On Sunday 9th October the Hockley Hustle celebrated 10 years of bringing together Nottingham’s independent music scene – and it was one hell of a birthday party!
Encompassing 25 venues and playing host to 300 artists this year’s festival was bigger and better than ever. Over its 10 years’ history it has been a springboard for new artists with the likes of Jake Bugg having graced the stage at the Broadway Café Bar back in 2010 – 6 years on he returns to Nottingham to headline Rock City on October 28th as part of his European tour. As well as having helped to launch numerous artists’ careers and entertaining us for a decade, the festival has also raised over £100,000 for local charities.
It’s no secret that Nottingham is a musical hub with Hockley Hustle truly encapsulating the huge variety of talent that is right on our doorstep. The buzz around the city centre was infectious and I immediately wanted to get stuck into the festival. I followed the sound of music as it poured out of cafes and bars into the street and I was quickly swept up into a crowd of musicians and spectators. Before I even managed to make my way to collect my wristband I was ambushed by a samba parade that snaked its way through Hockley and culminated in a drum-off on the steps of the Broadway Cinema.
Once I had made my way through the madness, I headed further into Hockley down to Bunkers Hill which was hosting ‘The Sunday Alternative.’ Reminiscent of Squeeze and with the energetic charisma of Madness – Paul Carbuncle won the audience over with his wonderfully weird acoustic set. The Bunker Hill pub was the ideal setting and the boozy mid-afternoon crowd were the perfect audience. Next up was Nick Aslam Rebel City Revival whose energetic indie-rock drum beats quickly brought everyone out of the common in-between set slump and got them dancing in their seats.
From there it was on to the Rum House to see Yelitza’s beautifully soulful set. The cosy and sophisticated venue perfectly complemented her style and her slick blend of jazz and R&B soothed the audience. She was accompanied by a keyboardist and bassist but it quickly became clear that her voice was strong enough to have filled the whole bar on her own. She gave out an envious air of confidence and effortlessly created the perfect chilled-out vibe.
Next up, Waqas Chaudry, Lance Hume & Friends in the intimate basement of Lee Rosy’s. It was an almost psychedelic performance complete with a violin, pakhawaj, guitar and electric sitar and they were able to seamlessly merge traditional Indian and western music. It opened my eyes to the diverse range of voices that the Hockley Hustle gives a platform to and was a definite hidden gem.
I went from Lee Rosy’s to Rough Trade and from one surreal performance to another. This time it was courtesy of Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam. With beers in hand, tie dye t-shirts strewn across the stage and glitter around their eyes their aesthetic was somewhat contradictory to their sound. They were a brilliant mix of Fall Out Boy and Foals with a touch of The Darkness thrown in for good measure. Their set was loud and fast and exactly what the rowdy evening audience wanted judging by the dancing at the front.
They were the perfect way to end the night and left with my ears still ringing and already looking forward to next years’ festival.