Review: Rescue Rooms Beer Festival 2019

Words by Abby Clarke and Ben Standring. Images by Jade Vowles (@jadekmedia). Video by Sam Nicklin.

On a gloriously sunny bank holiday Sunday afternoon, Rescue Rooms played host to their yearly beer festival which included eighteen breweries showcasing over fifty beers alongside music from eighteen different local bands and artists. With a range of enticing beers and impeccable weather, 2019’s festivities went down a treat with the bustling crowd who were kept thoroughly entertained by some of Nottingham’s most talented musicians.

The Rescue Rooms Main Room was kitted out with an extra bar to accompany the main bar, whilst lines of tables and benches decorated the front of the stage, acting as useful resting spots for thirsty punters to enjoy the music on offer. The outside courtyard showcased guest breweries and a DJ playing music for those enjoying the sunshine whilst the indoor bar was littered with unique and extravagant beer options and provided the host for the Acoustic Rooms stage.

Derby-based Scribble Victory opened the Rescue Rooms Main Stage for an acoustic set performed by Jamie, due to bandmate Tomas unfortunately being ill. Whilst only performing a couple of Scribble Victory original songs due to the complexity involved in transferring the tunes to just the one individual, Jamie instead combined his upbeat personality with some well-known covers including James’ Sit Down and Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus, which got the crowd singing along and filled with energy and excitement for the rest of the day.

Good Hustles on the Main Stage

Taking to the Main Stage next were Nottingham rock quartet Good Hustles, who made a dramatic entrance onto the stage by launching straight into Not The One – it immediately grabbed the attention of the audience, who continued to be impressed for the entire set. The four have found the perfect combination of enigmatic guitar and drums; the killer riffs from guitarist Will Bewley expertly brought together lead singer Morton Piercewright’s confident and distinctive vocals. Every song saw the audience getting increasingly immersed with the music, and when the band ended with two new tracks, described as ‘experiments’ for the crowd, it felt as if they’d been out for years – every member of the audience clapped and cheered along with the same fervor as they did with the original crowd-pleasers. Good Hustles continue to smash the bar of expectations set, as their sound and stage personas bolster their reputation as a live tour-de-force, building hype for what’s coming around the corner in the near future.

Following on from this impressive performance was another well-known Nottingham four-piece, Kelsey and The Embers. This show was their first with guitarist Nathan back from being away and they treated the audience to some soulful and melodic acoustic pop – a perfect accompaniment to sitting back and enjoying your drink with the perfect weather outside. The group are set to support Marty at their EP launch at The Chameleon on September 5th for those who missed them at the Beer Festival.

'Good Hustles continue to smash the bar of expectations set, as their sound and stage personas bolster their reputation as a live tour-de-force.'

Continuing the exceptional line up on the Main Stage were Kaleidø, our latest FOCUS feature artist, bringing back the energy that Good Hustles brought earlier with a rough and raw rock performance. The band demonstrated their collective power with a selection of their own songs which flow with a classic rock backbone. For those who have seen frontman Jaque Seviour on the local open mic night scene, you will have no doubt have been treated to Submarine. However, when the group opened with it, incorporating an entire band and the aggressive energy that this brings, it was almost unrecognisable and this high-impact, crowd grabbing and potential mosh-pit forming sound was maintained throughout the performance. The group demanded attention for the duration of their set and will no doubt continue to have attention on them in the coming future with some big events planned soon.

Once again, Rescue Rooms provided an entertainment-packed day to match the quality of beers on offer throughout the afternoon.

Next up, for a change of scenery and sound was another familiar face to the Nottingham open mic night scene: Myles Knight on the Rescue Rooms Acoustic Rooms Stage for an acoustic set. Myles has an unmistakable sound to his music, similar to the likes of Alex Turner back in the days of Submarine, and this similarity seeps into his song lyrics as well as his persona. Myles’ cheeky personality protruded between his performance of original melancholic music, including when he announced to the audience that he was single and jokingly asked to speak to an audience member after the show, proclaiming that this was the best gig ever. Aside from his spontaneous comedy, his musical performance included his much-loved single Black and Blue and another favourite of his which is yet to be named but was aptly introduced as ‘Reggae, reggae, fun time’. He had the crowd moving and singing along with smiles plastered across the room and ended on yet to be released Playground Monkeys, which combines an upbeat and jaunty melody with a tale of cocaine addiction.

Kaleidø on the Main Stage

Having already won Future Sounds of Nottingham 2019 and played Splendour Festival’s main stage, Remy’s headline set on the Acoustic Rooms stage was an enticing prospect for many festival goers keen to get a view of one of the city’s most-talented rising stars. His relaxed style and delicate vocals provided a soothing accompaniment to the festival as a whole, yet performing alongside Laurie Illingworth – an artist many need to keep an eye on as well – Remy’s set was a startling finale for the Acoustic Rooms stage. At just eighteen years old, the singer-songwriter’s glinting smile filled the room between a set of pop-oriented tracks destined for mainstream radio play and a bigger listener base.

'Kaleidø demanded attention for the duration of their set and will no doubt continue to have attention on them in the coming future with some big events planned soon.'

North-Nottinghamshire’s Pretty Babs showcased new material alongside tracks from their debut record Graffiti Lights over the course of thirty propane-filled minutes on the Main Stage. Their show was a well-oiled machine, maturing before the audience’s eyes and demonstrating the technical ability of the band as they launched into a gritty and volatile setlist, dominated by Sam’s soaring vocals which flooded the room to rapturous applause.

Unknown Era are a ragtag group of Nottingham musicians and socialites led by their gripping front man Ashmore, whose swaggering charm rolls off as naturally as the beads of sweat from everyone enjoying the record-breaking Bank Holiday heatwave. They gave a headline performance that also acted as the debut show for new guitarist Ralph, who slotted in naturally into the band’s mosaic dynamic. The collective offered a modern cocktail of Reggae, Ska, Hip-Hop, Funk and Rap over a high-octane and immersive hour of music that demonstrated the camaraderie of their beloved genres, whilst also alternating lead vocal duties between ringleader Ashmore, fearsome Mollie and avant-garde and hooded Gaz. With the beer still flowing, Unknown Era’s closing set embraced the freedom and creativity of Nottingham’s music scene and offered scathing indictments against Boris Johnson, politics and social calamities whilst providing a kaleidoscopic sonic canvas that elevated the festival’s headiness to new heights.

Once again, Rescue Rooms provided an entertainment-packed day to match the quality of beers on offer throughout the afternoon. The rapturous applause given to the likes of Kaleidø, Good Hustles, Myles Knight, Remy and the rest of the line-up goes to show the immense recent development of the Nottingham music scene; a scene which has great things happening over the course of the next few months, with Acoustic Rooms showcases and local headline shows fixed firmly in the calendar of the creative city.

Rescue Rooms' Beer Festival returns in 2020 on Sunday 30th August. To keep up to date with news and information about the festival, use the event link here.