In their ten years of curating club nights, This Feeling have built up a renowned reputation for having the eyes (and ears) for the best new rock ‘n’ roll bands in the world, and, when they can count Blossoms as alumni and Paul Weller and Kasabian as fans, you can bet that this year’s Big in 2017 showcase is no different.
Kicking off the evening, Birmingham trio The Cosmics ensured the night got off to a rip-roaring start with the fuzzy, grunge pop elements that flow through latest single ‘Johnny’ sounding more than promising. Embodying an effortlessly cool, enigmatic Hendrix aura Gutxi Bibang followed with electrifyingly vivid riffs capable of transporting you straight back to the 60s.
Offering a slight change of pace for the evening, is solo artist Emily Capell. Dedicating track ‘No Worries’ to the people who, “wear T-shirts for bands who don’t know who the band are”, the singer’s infectious personality radiates around the stage to the tune of her blues infused indie pop. Recent Alan Mcgee signing Willow Robinson continues the blues sensibilities entwined with impressive, soulful, husky vocals and guitars lines so easy to lose yourself in.
Next up, BlackWaters showcase their breathtakingly ramshackle approach to performing. The perfectly punky and beautifully boisterous sound of ‘So Far Out’ is a raucous ride of teenage angst that everyone can get behind. Self-confessed ‘punkadelic’ upstarts, and backed by This Feeling favourites Cabbage, The Blinders’ gritty basslines and snarling vocals on recent cut ‘Swine’ prove this three piece have plenty of bite. Reverberating around the venue, the repetition of the cutting line, “There is no hope”, is a poignant reminder of today’s dismal social climate, however with bands like this in the mix, you can begin to restore your faith in humanity.
Running alongside the political undertone of the evening, Strange Bones enlighten the North London crowd with their own expression of repression. New cut ‘We The Rats’ is a riotous, adrenaline drenched tune in a set filled anarchic anthems twinned with a wonderfully unruly stage presence, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off of their charismatically chaotic display.
Bringing the night to a close, The Shimmer Band’s hypnotic and kaleidoscopic onslaught of psychedelic sonic magnificence provides a colossal end to one of the most exciting nights in the UK’s rock ‘n’ roll calendar. The swirling funk of previous singles ‘Freedom’ and ‘Shoot Me (Baby)’ has the entirety of Nambucca enthused in the groove of their stadium-sized auditory offerings – 2017 looks set to be very big indeed.
Check out This Feeling's Big in 2017 Spotify playlist:
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Words: Shannon Cotton
Photography: Will Island