The first act we caught was Dels at Cargo. Celebrating his signing to Big Dada the day before, his young hip hop style was a brilliant way to kick off the night. Sampling The Beastie Boys, he showed great skill and held the audience well.
Heading down Curtain Road to The Old Blue Last, we found the two members of Dam Mantle doing more noodling than the local Vietnamese restaurants.
From there we find ourselves on the long trek up to the Hobby Horse. Girls on bikes whizz past, showing us how it should be done. Next year. There’s a lot of confusion when we get there about 20 minutes later, as the whole line-up has been jumbled up and LA Shark, who we’ve been hoping to catch, are now due on a couple of hours later than scheduled. We stay for a couple of tracks from noisy rock outfit Swanton Bombs before getting scared that we’re missing something better, and so we head down to Jaguar Shoes to catch Jaguar Love.
J Shoes is packed out, but again it’s not for J Love who may have had to cancel, or may have been delayed. No-one really seems to know. So again the gigs are out of sequence and we instead see the end of Still Flyin’s lovely tuneful set. We don’t hang around on the off chance of J Love showing, and go to a succession of bars that are too busy to be enjoyable. We can’t even see Cate Le Bon at Spread Eagle, and we can’t get in to the Hoxton Bar And Kitchen for The Phenomenal Handclap Band, so instead go to what’s nearest which turns out to be The Molotovs at Zigfrid Von Underbelly on Hoxton Square. All floppy hair and falsettos, they provide some decent indie band fare.
As we head into late night territory, the super chilled grooves of Mt Kimbie over at the Scrutton St Warehouse go down well.
The template of gig-crawl festivals is becoming more and more commonplace. It’s an accepted way of getting a huge number of small acts some attention, and in theory it’s brilliant. But tonight it wasn’t quite pulled off. There are too many variables that can knock the whole thing off course. Little touches would be massively helpful. Regular Twitter updates on what’s going on and more information givers at the venues would be superb.