One of the UK’s best small venues is playing host to the 2nd Coffee Jingle Records festival. With seven acts over almost six hours, the bill boasts an array of talent from indie and pop-punk to “freaky disco metal”.
An early start sees opening alt-rock group threequartersmile meld acoustic moments, cable troubles, laughs and heavier numbers seamlessly. Combined with improvising a couple of lyrics, getting excited at “(woo) feedback!” and simply enjoying themselves, there’s an excitable, shambolic atmosphere in the small crowd. This continues with Shiddys, the “second best punk two piece” in their area (“there’s some 14 year olds down the road who are better”). They sound like an older, funnier version of Slaves, filling their set full of Blink 182 style humour throughout. Even as Nomura swap jokes for incredible talent, the fun, friendly and party like atmosphere remains. The stoner-pop-punk trio blast the swelling crowd with sensational, full sounding songs, mixing impressive melodies and stunning instrumentals. It’s almost a certainty you’ll be hearing big things them soon. Next, Kodah showcase their huge noise rock. With a dancing guitarist, distortion and furious drumming surrounding the still lead singer; “Kodah have been drinking too much tonight” he says. You can’t really tell. “In a dancing mood!” interrupts the guitarist. You can now. With guitars clashing symbols, a barrage of pedal noise and band members on the floor, their set ends fantastically.
Combining metal with electronica, Dead Happy’s unique brand of “Freaky Disco Metal” is a manic neon showcase of heavy experimentalism. Head banging madly between System of a Down style vocals, the lead singer instantly finds himself in the crowd. Songs ranging from ‘Zombie Surfer Killer’ to a Sophie Lancaster tribute shape a successful and brilliantly chaotic performance. Contrast this with the calmer, catchy Caught in a Crossfire, whose pop-punk performance capitalised on crowd participation, excitement and classic sounding tunes, the nights unification of different music is a celebration. Maverick, another promising young band, whose slick, trebly indie is skilful and serene, complete the night, covering the Red Hot Chili Peppers along with original material.
There’s a shared success for the performers and good spirits all round. Tonight proves great quality is out there, in all different forms. It’s a small triumph for alternative music, the quality of small venues, and for Coffee Jingle Records.