For greater than a decade, I suffered from extreme FOMO each July as I glued myself to YouTube, watching clips of my favourite acts rocking Chicago on the annual Pitchfork Music Competition. The occasion has been a bastion of other tradition, and because it opened its Paris cease in 2011, the chance to cross the Channel and enter it has eluded me. Nonetheless, in 2021, a change would resolve my issues. The Pitchfork Music Competition lastly arrived in London with its inaugural version and, constructing on that success, returned for the second spherical.
London’s Pitchfork Music Competition passed off November 9-13 in a bunch of a few of the capital’s most fun venues together with 60 Dock Highway, Shade Manufacturing unit, Earth, Material, ICA, Islington Meeting Corridor, Oslo, Paper Gown Classic, The Shacklewell Arms, St. Matthis’ Church, Albany, The Roundhouse and Village Underground.
The occasion was accompanied by an in depth lineup that touched on quite a lot of assorted genres, from essentially the most experimental electronica to artwork rock. I used to be initially very excited to attend The Spirit of the Beehive, an alternate band from Philadelphia pushing the boundaries, however they introduced in early October that they’d pulled out of their European tour for private”.
That disappointment apart, the spotlight of the week got here on Friday the eleventh, on Earth, courtesy of drone grasp William Basinski, who performed a set of fan favorites and ended with the cup. timeless, ‘melancholia ii’ – the sonic embodiment of the ketamine journey. Forward of her efficiency, I additionally caught the ultimate a part of Jenny Hval’s set, which ended with the singer writhing on the ground as if possessed, with the haunting sounds of her band pulsing by means of the eerie form. of the previous theatre.
The opposite standout efficiency that evening got here on the Shacklewell Arms from New York rock masters Wild Pink. I used to be notably blown away by the tone of frontman John Ross’ Fender Jazzmaster at occasions, and advised him so in passing, however he will need to have thought it was the ramblings of a drunken lunatic.
Other than these three performances, 5 different artists stood out. The primary was full of life London rockers Black Nation, New Highway on the ICA on Wednesday evening. They performed for round 45 minutes and proved to everybody current that they had been doing very nicely following the departure of chief Isaac Wooden earlier this 12 months.
Earlier than that, on Thursday, the Islington Meeting Corridor hosted two thrilling acts on its stage. First up was the colourful MICHELLE, a decidedly fashionable outfit that blew us away with their gender ensemble that was each ethereal and energizing on the identical time. Quickly after, Faye Webster, the American singer whose candy melodies and nostalgic type of indie pop had been the proper option to finish the evening, wasted no time in absorbing their shine.
It was solely becoming that Sunday can be closed by two legends in their very own proper as Cate Le Bon and Courtney Barnett took the stage at Camden’s venue, The Roundhouse. Experimental Welsh songwriter Le Bon delivered a career-spanning ensemble from folks to artwork pop earlier than Melbourne’s finest Courtney Barnett additionally performed a mixture of previous anthems and new tunes which have confirmed how wonderful she is as a songwriter.
See some pictures from the occasion under, courtesy of Raph Pour-Hashemi.