Live Music Review: Hockley Hustle 2019

Words: Molly Dodge-Taylor
Photos: Andrea Bottino, Al Greer
Monday 04 November 2019
reading time: min, words

Hockley was certainly Hustlin' this year, as the beloved festival took over the streets of our city for a thirteenth year... 


From Broadway Cinema to Peggy’s Skylight to Faradays, small crowds are already filling up the venues. At Rough Trade, we’re waiting for Velvet Blush, an all-female indie pop group from Notts. Their sound consists of perfect harmonies accompanied by guitars along with grunge influences which are prominent on their single Drown. However, what’s most impressive about Velvet Blush is their ability to create a build-up, which is ideal for the hustlers anticipating what’s in store for the day ahead. As they finish with their latest single Fool, the set ends on a thrilling finale while the crowd moves to the next venue.

Searching through the Hockley Hustle locations to find entertainment early on proves difficult: many places haven’t even opened yet. Luckily, I stumble across Fading Blonde in Faradays, whose alt. pop rock is enough to get anyone moving. Even the band themselves are jumping and it’s clear they enjoy playing their music. One of their standout tracks is Missing Everything, the final song of the set from their EP. Starting off slower, the track repeats a riff which eventually leads to an explosive chorus, leaving the audience startled at the boys’ ability to create such a presence in a small venue.


After walking through the streets of Hockley, I decide to take a break and head to Peggy’s Skylight. The chilled atmosphere offers a rest from guitars and drums as I am met by the sound of Malindy. Their smooth jazz is faultless and encourages the crowd to dance while they incorporate aspects of South American drums into their second piece. The samba-like feel engages the crowd even more as a small dancefloor is created by the stage. The cosy venue and jazz provide a much-needed breather.

One of the busiest venues of Hockley Hustle is often Nottingham Contemporary, which holds some of Notts’ most-recognised musicians. Many arrive early to ensure a place in the infamous setting. Conveniently, Billy Bootleggers is opposite and provides some entertainment before events kick off at the Contemporary. This year, Left Hand Lane take the spot in the packed pub and show that they are not a band to be missed. The alternative rock four piece know how to create a buzz, especially with their single Skank. Every song is full of energy and the band deserve the appreciation they receive.


Following a few stops at the silent disco, I make my way to Rough Trade for the ‘special guests’ Do Nothing, who have managed to completely pack out Rough Trade. I scramble through the crammed venue until I’m eventually at the front, watching the lead singer lean over the crowd as he shouts the lyrics to Gangs. It’s hard to define Do Nothing: they seem to cover punk, shoegaze, grunge and slow-core. However, this eclectic mix appears to be successful as people jump and sing along. It’s obvious that this Notts quartet are on the rise.

By eleven, a few hustlers have started making their way home. However, Broadway still holds a completely full room waiting for Concrete Rose to perform. This reggae band use hip-hop, funk and soul influences to make their groovy vibe. The whole room sways and dances to the band’s melodies, who are even cheered on to play an extra song. As Benjamin starts to play, people prepare for a final dance. The cheery atmosphere is the perfect way to end Hockley Hustle, and shows Notts folks’ love for Hockley.

Hockley Hustle took over Nottingham on Sunday 27 October 2019.

Visit their website for more.

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