Friday, August 06, 2010

Hillside 2010 - Friday Night Recap

A clean-shaven Beardyman kicked it all off on the main stage. Blinded by the afternoon sun that had busted through after an ominous day he composed blazingly danceable tracks by feel alone. Amazingly this beatboxer does not use samples or records but instead composes entire tracks by recording his vocals on the fly and whipping them into club beats. Only during his "sound check" did he perform a full-on beatbox track which turned out to be the highlight, even though the rest was great. Unfortunately it was still mid-afternoon and things were just getting underway so the rather sizable dance party that did form was only a fraction of what it could (and I argue Should) have been.

Read on for First Rate People, Warped 45s, Laura Marling and Flashlight Radio!

First Rate People were hard to pin down. As a young band, both age and experience, it may simply be that they haven't yet found their sound since it varied greatly from song to song. Not to say that it didn't sound good at times as this five-piece swapped vocal duties, even letting the female drummer in on the action. Songs were short, bass was groovy and the few tracks I caught were alright.

The Warped 45s were a quick, upbeat take on country, complete with a singer in a cowboy shirt. Their keys were poppy akin to Will Currie from the quick glimpse I had.

Laura Marling has been receiving quite the buzz for a solo twenty year old out of the UK. Up for the Mercury Prize she brought her music to Hillside's main stage. With a powerful full band behind her on most songs Laura's nicely accented, soft voice still managed to come through. The dynamics of the songs were pleasant, as were the tracks where she strummed solo on her acoustic guitar, using lulls to to her advantage.

Flashlight Radio were quite enjoyable live. Their deliberate instrumentation was offset well by the powerfully pretty vocals of the female lead singer. Laid over an acoustic bed the song Leaving caught attention - and did I mention they were pretty?

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