June 1, 2022
Words by: Arthur Cross
Starting the day quite late and urgent to make up for lost time I got stuck in straight away in Beacon House to catch experimental industrial noise-rock group Mandy, Indiana.
Pulsating marching beats battered the crowd accompanied by swirling razor-like guitar which lashed and whipped out into the crowd. Valentine Caulfield’s vocals, sung in her native French, added to a feeling of deranged frenzy as she stumbled around the stage – fake blood dripping from her nose. Their energy wasn’t just matched but exceeded by a crowd thirsty for chaos, hurling against each other in rapture. As the set ended, the sun suddenly streamed in, smoke and perspiration rose upwards catching the light, which flowed into the space as if through the windows of a cathedral. Had a religious experience just taken place? It certainly felt like it.
Walking towards the harbourside near the Arnolfini it already felt like time for a break by the water. Groups of people sat on the pavements outside as EP64’s second event in the space kicked off. A reminder that there is always something else going in Bristol you wished you could catch. After contemplating cloning myself – maybe Big Jeff had tried this before? We headed over to Thekla to catch Sipho.
Descending the stairs into the darkness of the depths of the boats’ hull, any sense of time of day suspended itself. Sipho. had already started, vocals thick with emotion like swirling honey-coated you in any atmosphere of his choosing. Unexpectedly high energy there was no risk of Sipho. falling into the lethargy trap that often gets R&B singer-songwriter-esque singers. Calls for movement from the crowd were willingly received with euphoric dance and movement. Arising from the boat in a bit of a daze it was time to rush over to see Ghetts.
Returning to Bristol Beacon it felt like a new energy had taken hold of the space. Sunlight had withdrawn, dusk had already descended and the night revealed itself brimming with anticipation. New noises presented themselves as two DJ’s slipped effortlessly between their sets building up the energy of the crowd. Ghetts then entered – relaxed and in complete control Hennesy and Coke in hand as excitement rippled through the growing audience.
A veteran of Grime there was no need for him to over-exert himself to get people moving as he pulled upon decades of iconic releases. His first festival slot of the summer, he did slip up at points but found a friend in Eddie, a die-hard fan who spat the bars right back at him. A friendly reminder and Ghetts was off again playing into the dynamic; they both even ended up going back to back at points. A quick encore of grime-classic Artillery felt like a reminder to everyone just who we were watching as silver-tongued lyricism, incisive beats and unforgettable hooks merged causing Beacon House to explode all over again.
Photos used by TrueStyleMusic
contemplating cloning myself - maybe Big Jeff had tried this before?
Photo by TrueStyleMusic