Dog Shows, New Talent + Old Churches: Visions Festival 2022 | jigwise

Yes…there is a dog show

A staple in the diary of any indie music fan, Visions Festival has become known year after year for presenting the most interesting new works on one action-packed day at Hackney East London. Back in its full original, for the first time since before the pandemic, Saturday 23 July saw Visions take over five venues and fill them with performances of 35 acts of all musical genres. Here are a few we’ve seen and loved, but first let’s talk about the dog show…

Don’t tell my cat I said this, but what’s not to like about a festival that starts with a dog show?!

An all-star panel of artist judges, all beginning to warm up before taking one of the stages at the festival later that day, lined up on the Paddock behind Hackney Church. It’s just after midday and you can clearly tell that many of the festival-goers made the trip early to catch some dog action. This isn’t any dog ​​show, and with categories like ‘Waggiest Tail’ and ‘Best Rescue’, and the proceeds go to All Dogs Matter and Red Cross’ Ukraine Call, it turns out to be one of the most useful ways you can start a festival. Take puppy after puppy Tour the crowd in a bid to win the judges’ hearts and it becomes clear that the crowd is also fully invested when the winner of the “Golden Oldie” category receives one of the biggest cheers we all hear at the festival.

The first human female player we catch is musician and producer Hinako Omori of London, born in Yokohama, at the Round Chapel. The former place of worship – now a place for the arts and community – forms the perfect backdrop for Aomori’s other vocal scenes, atmospheric synchronization and angelic singing. Layers of surrounding electronics grow into dancing chords for organs as we deal with, in her words, “immersive mapping of the mind.” In many ways, this is the opposite of the beginning of the day, but in a weird and wonderful way, this is just what we need.

Reset and Recovery We move into Hackney Chapel where French singer-songwriter Léa Sen takes the stage. With a little moon glowing only as company, Sen moves back and forth between her stripped-back songs, guitar-accompanied vocals, and her more heavy electronic vocals. Although she is alone on stage, she has no problems owning the space. A mix of new, unreleased material and songs from her debut music album soothes the adorable East London crowd.

On the other side of the church walls, on the lawn in front of the great entrance, people gathered in small groups, enjoyed a break from the music, dined at one of the local food stalls or had a drink or two from one of the restaurants. Independent breweries on site. The noon sun smiles and there is a sleepy spot where life really seemed.

Back in the church, the theater has turned into a forest, with tree trunks majestically lined on each side. As producer, songwriter, and singer Oklo appears on stage dressed as an Indiana-Jones-Explorer-Meet-Star-Wars-Pod-racer, the sun rises through giant church windows. The light, almost sacred, reminds us that we are fortunate to have the opportunity to experience music in such an iconic setting, but it won’t take long for Oklou to obsess over us in her very own fantasy world. Dreamy pop landscapes, tastefully auto-tuned vocals, and resonant drums — think Bon Iver featuring Grimes — truly make for a welcoming energy.

For a change of scenery, stroll to Chats Palace off Homerton High Street. The library center converted into second-class art is the only place on the bill that’s not a 3 minute walk from Hackney Central and you can tell people may have misjudged the distance when the room goes from nearly empty to nearly full during the first few songs. Like a bubbling whirlwind, London-based songwriter and producer St. Susis makes the audience dance as soon as he arrives and doesn’t leave anyone feeling left behind. The genre-defying RnB Poppy feels fresh and exciting and Sans Soucis delivers every line with a theatrical presence that is the best we’ve seen all day.

By the time we get out of the boiling hot spot, the sun has already set and everyone is starting to get ready for the evening’s headlines. A queue forms outside Hackney Church as the biggest name in the lineup – one of last year’s most lauded rock bands – Black Country, New Road is set to end a day of musical adventures. Controversial that we are returning to Chats Palace to explore something completely different.

London-based Miso Extra draws heavily on her Japanese heritage when she gets up on stage and invites us, in Japanese of course, to join the Misoverse. The cool, lively pop and filtered with left, right and center hip hop effects is unique, fun, and totally different from anything we’ve heard before. There are inflatable soccer balls flying around, while Miso Extra moves seamlessly between Japanese and English just as easily as it does between genres. Although messy at times, I still leave with a smile on my face wondering where I can buy the Miso Extra soccer jersey.

When people come out of the lounges and drift off into the night, maybe to go to one of the formal parties, the atmosphere is on high. We take a moment to reflect on an action-packed day and wonder what musical paths the happy faces we meet on the street took during the day. Whether you’re there to catch up with your favorite rookie band, or head out to explore a day of new music like us, Visions will welcome you with open arms.

See photos from Adam Taylor below:

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