Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke finds surrealist delight among the kaleidoscopic herd of party animals at The Kazimier’s Fiesta de Animales, along with our mammoth gallery of all the best sights of the night.
The sun has, predictably enough for the English summer, upped and left after its brief sojourn to the North West, and it would seem just as the gears for something truly special were beginning to whir, for though bereft of anything beyond faint grey clouds overhead, down on the Kazimier Garden ground something spectacular is set to unfold.
Spectacular is certainly the word. Visually, both the garden and indoor stage are at their most illustriously carnivalesque, suspended glitterballs and draping gold complimented to a T by the feathers and fur of a swaggering gaggle of punters dressed to the animalian nines.
Swanning through the cornucopic zoo, our introduction to the all-dayer’s entertainment comes with the magnificence of the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, the eight-piece bringing a beaming whirl of delight from their instruments, an aural collision of exotic opulence that embraces the traditional music of their Jaipur heritage, Bhangra and Bollywood and ramps up the jubilation. Along with their dancers they’re all the sunshine we need.
As more feathered legions descend on the gates The Kazimier is soon packed to a bustle, and those who stick around outside see the vibes shift towards footstomping fiddle-led folk from Saltcutters, formerly The Bog Standards. It’s the first of the foursome’s two sets, and though understandably not quite inspiring the same hedonistic dance as their after dark show, they’ve all the energy to keep flames alight.
Such is the scope of the event that at each corner comes a new spectacle. Whether we’re stationed inside or out, there’s always something unmissable-sounding at the other end of the small site, while even journeys between them are lent verve of their own by a stellar DJ bill.
Owing to our Rajasthani/Celtic thrills and spills we’re unfortunate, for example, to sacrifice a look-in on a.P.A.t.T‘s early set – we can only presume the local collective to be hitting their usual mad standards – and it’s with a pang of regret that we leave the Garden behind us into the vaudevillian fug of the indoor stage.
As we get our first glimpse of London trio Snapped Ankles looming out of the mist indoors, draped in sinister cloaks of matted moss, we’re soon assuaged of second thoughts. Their deviant blend of krautrock and electro-punk is one to match their imposing presence on-stage, and is only the catalyst for more madness to ensue.
Back outside King Lagoon’s Flying Swordfish Band are all the lunacy of their name and more, jumps of Afrobeat and shamanic wails pulsing through giant smoke rings and a grooving druidess among the crowd who’s concocting some kind of psychedelic broth of her own (literally; we’re not brave enough to take a gulp). They’re magnificently entertaining, and though each of their predecessors has had the crowd in the most cock-a-hoop of moods, it’s with this set that the night hits a ferocious second wind, the carnival bursting into life like a Liverpudlian Mardi Gras by way of the Serengeti.
On the main stage meanwhile there’s a different breed of madness on display in the form of London’s Kero Kero Bonito, a mish-mash of J-Pop, sugar-sweet electronica and video game samples that’s just the right side of insanity, frontwoman Sarah Midori Perry compellingly eccentric as she drifts between silver-toned English and Japanese. They were among Getintothis’ Peter Guy‘s top picks after this year’s SXSW, and it’s easy to see why.
In the garden Saltcutters make their return to a now more-buoyant crowd, and their songs now inspire the wild, barnstorming stomps they deserve, while the indoors transform into ‘La Auditorium D’Animalés‘ for an enticingly ludicrous ceremony that leaves the floor littered by cannons of confetti.
Afriquoi, meanwhile, are one of the biggest names on the bill, and live up to their standing in a launch into bewitching grooves, pulsing, ardent Afrobeat lent an almost psychedelic edge by rich veins of electronica.
With Dogshow‘s 1am set inciting joyous, whacked-out mania among the substantial swathe still standing, it’s the fitting end to our own adventures at the Fiesta de Animalés, though the party lasts well into the night. We’re shattered, frankly, though for all the right reasons; The Kazimier have once again unveiled a knees-up of mythical proportions, and with their impending closure drawing ever-nearer it can be wondered whether we’ll see its kind again. We live in hope.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam and John Johnson