After eighteen long, gig-less months, Urbanista headed to the Invisible Wind Factory for what promised to be an extraordinary day of live music (finally!).
It makes sense that Festevol was kicked off by Psycho Comedy. They were one of the last gigs we had the pleasure of attending before Covid struck, for their debut concept album’s launch party- Performance Space Number One. In the crimson-lit substation basement, singer-guitarist, Shaun Powell, ushered the crowd forward and adorned himself in fairy lights before blasting through baseline-heavy stonkers such as ‘Uncle Sam’, ‘I’m Numb’, ‘Standing’ and ‘The Hangman’. I’d been lucky enough to see them play a virtual gig over in Blackpool at the Bootleg Social during lockdown, but it felt good to be back enjoying one of Merseyside’s finest exports in the flesh once again.
Outside in the garden, Bear Growls delivered the festival vibes with a eclectic DJ set including our favourite new slice of post punk minimalism ‘Chaise Long’ by the Wet Leg and Festevol go-oers were kept well fed and watered by the wonderful new food joint Invisiburger.
Throughout we saw snippets of the most promising rising stars including Pixey with her brightest new bop ‘Electric Dream’, and Eggy Record’s best Eyesore and the Jinx who after gracing our ears on BBC Radio 6 Music playlist throughout lockdown smashed it out the park with garage-punk earworm ‘On an Island’ standing out.
I had not seen the basement as busy as it was for Silent K since The Parrots at Festevol 2017. The atmosphere down there was electric. And it’s no surprise seeing that Silent K have already whipped up support slots with the likes of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and their experienced, alternating line up has seen stints from both David McCabe and Boyan Chowdhury of The Zutons, and the lead singer himself, Chris Taylor, doing time with Fat White Family. Highlights of their set included krautrock-boppery ‘Work Work’ and ‘Go Back’.
Another band who seem to have an ever-changing lineup are Todmorden’s Working Men’s Club, who have evolved from guitar band to a New Order-style-synth-rock hybrid. In fact it’s only a month until we will see them support New Order at Heaton Park in Manchester and we already cannot wait. Their set was exhilarating, giving us a taste of the Hacienda experience. ‘Teeth’ continues to be my favourite song of the last couple of years, with its Mark E Smith-esque vocals and a culmination of Kraftwerk-LCD Soundsystem synths and cowbells.
Festevol, you never fail to deliver. Thanks for having us.
Words: Rebecca Worthington
Photos: Sophia Duff