A Futuristic Festival of diverse music and sound
The second annual Tomorrow Calling Festival took place on Sunday 18th September at AMP Studios in South East London. Badged as part of Lewisham’s celebrations of being the London Borough of Culture 2022. Read a full report in greater detail at Trust The Doc here.
First on the Vanishing Point stage was Rising of the LIghts aka Jonny Martin (Trumpet / Flugel Horn / Synth / Processing) and Peter Nagle (Guitar / Cello / Processing). Their set was a gripping combination of processed spoken word and electronics alongside live improvisation.
First on the Trust The Doc stage was The Music of Sound. Recently signed to Anglo-Irish indie label Dimple Discs, the band consists of myself (Neil March) on Synth & Electronics, Aniya Sofia (Flute) and Florie Namir (Piano). We squeezed six tracks into 25 minutes including our Overground Sound EP.
Next up was repeat Fresh Fave With Sun aka Alice Hale (Vocals & Guitar) and Stu (Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals). Today they were also joined on some tracks by Alice’s dad Keith Hale, a musician with a distinguished career, on keyboards. Alice’s beautifully written songs were performed with delicate expertise.
Then came Phil Hollins (Bass Guitar) and Anthony Osborne (Saxophone) with an electrifying improv set mixing free jazz, contemporary classical and experimental influences to create a stunning sound world.
Next were VHF; Keith Hale (Keyboards / Guitar / Vocoder) and Paul Foss (Handpan / Percussion). Sadly saxophonist Andy Visser was taken ill the previous day. We wish him a speedy recovery. It took nothing away from a thrilling set covering a wide spectrum of influences. They were joined for the finale by With Sun to deliver a rousing collaborative track.
Then came Linear Obsessional Records legend Richard Sanderson, now performing as Calcite. Richard played Melodeon through effects units and guitar amp, creating ambience and textures quite unlike anything I have heard from any other artist. Just beautiful.
Repeat Fresh Fave Helefonix (aka Helen Meissner) is a master of working a crowd. Mixing up the dance elements with the classical, ambient and electronic, she gave us live vocals, violin and keyboards alongside the pre-programmed and sampled and a duet with husband and accomplished singer Joe Rose.
Monefa Walker brought another contrast with a heart-warming classical piano recital; combining her own works with those of composers as different as J.S. Bach, Chopin and Khatchaturian. Monefa dazzled the audience with her dexterous playing.
Next was Zheng Hao. The young Chinese artist’s set combined periods of ear-splitting sonic art with moments of expressive melody and cutting up of sampled tracks. As the set reached its climax she took a metaphorical chainsaw to a Beatles classic proving nothing is sacred in art and music! It was a sizzling set.
Then came Boubakiki aka Rosie Bergonzi (Celeste, Neneh Cherry, Chineke! Orchestra) on Handpan and Joe Steele (composer & in-demand player) on Saxophone. They mixed tracks from their eponymously titled EP, clever covers and audience participation). Their playing was fluid, intimate and impressive.
Repeat Fresh Fave Hannya White thrived against an elaborate visual display, teasing the audience with quiet vocal interjections and her unique mix of bendy synths, buzzing electronics and meticulously organised tone rows, at times almost quasi-serialist in approach and organisation..
Then we had super talented Latvian pianist and composer Ieva Dubova. This was a performance that captivated the audience and reminded us that she is a genuinely exciting talent making music that deserves wider recognition. Hopefully it is not far off.
The last live performer was Dragon Welding; solo project of Andy Golding of The Wolfhounds. Andy’s reverberant, room-filling, roof-raising guitar playing was accompanied by electronic backing tracks, creating a heady mix of post-rock, shoegaze and punchy electronica.
The final hour of the festival was given to a scintillating live Techno DJ set by Shane dB. The Camden-based artist, former head of Manic Ears Records performs as the Dark Matter Project, The audience grooved accordingly. Big thanks also to our food vendors, the staff and the amazing Donald Ross Skinner.