Fiesta Bombarda set up camp in the Kazimier and regaled those in attendance with an international buffet feast. Getintothis’ Laurie Cheeseman got his party hat on.
Summer is well and truly a disappearing memory now and yet another university semester is getting under way, and in commiseration of this yet another banging party is getting under way from the Fiesta Bombarda collective.
Admittedly, things don’t get off to the best of starts, what with the maudlin acoustic types chiming that little bit too well with the cold, damp Friday air at the Garden Stage.
Not that Tiz McNamara or Daniel Ross are bad by any stretch of the imagination.
Tiz’s lush brand of finger-picked wistful folk (epitomised by Old Summer) and Ross’ slow-burning acoustic pop were genuinely good in their short but sweet sets.
Both stayed just on the right side of earnest honesty, but the context? So wrong, and what a shame.
Things only really get going when Club Stage’s dapper openers, Ukebox, take to the stage and keep on going with Charlotte Ashdown’s blue-eyed soul back in the garden.
Ukebox at Fiesta Bombarda, Kazimier
It turns out Ukebox’s chirpy ukulele covers of such classics as Crazy In Love, Ignition and a surprisingly seamless mash-up of Dreaming Of You and I Wanna Be Like You (the latter certainly a contender for the evening’s best moment) is the perfect way for students nursing significant quarter life crises to start fresher’s week.
Back outside, Charlotte Ashdown proves you don’t have to mine a generic unspecified past if you want to play a bit of jazz-inflected soul; her sound comes right out of the 60s without ever dipping into cliché.
It’s the perfect pick-me-up to warm you up in the autumnal drizzle.
Just check her jazzy and charmingly jangly cover of Estelle’s American Boy if you don’t believe us.
Turning the whole shebang into a right good old fashioned knees-up with some top-notch third wave ska are Bolshy, a group whose activities include “winding up Daily Mail readers” – how can you not like that?
Given the music has such energy and character, it’s a shame singer Ivy’s persona doesn’t quite match the unbelievably upbeat music, for a political band at least.
You know that mid-event lull you always get? The quiet before the storm?
That’s the perfect time for a bit of schmaltz to calm things down. This is where Coffee and Cakes for Funerals come in.
Somewhat in the PBR&B tradition of indie kids making top-notch hip-hop inflected R&B, and who’s set segues perfectly into Mutant Vinyl’s take on R&B (this one decidedly dub).
The result, ends up sounding like the best Clash dub-mix you ain’t ever heard.
River Niger Orchestra at Fiesta Bombarda, Kazimier
It turns out this is the perfect precursor for the River Niger Orchestra, a calypso band who play “kind of political music, ‘cos that’s what you gotta do”
Politics and partying don’t usually go hand-in-hand but coming from a lovably cantankerous gent and backed by music which can only be described as ‘groovy’ (*cringe* sorry) it’s a perfect match.
Not put off by the slow drift of people slinking off to see Batala inside (who are also rather excellent, but then a 14 piece drum ensemble is always going to be thrilling live), they play a full hour over their allotted time.
No bad thing though because where else would you see men dancing before midnight?
Almost nowhere Getintothis would claim to have been frequenting, so well done River Niger Orchestra. We salute thee.
Extra Love at Fiesta Bombarda, Kazimier
Rounding off the night perfectly are Extra Love and the Fire Beneath the Sea.
Proving once and for all that reggae is the best music in the history of the world for dancing, Extra Love’s set proves to be a marathon session in skanking.
The million people who make up the hip hop collective Fire Beneath The Sea fill the small Kazimier stage without ever making it seem over-subscribed.
As form dictates, their on-stage charisma and dynamism keep things interesting at the Fiesta right until the end.
If we may offer one criticism towards an otherwise excellent event, it was a shame this didn’t take place a week later when more students were back.
It would have taken this undeniably amazing night to the next level. On this kind of form, there will always be a next time.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Michelle Roberts.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Fiesta Bombarda – Spring Offensive, All We Are, Highfields, James Canty, Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band, Great Plain Sundance, Hedda Aronssen, Silent Sleep: Leaf, Bold Street
The Fire Beneath The Sea: Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool
Coffee And Cakes For Funerals, Chelcee Grimes: Edge Hill University – picture gallery
Liverpool’s gig calendar 2013: Guide to essential gigs not to miss the rest of this year