Friday, 23 May 2014

22nd Carefully Planned All-Dayer @ Gullivers, 17.05.14

“Punching your door through / Smashing windows”. Well it was the hottest day of the year so far, so add to the mixture more flammable components of a Saturday afternoon, plus alcohol, and it doesn’t seem an unusual news report from most town centres.

On this occasion it’s Emma Kupa (aka Cooper) who is reciting the lyric from one of her songs. Accompanied by a drummer, the low-key acoustic set is a series of tales whose music may be light and summery, but with lyrics containing dark, threatening and at times humorous tones. The Lemonheads/Evan Dando came to mind while listening to the duo. When you discover her collaboration with Darren Hayman, formerly of Hefner, the connection seems obvious.

A performer can put so much effort into creating an atmosphere to match the mood of the songs, yet the trill of a mobile phone’s ring tone can easily break that mood. Congratulations to Tekla for not allowing said tone to disturb her concentration. She is the first artist to appear on this Carefully Planned event bill. Sat on a stool, she gently picks the guitar strings, softly relaying stories about storms and the pitter patter of raindrops, whilst sun cracks the flagstones outside.

The running order of the bands is planned carefully so that the pace of the music increases steadily throughout the day, with the joyfully delivered thrash of Bad Grammar being eagerly received. Ben (guitar) and Lucy (drums) look like they are enjoying the music as much as the audience. Almost.

Beware of the quiet ones the saying goes. The four who make up Axes just seem too, well, polite to deliver the crashing noise that their set conjures up. A math rock fury engrossed the steadily increasing crowd. Think 65daysofstatic flecked with touches of Rolo Tomassi (two Sheffield-based bands) smelted together with their own individuality and you will end up with Axes.

There were other bands performing during the day, so people could nip out for the FA Cup final knowing that the event went on till after 11. With this taster for the annual two-day festival spread over several venues, which was recently announced for October, the future looks bright.

Words & photos: Ged Camera

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