Sunday, 27 June 2010

Futuristic Retro Champions, The Hidden Lane Festival, Glasgow 2010

I'm still recovering from yesterdays fantastic Hidden Lane Festival. It was a day of sunshine, beer, friends, great music and a very relaxed yet up for it atmosphere.

(the Hidden Lane at the end of the night)

The Hidden Lane is a little bohemian hide-a-way just off the West End of Argyll Street, full of artists studios, rehearsal space, recording studios and a funky wee cafe. Yesterday they held their annual party/festival. As luck would have it, it was one of the sunniest days of the year and the crowd were in the mood to chill in the sun before partying to some outstanding music.

I got to the Hidden Lane just before 6pm and it was mobbed. With my brother up from Manchester and my sister playing it was a great family day out with lots of friends. We soon bumped into other people we knew and started chatting to people we didn't. It was that kind of friendly atmosphere.

(Futuristic Retro Champions chill before going on)

Things were running slightly behind schedule, so Futuristic Retro Champions came on around an hour late, at 7.30pm. There was no harm in that though as it meant the crowd were in the mood for some sunshine pop and had had a few beers to get in the dancing mood.

The stage was outside the La Chunky Studio in the Hidden Lane where the band had recorded their latest EP, aptly named the La Chunky EP. With Subclub dj's playing in between bands, the crowd were looking to dance and FRC's didn't disappoint, hitting their stride and getting into the summer sunshine vibe immediately.

(the La Chunky stage)

'Strawberries & Vodka Shots' fizzed into action, the perfect soundtrack for a summer day. 'You Make My Heart' with it's New Order style bassline got the crowd dancing, 'DIY Lovesong' kept them going before new song 'Settle Down' described as an 80's electro ballad slowed the pace.

(Sita P)

It wasn't for long though as 'Kitten With A Loaded Gun' with it's infectious synth melody kicked into life and 'Speak To Me' with it's 4/4 beat kept things moving. FRC's reintroduced 'Pulling Box Shapes' into their set and some of the crowd responded by doing just that while dancing. 'Jenna' got the crowd singing along and dancing and clapping. There must have been well over 100 people (more like 150) packed into the La Chunky area of the Hidden Lane and they responded magnificently to the pop tunes, each one was greeted with cheers and applause.

(Kenny, MJ, Arrin and Ross)

FRC's then finished with a cover of Bananarama's 'Robert De Niro's Waiting' that had the place bouncing. Attempting to leave the stage, they had to come back due to the cries of 'one more tune' and continuous cheering. I think the band found some new fans!

They tore into 'Epic New Song' with it's minute long housey piano intro being perfect for the dance crowd. Sita Pieraccini on lead vocals bounced and looked like a pop princess, while the rest of the band laughed and grinned at each other, clearly enjoying playing to the crowd and witnessing their reaction.

DJ's played some tunes as the next band set up, keeping the party vibe going with the highlight being Electric 6's 'Danger. High Voltage!' mixed in with some upbeat house and funk. It was like Ibiza at one point.

Next on was a band called Battlemode who played a full on electro set with elements of Hot Chip mixed in. They were geeky yet cool looking guys with an array of synths, keyboards and laptops with a live drummer for that extra beat. The positive crowd reaction to the music continued with lots more dancing. It was a brilliant set and I'll be hoping to catch them again soon.

Next up was one of the DJ's from subculture at the Subclub and one of the coolest guys I have seen in a long time. A tall guy with a spiky afro and baggy tshirt. From his first record to his last he had the crowd going wild, his mixing was top notch and there were several times when he held up the record he had just taken off in response to the crowds reaction to his mixes and song choices.

I was dancing like a maniac and everyone was loving the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that was going on throughout the Hidden Lane. Me, Reddy and Marty were all punching the air at some of the tunes, again it felt like Ibiza in Glasgow!

There was a great moment when Ronan from La Chunky came out of the studio with his trombone and jammed along with the funky house track that the DJ was playing. Everyone loved it.

(the Easton clan)

All in all a top night and a brilliant little festival - free to get into and you could take your own booze! To say we were a well lubricated at the end of the night was to put it mildly - but it was all good fun and we had a great laugh. I hope they have FRC's back next year!

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