When an incredible line-up of top quality music comes around, sometimes you just have to make the effort to be there. Hence Saturday’s TMB trip to London for Flying Vinyl Festival. Flying Vinyl is an innovative company that sends fresh vinyl straight to your door every month, and it turns out they’re as good at putting music on live as they are on records.
Due to our Northern lack of understanding when it comes to getting around London, or at least how long it takes, we arrive just in time for the last bit of Willie J Healey’s set. Enthusiastic as ever, the final chord of ‘Would You Be’ echoes across the large white interior of The Oval Space as the already bustling crowd cheers on. Overrunning in classic Healey style, guitars slash through the air on ‘Subterraneans’, a track that was totally next-level live.
An unfortunately disappointing part of the day was Anteros’ set. The band have seemingly made a conscious change to their style and persona when on stage since TMB saw them just under a year ago. The more the set went on, frontwoman Laura Hayden became more difficult to tolerate. Her new breathy and exaggerated tone when speaking is tiresome and monotonous, imagine Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks but slowed down 25%. The tunes are still there, new single ‘Drunk’ and ‘Breakfast’ get the front of the crowd jumping and cheering, there’s plenty that enjoy this irritating and arrogant attitude, but I certainly won’t be making the effort to see Anteros again.
Luckily we are treated spectacularly with this next act. It’s our first experience of 3-piece Dream Wife and after only hearing a few of their tracks online, I wasn’t expecting the experience to totally wow me – sometimes you have to witness a band live to fully understand who they are. The entire set is energetic, natural and freeing – the performance from vocalist Rakel Mjöll couldn’t be any more real and exciting compared to the previous act. The highlight is by far new single ‘Somebody’, strong and sturdy melodies back up Mjöll’s almost sarcastically sweet vocal “I am not my body, I am somebody”. This is super cool, super accessible punk that promotes self-respect and feminism, Dream Wife deserve to go far.
Other highlights of the day are Trudy & the Romance and Traams. Traams blow the roof off the Oval Space, tumultuous bass ripples throughout ‘A House on Fire’ and the thick riff of ‘Low’ gets heads literally banging, while Trudy bring their sunny outlook to this already roasting hot day with top tunes ‘Baby I’m Blue’ and ‘Behave’. Our night is soon coming to an end due to the fact we have to drive back to Manchester, but we end on an unbeatable high. Spring King always put on one hell of a show, and tonight is no different. As soon as the band crash into ‘Better Man’ the rambunctious teens leap into each other’s arms, onto each other’s arms, onto anywhere they can throw their ecstatic limbs. “Oh I! Oh I!” the crowd scream along, there’s plenty of audience participation on ‘They’re Coming After You’ and ‘It’s So Dark’ – probably not coincidentally why they were certainly set highlights. Spring King always bring insurmountable bouts of energy that are absolutely incomparable, Pete flies around the stage with no concern for his own wellbeing, there is simply an intense connection between the band members themselves which emits into the audience making the whole experience utterly enjoyable. What a day.