May 14, 2017
The Roundhouse and The Monarch, Camden, London
After two cracking Frank Turner headline shows at Lost Evenings festival, and one storming day of free music during the Last Minutes part of the event, Sunday was deservedly the chill-out day. Here’s a look back at Last Minutes performances by Bernardo, Danny Starr, The Lion and The Wolf, Sad Song Co., Harry Pane and Recreations.
“You can check me out online – on Tinder!”
The bleary eyed fans back in Camden on the Sunday morning may have been forgiven for doing a double-take. Bernardo bore more than a passing resemblance to Amy Winehouse, both visually and vocally.
She laughed off a few false starts and joked through the set, but once the music got going it really was on point. Stormy Weather was a bluesy cover and she let out a fierce growl in The Boy Is Mine.
“If you don’t join in, I’ll just be upset”
Danny Starr was out promoting his Elixr EP, making him seem more productive than the average 18 year old. His age was a recurring theme. He described Childhood as being about “the transition into adulthood…the hard times to come.”
He seemed to be aiming for Jason Mraz style wordplay with Paolo Nutini type distinctive vocals. Perhaps more successfully done in Miss Heavenly than in Twisted Attraction, which went “when I see you I throw frisbees in my mind.”
Tiny Giant was the perfect early afternoon Sunday chill-out act, combining a high voice and ambient soundscapes. Dinosaur reflected influences of the early 2000s indie scene but also could have found a home on many a 90s film soundtrack.
It proved a lovely soundtrack for exploring the two important stalls on the veranda. The stage itself was named after Nick Alexander who was working merch at the Eagles of Death Metal show in Paris the night that terrorists stormed the Bataclan to kill him and 89 others. His sister was at The Roundhouse to share memories and raise awareness for the charitable trust set up in Nick’s name. The trust raises money to donate instruments to children and hosts A Peaceful Noise, a (hopefully) annual celebration of music and Nick.
Safe Gigs For Women were represented on the next stall. A name that’s self-explanatory but that’s too often not a reality. It’s great to see Xtra Mile and its artists partner with this organisation that discourages harassment, helps report incidents and promotes advice.
“Hey, Frank, can you keep it down, mate?”
Next up on the Nick Alexander stage was Thomas George who performs as The Lion and The Wolf. Although he was joking about the noise bleeding through from the sound checking on the main stage, it’s fair to say that his delicately beautiful songs deserved a quiet room.
My Father’s Eyes, inspired by his dad’s heart attack in 2014, set the scene. The sublime songs kept coming: Synesthesia, Symptoms, Heaven Forbid, The Pinching Point and The Finish Line all stood out.
Without showing it in the performance, George was in a bit of a hurry to get to the end. He would have liked to have watched Frank Turner’s evening set – and it has to be said that The Lion and The Wolf deserved a place on the main stage bill with his Xtra Mile family. However, he’d been offered a slot supporting Natalie Imbruglia in Manchester that night: “I guess you could say I was torn.” Despite that terrible pun, which one person appreciated (“thank you, voice!”), the Last Minutes folk had rejigged the line-up so that he could fit in both performances. Those that caught his early afternoon set in London were glad of every second spared for their chilled Sunday singalong.
“Having introduced him, I’m now going to exclude him from the next song”
Initially appearing to be a duo, Sad Song Co. (a.k.a. The Sleeping Souls’ Nigel Powell) proved his singular vision, not only in the introduction but also in the way he described the songwriting process. He explained that a song had come to him as he “came downstairs to make toast for lunch.”
The keyboard-based performance was earnest with downtuned aspects, with songs such as Legacy of Love.
“Especially great to be here on this stage – a great cause and, from what I can hear, a wonderful man”
Harry Pane, back for his second afternoon slot in two days, dedicated Real Souls to Nick Alexander. The sound mix was better this time around, helping to pick out the bluesiness of Mama Blues and the tenderness of the poignant Fletcher Bay. Overall, the songs centred on struggle and survival.
“Nothing says Xtra Mile like 3 people in Frank Turner t-shirts holding back a guy with dreadlocks from throwing up on his legs”
Sam Duckworth was back for his second Recreations performance of the festival. He pinpointed the difference compared to the frenetic set of the day before: “there’s a proper Sunday hangover vibe in here.”
He played new songs as well as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly favourites like Make Plans, as well as taking time to marvel at what Frank Turner had accomplished with this immense long weekend of music.
With such a packed schedule between The Roundhouse and The Monarch, and a late start throwing the Strummerville showcase set times way off track, it simply wasn’t possible to fit everything in. Just managed to make it to The Hawley Arms in time for the final song then a signature smile from Seán McGowan.
Some of those queuing for the sold out Lost Evenings Sensible Sundays show took the chill-out vibe to heart, conserving energy for Frank Turner’s headline set.
Missing it or missed out? No need to worry! Last Minutes is back for 2018! Check out the Lost Evenings website for details. Simply choose each date at the bottom of the page to see what treats are in store!