Now in its fourth year, east London’s new music city festival, Visions has built a reputation for booking some shit-hot bands into a handful of Hackney’s finest small venues, and being on Outpost’s doorstep we thought it rude not to attend, and ruder still not to report back to you all on our lovely day out.
Centred around the finest venue of them all, in the traditional sense of the word at least, the St John at Hackney Church plays host to Outpost alumni
Young Fathers later in the evening, but before we get to any of that we have to make a choice on how to start the day, and I won’t lie it’s a tricky one. Black Metal Yoga at Moth Club or a dog show in the park presented by Jen Long and judged by The Big Moon, Shura and Marika Hackman. As it transpired the dog show was pretty close by and we didn’t feel like walking further than necessary in the tropical climate, given the busy day ahead, so we decided to go with that. As a reward for our laziness we were treated to a bizarre spectacle of canine versions of well known musical legends such as Prince, David Bowie and Lemmy. Well done Hackney.
After getting our fancily-dressed-dog fix (and after getting over the fact we didn’t witness people in corpse paint pulling slow mo shapes to all the classic church burning anthems by Gorgoroth, Mayhem and Dimmu Borgir) we wandered down to Oval Space for the first musical act of the day, Dream Wife. Coming out of Brighton, via Reykjavik, this female punk trio has started to cause a stir lately with their raucous live shows and charming lo-fi gems, and got us loosened up faster than any blast beat yoga class could.
Following a swift re-hydration in the sunshine at London Fields’ Pub on the Park, we made a sharp u-turn back to Oval Space to revel in the reverberated sounds of The Japanese House. Now, set delays are always expected at festivals, but after waiting around for over an hour we couldn’t help but feel sorry for Amber and co as even once they started suffered from a few technical problems. However, once the sound was sorted, she had the crowd well and truly captivated with her dreamy soundscapes and soothing vocals.
After the calming sounds of The Japanese House, we decided to venture out into the unknown and down into the basement venue Mangle. Here we were greeted with an onslaught of distorted bass and banjo riffs(!) laid on by New York’s hottest new hardcore group Show Me The Body. The room was dark, the amps were cranked and bodies were flying around all over the place – what’s not to love?
Ramping up the energy even more, Elf Kid and his crew descended on the Brewhouse for one of the standout sets of the day. The perpetual chants of “energy crew, energy crew” had the crowd well and truly fired up – drinks were flung, pits were moshed and there was an abundance of perspiration lubricating the ceiling, walls and floors. Lovely.
Next up was Yak, who – due to unforeseen circumstances – had to recruit a few friends to create what can only be described as an indie supergroup. Joined by Jono Ma of Jagwarma Leo from Gallon Drunk, Jay form Tame Impala / Pond, and Flash who gave us a helping of that sexy sax, the newly formed troop blew off the Moth Club roof with their hypnotic riffs.
In hindsight we probably weren’t prepared for such a high octane day but couldn’t help getting swept up in the chaos at every show, such was the electric atmosphere and quality of the performances across all the venues. We’ll be back next year for sure.