St John’s of Hackney Host Little Noise Sessions

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Hackney played host to the wonderful Little Noise Sessions, aimed to raise money and awareness for Mencap. Joe Whiley hosted the events which went on for 6 days last week – her sister was born mentally handicapped so it was a charity close to her heart. The bands weren’t paid and all the ticket and drinks profits went to charity. Nice. Also nice bars courtesy of Milk & Honey, Chapel Down and Giant Robot.

I went along for two of the nights for headliners Richard Hawley and Noah and the Whale. The venue itself was beautiful and the misty atmosphere immediately struck at the senses. Looming in the background was the intimidatingly big organ pipes. The lights were incredible and added to the ambience of the amazing music.

First Aid Kit openend for Hawley – two scandinavian sisters who can bang out a delicious harmony from folk sounds with some serious headbanging attitude. These girls are humble and sweet and punk.

I’ve never managed to see Richard Hawley before, always somehow missing him at festivals, so was super excited as I waited tentatively in my pew, mulled wine in hand. His opener to the set was “I am Richard Hawley, let’s destroy you”. He aurally, he did! Soundscapes reeling around the church with a layered cake of guitar sounds, pedals and beautiful vocals.

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On the Saturday was a triptych of bands I love. Lucy Rose began the night with dreamy-cute-girly vocals fractured with well thought out time changes and loves-lost lyrics. Her band were great, adding some good percussion and backing. This girl is going to go far, her album is lovely. I’m a little bit in love with her. And I now want a fringe.

We moved downstairs for Villagers where the sound was so much clearer (I am told this is best by the sound deck). Pints of the last of the mulled wine in hand, this boy has a touching stripped back voice which is emotionally accessible and heartfelt. I really like them! I liked them more than Noah and the Whale, and this was the general consensus of the evening. I hope they can share in some of the commercial success of the ‘Whale.

Noah and the Whale ended the night. In quite a spectacular way. The duo that runs the show look like brothers. I think they’d be a bit boring without the string quartet. AND they didn’t play ‘In 5 Years Time… which is about the only song I know apart from LIFEGOESON, which the crowd lapped up in a singalong.

Great venue, great music and a proud feeling that Hackney was the choice of venue for this event.

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Villagers on stage at Little Noise Sessions.

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Noah and the Whale in the pink.

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Festival: Hackney Weekend Review

Rascals, machines, umbrella(ella, ella, ella)s and Jessie J jealousy… 

Tor Cameron takes on Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend last Sunday. 

After a rainy start to the morning the sun came out and blessed a mixed crowd to a warm day of pop music and partying at Hackney Marshes on Sunday. Popping to the shops in Stoke Newington to get supplies around 10am, I noticed plenty of kids looming in their wellies and Sunday best, no one appearing over the age of 20. This was going to be a FUN day!

Being a little older than the average punters, we opted for a few hours of prep time at home and arrived fashionably late around 3pm. We missed Santigold and Bombay Bicycle Club who I would’ve liked to see but hey, free festival, right?! We first indulged my boyfriends crush by watching a bit of Jessie J, she was actually pretty good, has a great voice, worked the crowd etc. Didn’t stop me from flashing daggers as the boy went on about how hot she is….anyhoo…Also, note to dude with large obnoxious umbrella, IT WASN’T EVEN RAINING. Thanks.

Moving on to drop some friends at Sub Focus while we went to use THE CLEANEST FESTIVAL TOILETS I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED! A highlight in itself and no queues, we then went on to see my highlight of the day, Azealia Banks at the 1Xtra Stage. This girl has some serious ‘tude. Loved it, crowd went mental for 212, we shouted and danced like angry teenagers (with all the angry teenagers) then moved on to meet some friends back at the Hackney Weekend sign. Handy meeting point.

They had been at Maverick Sabre who were awesome on all accounts, we now took some down time to see Friction at the nearby outdoor DJ stage. Glorious, glorious sunshine, it felt like half the festival flocked to this stage and were just stomping it out in the heat. Great moment to look around and see such a mix of people all getting down and having a gay old time. Nice one Hackney!

Some of the chums were up for some Florence and the Machine, not a major fan myself but BOY CAN SHE BELT OUT SOME SOUND! We sat on the grass and had some greasy awful festival food. The food situ was actually a bit lacking compared to some other festivals I’ve been to, there was one vegetarian/vegan stall but the line was massive so I ended up with a dodgy fajita and some jerk chicken (see Rihanna paragraph below).

Back at the “In New Music We Trust” stage for some Magnetic Man and a bit of Chasing Status, crowd getting very dancey and bouncy now. At 7.30pm we headed back to the Main Stage to find out who the special guest would be. SQUEAL! Would it be Drake to perform with RiRi? Maybe Kanye would do a longer gig after his cameo with Jay-Z on Saturday? Or, shudder, would the rumours of Cheryl Cole come to fruition (special guest issit)? OHAI Dizzy Rascal! You could see the crowd divide into those who considered this a “Special Guest” and those who saw this as sloppy seconds. Our grouped mainly formed the latter. Sorry, but if you fill a lineup with big international acts and new talent, a long time festival favourite doesn’t seem all too “special”…ANYWAY, free festival, can’t complain so I shan’t.

Ultimate end to the cheese fest and time to indulge my ULTIMATE girl crush and secret shame top artist on Spotify. Rihanna was brilliant, from the moment Emma and I waved our half eaten jerk chicken bones at her until we were shouting out the lyrics to umbrella, I was the happiest girl in the world for that last hour. Nice one RiRi.

As the last act finished it was a controlled and well mannered crowd that surged from the marshes onto the streets of Hackney. Great day had by all, not the kind of music I would usually go to see live in all truth but that was some mega fun. Thanks BBC! YEEEEEP!

Gig: Marthas & Arthurs at Scolt Head

Acoustic guitars wrap cute lyrics from boy girl band The Marthas & Arthurs. They even have an accordian! I caught them at a festival a couple of years ago, and they are well worth a trip to local De Beauvoir pub, The Scolt Head next Thursday. They’ll be launching their album and playing a set, all for just a fiver to get in. http://www.thescolthead.co.uk/

Check out this video in the meantime and I’ll see you there!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/19705988″>Marthas & Arthurs – Barberosophy</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/marthasandarthurs”>Marthas &amp; Arthurs</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p> <p>filmed by Catherine McKenna</p>

Twitter @HackneyBubble

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