Deep in the dark corners of South London situates everyone’s favourite elaborately decorated pub, The Windmill. Half tiki bar half vintage elegance this venue is not much to look at in terms of its aesthetics but it does have its quirky charm. A rare gem south of the river this venue has a nice intimate feel for gigs and for another year running plays host to It’s All Happening’s Half Dayer.
With an eclectic line up to cover everyone’s tastes buds, Walrus favourites and lo-fi surf rockers Best Friends head up this year’s line-up. Playing alongside are 2014 ones to watch Oscar, Crushed Beaks and Dios Mio as well as up and coming acts King TV, Fake Laugh and Daisy Victoria. Although smaller than your average festival this half dayer has everything you could need for a fun time, booze, good music and a free BBQ. Nothing is more enticing then the offer of free meat.
With the BBQ in full swing first band of the day King TV took to the stage. This London 4 piece where a band new to my radar, having only heard a few song here and there through blogs. Not one shy to a live stage the band have spent the best part of the year gigging around London and beyond and boys seemed at ease opening the day’s revelries. Poppy vocals, furious guitar streams and grungy vibes, lead singer Louis Milburn and co threw themselves right into their set with perfect reckless abandonment. The best way to sum up King TV sound is adolescent infused slacker pop. Tracks such as “Butlins” and “I Don’t Wanna Go” boomed an early 00’s American college radio feel, a perfect match to their juvenile stature and stage presences.
Fake Laugh levelled the hyped up ambience with their boppy dream pop and cool placid melodies. Effortless and refreshing tracks “Wouldn’t Bother” and “Kinda Girl” mediated a sensory of chilled and woozy elation. While the bands track “Ice” revved those calmer notes up a notch with some guitar driven shimmer pop. Fractured hints of reverb breathe through Fake Laugh’s ethereal set creating a tranquillity and chilling experience for the ears. This created the perfect setting for songstress Daisy Victoria to take the stage. Daisy has been making waves across the bloggersphere for the past few months with her fresh sound but it is her sultry and almost gothic like voice that make her enchanting to watch. Dairy wooed the crowd with her new single “Nobody Dies”, a song with exhibited flairs of early of PJ Harvey and her punk rock spirit.
Halfway through the night and Oscar drew in the biggest crowd. By far the tallest man in the room he towered over his band and the crowd while streaming out infectious indie pop hit’s one after the other. Oscar’s most stand out quality is his deep baritone vocals, live these profound vocal cords contrasted with the reverbed synthy jangle of his sugary Brit pop rock, the perfect synthesis of sounds. Hit song “Sometimes” was the biggest crowd please with it catchy lyrics and doses of animated pop genius while “Open Up” and “Heartache” bore a blend of melancholy and fuzzy guitar. The female backing vocals again added a velveteen contrast to Oscar’s strong vocal work.
Dios Mio where another band that where fresh to me and I went in blindly to experience what this band had to offer. There was a brittleness to lead singer Helena look standing still on stage with all eyes upon her. As she sang into the mic her delicate stature was embodied into her vocals but the bands dark grungy melody was far from fragile and offered up a strong mix of swelling guitars and twisted dark charm.
Next up where Crushed Beaks, a band we have previously championed on The Blue Walrus. This London duo, comprised of vocalist and guitarist Matt Poile and drummer Alex Morris and like Oscar It is Matt’s unique vocals that give this band their distinctive sound as he cooed out with soulful heart and mournful intent. The band have been keeping below the radar for the past few months, making their return to the live stage in what has been a good long while but fans where treated to a couple of tracks from their newly finished album. Their impassioned surf rock hit “Breakdown” and “Tropes” appeared to be crowd pleaser and even encouraged a head bop or two.
With the night nearly at its end headliners Best Friends took to the stage and immediately destroyed any calm or peaceful feelings that may have been circulating in the room. Their highly fused surf rock unleashed the crowds into a frenzy of energetic fury. Their rough tailoring was an all-encompassing mix of abrasive momentum and cool guitar hooks. Stand out songs included surf rock belter “Nosebleed” which was filled with so much fuzzy distortion that would make the walls shake and “Waiting Time” which brought the crowd to their peak with its reverent beat. With a few jubilant burst if vigour the Sheffield natives brought the night to an end and the roof down on top of them.