This Must Be the Place 2016 Roundup (Part 2)

By on Tuesday, 7th June 2016 at 2:00 pm

Words by Adam McCourt

As I returned to Headrow House, I instantly acknowledged the At The Drive-In-esque guitar tone produced by Harkin. As a massive ATD-I fan, she automatically perked up in my ears. The unfortunate thing about Harkin’s set was the inconsistencies in her guitar playing, especially when she set such a high standard with her voice. If she had an accompanying band, the songs and delivery would have translated a lot better. Despite a few minor discrepancies, she performed a set filled with chirpy vocals reminiscent of Bjork, soaked in delay, giving that added layer somehow creating an element of mystery within the delivery.

Aside from music, the Belgrave are also known for their exquisite food. Purchase some pizza provided by Dough Boys, situated directly to the right upon entering the bar on the ground floor, or if you desire some sloppy burgers, Patty Smith’s burgers is placed at the back, between the edge of the bar and the stairs to the venue. I opted for a meal deal from Boots. Still living on a student loan means cutting down on luxuries like Belgrave’s pizza and burgers. However, it gave me the opportunity to take a little breather between Harkin and Julia Jacklin (pictured at top) to head into town and enjoy a sandwich in the bank holiday sun. The beauty about it was that I was still only a few minutes away from both venues, so the break didn’t eat too much of my time diving in and out of town.

Then it was back to Headrow House for the dreamy sounds of Australian native Jacklin, who was perfectly framed by her guitarist on the right and bassist on the left. Both facing inwards, the result was the complete focus was put on Julia. Her sentimental songs went above and beyond the default structure of telling a story over four chords. The added intricacies brought forward in each song’s arrangement continued to compel the audience after being captured by the inviting tonalities of Jacklin’s voice and subtle guitar-playing. She closed her show with her most recent single ‘Pool Party’, and I witnessed something unlike anything I had seen that day. It was almost as if the audience, me included, lost our sense of reality as we proceeded to sway along with her, as she does in the video.

Weirds were one band on the bill that astonished and frightened me at the same time. Listed on their Facebook page as an alternative rock band, they had more of a nu-metal, post-hardcore vigour about them. Their frontman Aidan Razzall was unpredictable in the most beguiling way. When stationary (which was very seldom), he would gaze at the front row of gig-goers, wide eyed, with a maniacal look on his face. Until he screeched down the mic with a heavily distorted vocal feed that echoed through the hall via the use of a long-tailed delay. Although during songs these guys were a poster for mental illness, their between-song banter allowed them to interact with the crowd. They cracked jokes as they responded to the odd heckle and thanked everyone for coming out, including festival organiser Ben Lewis for putting them on.

As they rustled through their last few songs, they showed an excellent level of musicianship, with well-crafted songs that showcased an equal blend of in-your-face riffs with undertones of unpleasant noisy synths with laid-back grooves that allowed audience members the opportunity to dance and jump along. Their second to last song was quite a spectacle, as Razzall took to the floor. With his finger pointing to the ceiling and his mic in hand, he marched in one straight line that split the crowd in half, and roared his lyrics in what could only be described as a speech a dictator or army leader would give.

As I made my way back to Headrow House to catch Trust Fund at 6:30 PM, we were met by security at the door of the performance area to say it was full up and now one in, one out. Despite this, it didn’t take long to get in, and just in time to catch the last 15 minutes of Trust Fund’s set. Usually a 4-piece pop/garage band from Bristol, this time they were stripped down to just their singer Dan accompanying himself on guitar for the intimate, 30-minute set. Call this extravagant but it was almost like the Beach Boys do pop punk. His incredible vocal register produced meandering melodies that were a little hard to follow, but he was a definite favourite of the day with quite a cult following. A quarter of the room were plonked on the floor as they watched on, wide-eyed lost in his songs. Before leaving us, he thanked everyone for coming down, thanked Ben for the gig and lastly thanked the sound man, which I thought was rather courteous of him as he was the first and only act of the day I saw to do so.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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