Beat the Streets is a fantastic one-day music festival spread out around some of Nottingham’s historic music venues, with great acts on the line up and extra bits and pieces going on throughout the day all to help raise money to fight homelessness. This year was set to be another fun-filled day with some talented musicians playing from one in the afternoon all the way until eleven at night, and The Mic were there to cover it.
The day started with Matthew Moore who opened the Rescue Room’s main stage after winning an open mic night competition at Acoustic Rooms before Christmas. Immediately his talent was clear, and his powerful vocals backed with a harmonica, a cajon and a guitar really filled the room. We then popped next door to the Rescue Rooms bar stage where Elliot Williams opened, another regular at Acoustic Rooms.
Heading over to Bodega, George Gadd performed to a packed-out downstairs, and although he kept informing the crowd that he was hung over from the previous nights show and that he didn’t think he was doing very well, he certainly pleased the crowd with his heartfelt love songs, and a more upbeat mash-up including Smash Mouth and Wheatus.
The Edi Johnston Bit was next, back at Rescue Rooms bar, performing his usual comedy/ ukulele routine and managing to bring a bit of humour and laughs into the room. Then we headed over to see Emzae at Rock City’s recently renovated Beta. Unfortunately, she experienced some technical difficulties and the venue itself proved hard to get into due to people crowding round the door where you couldn’t see the stage.
We quickly headed up to Rock City’s main room to catch Don’t Forget Rupert who owned the stage and got the crowd energised with their Panic and the Disco style pop punk, and lead singer Ben Martin entered the crowd for a bit of a walk around and a personal serenade to a couple of attendees. Their performances never fail to entertain.
The Mocking Jays were on next, back in Beta and the room was absolutely jam packed, with people queuing out of the doors to get a view. The boys put on a good performance, but a bigger stage definitely would have done them justice.
Having heard the name around the Nottingham music scene before but not actually listening to his music, we decided to see what Rob Green was all about, and we were not disappointed. Rob has obvious talent and confidence and sung about some very emotional issues whilst also keeping it upbeat and a fun performance. He is definitely somebody to watch and I expect big things to come of this talented singer-songwriter.
We then popped our heads round for Evil Scarecrow and saw two dancers in full robot costumes, and then briefly saw Towers, a heavier rock band, before heading to Rescue Rooms main stage to watch serene duet Keto sing and play guitar and violin.
Rock City- Photo credit Jake Haseldine
Fat Digester were next at Rock City mainstage with a group of ten musicians playing all sorts of instruments ranging from a trumpet to a triangle. The group performed a great creation of soulful, dance-along songs with added bits of jazz and rap chucked in.
We then headed back to Rock City Beta to see alternative rock band Lacey play. Lead singer Graham has a great sense of humour and announced the release of their debut album at “Some point this year”. Some fans had been sitting on the floor waiting for them to play and you can understand the commitment as the group are very talented and passionate about their music. It was a shame that the set wasn’t any longer as they really started getting into it just as it was time to finish.
It was getting later in the day and the atmosphere was kicking off with crowds now more than saturated with plenty of alcohol and energy from the day. Venues were starting to buzz with excitement and anticipation for the final acts of the night. Heading over to Rescue Rooms main stage, we caught the end of The Amber Herd before our highlight of the night, Saint Raymond, took to the stage for an intimate acoustic set.
He played lovely renditions of his classic songs “Nightcrawling” and “Movie in my mind” and he told the venue that he has been working on some new stuff recently which is definitely something to keep an eye out for. Finally, we headed over to see Harleighblu close the Rock City main stage and had a bit of a boogie to her R n B and soulful vibes. It was a great way to finish the night off on a high, and some people didn’t even finish it there and went off to the various DJ sets which carried on until the early hours of the morning.
Beat the Streets is always amazing fun and it’s clear to see just how many talented musicians turn up to play. There was an abundance of attendees all raising money for a great cause whilst also having lots of fun in the meantime. The festival really drives home what a caring and generous community Nottingham has as well as an incredible music scene and that we are all lucky to have been a part of it for another year.