Live Review: Joyfest 2018

We had a splendid time celebrating Joyzine’s 15th birthday at two of our favourite South London venues last weekend, and our DJ for the week Johnny Nothing has captured the spirit in words.

SATURDAY

New Cross Inn is where Joyzine  was born (editor’s note: we hosted our first ever live show here back in 2004, featuring Rhesus, The Favours, The IK+ & The Low Edges) but it’s my first time here. There’s an open stage across the back of the room, a bar in the corner, trestle tables for the drinkers and a pool table for the hustlers. Huge windows along one side let in the last of the sunshine as the P.A. pumps out classic rock’n’roll and people sing along or do the twist.

Opening act Dexy plays bright shiny rhythm guitar and sings us heartfelt upbeat songs to serenade our everyday struggles. Mega Emotion, dressed fetchingly in stripy robes, pummel us with pulsing synths, a two- or three-strong percussive attack and a clutch of hummable guitar hooks. Headliners The Indelicates appear as a full line-up tonight and, to my mind, they really are at the top of their game. Sure it’s clever and sure it’s schwarzes Kabarett – those are good things – but this band also knows how to charm an audience and how to rock out.


SUNDAY

And so to the scene of more Joyzine gigs than any other: the intimate, scruffy and entirely lovable Windmill. Tim wanted a barbecue but the weather has rather let him down so we settle for what’s left of Saturday’s buffet and wander over to the stage. I buzz my way through a stuttering set on one deck as candles are lit at the low tables and the indie kids collect their paw print at the double doors.

We are treated to astonishing vocals and beautifully restrained accompaniment from Emily Magpie and dark, dreamy post-punk sonics and tales of longing and regret from Useless Cities. And then some good solid indie rock with hilarious and gloriously cynical lyrics from the charismatic Stephen Evens. Halfway through the evening the decks pack up completely so it’s back to the bar for a pint of Roof Dog as Young Sawbones (sporting purple robes, obviously this season’s staple) play their cute and quirky indie pop songs. Time for the gleefully eccentric Time Dilation Unit, veterans of the scene, with the addition of lead saxophone lending something of a no wave feel to their feverish performance. And to wrap it up there’s Rat the Magnificent filling the stage with sludgy badass rawk riffs and chugging pedal-heavy extended freak-outs.

A satisfied audience break up into little groups and continue to drink and chatter into the early hours. In the toilets the graffiti reads like a diary: Saturday night heroes, Sunday must be Brixton, where did my weekend go? But – of course – it doesn’t stop there and we’ll all be back for more.

Review by Johnny Nothing
Photography by Paul Maps
Check out more Joyfest photos on our Facebook page.

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