Review: 02 Wireless Day One

Lucky me got to go to the 02 Wireless Festival to shoot the tasty Bella Union stage for The Line Of Best Fit. The festival is held in Hyde Park. I was there just last week to see Alessi so I knew the dealie.

The first act was Jesca Hoop. I saw her on Tuesday and enjoyed her set but I much preferred her at the Bella Union stage, perhaps because I remembered her songs and knew them. She had a tough crowd. Her music is beautiful and quite quiet, and she was competing with the thumping bass of a nearby tent, as well as an audience of mostly random people who had just come to the area to sit down. I loved her set nonetheless.

Next it was Chimes & Bells who were a real treat! I listened on their Myspace a while ago and thought they sounded good, but they are really brilliant live. The guy and the girl pictured are also in Choir Of Young Believers, who are another band worth investigating. The lady singer had a Mariam Wallentin-esque vocal style, and even had the waving hand gestures (!). I was getting pretty excited by this band, definately go catch them live. They’ve got a show at Slaughtered Lamb tonight and the ICA on Tuesday.

Beth Jeans Houghton took to the stage next. The stage was actually a bandstand, I really enjoyed watching the bands play in that setting. Beth & co played really bouncy pop music, they were alot of fun. After her set the lovely Bella Union folk gave me and my friend Pete artist wristbands and food coupons, so we had access to the catering area. I love free food, it puts me in a good mood for AGES. So we meandered to the catering area. I got pork escallops, potatoes and green beans, and a pudding of chocolate tart. AMAZING. Free drinks too.

After we could move again we headed back to the bandstand and caught Banjo Or Freakout. They have some insanely awesome drumming and were good to watch again. While we were waiting for Fanfarlo we were all standing by the Bella Union merch stall. I don’t know what it is about big festivals like this, but the concentration of silly, inconsiderate people is ridiculously high. The festival was not geared for an awesome independent thing like Bella Union, you only need to walk around for one second and see the Ugg Boots stage, EA tent, Dominoes pizza van and other big brands out to get your money and notice that Bella Union are the only ones there for the love of music. Boo. So, we were all standing by the table and some muscly guy ran up to the table shouted ‘BELLA UNION!’ grabbed a tshirt from the table and sprinted off. It was frustrating. Grrr. I have alot of love for Bella Union, it’s run by some lovely people who truly love music. Win. 

So, after the semi-drama of the tshirt stealing guy, Fanfarlo took to the stage. I love them, they’re a brilliant live band. They even drew a sizable audience who were actually listening. Their pop songs are instrumentally rich and a joy to hear, I would recommend going to see them live, I especially dig Luna. And, they are responsible for one of my favourite gig moments of the year, when they covered In The Aeroplane Over The Sea at the ICA I was swooning. Here is their Myspace.

Because there was nothing else worth catching once the Bella Union stage closed, we headed back. Can’t wait for round two.

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