Review: Beat the Streets 2018

Homelessness is sadly on the rise in Nottingham and throughout the UK. So what better way to spend a day than celebrating music whilst simultaneously fundraising for Framework – a charity dedicated to helping vulnerable people in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire?

Beat the Streets took place on Sunday 28th January at multiple venues across the city centre including Rough Trade, The Bodega and Rock City and featured over 80 artists throughout the day.  It was a fantastic event, with everyone coming together for one cause and to listen to talented musicians.

I started with TUSK at Rescue Rooms at 2:15pm. They filled up the venue and managed to get the crowd riled up and excited, despite it being early in the afternoon. Ned Jones said after their performance that he was worried about cutting down their set to just 6 songs compared to the usual 9, but was overwhelmed with the support the band received and looked forward to seeing these potential new fans at future shows (despite rumours circling about the band having to change their name sometime soon).

I then spent the next hour or so enjoying Kagoule’s dark folk music, Eyre Llew’s ambient rock (minus the usual hugging circle) and Headsticks before another highlight of the day – Ferocious Dog. I had never seen this band before so when frontman Ken Bonsall walked on with a mohican taller than the length of my arm, I did not expect the music to include the fiddle and have an Irish feel to it  – but it worked so well. They were energetic and I had never seen anything like it before.

Super Furniture, Nina Smith and Black Cats and Magpies led us into the evening where the crowds were starting to get boisterous – perhaps after a whole afternoon spent by the bar – but that added to the atmosphere and became a perfect setting for Unknown Era to perform. They are a crazy, almost mad max looking mixture of reggae, hip-hop and ska that was almost Madness-esque. Vocalist Mol O Tov ripped off her clothing to reveal a swimming costume and little else half-way through the performance as a message to women to be proud of their bodies – the crowd went mad. The 9-piece had the audience captivated the whole time they were on stage.

Ashfields headlined The Basement stage at 9:15pm, at which point the room was absolutely packed. The whole floor become one big mosh pit – a rabble of fans screaming the words to the catchy indie pop music. The five-piece put their all into every song they performed and the crowd loved every second of it. It ended with a dramatic stage dive from lead singer Dev who then proceeded to backflip over the barrier and slice his shoulder – never a boring show. When speaking to Dev and drummer Josh after the show, they said how grateful they were for the support of their fans and how they are excited for the coming year with some more big shows lined up. After a successful Rescue Rooms headliner before Christmas, could the main stage be next for the band?

Finally, headlining the Rock City main stage were The Invisible Orchestra – a group consisting of 24 talented musicians who come together to perform a mixture of dirty funk, jazz, big band, reggae and more.  The variety of music played was fantastic and having a unique headliner for the festival highlighted some key messages of the day and displayed the greatness that can be achieved when people come together with one goal in mind.

Overall, the day was a huge success with lots of money and awareness raised for Framework and the homeless population. I imagine the festival will only get bigger with more venues involved. This year’s venues were hitting full capacity mid-afternoon, making the popularity of the event undeniable. I look forward to seeing what the festival’s artists have in store for the year ahead.

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