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