1234 Shoreditch Festival – East London – 26/7/09
By Holly Eells
Proclaiming something to be a disappointment is a bit of a weighty statement to make when something hasn’t even really gotten off its feet yet. However, I think my instincts were pretty much proven right from the beginning here. From past experiences of 1234, it can provide a really happy day – one where the sun was shining, friends would gather and feel no pressure, if they didn’t so desire, to pay that much attention to the bands playing at all. It was always jam packed. And free.
However, this year you had to put a penny or two down to get a ticket (an idea which given the event I’m in two minds about still). Nevertheless, what puzzled my head to the core was the fact that in VIP there were more people in there than actually outside with the paying punters. It makes one wonder as to the point of the festivities. It was like Shoreditch had thrown up all over the joint at times, and not a pleasant or friendly scene whatsoever.
Oh yeah, and the weather was dismal, as per usual this summer, literally dampening the day for those of who could have coped with a little drizzle, but not quite this. Subsequently, the bands didn’t get much support, unless they were playing in a tent. But it didn’t stop me from seeing what these new kids had to offer...
Missing a few of the early birds, Hatcham Social started the day off for me, and did so well I must say. I’ve always been a deep, secret fan of their music, but never making the effort to go see them was my flaw. Despite performing their post-punk influenced indie to a crowd of only around fifty or so in the audience, they deserve praise for keeping going and convincing the sun to shine for a little while.
Is Polly Scattergood ever so innocent, or just in the act for attention? We’ll probably never know, but although she’s been in a bit of a craze of hype for the last couple of months, Scattergood really lost my concentration. My expectations were a bit too high for her I reckon, so I scattered myself off to “the protector” as some like to call that day - the tent.
And there I caught A Place to Bury Strangers, all the way over from Brooklyn, New York, and they really showed the kids how it was done. Their psychedelic experimental vibes got the heads nodding, playing effortlessly and looking beyond cool - artists should be jealous of their look. Being together for a fair few years and touring with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club you are definitely going to pick up a trick or two, so playing here – rain or no rain – was a piece of cake.
Hanging around and eating a burger or two, I was ready again for some more action. I have to say I was absolutely flabbergasted by Patrick Wolf, despite previously being 50/50; he defiantly took me away with him, confirming that his records really do not do him any justice. He’s such a flamboyant character with looks on his side who can offer us such a phenomenal performance with so many multi talents up his sleeve. What else can I say... if only there were a few more like him on the bill, hey.