Festival Review: 2Q Festival, Lincoln ft. Vigilantes, Calva Louise, Marsicans, The Twang and Kings and Bears

After an incredibly wet, miserable week in Lincoln, every hopeful festival-goer was praying for a dry day in the city centre on November 9th. Returning for its third year of showcasing a wide array of Lincoln’s tucked-away and larger capacity venues, along with an eclectic mix of talent, which in previous years had included the likes of Circa Waves, Tom Grennan and The Sherlocks (to name just a few), this was set to be another success for the often overlooked city. It was another busy year for the popular event, and it showed; I practically had to race my way through town after being stuck in a blockade of heavy traffic to grab my press pass and head to my first band: Vigilantes.

Walking into the well-known clubbing spot for locals (Moka), characterised still by its low lighting and famous sticky floors, it was incredible to see the work that had gone into transforming what was normally a Saturday night dancing spot into a charming live music venue. I had eagerly anticipated this gig for some time after accidentally stumbling upon Vigilantes at another popular local live music venue some months ago, and it being a very happy accident indeed – there really is nothing like diving into a spontaneous gig with no expectations and coming out totally blown away! After a little while setting up, the Lincoln-based four piece made their way out onto the stage (a little late, but more than worth the wait). The indie-rockers filled the room with inexplicable energy and enthusiasm almost immediately, the crowd showing no hesitation in joining in. It was amazing to see the band members having such a great connection with one another and their audience all at once as they played their way through several dynamic, guitar-laden tunes, even bringing out everyone’s inner ‘emo’ by dedicating a more angsty number to the My Chemical Romance fans in the house following their recent comeback. It was safe to say that they were successful, as they started the “first mosh pit of the day” no less than thirty seconds in. All in all, it remains apparent to me that Vigilantes really know how to put on a show, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for this indefatigable quartet in the coming months.

Next up,a venture to Home Nightclub to check out London-based three piece Calva Louise, who were taking to the larger of the two stages on offer. The room was completely packed and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. I struggled through a very excitable crowd to get myself into position in the pit, and I narrowly dodged a packet of mixed salad leaves being thrown over my head (one of the more bizarre events I’ve recounted) to vocalist and guitarist, Jess. She certainly seemed quite thrilled to receive the gift, and I’m sad to say that I still don’t know what the significance is, but I would definitely love to find out… The band basked in hues of green and blue as the set began, and it was hard to determine who was having more fun; the crowd bopped along to the unique variety of vibrant garage/pop tracks with a perfect sprinkling of punk energy, and the band seemed to feed off of the energy that the room exuded. I was saddened that I was unable to squeeze myself into the crowd after photographing as Calva Louise are just that kind of band that just make you want to dance, sing along and enjoy – it would be impossible to not have a great time when they’re rocking the stage.

Remember when I said earlier that there’s nothing quite like a spontaneous gig that completely blows you away? Well, that’s exactly what happened when I decided at the last minute to head back to Moka and check out Marsicans: a band which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot from the side of stage for this one, and get to see the Yorkshire band enjoy a group hug and hype one another up before heading out to do their set, the energy from which would remain constant even after they came off stage. No one would even think to question their popularity, as the room was completely brimming in anticipation of their show – their crowd was easily the most enthusiastically rowdy audience I saw all day. Their setlist was a beautiful mix of powerful vocals, upbeat pop hooks and a bounty of industrious stage presence. Even when their set was over, the guys happily received claps on the back from some members of the audience, congratulating them on a “cracking, insane set” – and I don’t think I could have said it any better myself.

Later evening brought with it some incredibly enjoyable sets from The Twang and the wondrously talented Kings and Bears. Whilst both shows varied immensely in venue; one being in a purpose-built, 1600 capacity building (The Engine Shed), the other being in a quaint local coffee shop (Angel Coffee House), both buildings are steeped in local history – a real marker of the local pride exhibited by 2Q organisers… And both exuded big crowd energy. The lucky front row of The Twang fans were stretching themselves over the barrier, pelting out every lyric. The turnout for Kings and Bears was immense, the venue being packed from wall to wall, and it was a very fitting way to end the evening stood outside in the chill of the night air, listening to enthusiastic crashing drum beats fill the surrounding area as the band closed their headline set.

Review and photography by Chloe Addlesee
2qfestival.com

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