Ahh – another excuse to party, and it’s completely self-less. Beat the Streets – a new Notts festival, with pretty much all proceeds going to charity. Yup – tickets, merchandise, bar take – all helping the homeless of Nottingham via Framework.
And – Nottingham turned out in force. Cos Notts is sick. There were multiple moments across the day, where it was one in one out, and you couldn’t move without doing that awkward ‘excuse me’ brush past a Notts music lover.
Teeny tiny disclaimer: we did spend a fair bit of our day at Rock City – but for good reason. The main room at said venue is legendary. And, an incredible experience for any Notts musician that gets to play it. A stage they’ve grown up seeing their idols play, and now they’re playing to hundreds, if not thousands of peeps on that stage. So we wanted to be there to capture it.
First up for us – VVV – the golden Hip-Hop trio of Cappo, Vandal Savage and Juga-Naut plus their killer DJ. Classic Hip-Hop excellence, sounding absolutely MASSIVE on that… well, massive sound system. Dropping bangers from the debut album ‘Bozo Boyz’, they bounced between one another, and the bouncing crowd, like every good Hip-Hop show you’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of an odd one feeling hyped at 2pm on a Sunday – but it’s the best kind of odd.
We got our bearings – popped over to Rescue Rooms for a bit of an intense head-bop to TUSK. They sounded… different. And I don’t mean that in the patronising way. Heavier. Raw-er. Like an intense wall of sound, but still garnished with tons of catchy melodies. The crowd seemed to be loving it too, considering a random sent me flying out of the way so she could have my spot at the front. Great tunes. Great energy. And they look cool as fuck too, so, you know, they’re basically nailing this band thing.
BACK TO CITEH. Who for? Only for the bloody SLEAFORD MODS. And I tell ya reader, it was freakin’ packed. You couldn’t move. Well, you could, but if you did you went flying into some geezer doing an angry-yet-happy dance. Having already sold out the place multiple times on their own accord, it was no surprise that Notts turned up big time. The duo – engaging with the crowd – with mad energy, and some of the funniest on stage banter I’ve heard in ages. Not for the easily offended, but, ya know, if you are easily offended and go to a SM show you’re a bit of a prat aren’t ya?
Then we LEG IT to Rough Trade (and when I say leg it, I mean, fall over in the road and try to style it out leg it) for LISA HENDRICKS AND THE PROJECT-US BAND. We only caught the last song, due to the 15 minute walk, and my limp that looked like I’d been up to something dodgy. But, they were jamming it out in the way they always do. Beautiful vibes. Incredible musicianship. And tons of smiles. Loveleh.
EDIT TIME – as I write this we have 5000 photos and 400gb of footage, so, ya know, had to do a bit of editing as we went otherwise… well, I’d be crying into a oat milk flat white somewhere. So, we edited a bit, then went to .
BODEGA. For my personal highlight of the entire day. KWOLI BLACK and THE PACK – ramming out the venue, for one of the most fun performances I’ve experienced in ageeeesss. We walk in as they’re jamming out ‘Stay Afloat’ – Jazzy, Funky, Groovy, all words that mean the second your ears caught the tunes your body went into a state of ‘mate, let’s get dooooown’. Oh, and the crowd did that too, with Kwoli even jumping it at one point to have a dance with em. All of THE PACK are excellent musicians (even their solos at the end were killer). And Kwoli – well, he’s one of the coolest fucking dudes ever ain’t he? Pulling out shades, humble chat between songs – and moves man. Guys got moves. Very excited to see where he goes next.
Back to the other side of town for… FEROCIOUS DOG. It’s rammed… again. God I love Nottingham. There’s loads of em on stage, they’re all exuding vibes of gratefulness, and warmth. And then the music starts and it’s the most blissful, joyous experience you can imagine. Crowd going for it, smiles all round, and really bleddy catchy songs too
Edit time again – and – not gonna front – had a Maccies, cos, time. We then popped to Rescue to see GEORGIE stun a pretty packed venue. Just on her own, armed with a guitar and her incredible vocal – the room is pretty much silent. It’s a lovely sight. More confident than ever, and with some brilliant new songs, ‘Beer Money’ sounding like a future hit, it looks like it could all be coming together for Georgie.
Legs are hurting now. Thankfully, we’re just next door to witness NINA SMITH and band destroy the Rock City main stage. Jeeeeeeeeez. The slickest, coolest, vibiest R&B, on that stage is a special moment. Nina – clearly humbled by the opportunity. She and her band vibe it out, playing through new songs (new single ‘Whiteboards’ sounding MASSIVE), plus a few classic (will ‘This Love’ ever get old?). She also has a solo moment, with a heart-warming dedication to a friend towards the end. All in all, a very special, poignant performance. She deserves many more shows like this.
Next up it’s UNKNOWN ERA – who are as blissfully mental as ever, and on that stage, it’s even more amplified. Skanking, drinking, and most importantly – some funky as hell tunes. ‘My Town’ and ‘Read Between the Lines’ sounding INSANE with mega crowd interaction. Molly and Kane in particular going the best kind of mental on the stage. They’re built for amazing shows and venues like this.
We then pop off to GREY HAIRS, which, starts off a tad odd. But soon – all becomes clear. Whilst the band were absolutely going for it, their frontman dislocated his arm. Ouch. But – like proper rockstars, a quick 5 mins with a paramedic who pops it back in, and they were back ready to go. Jeez.
Our night ends with THE INVISIBLE ORCHESTRA. Yes, an orchestra, on that Rock City stage. Magical. Multiple guest vocals inc CHAI LARDEN and HARLEIGHBLU just add to the epicness. And epic really is the right word. Band leader James looking so cool, as he calmly leads 30 odd musicians through a magical set that has an incredible turnout for 10pm on a Sunday. It was a moment, it really was. And I tell ya, I ain’t getting ‘Light Up My World’ out of my head for daaaaaays.
Right. I’m knackered. I’ve now gotta edit all that video shizz so your beautiful eyes can see it later today (yes today, help). BTS – you were awesome. Like, really awesome. Heart-warming. Fun. Vibey. Lots of nice words like that. So proud to be a part of a scene that supports it’s community like this.
I’m off to pour a triple espresso.
Yours in Love of New Music,
Sam Nahirny x
PS – you can still donate to the cause here – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/beatthestreetsuk