The End Fes­ti­val is at the half-way mark, and so far it’s been an enjoy­able, if slight­ly chaot­ic, expe­ri­ence, with a dai­ly ros­ter of bands appear­ing at venues around Crouch End.

Open­ing night at Earl Haig fea­tured Ice­landic out­fit YLJA (they are appear­ing twice more over the fes­ti­val’s dura­tion) and are notable for their crys­talline har­monies. Next on stage were Forced Ran­dom, who sound­ed con­sid­er­ably dif­fer­ent than the last time I saw them  – less gauzy ‘sound­scape’ and with a more vocal-led approach.

Forced Random at The End festival
Forced Ran­dom

Sat­ur­day night’s focal des­ti­na­tion was Hornsey Town Hall, a build­ing cur­rent­ly at the cen­tre of much con­tro­ver­sy and wran­gling (can it be wrest­ed from the local coun­cil and saved for com­mu­ni­ty use?)… more of that anoth­er time. Suf­fice to say that the mod­ernist mas­ter­piece, with its fad­ed thir­ties glam­our and grand spaces, is per­fect as a fes­ti­val centrepiece.

We popped out for some sus­te­nance at excel­lent and cheap new eaterie Burgers@N8 (“burg­ers with a con­science”) with tal­ent­ed, young garage-surf out­fit from Hal­i­fax, The Orielles and their man­ag­er Dami­an Mor­gan. Their set was full of ener­gy and breezy charm, and hope­ful­ly next time they per­form down south, they’ll have built up more of a following.

The Orielles on stage
The Orielles at the Sup­per Room, HTH

We ran over to The Crypt Stu­dio to catch The Bat­tles of Win­ter . Their sound is deep, lay­ered, sonorous and dra­mat­ic, with a mourn­ful qual­i­ty to the vocals; shades of The Edi­tors and Echo and the Bunnymen.

The Battles of Winter
The Bat­tles of Winter

Feel-good trio The Wave Pic­tures drew a huge crowd, many who had seen them at fes­ti­vals. David Tat­ter­sall amused every­one with his dry com­men­tary; the band’s infec­tious­ly dancey num­bers and wit­ty lyrics went down well as the night’s clos­ing band.

Check out more of The End fes­ti­val here – Nadine Khouri, Romeo Sto­dart and Bernard Butler.

Final week­end of The End fes­ti­val here – The Mem­o­ry Band, The Mae Trio and more.

Main pho­to: Hornsey Town Hall

The Orielles
The Orielles at Burgers@N8

The End 2015: to read more reviews below:
Finale at Earl Haig Hall

Nadine Khouri, Romeo Sto­dart, Bernard Butler

2 thoughts on “The End Festival 2015: opening weekend

  1. Yes Burg­ers @ N8 is great, sad­ly won’t be there for very long though, appar­ent­ly only there until Spring 2016!

    1. It “popped up” too late. It’s so pop­u­lar though I think it will stay through summer.

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