Eastfield: live review from Rebellion Festival

Live review
Rebellion Festival
Blackpool Winter Gardens
7 August 2011

In the world outside, it would seem that the nation’s capital is on fire and global financial markets are tottering on the brink of collapse. At the Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool, where the prevailing response would probably be “we told you so”, the mood is merely a positive celebration of the scene itself and glasses are raised accordingly. 

Mixing heartfelt political observations with joyful humour and, er, trainspotting, Eastfield are one of the harder-working bands appearing this weekend, and their seemingly unending tour itinerary has paid off with a hefty crowd gathered in the somewhat soulless surroundings of the Olympia – unofficially referred to by the crowd, without any great affection, as ”Ëœthe car park’. Despite the early afternoon sunlight flooding down through the roof windows and the harsh acoustics, the genial quartet take the stage and rapidly transform the event into an intimate-feeling gathering of friends. 

It’s hard to think of a happier looking band onstage. Singer / guitarist Jessi is a ball of delighted energy indulging in wanton leaps from the drum riser, bassist Bambi merrily winks and grins at various audience members as though circulating at a party, while Trina anchors the triple-pronged vocal attack, swaying stage right as Jessi pinballs around her. New drummer Pete has added a pleasing swing to an already exuberant set of songs, and his debut recording on new CD Detonation Junction pushes the band on to new heights of effortless tightness. This is a band which keeps getting better and better. 

Eastfield’s lyrical agenda sweeps across from politics and pop culture to public transport, but never with a sense of browbeating or hectoring, and the crowd dance with wide grins accordingly. 

The destructive events in London give an unexpected relevance to Why Do People Sing About Riots, the mood of protest and celebration is captured on Peace and Love Muthafucka, and by the time they conclude with the self-deprecating Another Boring Eastfield Song, the crowds of happy faces filing out offer proof that Eastfield’s relentless hard work and positive vibe are paying dividends. To quote one of their own songs in summary – bloody marvellous. 

LTW caught up with Jessi a few minutes after stepping off the Rebellion stage, see how he felt the gig went.

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drummer, writer, astronomer, neutrino scientist, bat spotter and bard of Besses O' Th' Barn


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