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Psyched Fest 2021

Review: Psyched Fest 2021

As our lives continue into the new ‘normal’ we have seen the much needed return of live music across the South Coast. Southsea based one-day festival Psyched Fest gave artists and gig goers the latest opportunity to do what they do best, come together for the spine tingling, hair raising and very sweaty experience that is live music!

This years, and sadly the last ever, Psyched Fest took place across venues along Albert Road (Wedgewood Rooms, the Edge of the Wedge & Little Johnny Russell’s) with a fast paced, whirlwind line up that featured everything from solo female artists (Nuha Ruby Ra & Billy Nomates) to 7 piece ensemble Keg, who included a trombonist, with their musical style varying from psychedelic punk to rap!

I started the day off by catching up with Sam from Calamity Cratediggers & Brutalist Management, who had a number of acts playing at the festival, including Ghost Car, Honkies & Web. Sam said that everyone was looking forward to getting back on stage to perform in front of crowds in intimate venues again. Sam also runs another excellent local night on Thursdays called Neu Waves at The Loft on Albert Road, check this out if you love seeing new upcoming local artists.

I knew today was going to be fast paced, running between venues in order to catch as much of the action as possible, moving from the more spacious & cool main room in the Wedge to the hot, sweaty & enclosed Edge of the Wedge was a continual shock to the system!

One of my stand out artists of the whole day came early on in the day when IOW based duo Fat Earthers whizzed through an energetic sweat driven haze of psychedelic punk that included a number of tracks written about the current social challenges we are witnessing, such as ‘Like Like Like’ (social media & mobile phones in society) & ‘Social Distancing’ (I think the title explains the narrative on this one!).

Other stand out artists included; Brighton based Keg, who were musically & visually entertaining (I didn’t know what was coming next) and The Pill, another IOW based group who’s songs included ‘Scaffoling Man’, Blonde Bitch’ & ‘Soft Boy’.
Psyched Fest 2021

As the day was drawing towards the headline set of Billy Nomates there were 2 more acts that made an impact on me, Baba Ali & Deema, who both showcased a slightly different vibe to the rest of the acts so far. Baba Ali brought a more soulful funky sound & South London rapper Deema came along with an upbeat but insightful set.

The final act, solo female artist Billy Nomates (AKA Tor Maries), bound onto the stage by herself and gave a hugely energetic set that had a distinct nod towards her views of Britain’s class structure. Her biting lyrics on tracks ‘No’ (No I’m not righteous anymore, No I don’t fit in your pocket) and and ‘Heels’ (I do not do heels, Oh, and the climate ain’t right) were delivered with a passion and directness that was greatly received by a very appreciative crowd.

The day was a huge success with a diverse line up of acts for the crowd to enjoy, I for one came away with some new acts to follow and listen to, and that, for me, is the whole point of one day festivals such as Pysched Fest. To offer an avenue for new and touring bands to showcase their work, increase their fan base and grow.

Well done to everyone involved in Psyched Fest as your mission was very much achieved!

Photos and words by Mark Butler


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