Live: Hockley Hustle 2010

27 October 10 words: Paul Klotschkow
With Royal Gala, Baby Godzilla, The Eviltones, Moscow Youth Cult and many more

So it's Hockley Hustle time again; that time of the year when the Hockley area is taken over by Nottingham's best promoters, DJs and bands to raise money for charity. The festival is raising money for five local charities this time around, Framework, Inspire, Nottinghamshire Hospice, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum and Roads to Recovery. The other new thing for this year is that instead of being on the one day, the festival is taking in the whole weekend and had spread further out of Hockley, taking in newer venues to the Hockley Hustle such as Nottingham Contemporary and Spanky Van Dykes.

Tokyo Green - photo by Adam Humphreys (c)

Tokyo Green at Nottingham Contemporary. Photo: Adam Humphreys

With events on the Friday and Saturday, including LeftLion's Scribal Gathering and Sound of the Lion events at Nottingham Contemporary, the main thrust of things is still the Sunday. So after picking up my wristband from outside of Cape, I head to Broadway for a cup of tea and to ease myself in to the days action with some acoustic music. I catch the tail end of Timothy J Simpson's set, and he has the early afternoon crowd in the palm of his hands with his charming, swooning set.

It's already packed out in here by the time teenage singer-songwriter Jake Bugg takes to the stool. He doesn't utter a word and barley makes eye contact with the crowd during his set, but when the music is this good, it doesn't matter. His songs skip along with a country-esque shuffle and and there are also hints of fifties rock 'n' roll and touches of Americana in his song writing. He already sounds like a formidable talent and the scary thing is that he's still developing, so he's only going to get better.

Golden Troubadours - photo by Adam Humphreys (c)

Golden Troubadours at The Bodega. Photo: Adam Humphreys

Record label and promoters Hello Thor are hosting the entertainment in The Jam Cafe, and things kick off in fine form with Make A Halo. Despite some mild microphone issues, his sparkling songs radiate heart and charm around the room; with his percussive guitar playing and homespun stories complimenting one another perfectly.

I'm drawn to the upstairs room at The Bodega Social primarily because When A Train Hits A Truck are covering Idlewild and I'm curious as to what they will sound like. Fortunately, they manage to grapple with the likes of Rosebility and When I Argue I See Shapes and whereas it could have failed they sound great, with both the band and crowd looking like they are enjoying it equally. They finish the set with a few of their own tunes and they slot in comfortably alongside their cover version counterparts. Think part pumped-up pop-punk and part post-grunge propulsive slabs of meaty guitar power chords.

Bodukwe - photo by Adam Humphries (c)

Bodukwe. Photo: Adam Humphreys

Across the road and Bodukwe are taking the Pit and Pendulum on a journey through funk, jazz, and metal. They are a tight knit unit with their drummer keeping it all together, but it's their guitarist who shines. At any one moment he's able to tease out gentle splinters of sound or turn up the heat and blast out molten hot heavy metal riffs, and often within the same song. They take in so many styles that it's hard to pin them down, but they are all the better for it.

I don't think any words can truly describe just how incredible The Eviltones performance is, it's just a shame more people haven't stuck around to witness it. They deliver a furious set of hyper rockabilly workouts, earth shattering surf guitar and fiery garage rock. The singer is all leather trousers, gyrating and gurning his way through each song as if he's completely lost in the performance; whilst the guitarist wrestles with his instrument throwing out various shapes and jittering up and down the tiny stage. An absolutely manic and explosive performance from quite easily one of the bands of the day.

Eviltones - photo by Adam Humphries (c)

Eviltones. Photo: Adam Humphreys

Union Station Massacre have the Bunkers Hill throng hypnotised with their delicate, spine-tingling music. Their songs are so delicate, you think they may snap under their own weight. But they gently grow, flow and build up until they quite literally make me blow my ethereal load. It's such a beautiful and haunting performance that you forget you are stuck in a dank upstairs room of a pub.

Back to The Jam Cafe and with confusion over times I don't see who I planned to see, but it does mean I get to watch Moscow Youth Cult, and I'm glad I do. With two keyboards and an old TV playing grainy VHS footage they make colourful electronica, that's strike you right in the sweet spot like a laser-guided missile made of bleeps and blips. What could have ended up sounding like the bedroom hobby of a bored teenager in lesser hands, is actually a joyous reminder of the warmth that lo-fi electronic music can create. File alongside DNTEL and Boards of Canada.

Baby Godzilla manage to create a mini riot in the Pit and Pendulum. They probably break hundreds of Health & Safety rules, but it's all in the name of good honest rock n' roll, so it's well worth it. Both band members and the crowd start moshing and crowd surfing in the tiny area given up for the music, with the threat of the wobbling PA toppling down on top of them. Then by the end of their set, the drum kit has been placed in the middle of the audience and there are band members strewn about the place like some sort of rock wreckage, and most of them seem to be on their backs on the ground completely exhausted after giving their all, and totally making coming out today worth it in one short set.

Tokyo Green - photo by Adam Humphreys (c)

Gallery 47 at Nottingham Contemporary. Photo: Adam Humphreys

Things seem to be running a little late back in The Broadway. So late in fact that I've lost all sense of time, but what I do know is that it's probably time to go home instead of ordering another pint and waiting for Royal Gala to come on. Although, I am fortunate enough to catch the end of Harleighblu's set, and even though I can't see a thing due to how rammed it is in here, it's a belter with soul and funk combining in an irresistible way, and there is quite clearly a lot of love in the room for this young and talented lady.

Wow, Royal Gala bring this years Hockley Hustle to close in a celebratory manner. With people craning their necks and dancing on tables, Royal Gala make sure the festival ends on a high note. Bringing bits of ska, funk, soul and reggae to the party RG shake, rattle and roll their way through an exhilarating and earth shattering set. Even when the PA is turned-off the band carry on playing, leading the party from the front line. This is the perfect way to end what has turned in to a celebration of the great music that this city is creating.

Photos by Adam Humphreys (c)

The Hockley Hustle took place in various venues in and around Hockley on Sunday 24 October 2010.

Hockley Hustle website

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