Visions Festival made a return in Hackney this year expanding across more venues and with more activities including a pre-performance dog show. I managed to catch some real head turners and some classic crowd pleasers for my first time experiencing Visions.
Opening the Oval Space stage the female trio ignite the smokey room with a blazing fury of guitars. The band comes across with a fun, sarcastic, punky sound with a stunning performance from the baby doll like frontwoman. Having the crowd involved, the band keep you on your toes and just when you think you’re relaxed with softer moments. Dream Wife fuel their edginess with shouts and flail stage movements. A band that defined Visions Festival quite perfectly, Dream Wife is a band to keep on your radar.
Taking the set after punk rockers Dream Wife. Japanese Breakfast came across more like a soft pop rock band in the first few moments into to their set. Driving a sports car into the sunset, that kind of thing (perhaps it was the large fan by the stage blowing directly in my face influencing this). The band packed a thrilling and diverse set of air guitar loving tracks, ballads and more punk rock. They even had a song about falling in love with a robot!
The Japanese House
I realise there’s a bit of a theme going on here but I didn’t plan my day choosing only quirky sounding band names. The Japanese House are a band I’ve wanted to see live for a long time. Despite a few technical difficulties, the band powered through songs like ‘Clean’ and ‘Cool Blue’. What makes their shows so entertaining to experience is the dreamy mix of melancholic vocals with punchy electronic samples. A must-see act for anyone who’s not yet witnessed them live.
Honestly, the craziest act I’ve seen from any festival. All dressed in raincoats and headgear, from what I counted around six of them. The London Fields Brewhouse awoke to a catchy fusion of house, techno and punk music. Their futuristic sound had me guess their influences like The Chemical Brothers. Having two members who danced in around the crowd says it all really… Go check these guys out now.
The Mangle stage is held in a dim lit room with nothing but neon lights. The lack of lighting makes the underground venue demand rawness. This is where Bleached fit the picture well that cries out for nothing but loud rock. The band travelled from the US to play five shows including Visions and delivered a punk, garage rock sounding set filled with personality. Bleached are a band who will I’m sure will be welcomed back to London in the near future.
The Oval space packed out in the late evening to controversial hip-hop star Mykki Blanco. The energetic stage performance and impressive light show stood out from many other acts. A highlight for me and I imagine a regular performance stunt for Mykki, was to see him running across a bar table and slip over during the latter half of the set.
Rosie Lowe makes for her debut Visions Festival appearance at Oval Space. Playing tracks from her debut album including ‘Run Run Run’ and ‘Woman’. Her groove-centric set had the band conjure a sea of head nodding. Her soft, authentic and effortless pop sound connects so easily to the audience. This was a set I could watch over countless times.
I couldn’t resist seeing Shura for a second time in a month, so I saw her again. Due to illness sadly Lindstrøm couldn’t make his set at the London Fields Brewhouse so Shura was made for a line-up placement. A special moment for her fans and Visions Festival, having the band play an intimate and packed out headline show at the thriving Brewhouse stage. Shura threw 90’s inspired synth-pop cuts from her new debut album including ‘Touch’ and ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’. The crowd gave miraculous amounts of cheers when fan favourites come on including ‘White Light’ and ‘Kidz n Stuff’ flowing into ‘Indecision’. The pumped up and sweaty experience was an impressive end to Visions this year.