Live Music Review: Beat The Streets 2019

Words: Becky Timmins
Photos: Louise Clutterbuck
Wednesday 30 January 2019
reading time: min, words

Is there any better cure for the January blues than a day festival? We sent our Becky and Louise down to Beat the Street this Sunday to find out...


Beat the Streets really is a stroke of genius. The chance to see countless Nottingham bands and musicians, across some of the city’s most beloved venues, on a Sunday in January, with all proceeds going to local charity Framework Housing Association. We’re here for it. So armed with a pretty ambitious schedule, we dashed from venue to venue fuelled by coffee and Dr Pepper; here’s the top five sets which got our hearts pounding.


Matthew Moore at Rescue Rooms

Kicking off proceedings at Rescue Rooms can never be an easy gig, but singer-songwriter Matthew Moore rises to the occasion today. Joined by bandmates, he takes the audience by surprise with his powerful voice and wrenching lyrics on folk-stained opener The Tallest Man on Earth. The mood takes a confrontational turn on Horizontal, a ballad about having your feelings ripped out and stamped on. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as he unveils a chirpy covers compilation aimed at those pesky open mic night fans who demand to hear Wonderwall every single time – you know the type. So while his emotive agenda might not be for everyone, I’m quite swayed by the soul and communal capacity of his performance.


The DandyLions at Rock City

It’s quite something to take to the Rock City Main Stage on a Sunday afternoon clad in neon string vests and feather boas, but outrageousness seems to be the name of the game for four-piece glam rockers The DandyLions. As champions of Future Sound of Nottingham 2018, there’s a hype around this band that spans the globe. It is totally justifiable too; they deliver solid glam rock through a statement yellow and pink lens. Masked frontman Fortune Boy leaps around the stage – half wrestler and half aerobics instructor – singing about ghosting with enough infectious energy to get this early and (presumably) sober crowd bopping and swaying. Extra points for the guitarist’s golden lycra lace-up chaps.


Sancho Panza at The Bodega

“Always go for the more expensive tambourine”. Just one snippet of the irreverent chatter wafting through Sancho Panza’s set today. This group chop and change members and instruments with a hazy fluidity which matches their slacker indie sound; throw in the twinges of psych and disco they deliver, and I’m quickly hooked. The Age of Gold is a particularly fuzzy banger, along with some seriously flirtatious keyboards on an as yet untitled track. Reminiscent of that dishevelled and coy brand of indie, Sancho Panza clearly have a heck of a lot of skills in their arsenal, and are using them to reach ambitious levels of nonchalance. Have a listen to their latest track Rearrange The Diamonds for yourselves here.


Bus Stop Madonnas at Rough Trade

The charm of Rough Trade Nottingham’s upstairs gig venue never wavers, and it’s packed to the rafters today for Bus Stop Madonnas. They’re a heady mix of growling vocals, stoic drumming and punk spirit, with a penchant for messing with pace. These guys deliver musical whiplash in a seriously good way, and with plenty of amps and attitude, there’s no bass required. Bonnie and Clyde is crunchy and stomping, and emblematic of their manifesto: punk-inspired chords make for thumping anthems, interspersed with wry smiles between members Amy and Lisa. As a Mohawk-clad fan dances at the front throughout their set, my attention is completely held by this band; they mould chords and rhythms to match their spirit in a really hypnotic way. I’m backing their manifesto, big time.


Sundaze at Stealth

Following recent shows at The Angel and The Chameleon, and with the release of EP Live at Rainy Daze under their belts, there’s a fever rippling through the crowd at Stealth in anticipation of Sundaze. While the EP is effervescent and packed full of juicy distortion, Sundaze live are an altogether heavier and more intense prospect. Elements of their buoyant recorded sound are dissected and laid bare on stage, with the dark surroundings of Stealth adding to the rawness and drama. Their swampy psych sound is performative and at times chaotic today, but ultimately pulsating and very self-assured, and I’m left wanting a heck of a lot more hazy tunes from them.

Beat The Streets took place in venues all over Nottingham City Centre on Sunday 27 January 2019

Beat The Streets website

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