As if we needed reminding what a great music scene we have in Nottingham, Beat the Streets was chock-full of local talent all supporting a good cause. Consisting of eight stages across five venues it was hard to know who to go and see.
The only way forward was to plan it beforehand! Figuring Rock City was probably going to be rammed for Sleaford Mods, I decided that this should be my first port of call, and figured I might as well get there for the first act – VVV. I got myself a couple of cans of Hop House 13 (£2 a can – awesome!), and made my way to the front of the stage.
VVV are a three-man rapping crew who were supported by a DJ on decks. Both beats and rapping were very much old school, reminiscent of Beastie Boys. Their lyrics were occasionally be a touch self aggrandising as is common with this genre, but the performance was energetic and engaging, so we were off to a good start.
So, to probably the biggest band to hail from Nottingham at the moment. The crowd inside Rock City certainly supports this – it’s absolutely rammed. There is no way I was going to see Sleaford Mods if I hadn’t have already been in the main hall. By the time they come on it’s a little bit of a squash but the mix of anger and humour is evident from the get go and they performed a lively, impassioned set. I lefty slightly early though as I wanted to catch Kagoule downstairs. On the way out (which took an age) I bumped into a friend and by the time we had finished chatting it was too late to get in – the crowd were already overflowing out of the basement door and they’d basically stopped letting people in .
I cut my losses and took some time to chill out before heading back to the main stage for Eyre Llew. Although thankfully not quite as packed as it was for Sleaford Mods, they still attracted a decent crowd and deservedly so. I really like what these guys do but having reviewed them before I’m not sure I need to say at lot else suffice to say, I’m sure I will see these guys again at some point.
Happily the next band on my list is in Rescue Rooms so I could leave the craziness of Rock City behind and make my way there. Shelter Point are a two-piece electronica act consisting of one member on electronics and the other, the vocalist, swapping between keyboards and guitar. They had a good sound and the performance was spot on. Good stuff I like it.
Next stop the bar! The main bars were busy, so I headed up to the Red Room where they have a small bar. This turned out to be a happy accident as I got to watch a couple of songs of Laurie Illingworth. His compositions are piano based, but the striking feature here is his powerful voice. Despite having a small crowd, which actually feels bigger than it is due to the size of the room, his performance is 100%. Another one for the list of bands to check out later. He finishes and I headed to the main room for Daudi Matsik. Despite just being him with an acoustic guitar accompanying his vocals he is pretty engaging, but not quite my thing so I wander into Stealth to see what’s going on.
In there I find Same Streets who sounded exactly as they looked – 60s inspired mod rock. They were certainly good at what they do but I decided to head back into Rescue Rooms to catch Chloe Rodgers in the main bar. Gamely playing a mix of covers and originals she was unfortunately fighting against crowd noise as this is in the main bar, so not everyone was watching. Which was a shame, as her choice of covers was interesting and included UB40’s Red, Red Wine and Coldplay’s The Scientist. All her covers were what you would have wanted to hear when an artist does a cover. That is to say, they sounded like Chloe Rodgers. Those people who were watching her seemed to appreciate what she was doing, but I needed to be moving on again – Lawnmower Death were playing the main stage! Describing themselves as “metal’s bozo clowns” the day found them in good form playing to a packed main room. But then it was time to move on again and head over to the Bodega for Deadbeat at Dawn.
Deadbeat at Dawn are another two-piece playing electronica. This time one guy on keys and electronics was supported by a live drummer. This always brings an additional element to a performance. And so this proves to be too, despite some initial technical issues which they laugh off. Once they got going we were in for a treat and so far, this is my performance of the day. The brand of dark energetic electronica certainly went down well with the crowd.
Happily my wanderings were over as the remaining bands I wanted to see were all here in the Bodega.
I’ve reviewed Bone Cult before and my opinion hasn’t really changed but they are without doubt an exceptional live band. Their last track especially almost turns the room into a rave, complete with pounding base and pulsating lights. I would certainly recommend seeing these guys live because they are something to behold.
Last, but by no means least, Rolo Tomassi, named from a short but key line of dialogue in LA Confidential, carefully avoid being pigeonholed – describing themselves as experimental. However, they have been labelled mathcore which, to me, is a fitting label if I had to choose one. Mixing electronica with heavy guitars and screamed vocals, they pummelled the audience into submission. Solid set.
As much as I would have liked to carry on, and check out the silent disco, I’m done. So I headed home via a kebab shop, having had a great day. Next Year?
Beat the Streets raised £100,000 for the Framwework Charity.