The Bloom Festival, taking it’s cue from the likes of Big chill, took over KOKO last night in a one off night to spread it’s fare beyond the confines of a single summer weekend. First on were the London Breakbeat Orchestra. Watching a thirty piece classical string and wind section putting their melodies on top of a broken beat backing track was initially charming and novel, but there was not enough groove, incision or even humour to justify using them as anything other than what they were… Canon fodder for what was on next.
Super Nashwan, a real find for Bloom, took to the stage in as a young whirlwind of Gospel singers, Caped Keyboard players and dirt-driven guitars. Suddenly we had a six piece band on stage who made the atmosphere kick into the fever of a festival. Super Nashwan’s frontman takes you through a hot spectrum of anthemic emotions that leaves you feeling truly uplifted. No question – Super Nashwan stole hearts with their high voltage good time performance.
Next up Caged Baby capitalized on the good will built up by Super Nashwan’s performance with a balearic live P.A. party set showing the light side of four to the floor. Although his voice was not in the same league as what came before or after it, his extended laptop band have a warmth and rumble that got feet tapping and towards the end of the set, hips twisting.
The Elektrons were the headliners – a band hand built by the Unabombers (top Djs in the Manchester scene responsible for the infamous Electric Chair Club Night.) Their similarity to Gnarls Barclay in their look, tone and vibe is astounding – although, on last nights givings…. there is no stand out “crazy” to propel them to megastardom. However their funky party pop-hop really won over the crowd and is exactly the sort of upbeat festival fair that you can imagine winning them a lot of friends on the circuit this summer, at bloom and beyond. A special note must also go out to the elektrons vocalist who’s laid back charisma and pitch perfect soul voice was the highlight of the Elektrons set and endeared them to many.
Newcastle grand Central DJ Riton finished the night off with some pounding miami bass, electro and techy beats: encouraging the frivolities of the crowd to spill onto the stage. All in all a great party night which bodes well for a young festival spreading it’s wings and coming into full bloom.