Humber Street Sesh has always held the promise of an eclectic variety of artists: from musicians sprawling across 14 stages, to smatterings of visual artists creating pieces before your very eyes, the established are on a level playing field with the up and coming. Spoilt for choice, with a staggering number of 300 acts, it’s easy to cling to familiarity when lost in the reams of names and stages. But, if you take a chance on an artist you’ve never heard of, the experience of falling in love with their music is rewarding in double measure: it is that, married to the intimacy and sense of community that Humber Street Sesh brings, that makes it a highlight for the northern summer. Even if you didn’t discover any new artists to add to your repertoire, we’ve got your back. We scouted some of the best artists that defined the Humber Street Sesh experience.
Restless, waging a very visceral war within, this West Yorkshire psych-grunge outfit are here to purge. BROODERS are indomitable live performers: with mutinous guitar sections and sinuous vocals, their music is a torrid regurgitation of discontent. What sets BROODERS apart from their milieu is their ability to take their tight instrumentation and spin it out of control; round and round and round, it’s a downward spiral that leaves you sick with dizziness. Their slowing pace is taunting, until all that remains is teeth-grinding guitarwork. It’s some kind of nightmare – a nightmare that, in some twisted way, is too fascinating to escape. As they whip up the pace, the drummer’s beats are the masters of this apocalypse. Like puppets, they stagger and throw themselves across the stage in the eye of the storm. Their quality of music and quality of performance reaches an excellent equilibrium.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV
This female-fronted five-piece are a part of their own, beautiful reality that you can’t help but want to be a part of. The Golden Age of TV’s music is kaleidoscopic, a prism of colour and pure escapism. With scintillating synth sounds and vocals that have the flight and lightness of a dandelion seed, they’re a shrug-of-the-shoulders kind of cool. With a thoughtless sway or elegant curl of her wrist, Bea Fletcher is a chanteuse with edge. Her offbeat grace is warped by the rapturous jamming of her bandmates, who relish every song and play it with a passion you can’t help but match just from watching them. From the soft sparkle of indie-pop to sharper shoegaze sensibilities, The Golden Age of TV go down a well-trodden path yet somehow imbue a freshness that makes their music feel entirely new.
You think you’ve seen it all? You haven’t seen Mouses. Their performance will knock you for six, leaving you staggering away, jaw slack, knuckles white. There is nothing quite like this. This lo-fi garage punk duo from Teeside throw brattish tantrums: vocalist and guitarist, Ste, stomps across the stage, charging into the audience, shrieking into the microphone like a snotty child. The distortion on the vocals melds with their fuzzed-up guitar work and stick-snapping drumming, leaving you woozy and disorientated. Every track is an anthem. It’s more than noise for noise’s sake; more than punk for punk’s sake. The frenetic, livewire energy of Mouses reminds you of what it is to be excited about music, to find something to be passionate about, rather than feeling your eyelids droop watching acts trying to cling to punk’s coattails. It’s impossible not to be addicted to their distorted, sickly world. You could see them again and again and again: the word “boring” will be the furthest thing from your mind.
Taking things down a notch at the Acoustic Stage, you’d have been blessed to discover James Taylor’s set. The vocalist/guitar of the indie rock’n’roll band FRONTEERS has stripped back his usual dynamic electric bombast to a rhythmic collection of his original songs, smattered with covers of The Beatles and The Black Keys. Though acoustic music often implies something more toned down and introspective, James Taylor struck a balance between energy and feeling that eclipsed typical acoustic expectations. Rich and fluid, Taylor’s guitar playing was seamless and looked instinctive, rather than methodically practised: the hallmark of a great player. The original material he performed was worldly, yet vibrant, loaded with nuances; it was a breath of fresh air from the wall of sound beyond. A guy and his guitar: it was simple yet so effective – if that doesn’t capture the spirit of acoustic music, I don’t know what does.
We do not own these images. All credit goes to their respective photographers.