Turning up to The Faversham on Saturday afternoon, only the distant sound of bass and a few graffiti artists gave away that anything out of the ordinary was happening. Oh, and all the metal railings of course. Then there were the hordes of trendy students, a bit of festival stereotype of course. And the stalls, the face painting, and the abundance of cider-drinkers.
When LSR and Leeds RAG asked if the Her Campus Leeds would like to cover the event, I jumped at the chance to spend a day discovering some new music acts and experiencing some live stand up comedy. I wasn’t disappointed, and I really do take my hat off to the team who put on the event, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year.
Here’s what I got up to through the course of the day...
Musis stage - Deco, Honey
The first band I caught were fantastic, even if they did look a bit young to fancy (a major selling factor for a band of course!) The luxurious name was a real contrast to their rugged indie rock sound, and their lad-rock genre was peppered with prog style keyboard and guitar solos. The set included a mixture of their own material (“Summer 11” was a personal favourite) alongside covers by bands like The White Stripes. The lead singer’s melodic vocals on their set closer “Paper Lanterns” gave Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell a run for their money, and this coupled with the slow, haunting piano keys, saw the band go out on a real high.
Laughter Lines Comedy Stage – Student comedy showcase
My first dose of student comedy came in the form of painter Joe Hodgson, and his amusing idea to call his dog Rockwell Extra Bold. Tickled Pig winner Laura Carruthers followed, with her take on the doss that is graduate life, which was pretty amusing, despite the more risque of her jokes perhaps not being to everyone's tastes
Music stage - Grant K Fennell
They say if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all, so I won’t. This guy had a lovely folky voice, but his set really wasn’t that enjoyable, and neither was he, so I left to check out some more comedy instead. Is that harsh?
Comedy stage – Charlie Smith, Gary Tro and Pat Cahill
A bloke reading poetry over an accompanying bloke playing guitar might not sound brilliant on paper, but Charlie Smith’s songs about Cataracts, Breivik, Kony 2012 and England had the audience in raptures. Step aside Flight of the Conchords.
Easily my comedy highlight of the day, Gary Tro’s jokes about being the oldest in the room at just 29, issues with baldness and nose hair, living in Brixton, and being a bloke who ISN’T a football fan were actually hilarious – I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a long time.
Finally, winner of Chortle best newcomer 2012, Pat Cahill’s brand of singing comedy introduced us to delights such as the jäger bomb song, tumour dog, die for the moment, and the triangle of life. This all came from a man using a DIY coat hanger microphone holder. Pure genius.
Winner of Chortle best newcomer 2012, Pat Cahill
Comedy stage – Steve Garland and Jack Barry
The final set I saw on the comedy stage involved Steve Garland demonstrating just how similar Professor Severus Snape (of Harry Potter fame) and Nelson Mandela sound. Following this, Jack Barry again reminded us that all graduates are screwed in terms of ever finding any work, shared stories of smoking a spliff with his dad in Amsterdam, and introduced us to the delighting game that is “Cock or Ball”. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.
Music Stage – Lilygreen and Maguire
Back over to the music stage, I was treated to a delightfully playful and comedic set by the loveable Lilygreen and Maguire – self described as “two ugly Welsh blokes playing some rubbish songs”. The seemingly best friends treated us to their own material, alongside covers from the likes of Jessie J, The Killers, Bruno Mars, Adele, The Beatles and Bob Marley. Their sweet, innocent, bromantic relationship (all a bit of an act but endearing none the less) gave them the quality of a two-man boyband, with their gorgeous pop like harmonies, effortless double guitar set up and constant banter making for a truly enjoyable set. A brilliant way to end the day, and something that really put a smile on my face.
And there you have it, my review of the day. S.O.S. festival, you did not disappoint!