By Kieran Webber
The quaint festival located in Liskeard, Cornwall provided everything I have been longing from a festival; local produce, stunning scenery and heaps of creativity and to make things even better we were blessed with stunning weather.
Across the weekend the artists played their hearts out (some more so than others) but a small selection really blew me away.
Prior to seeing Jelani live at Knee Deep, I had only heard the track ‘Submarine’ and based on that song he was on my ‘To see’ list, but what I saw I did not expect. I would argue that he was the standout act of the whole festival, his emotive performance backed by his dominant stage presence created a fantastic atmosphere. After one track, Blackman had half the festival wide eyed waiting for the next dose of emotionally driven hip-hop backed by heavy docile beats.
Those who have attended Knee Deep before will not be surprised to see Flamingods in our top 5 list as they have played the past 3 years and have become renown for putting on one hell of a show. After a few technical issues and a sketchy beginning the band exploded into life with an onslaught of exotic psychedelia, imagine the space rock sounds of Hawkwind smashing into Tinarwen. Flamingods are a rare breed of artist that sound better live than they do recorded, their set was pulsating, heavy percussion driven led freakout psych as oppose to the more tame recorded version. As the set came to a close, lead singer Kamal Rasool urged the crowd to do away with Islamophobia and to come together, a speech that was met with screams of praise from the audience. This powerful message mixed with their musical wizardry was truly awe inspiring.
This is the second time Loyle Carner has found himself in one of our top 5 performances list, the first being from his set at Field Day Festival. Loyle, yet again stunned us with his lyricism and throwback nostalgic beats and moved us with his story of his late father. In fact, on that day he was supposed to be at a BBQ with his family so massive thank you to coming to Cornwall and playing your heart out.
This rock/pop band came as a surprise favourite. Having never heard of them prior to the festival I was unsure as to what to expect. From the opening note till the last I was left gobsmacked, the bands relentless and ferocious energy was mesmerising. With each member playing at their peak it provided a show of raw passion that was quite the spectacle.
Dream Wife are one of those bands that have that special something that separates them from their peers. Having similarities to the likes of The Julie Ruin and Tacocat, their performance at Knee Deep was anarchic, bashful yet subtly soft and infectious. It was hard to turn away and even harder to not move to their music.