Gallery 47 - Photo by James Thompson
This is the second time in the space of a week that I I have had the privileged to watch Gallery 47, although something seems to be troubling him today. Sat on the sun soaked decking surrounded by cheery afternoon revelers, his gilded folk washes down just like a refreshing beer in the heat. It’s a shame that he seems to be battling sound troubles, and a touch of grumbling about not being able to hear himself shows that he’s probably not a happy bunny sat up on his stool. But he bravely carries on through the muddy sound to deliver a short yet stunning set, with Duck Footprints showing why he’s become a singer-songwriter of some standing amongst local gig goers.
Another acoustic troubadour follows in the shape of Will Jeffery, who’s characteristic grizzled voice never fails to elicit a smile. He’s been gigging locally for what seems like ages now, but he’s kicked it up a notch these past couple of years. His rustic folk is anchored perfectly by Jim Woodward’s toe-tapping double bass and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a relaxed summer drink.
Will Jeffery - photo by James Thompson
We Are Avengers are an all together different proposition and seem intent on transporting us to Bristol and and the year 1997, and take us away from the fact that we are in the middle of Notts stood next to a canal that pongs a little. Its refreshing stuff, with a DJ mixing funky rhythms and beats that have the faintest whiff of DJ Shadow about them, whilst the front-woman over the top with a voice clearly schooled in the soul divas.
The Wickets - photo by Claudette Jarvis
Inside and The Wickets are busy bringing the noise with a singer intent of melding the vocal stylings of Nick Cave and Roddy Womble to unique effect. As he barks his lyrics the band are busy thrashing away amongst the wail of spiky riffs behind creating an electric storm of noise rock.
Seas of Mirth - photo by James Thompson
It seems wrong to stay cooped up inside when it’s such a blooming gorgeous summer evening, so back outside it is to catch Seas of Mirth pretending to be a pirate folk band. My first thought is that it’s like a bunch of drama students finding some fake beards at a party and deciding to try and entertain their friends by making up some sea shanties on the spot. I’m not too sure whether it’s because I’m feeling more than merry myself, or if it is because Seas of Mirth have stumbled across a genius idea, but I’m blown away by how entertaining it is; and judging by the dancing that is going on around me, the unchartered territory that is Pirate Rock has some (peg) legs in Nottingham.
Dick Venom - photo by Stephanie Webb
There are moments during the Dick Venom & The Terrortones set where I find myself shouting with delight, but this may be a sign of my mental state by this time of the evening. Stalking the stage topless with just a pair of leather trousers for company, Dick Venom leads his band through a jittery set of spidery rockabilly that is literally dripping with sweat from every pore. DV spends just as much time entangled with the audience as he does on stage, with yours truly having his pint knocked out of his hands during one of these excursions. But it’s a small price to pay to be up close to and personal to a truly eccentric performance.
Rebel Soul Collective - Photo by Carla Mundy
Rebel Soul Collective are up next and bring with them enough heart, soul and and energy to power a thousand raves. They’re an indie rock band, but one with dance music running through their veins and clearly believe in the communal experience of music. They are like one of those late night party moments when everyone’s become best of mates, are buzzing off the same music and want that moment to last forever. This is a chemical experience and they play it like a headline band, and put quite simply, they smash it.
My night’s almost over as my body starts to tell me that I’ve perhaps had a little bit too much fun for one day, but that’s not before I catch a brief glimpse of Harleighblu, who is belting them out on the outside stage and is starting to sound like a modern day jazz and r'n'b great. Both her and her band are sounding on fire as they ring out in to the Nottingham night and it's a massive shame that I'm unable to stick around any longer.
The Waterfront Festival took play at The Canalhouse on Saturday 20 August 2011.