Hungarian dream popsters Mork, banging Czech techno twins, and Essex R&B starlet Chrissi.
The sun shone on the righteous throughout and the outdoor (albeit favoured covered) Jubilee stage entertained superstar-in-waiting SumeRR who mixed reggae and soul to great affect, and the 16-piece London Afro-folk jazzers Balimay Project who ripped it up on Friday afternoon.
Alongside the many many young tyro musicians promoted at the festival there were also a few more mature beasts at the oasis.
The very wonderful Kiwi singer-songwriter Jonathan Bree crooned his way through a theatrical performance at Horatio’s on the pier, which Bowie and Scott Walker would certainly have approved of, and the same venue the US duo Mattiel showed why their pure power pop has turned so many heads.
Much-loved indie label Bella Union provided the festival’s stand-out evening with heavyweight label mates BC Camplight and Warmduscher at The Old Market in Hove.