Five years on from its debut, Visions Festival, spread out across five or six
venues in Hackney, east London, continues to set the bar in terms of
eclecticism of line-up.
This is no meat-and-potatoes guitar band tread-through, but an excitingly
diverse bunch of acts playing an equally diverse range of spaces.
The bigger acts climb onto the stage at Oval Space, worthy of note
for its never less-than-excellent sound as well as its position next to
the canal, overlooking the area’s famous, dystopian-looking gas works.
At the opposite end of the scale, at the festival’s southernmost point, there’s the classic indie pub vibe of The Sebright Arms.
You get the feel that this is the artists’ festival – the programme notes on
each act are even written by another on the bill.
Reviews Early on in the wooden-built Brewhouse, a small room attached
to a former brewery with an oddly Scandinavian feel, Croydon rapper
Denzel Himself introduces himself with a shield of blistering white
Eyes almost permanently closed, he brings a blind energy to his set, like an animated statue.
There’s an uneasy backdrop to his vocals, often delivered over a load of
Oval Space before the sun goes down is a beautiful, light place,
where the daytime dry ice lends a slightly surreal atmosphere.
It’s here that Noga Erez serves up her slickn leftfield electro-pop, laced with
sugary vocals and a vital energy.
It’s a young, exciting, engaging performance, and something to
genuinely dance to.
The queue for Blanck Mass is prohibitive, but once downstairs at
Mangle, the dark walls and enclosed feel of this underground space struggle to contain Benjamin John
Power’s viciously exciting maelstrom of noise.
It’s punishingly loud, black and dark, and this tempest of sound assaults the senses.
It’s here also that The Men produce a set that could have been lifted from the noisiest sub-punk fleapit of the mid seventies; they’re relentlessly earsplitting and dirtily brilliant.
By contrast Frankie Cosmos’ indiepop is a gentle salve to the senses
back at the Oval Space.
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