The last night of the festival proves 6 Music’s importance is in its variety, as Getintothis’ Will Truby finds.
I rarely ever head to the balcony at a gig; I find you get the best energy at a gig from the floor, even when it’s absolutely rammed. However, in a venue such as the Event Olympia, and with a sound and lighting rig as impressive as this, I felt like the aerial view might be worth trying for once.
As soon as Jungle took to the stage, I realised I’d made a good decision. With a 7-strong band, covering the majority of the stage, and with their band logo shining from behind the curtain at the back of the stage, Jungle are a visually appealing act almost as much as aurally.
6pm seems awfully early for the high-energy disco that Jungle peddle, but impressively they manage to get the crowd grooving. They’re no shoegazers for sure; with founding members, Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland flanked by two singers, they have the freedom to dance and move around.
The real appeal of Jungle comes from all those familiar hallmarks of disco.
The falsetto vocals, flashy synths and dance rhythms in the percussion; equal parts Hall and Oates, Chic, and Lionel Richie. But there’s a modern edge to it, squeaky clean production value and incredibly catchy melodies.
There’s almost a danger of them coming across a bit samey; two-thirds of their songs have a similar vibe to breakout time Busy Earnin’. But what they lack in variety, they make up for in energy, completely capturing the crowd.
The seven-person set up of Jungle is entirely stripped away and replaced with a humble DJ desk and mic stand, promising an entirely different set ahead.
As someone who’s never really experienced live turntabling and rapping, I’ve got to say I was absolutely blown away by Chali 2NA and Krafty Kuts. Chali 2NA, of Jurassic 5 fame, gives us a masterclass in classic hip-hop.
The pair of them have a phenomenal chemistry, seamlessly trading off lines and slices. We’re treated to a selection of mostly old school tracks, from Back In Black to Still Dre.
The second half of the set mostly featured Jurassic 5 songs. As it turns out, there’s an awful lot of Jurassic 5 fans here, with Chali 2NA effortlessly commanding the crowd.
At this point, the crowd couldn’t really get much more pumped up, with 30-second breaks between songs just for applause. It’s honestly hard to see how any of the acts following could match the crowd engagement and high energy of the set
The next band up, The Cinematic Orchestra, arrive onstage without fanfare or introduction, which is odd given that they are main support.
They conjure up beautiful landscapes of sound, incorporating a good amount of electronic and processed sounds, with modern jazz.
— Paul Diggory (@paulwdiggory) March 31, 2019
There’s a huge variety of sounds here, from acoustic singer songwriter to future RnB, from modern jazz to indie. You can tell the band are more comfortable in the studio, with founding member PC providing rushed and slightly disinterested talk between songs.
They play an excellent set of music very suitable to the audience, but you have to wonder just how well their music works live.
Finally, it’s Hot Chip’s turn, and they prove their headline worthiness within the first song.
They arrive onstage, dressed in coordinated technicolour overall outfits, and bring with them an absolutely monstrous electronic energy, like some terrifying dance group on acid.
They effortlessly blur between euphoric dance, to vaguely terrifying disco.
They took an awfully long time to set up, with 5 of the members using a combination of digital, analogue and modular synthesisers, but it’s well worth it.
The production value of Hot Chip’s live music is unparalleled – not so live that it is stripped back from the recorded version, but rather enhanced by the sound system and extended versions of songs.
— Emma Livingstone MFHT (@MarketingEm) March 31, 2019
The lighting is full on club, featuring blinding strobe lighting and intense colours.
If it weren’t for the androgynous, fluttering vocals of frontman Alexis Taylor the music wouldn’t be out of place at a club in 4 hours time. Night and Day is a particular highlight, with intense blue and red strobes amplifying the visceral synthesisers.
— Livo (@Livooo) April 2, 2019
A final trio of Over and Over, an unprecedented cover of Beastie Boy’s Sabotage, and Ready For The Floor sees the Olympia’s packed floor heaving.
This final night of the 6 Music Festival, with four wildly varied acts, proves just how important BBC 6 Music is to the musical landscape.
Though perhaps overpriced, and funded by an institution rather than a grassroots project, the festival provides a pretty excellent snapshot of the alternative music scene.
Pictures by Getintothis Chris Everett