The Road to Blissfields by Sophie Perryer

The Road to Blissfields by Sophie Perryer

A few months ago Strong Island was approached by the organisers of Blissfields Festival. They asked for our help to find a local writer to review the Road to Blissfields event. The winning entry receiving a VIP/PRESS pass to the Blissfields Festival. Congratulations to the winner, Sophie Perryer.

On Friday 27th April, the Edge of the Wedge was buzzing with guys and girls who turned out for Road to Blissfields, to witness some the local talent appearing at Blissfields festival this year. Blissfields is an acoustic music festival based in Winchester, who showcases the best regional artists. Well worth a nosey, get yourselves down to Woodmancott on the 29th June-1st July, or check out the website: www.blissfields.co.uk.

The evening began with Laurel, an ethereal solo acoustic artist from Fareham. At just 17, she’s already been nominated for a Guide Award, which is certainly well deserved. She seems fairy-like on the surface, and her pop-folk sound is already popular is musical circles, but there is an underlying rasp to her voice which is far older than her 17 years. There’s no need for a band or backing singers, her voice simply does the talking (excuse the pun!). Coupled with soulful lyrics and a sense of careless freedom, this girl is definitely one for those easy summer listening playlists.

Following her was Kodiak Jack, a ‘Portsmouth-based rock band’ who coupled dirty-rocky riffs with passionate vocals. With song titles such as ‘Suckerpunch’ these guys certainly don’t take themselves too seriously, and within minutes they had chests thumping, feet tapping, arms waving (which however could be something to do with increasing drunkenness…) They cite influences such as Kiss and Sabbath, which were definitely evident from their sound; such a refreshing change from synthesised beats, and as said by Steve Cox, ICR 105.7FM, ‘truly anthemic stadium rock.’

Described by Express FM as ‘a band for which the term tight as arse-holes was invented’, the third band was Forest Floors, a bunch of skinny indie kids with the tightest jeans I’ve ever seen. With evident Arctic Monkeys influences, I’m honestly surprised that these boys are still in Portsmouth. The banter between them on the stage was infectious and the crowd loved the mix of indie rock and slower, more acoustic material. The best thing about these boys though? All their music is free to download. Cheers to that.

They say that good things come to those who wait though, and that is definitely true for BigTopp. There was a noticeable buzz in the crowd before their set, and their infectious ska-reggae sound had everyone jumping, especially the unexpected sax solos and their final comment ‘we just wanted to get everyone dancing, that’s all we wanted!’A well deserved win, congratulations to BigTopp and to all the bands for a fantastic evening, and I can’t wait for 3 days of dancing in the sun. Bring on Blissfields 2012.

Photo’s taken by Daniel O’Neill.

Laurel – SoundCloud@laurelofficial

Kodiak Jack – SoundCloud@kodiakjackuk

Forest Floors SoundCloud@ForestFloors

BigTopp – Bigtopp@BigTopp


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