Live review: Parklive 2009

2 Sep

A tonne of bands played in Vernon Park for Arboretum Records’ all day music festival Parklive

Reviewed for

Even though I was only able to catch the latter part of the festival, Arboretum Records’ all day Notts-music-fest ‘Parklive’ delivered enough rock, soul and funk to last me well past the weekend.

I arrived just as Hhymn were finishing their set of chilled, acoustic multi-instrumental numbers, and was able to hear snippets of a mandolin, a ukulele, a double bass and guitar along with laid back vocals. Next were Lois, who with their infectious indie pop tinged with synths and an undercurrent of classic rock made me sad that we were in a tent rather than enjoying their music in the sunshine. Definitely music to make you smile! After that were Old Basford, who gave the audience a driving set of proper, engaging rock n roll stompers with growling vocals and howling guitars.

I then took advantage of the break in proceedings to get some food, courtesy of the lovely folk from Homemade cafe, who had ventured out from Pelham Street to furnish the audience with burgers, paella and hot dogs in their usual insanely big portions; yummy as usual. Fittingly, my paella was followed by a set from Fat Digester – honestly! – who served up an impressive lineup of saxophones and brass with their trio of vocalists, with their excellent mix of jazz, funk and soul creating a danceable, energetic sound.

Parklive 2009

Next up was another dose of funk from Rugged Sound System, whose sound was an interweaving mesh of melodic singing, lyrically flowing but cutting rap and inventive percussion and rhythm, along with wah wah guitars. It was a tight performance of a multi-faceted fusion of hip-hop, funk and rock that made for a rich sound and an engaging set.

Finally came The Apples, who turned the festival from a family-friendly romp to a packed-out mini rave. The atmosphere was amazing; everyone on their feet, enthralled by the combination of saxophones, brass, double bass and samples expertly spun by the two DJs. They played through a blinding set of jagged beats, jazzy melodies and raucous solos which was a perfect marriage of live beats and melodies with scratches and samples. They delivered everything that was expected so I won’t say too much, except that their finale was insane – you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name Of played funked-up, with saxophone, trumpet and trombone solos and scratch DJs.

In all, a brilliant day and night full of great music and a positive atmosphere, and all for free! Roll on the next Arboretum Records event.

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