a most un-excellent snap of the excellent Phenomenal Handclap Band
Ah, what a weekend: surfeit of sunshine, dancing and music and a not a whole lot of sleep.
Stag & Dagger was in London on Friday night and I suppose it's the unofficial kick off for the summer festival season. And a brilliant kick off it was. I'd dutifully printed off the schedule and highlighted the bands I wanted to see - much to the amusement of all my friends - and rocked up to meet everyone for a quick drink before heading over to swap my billet for a bracelet.
After hearing horror stories of queueing for hours last year, I was a taken completely aback to find that at 9pm there was not a single soul in the queue and I skipped right up, got my wrist band and made my way back to my friends. This happy coincidence was consistent with the rest of my S&D experience. The whole evening was incredibly well organised - we didn't queue once, bands started on time - and perhaps in part because of such good event management, the crowds were awesome - lively but well behaved.
We blagged our way into a packed out Hoxton Bar and Grill to check out the much-lauded Phenomenal Handclap Band. Well...so what if the BBC hates them, my friend Keith saw them live a few weeks ago and hasn't shut up about their act. True to his word, PHB absolutely threw it down/rocked it out/did every other musical cliche in the books. They were excellent. Everyone had the biggest smile on their face and we danced like idiots for their entire set.
Check out my two favourite songs here:
Then we headed over to Hearn Street Car Park cause I insisted we see Dopplereffekt. Thankfully, my friends are great and didn't give me too much shit when they turned out to be super lame. Yawn inducing and pretentious and boring and blah.
We snuck across the street for a quick bass-fueled boogie before rocking back up to Hearn Street for Casper C (good times) and Simian Mobile Disco (amazing). SMB absolutely brought the house down. The whole place was just going crazy: dancing, dancing, dancing. The best kind of night out is when you're still dancing when the sun comes up. Love it. The thing about something like Stag & Dagger is that there are so many venues and so many bands - there's no way you're going to make it to even a fraction of the gigs. So you hedge your bets and hope for the best. Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't. Thankfully we hit the jackpot. Bring on the summer. I'm ready to dance.