Tuesday, 31 October 2017


Last Saturday I attended 2Q Festival Lincoln, and had one hell of a day seeing some truly amazing artists and bands who showed me exactly why it is that I love music (particularly live music) so much. I felt a genuine buzz about each act I saw during the course of the day.

My initial intention for this festival was to review, interview and photograph but upon travelling to Lincoln I realised that despite thinking I'd packed everything, I had left my camera batteries at home so unfortunately for myself - no interviews were able to take place and I couldn't snap any sets. Nevertheless, the review was the one thing which could still happen.

Following two successful years in Derby, it is fair to say that 2Q Festival can now also add a successful year in Lincoln to their achievements. As well as that, This Feeling can add another festival to their list of ones where they have truly pulled the line up out the bag and everyone who played that stage should be above and beyond proud of themselves because of the performances that they gave.

My day kicked off with the singer / songwriter EMILY CAPELL who hails from West London. Due to wishing to catch Marsicans at the Engine Shed, I was only planning on staying for a few of Emily's songs. However, once I had watched two of her songs, I couldn't drag myself to leave due to feeling captivated by her personality and zest which shone through from the word go.

It was the first time I had seen Emily live and what a first time doing so it was. She definitely set the bar high for the rest of the bands that were to follow her performance at Red Five stage for This Feeling.

Her comical audience interactions are something to be admired and her songwriting style is one which allows you the perfect insight into the life of Emily by way of her tracks giving an almost constant reference to one or a few people which allows you to really get a feel for her interests, things she dislikes strongly and her favourite musicians / celebrities.

Although she usually has a band, on Saturday she did not. This is something which I feel would further her already brilliant performance. I highly recommend seeing her live when you get chance with or without her band playing alongside her.

The next set I saw came from the Welsh quartet HIMALAYAS who also graced the This Feeling stage. 

With them taking to the stage at 1:45 there was undoubtedly some worry about there not being a particularly large audience, this wasn't the case. From the moment the boys of Himalayas hit the stage the room of Red Five was packed out and this set the general pattern for the rest of the day at this stage.

Ahead of their set, I heard someone in the crowd speaking to someone else saying that they were his favourite up and coming UK band at present and they showed exactly why he said that was to everyone in the room. 

Having driven 3 and a half hours to come for about an hour shows just how much the boys love to play live and the lengths they shall go to play live. This is something which made me so glad that the room was full as they were very well received while playing their Lincoln debut and what an exquisite debut it was.

On Saturday and every other time I have seen this band they have been instrumentally and vocally overwhelming and although their recorded music is just that, their musical ability shines through even more by way of their live performance.

My favourite currently Sheffield based band SHEAFS who made it known to everyone how crazy their gigs can get following frontman Lawrence saying that they were now on their 5th 'This Is Not A Protest' sign since introducing the song a couple of months ago, this sign being one which is usually kept in the air throughout that track by an audience member.

Every single time I witness this quintet, they improve and become that little bit more extravagant and it kind of feels like I'm watching them again for the first time because of that fact.

As I stated in a previous review of this band, no matter what venue I see them in, Saturday was no exception - they always give 100% and this really has paid off for them and is something which I am sure will consider to do so.

Their performance does seem to progress with every set I see and on Saturday this happened with not only frontman Lawrence entering the crowd but guitarist Chris doing the same while singing the lead vocals for a short while.

I cannot wait to see the five piece again as they take to the stage of The Leadmill as they play Northern Exposure's show for Musician's Against Homelessness alongside Trampolene, Cabbage and Sisteray.

Before October commenced I had never seen BLACKWATERS before but now they are a band in which I have been lucky enough to see live twice, the first time I spent the majority of my time behind my camera and not fully taking in their performance. However, due to my battery error this was not an option at 2Q Festival which was in some ways a blessing in-disguise because I wasn't just listening to their live music, I was able to properly watch every aspect of their live performance.

Due to their recorded music, they are one of my favourite bands at the moment and their live music is something which has just accentuated this further, the DIY punk-rock vibe comes alive in an even more evident way.

One thing that became really apparent through their performance was the way the vocals seem to come together, with lead guitarist David providing sweet harmonies alongside lead vocalist Max spitting out their tracks in a harsher manner while bassist Ollie provides quite a haunting backing vocal. The three combined work so well and for myself, gave the feeling of there being definitive styles coming from each member of which they all get to showcase through the band.

The dynamic Guildford originating, Sheffield based outfit are currently one of the most intoxicating live bands out there on the up and coming scene.

Throughout the entire performance, I found myself constantly worried for Ollie and his feet has he played shoe-less while Max carelessly stomped around in his Doc Marten's, luckily, he made it through the performance unscathed.

BlackWaters are definitely a band I would recommend people go and see live as they are truly incredible.

Saturday brought the favourite set from PAVES that I have seen to date, it was definitely the most active that I have seen the boys which I think is down to the fact that this ''stage'' provided them with more space than others I have previously seen them on. 

Bringing a slightly more placid vibe to the stage they created a nice break between what had been and what was yet to come. With that said, there were definitely points in their set where the vigorous nature which had been seen in all bands playing the This Feeling stage crept back, hence them being at their most active ever.

Another band who I had only really seen live through my viewfinder before, it was good to properly watch them live and fully focus on what was going on throughout the whole performance rather than just parts of it and I can safely say it wasn't a disappointing watch.

Their live show was everything I could have hoped for from this bluesy quartet as they worked every inch of their space and the instrumental / vocal side of things was just as enthralling as their recorded music, if not more so.

Although I only saw the last three songs of SUPERFOOD, it was enough to enjoy their performance and feel like I had seen enough to get the idea of how the majority of the set went, particularly due to the fact that I got to see them play their infamous self-titled track 'Superfood' which went down an absolute treat with those watching.

Watching from the press room above the Engine Shed venue floor itself, I had the perfect view down on not only the band but I was able to see the behaviours of the audience and how much they were all loving the set.

This was the first time I have seen this band and I have to say it won't be the last should the opportunity come up again.

Out of everyone I saw, STRANGE BONES gave the most raucous set of the day by a long way as their audacious nature became apparent rapidly.

Every band on before them had perfectly warmed the crowd up and they were ready for what the four-piece were about to spring onto them. It didn't take long for front-man Bob Bentham to begin launching himself into the audience with him being caught by an army of individuals every single time.

Looking around the audience, I didn't see anyone in the audience who wasn't either fully throwing themselves into the performance by way of mosh pits or weren't totally captivated by what was going on in-front of them. I, myself found it very difficult to not take my eyes of them for a second as I felt like I may miss something if I did look away.

Similar to BlackWaters, it was only the second time I had managed to see this Strange Bones but simply due to their energy-fuelled, manic live performances, they are another I love and will remain to do so no matter how many times I see them live.

Instrumental wise, throughout this performance they were impeccably matched to their stage presence. I will never understand how they can be going as crazy as they do but still be able to play every beat and note and how those laying down vocals can maintain to do so in such an effortless way while they are / their band members are throwing themselves around.

When I first saw this quartet, it was in a situation where people had heard of them and the buzz surrounding them but didn't really know the lyrics, just knew they were a band to watch and so they came down - which don't get me wrong, is great. However, at the set on Saturday this was a completely different story. It was a lovely sight to see a vast majority of those in the room singing along to songs.

This was the first time I saw the Liverpool based four-piece known as CIRCA WAVES and after almost not going to do so, I can say I would have regretted not doing.

Playing a mix of old and new songs, their Lincoln debut led them to headline The Engine Shed as they played their last UK date of 2017.

Although I love every band I saw on Saturday, Circa Waves brought my highlight and allowed my 2Q Festival experience to finish off in the most wonderful way as I finally got to see them play the likes of 'Stuck In My Teeth' and T-Shirt Weather'.

Everything about the show was ostentatious, but not in an overly showy way. It was a set which although I have followed them since before the release of their debut album, made me glad I had waited to witness them live because it was so unwavering and impassioned throughout.

The fact of it being not only their last show of 2017 but their Lincoln debut also means its probably likely that its a show they won't forget due to it being a mammoth show to play for a city debut.

Should I be given the opportunity to see Circa Waves again the future, it is a chance I shall seize with both hands.

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