Here is part 2 of our experience of Homegrown festival at Suffolk Academy in Barrow! If you haven’t read it already, take a look at part 1 here!
Appearing on the main stage through Saturday was a varied selection of musical styles presented by established and up and coming bands. The partisan crowd, in some part made up of other participating bands were treated to a well put together programme from indie rock, through new prog, heavy rock and jazz funk.
The line up featured stand-out acts such as Blue Mean Eyes and an assured and professional performance from 15 year old Gabby Rivers and her band early in the running order as she stunned the crowd with her vocals and her wonderful cover of Florence + The Machine’s Dog Days Are Over.
Also appearing on the bill and deserving of special mention were Kyanos with their brand of bass heavy New Prog infused with 60’s psychedelia, while The Catch a young indie band who got people’s attention early on with a shout-out to drummer and vocalist! Another young band that deserve a special mention are Among the Citizens who are ones to watch who brought their dreamy and memorable synthesiser/guitar melodies to The Coastline Stage.
The Hunter Club side stage featured up and coming acts throughout the day. Of special note were confident performances by Millie Kirkpatrick and 13 year old Noah Evans, both performing solo acoustic sets of largely original material to much applause. Ones to watch in the future, while another special shout-out to Phoebe Austin who we covered at Bury Fringe last month, and was again showing her talent playing originals and covers.
The one-man band was just mesmerising being able to portray a wide range of vocal colour and to carry off the feat of sounding like a three piece band. Using no loop effects but only an electric bass drum and cymbal/drum effects pedals, he provided a continuous rhythmic accompaniment to his vocals and dexterous guitar playing, and his set covering some of the most timeless pop classics, from The Beatles to David Bowie, via Oasis in a way we’ve never seen before, which had the whole crowd joining arms to dance and form a large circle during his set. A real crowd favourite and one to add to the watch list.
The day was topped off by high-energy heavy indie rock trio Fick as Fieves and closing act Stretch Soul Gang delivered a soul infused jazz funk set that had everybody up dancing the night away.
This small local festival played host to a wealth of local talent that deserves to be seen by a larger audience. The organisers have plans to grow the festival and it will be interesting to see how they achieve this need and still preserve the intimate relaxed setting and atmosphere of the event.
Will the organisers be able to afford acts such as Blue Mean Eyes or Gabby Rivers in the future? Let’s hope they can as this is a Jewel in the Crown for the region.