Camden’s Roundhouse was the base for London’s first Turning Point Festival, with the venue hosting three days of music, circus, fashion, film, talks and workshops, planned and produced by “a team of young people with big ambitions”.
I originally noticed the event while browsing the Roundhouse website, with the Sunday lineup especially appealing as VV Brown and The Pipettes were gracing the stage. Saturday’s schedule wasn’t as enticing as the majority of acts on the main stage were more dance orientated, a musical genre that I’m not particularly fond of, but I was willing to “suffer” some of the acts on the bill as it would give me my first opportunity to watch the Noisettes live and in for a penny etc…
I arrived around five to find the place heaving with a generally excitable teenage crowd, eager to catch some live music. I entered the main stage arena just in time to see a DJ (possibly Unicorn Kid?!) whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
My first impression of the event was that it was great to see so many younger music fans having so much fun, with lots of en masse dancing, screaming and shouting all without the aid of alcohol, putting older gig goers (myself included) to shame!
West London’s Twizzle took to the stage next, rapping his way through a handful of songs, including forthcoming single “Skydiving”. Twizzle and his crew seemed to be having a problem or two with their backing equipment throughout their set, blaming it on the police wanting to keep them quiet but the crowd weren’t really caring as they were lapping up the performance.
Tinchy Stryder hit the stage around five thirty. I was suprised the chart topping rapper was on so early. I assume he must have had a gig elsewhere later in the evening. There was no sign of N-Dubz in the house but Tinchy was still number one to most of the crowd, pulling his set from his “Star in the hood” album and sophomore release “Catch 22”.
I had last seen Natty playing at the Lovebox Festival last Summer and he was the perfect laid back sound for a warm sunny afternoon. I was sure at that point that he’d have broken through into the mainstream music scene but his album “Man like I” didn’t seem to make as big as impression as I imagined it would.
There must have been a few copies sold though as several audience members were able to join in with the singing when Natty requested it. I enjoyed his set anyway, with “Bedroom eyes” a stand out as it was a nice change from “Rap Hour” !
After Natty’s set I decided a wander was in order so I could check out some of the other acts on offer. I ventured into the cafe area, stumbling onto a jazz duo performing a stripped down version of Muse’s “Plug in baby”. It was a good choice of cover which had me investigating the act after the show via MySpace, discovering that The Kemistry are more of a Trip Hop act than what was on display so I may try and catch them at another show down the line.
Grass had been rolled out on the Freedom Studio floor for the event so I was a bit suprised when I popped in for a couple of minutes to see what was going on there. It was a really fleeting visit but I was able to fire off a few shots of the band playing none the less. I believe they were called Ghost Frequency but I may be completely wrong!
I wandered back up to the main stage so I could watch the set from Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. I hadn’t seen them live for a couple of years, watching them previously at the Great Escape Festival in the wee hours of the morning, killing time having missed my train back to London.
They lifted my spirits then and brought a smile to my face at the Roundhouse as their set pulls from the more amusing side of rap with Scroobious Pip’s lyrics full of humour. He’s also a man who likes his props, with many on show at the Roundhouse, including a large book for “Thou shalt not kill”, a variety of hats for “Angles” and a periodical table for “Development”.
You never knew what you were going to find at Turning Point, with a trip back to the Cafe delivering a writhing mass of models / dancers, performing in front of London Electro Pop duo Cinnamon Antics.
Radio One DJ Kissy Sell Out was next up on the main stage. His Electro Pop output reminded me of Jesus Jones fronted by Paul Kaye, with my first impressions not exactly off the mark as the band wheeled out a cover of EMF’s “Unbelievable” a few songs later. The original tracks were fairly decent and I imagine he’ll be showing up at numerous Festivals during the Summer.
I wasn’t a fan of the Noisettes around the time of their debut album “What’s the time Mr Wolf”, dismissing them as a bit of a haircut band but all that changed when “Wild young hearts” appeared on my radar at the end of last year via an airing on BBC6 Music. I loved the track and played it on repeat constantly the moment I was able to stick it on my Ipod.
The band’s recent album of the same name has also proved an immense grower, with several of the songs, especially potential future single, the exceptional “Never forget you” all reaching the same high standard. Lead singer Shingai made an impressive entrance as the band started their set with a slowed down version of “Wild young hearts’, showing her voice off well, picking up the pace in time for the chorus.
Hit single “Don’t upset the rhythm” came next, followed by the band ditching the set list they prepared earlier so they could keep the “Saturday night” vibe going, winding things up with a full on rendition of T Rex’s “Children of the revolution”.
I can’t believe I hadn’t caught the band earlier as it was an immense performance, featuring all my “Wild” faves.
UK rapper Kano was the headline act on the main stage. I hung around for a couple of songs but three shouty men wearing sunglasses indoors in one day was at least one too many for me so I decided to leg it, hoping to find something going on downstairs.
Unfortunately everything had wound up by the time I got there so I just had to make my way home. I felt the Turning Point Festival was a very good idea.
The event was sold out so I imagine there would have been a lot of young music fans experiencing decent live music for the first time, which can never be a bad thing.