Feburary 12th – Motion
You’d almost be fooled into thinking it wasn’t Motion, streams of lights and faux shrubbery adorning the rooftops, a haze of smoke falling over the main room and the 6 Music Festival insignia glowing from the back of the stage in the distance.
Missing Roots Manuva at his early 5pm start, I wait around for the next act to start and get that sinking feeling as I notice that Savages are playing at the exact same time as Blossoms, Chk Chk Chk with Sherwood & Pinch and Primal Scream with Yeasayer. With the event running over five and a half hours, I’d thought maybe they’d have staggered the set times more, but resigning myself to the fact I had some decisions ahead, I begin to soak up the atmosphere.
Music is blaring out the PA, first The Cure, then Pulp. Suddenly we have a voice from above, Nemone rallying the troops, where she is we don’t know, but it’s not long before Blur starts playing over the radio again and we’re back to waiting.
I catch the first few songs for Blossoms and notice Steve Lamacq singing along in the corner of the room. It’s thin on the ground though as everyone is through watching Savages, and keen to get involved, I make my way over.
There’s a queue for the main room, but peering in I see a furnace of excitement. Jehnny Beth, pure fire, is commanding the stage with fearsome elegance. I wait my turn and am eventually swept in. Television camera’s glide over head and for a moment I’m distracted; but it’s not long before my focus is back on the stage. You’d only need a half decent band behind a front-woman with that much presence, but the perfect driving force of Savages’ music hypnotises the crowd and it’s all we can do not to fully fall under their spell as Beth crawls over our heads.
I’ve heard rumours about Chk Chk Chk live and as such am ready to dance. Opening with ‘All U Writers’, their Record Store Day single from last year; Nic Offer in his trademark short shorts throws some serious shapes, his energy: infectious. The room is really moving as they work through their hits and the buzz continues, bass lines kicking our feet from the floor.
Next up comes the biggest decision of the night: the two bands I’ve come here wanting to see the most, performing at the same time. I know Primal Scream have a lot of power in their live show, and Bobby G is a formidable front man, nevertheless I elect to see Yeasayer not having seen them before.
Once again, the vast majority of punters have elected for the main stage action, but the energy during Yeasayer’s set is powerful, with people singing and dancing in all sections of the room. The beautiful contrast between the two singer’s voices gives a brilliant variety to the show with the separate songs they take lead on dynamically altering the flow. The audience are fully on board and I have no regrets in my decision, despite being able to see the the lights flashing on the faces of the horde watching Primal Scream from across the entrance hall.
Check out Yeasayer’s ‘I Am Chemistry’ right here: