In the year when the successful Camden Crawl folded, the outlook for Visions was mixed. Was the RIP of CC a sign that we are over wristband festivals, or was it just that new blood is needed. After a successful debut last year, the Hackney one-dayer, with 28 bands playing across four venues, complete with a Record Fair, Comic Book convention, Tattoo art exhibition and Netil Food truck market, wasn’t so grand in scale, but succeeded in inspiration, intimacy and diversity.
In the craft beer hub Brewhouse sophisticated electropop from New Zealand quartet Yumi Zouma has elements of rolling melodies, whilst jangle pop was there in all glory at arts studio Oval Space, with guaranteed good time Veronica Falls and Mollie Rankin’s from Toronto’s Alvvays connective clamour.
Eleanor Friedberger persevered through a chatty crowd in the New Empowering Church, and playing with warm heart and soul endeared the crowd, as the delicate vocals of Swedish sweetheart Alice Boman had earlier.
The Laundry is certainly the heavy house, with the Cheetahs early set leaning to loud grunge rather than melodic shoegaze. It gets heavier for Leeds’ Eagulls, and shocktastic for Perfume Pussy. Andrew WK’s audience are there to party hard. Violent dancing, destroyed amplifiers, stage invasions and crowdsurfing, only ending as W.K’s microphone and piano were unplugged. Crazed carnage.
As frustrating as it us, when nearly all day major band clashes are on, it’s a sign of a stellar line-up is a good one. Whilst Perfume Genius played what I heard to be a deep, atmospheric and beautiful set Policia were haunting and slick as usual, there was the feeling that they may have been a bit weary after their string of festival performances.
Visions – I see a good future ahead.