Birmingham quartet Juice kick things off. They’re loud and brash, pumping out tropical riffs, similar to early Peace. Continuing the dirty, fuzzy theme, Asylums follow, raising the bar considerably in their 30-minute slot. They’re spunky and snotty, giving no fucks that it’s not even 3pm yet. The Orielles are the day’s first must-sees. The fresh-faced power trio from Halifax/Liverpool make ambient surf-pop music, which they perform with an innocent charm. Wide smiles onstage are reflected in the audience, cuts from the group’s recent release Jobin EP achieving the most love.
Up next are Yonaka, who a brief brush with at The Old Blue Last in January left us hungry for more. Theresa Jarvis fronts the outfit, a force of nature in high-waisted trousers with vocals to die for. Run stands out with its scratchy introduction and incendiary choruses, Jarvis’ enormous vocals the catalyst in the inferno. Hip-hop elements are intertwined with gunshot drum smacks, no more than for rampageous closer Innocence. The middle ground between Sundara Karma and Catfish and the Bottlemen come soon after, in the form of Reading quartet The Amazons. Their refined, indie-rock sound stands out as being notably ordinary in comparison to the rest of today’s acts, but there’s no denying that their huge sound has a definite appeal; their set sees the first mosh pits of the day, culminating in an almost stage invasion when time is called.
A break in the schedule permits a quick peruse around the rest of the venue. Seating it seems is in short supply, and if the cold doesn’t put you off outside the volume inside will. Nonetheless, alcohol is reasonably priced and the room provides an eccentric energy, courtesy of some dazzling neon lights.
Eccentricity remains the primary theme as The Jar Family grace the stage. Looking like a bunch of school kids who’ve raided the drama cupboard, their array of stage props spans from hats with feathers to enormous drums, and everything in between. The collective’s bizarre folk-meets-cabaret music bemuses for the most part, but the mostly young audience quickly clock on to the novelty sensation and the set goes down well.
Brighton band The Magic Gang are blatantly the most popular act of the day so far. They gather an enormous crowd before they even start, the occasional wave from guitarist Kris or bassist Angus setting off screams in abundance. When they finally launch into the charming melodies of Lady, Please the crowd is rowdy and anarchic. The first of many mosh pits and chant alongs fire up as the band beam at their phenomenal reception. But things quickly turn sour, as the fragile barrier at the front of the audience is thrown forward, trapping photographers against the stage. Despite frontman Jack Kaye alerting security after one song, it takes almost 15 minutes for anything to be done, by which time the set is seemingly ruined for myself and others. But despite blatant health and safety issues, the foursome play exceptionally, and everyone escapes unharmed and satisfied.
|The Magic Gang|
Nottingham three-piece Kagoule lead the charge towards headliner time. With the barrier issue resolved, duo Lucy Hatter and Cai Burns front a dark assault on Flying Vinyl, consisting of material from the trio’s 2015 debut Urth. Lawrence English’s drums back up the beefy performance, which appeals more to those left out by The Magic Gang’s happy-go-lucky charm. Grungey anthems Glue and Adjust the Way are firm favourites, but cuts from the trio’s upcoming sophomore album slip in comfortably. Kagoule stand out as one of the more credible acts from today’s line up, with a comfortable stage presence resonating from each member – a far cry from the nervous showmanship of some of their predecessors.
Black Honey are a Vapour Trail favourite, so it’s their set we’re most primed and ready for. Also from Brighton, the four piece have made a name for themselves as being rampant and energetic with a vintage twang, both on record and off. So it’s no surprise that tonight fits that trend. Spinning Wheel was crafted to be an opener, its bewitching first verse an open invitation for some sassy theatricals from frontwoman Izzy B Phillips, before an almighty scream gets us down to business. Older material like Teenager and Sleep Forever pack neatly in next to latest single All My Pride, the defining factor being a slick swagger that makes this band so outstanding. Corinne is the fan favourite, bringing new levels of life to the cloudy room, a tour de force from a band with an undoubtedly bright future ahead of them.
Closing proceedings are Swim Deep, who take their rightful place at the top of the bill. As a solo trumpeter heralds their arrival (no idea) it seems the audience are totally spent post-Black Honey. But the spine-tingling intro to Forever Spaceman is the Mento in a musical Coke bottle. An eruption of bangs and fizzes wash over Flying Vinyl, continuing through into Grand Affection and Namaste. A touching tribute to Viola Beach, who were billed to play at the festival before passing away tragically in February, leads into hit single She Changes the Weather. King City follows, inspiring a new energy within the crowd, before the synthesizer masterpiece that is To My Brother tells us it’s almost home time. “We’ve got one more for you”, frontman Austin Williams announces, “it’s a long one”. Fuieho Boogie, the crowning jewel from the band’s second LP Mothers, closes the festival with eight minutes of madness, a cherry on top of the irresistible cake that has been Flying Vinyl Festival.
Chaos, ecstasy, mosh pits, beer, ten bands, one room and a shit load of up-for-it punters. Cheers Flying Vinyl for a fantastic festival, we’ll be waiting for the next one!
|The Magic Gang|
Check out our interview with man-in-charge and founder Craig, here!
Words: Alex Cabré
Photos: Poppy Marriott