LIVE: A Slow Education – The Crescent, York, 20/05/2022
David Berman, the late, great leader and sole constant member of that brilliant American indie-rock band Silver Jews once said, “I wanted to make records like other people make records, where you’re having fun when you’re doing it.” Taking its name from a Silver Jews’ song title, A Slow Education, a two-day music festival held at The Crescent Community Venue in York, applies those self-same principles of fun and adventure to its planning, preparation, and delivery of this annual event.
Following the huge success of its inaugural edition last October, A Slow Education has returned to what was its originally planned month of May for its second outing. Again, it has assembled a top programme of veritable left field rock’n’roll and suitably slanted alternative music, attracting top acts from home and abroad and continuing with a strong emphasis upon promoting local talent.
The first two acts this evening both tick the local connection box. Iguanodon may well take their name from a long since extinct herbivorous dinosaur but given that they only played their first ever gig earlier this year the four-piece from York look to still have many miles left on the musical earth. They blend volcanic angular riffs with an art-punk sensibility, sing songs about bugs and Nancy Reagan and in their arresting lead singer possess an individual whose delivery brims with intensity and no little touch of mayhem. I am not entirely convinced that the former First Lady would fully embrace their self-described “cabaret songs”, but they should still go far.
Now based in Brighton but with three of the seven band members having previous links with Bridlington – another seaside town, albeit one that is only some 40 miles from York – KEG are viewed as being local by proxy and on this evidence alone, regardless of location, could easily and quite rightly be touted as the next big thing. Fuelled by some of promoter Joe Coates’ best pies, and harnessing a wide range of musical styles that range from the ubiquitous post-punk to funk, art-rock experimentalism to pop and plenty genre coordinates between, they proceed to present a most delirious and invigorating welter of joyful sound. They are clearly having a lot of fun on this ride and are taking plenty of happy folks along with them as they do so.
And talking of happiness, the final act take to the Crescent stage this evening, their faces all wreathed in smiles. The festival’s recruitment net had been cast over the North Sea and into the Netherlands to bring Pip Blom to York and the Amsterdam quartet are clearly delighted to be here. Now two albums into their recording career, Pip Blom have added surety to their sound. The buoyancy and dynamism of their songs are still firmly intact but there is now a greater confidence about the band to when I first saw them nearly three years ago at the Deer Shed Festival. They gladly power through a breezy set of top tunes bringing the opening night of A Slow Education to a most cheerful end.
A Slow Education continues Saturday 21st May 2002 featuring Snapped Ankles, Modern Woman, Regressive Left, Perspex, The Illness, Trueman & the Indoor League, and Captain Starlet. Doors open at 1.00pm
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.