Tuesday, 30 September 2008

IKTOMS Wired Festival 2008

I don't find too many reasons to go to the Kings Cross area of London and when I do, it's usually to just to catch a train. Last weekend though, I finally found a reason to make a trek to the neighbourhood: The IKTOMS Wired Festival 2008, and boy was I glad I went.

Crammed with over 70 acts performing on two stages at The Cross Kings from noon till well past everyone’s bedtime on Saturday and Sunday, the Wired festival 2008 provided a fantastic opportunity to catch some very talented artists and bands. This was no Glastonbury, taking place in a pub, there wasn't a bit of mud in sight and the toilets were lovely and clean (anyone who reads this blog regularly will know this is very important to me.) Another positive was the fact that the goal of the concert was to raise money for a wonderful charity: Educate for Life.

Now, I'm not going to review all 70 acts for a few reasons: one - I didn't watch them all and that would have been pretty impossible unless I was able to be in two places at one time (haven't figured out a way to do that yet!) and two I don't think you'll read it! Now I'm not calling you lazy, but I know I wouldn't read it all and I'd hope we're not THAT different. So I've handpicked some of my favorite acts from the two days and am going to write a couple of lines on each with loads of links for you to find out more if you like what you read.

Lail Arad

Her songs are like short stories with a hugely entertaining dollop of theatrical wit. Think Martha Wainwright with a little Mel Blanc thrown into the mix. Lail was randomly picked form the crowd by Devendra Banhart during his concert at The Forum in London at the end of last year to sing one song in the middle of his set. He described her as "Leonard Cohen meets...Velvet Underground". In fact Devendra went so far as to say her impromptu performance was "the best of the tour".

This girl is an immense talent and I can't wait to see her perform again. I'm sold!

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lailarad

Gideon Conn

Taking to the stage with buckets of energy, this five piece band stole the audience and made a party of it. Their sound has been described as geek-hop. Trombones, up beat pop sounds, a slow rap style lyrical delivery and overall tight sound. It was fun to watch the audience enjoy this band and lead man Gideon (who reminded me a little of Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip) knew exactly how to work a room. Full of vitality and eccentric banter he would jump into the crowd to sing in their midst or pester everyone to sing and dance crazy little nursery style songs with him. It was fun and I feel we're going to be hearing a lot more from Gideon Conn.

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gideonconn

Nick Mulvey

Nick Mulvey is a very talented man. He's played his guitar with such skill I finally felt I could put to rest any notions I ever had of picking mine up again. This guy blew me away. Not only can he play, he can sing. His sound is reminiscent of Jose Gonzalez and Paul Simon's Graceland. When he's not impressing the pants off audiences with his solo performances, you'll find him playing amongst other instruments, the hang with 2008 Mercury Prize Nominated Portico Quartet, a jazz /instrumental London based band. I hope to be interviewing Nick shortly, watch this space and this video:

Nick Mulvey @ The Big Chill 2008

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nickmulveymusic
Portico Quartet MySpace:

Ali Whitton

He said he had a bad cold and was considering dropping out up until the last minute, so I'm glad he made it. Supported by whisky and shear motivation Ali gave a blinding performance. If you are partial to a little Jacob Golden or Elliot Smith, I reckon Ali Whitton might be your man.

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/aliwhitton

Kal Lavelle

TLS is not a stranger to the charms of Kal Lavelle. Check out the last review here. Once again, Kal delivered an outstandingly heartfelt performance, this girl captivates me every time. Fresh from a performance at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a tour with the IKTOMS crew, I'm happy to see Kal go from strength to strength, there's no stopping this Irish gem (yes, I do love a cliché from time to time).


Music is the main focus of this blog but I feel I should also mention two excellent spoken word artists who also performed at Wired. E. Amato and excentral tempest. Check out their MySpace sites.

With two hugely successful festivals under their belt, I hope the IKTOMS team will be back with more next year. Kevin?

(Sorry for the poor quality of these photos, I need a better camera or at least to get to know someone with a better camera- anyone?)

More Story Fours

Ali Whitton

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