Looe Saves the Day Preview – 20th-23rd September 2018

Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining but the cancellation of the annual end of the summer Looe Festival just three weeks out from the go-live date is one hell of a cloud. Nevertheless, the impressive community spirit of the Cornish fishing town of Looe has meant that music, a celebration and, importantly, one last pay day for local businesses has prevailed. In a time when pubs are closing at an alarming rate and people find it harder to justify spending money on anything but Netflix for entertainment, it is hugely important that we recognise the effort and sheer bloody-mindedness to pull this off in such a short space of time.

Now, applause aside, there is a bevvy of musical talent on display over the weekend and my bit of support for the festival is guide you in the direction of some of the best artists to check out in the various pubs, clubs, cafes, hotels and car parks of Looe. Oh, and it’s all completely free which leaves you with cash to spend on food, drink and band merch so everyone benefits!

50 Year Storm – These Newquay rockers are quickly making a name for themselves on the
50 Year Storm
international stage but they also work incredibly hard on the local scene to play live as much as they can and that makes them a slick live prospect.

Black Friday – If you’ve not had the pleasure of watching a live Black Friday show before then a) where have you been and b) you’re in for a treat. Pirate shanties and good time folk-punk shout-alongs are the order of the day. Dawn French is a big fan too, don’t y’know.

Charlie Harris – The unsung hero of this festival, Charlie Harris is a local teenage singer-songwriter who has been busking her socks off to raise hundreds of pounds for the Looe Saves the Day cause. Her burgeoning talents in both performing and song writing are worth checking out and maybe buy her a drink for all she’s done as well.

Company B – Don’t make the mistake of writing off these gents as a novelty act. Sure, they might dress up as GIs and play swing and be-bop music but if you’re in the room when these guys are in full flow then they will have you up and dancing like it’s your last night ashore.

Deviock Community Music – Technically these guys are a community collective who play for the love of their craft but when the full force of their line-up (and it’s sizeable) hits you then they’re a hard to follow or resist.

Dew Barf (Pic: Greenbeanz)
Dew Barf – Take two Cornishmen who look like they’ve been on witness protection and sit them behind a couple of guitars, a bass drum and a microphone and you’ve got yourself Dew Barf. It’s a lot like sitting in the room while two mates jam but they’re your two most talented mates and every now and again a song that you recognise emerges.

Dr Oz – Wherever and whenever you need a party then you need Dr Oz. Funk, Soul, up tempo Blues and buckets of energy make for a fantastic live show and if you can stay seated through this set then you’ve got problems. Serious problems.

Dr Thud’s Remedy – Based around the furious Bodhran playing of Dr Thud himself, this band promises jigs, reels and a whole lot of fun along the way. And they always deliver on their promises.

The Grenaways – Bursting with Cornish heritage and bristling with energy, the Grenaways are spreading their wings and starting to turn heads wherever they go. Take the chance to catch them in their native county before it becomes a rarer and more expensive opportunity.  

Heavy Souls
Heavy Souls – This hard rocking Cornish garage duo list their interests as pizza, ale, getting sweaty and getting other people sweaty and I think that’s everything you need to know about them. Just to be clear, they’re not restauranteurs or personal trainers.

Kenoby – Having moved back to a duo, Kenoby have emerged from the summer months a leaner, tighter prospect but the vibes are still beachy and the tunes imbued with a bluesy, beachy vibe.

Mad Dog Mcrae – I don’t really know where to start with this – Mad Dog Mcrae are an institution in their own right but if you’re unacquainted then get yourself acquainted for the sake of your health. Expect a lot of fun and singing that sounds like it’s coming from years and years of lived experience.  

Oh Majester – There’s a very real sense of promise and no little expectation around the expansive soundscapes of Cornish outfit Oh Majester and I have it on good authority that their live shows are not ones that you forget about in a hurry.

Raikes – Liskeards lads Raikes have done a huge amount to advance their reputation in 2018 with a critically acclaimed EP and a slew of well-received live shows but I don’t get the impression that their star has finished rising.

Russell Sinclair & the Smokin’ Locos – Plymouth based Sinclair and his assembled crack squad of bluesman are a force to be reckoned with and you’ll be reckoning with blistering guitar, howling harmonica and some fine bass licks if you know what’s good for you.

Soul Stroke – If you like your funk and soul loud, live and with the kind of performance that gives you no option but to get up and dance then you need some Soul Stroke in your life. It’s as simple as that.

The Busketeers – Versatility, style, audience pleasing and infectious – and that’s just their facial hair. Original tunes, twisted covers and delicious mash-ups are all on the menu being served up by Plymouth quartet the Busketeers and I’d suggest you wear your eating trousers for this one because the portions are big.

The Normals – Looe Festival favourites the Normals bring the Ska and the skank with slick performances, fancy dress and a horn section to die for. The only challenge is escaping as they tend to pop up on stages, the top of mini-buses and picnic tables if previous years are anything to go by.

The Trees – It’s not often you get all female bands that get to rely solely on their musical talents
The Trees
rather than physical attributes but when you get a band as purely talented as the Trees then why would you do anything else? Stirring tunes with sublime harmonies and a huge helping of melodies.

The Viewers – If you’re after some authentic Mod tunes with appropriate haircuts and a huge sense of fun then you just have to check out the Viewers. Fun for members of every generation and one of those genuinely exhilarating experiences that are too few and to far between these days.

Velvet Echoes – Plymouth indie-rockers Velvet Echoes have gained a reputation for swaggering live shows and tracks with more hooks that fisherman’s bag. Whether it’s the corner of a pub or the main stage, these guys will give it their all for your enjoyment so the least you can do is come along for the ride.

More information: http://looesavestheday.co.uk/