Boudica Festival 2019 Review

Boudica Festival finally came round when it rocked The Herbert on Saturday night. The festival showcases womxn in the music industry and as a woman in the music industry I was very excited.

There were three stages on offer at the festival with every genre of music imaginable making an appearance. The crowd were a mixed bunch with people of all ages, genders and ethnicities getting involved. The actual setup all looked very professional and what looked to be an all womxn crew had done a great job with the space available. As a young woman currently studying music technology it was great to see. Inspiring I would go so far to say.

I enjoyed wandering from stage to stage catching bits of many of the artists on offer. I felt very culturally nourished by the end. It was also brilliant to have Freya Baker with me doing photography. Make sure you check out her work and thank you to her for letting me use her photos.

A few minor technical issues forced a late start but it wasn’t long before Los Bitchos took to the stage and wow! They were like nothing I have ever seen before and I really thoroughly enjoyed them. The band have no vocals and just focus on the sound they’re producing which is heavily influenced by South American sounds – this could be heard by their use of percussion. The band members moved in sync to the beat and expressed themselves on their respective instruments; it is very rare to see a keytar! Watching them made me want to invest in some different percussion for my drum kit…I will have to keep you posted on that one.

Popping along to see Mama Jay whilst grabbing a drink in the Cafe was a vast contrast to the slightly manic sound from the quintet. Very chilled out tones from the Kenyan singer accompanied by cool sax. A lovely moment of calm before continuing events.

Next I headed to The Studio to catch Wolves singer-songwriter Bryony Williams. She looked dead cool, rocking the stage with a top band backing her up. Her voice is simply incredible and her stage presence was effortlessly brilliant. Her latest single, “Little Tree” really displays her musical talent with this up tempo rock-folk track. It follows the trend of her music being full of depth and layered with rhythm guitar and stunning vocals. It has been a long time coming me checking out the young woman’s performing but I am glad I have finally had the opportunity.

From indie rock to rap, I next checked out TrueMendous. Not usually a genre I listen to but I was amazed by the confident stage presence and smooth moves as they rhymed their way all over the stage. The audience were enticed and were completely gripped by the performance on stage in front of them. During the set, I headed upstairs to catch Screaming Toenail.

I was absolutely in love with the four-piece sassy punk band. They had an undisputed chemistry as they bounced off one and other whilst performing their upbeat tunes. Their use of humour was brilliant and really kept the audience engaged – I don’t think I have ever seen a singer eat a cucumber whilst on stage before.

They kept every single person watching attention on them and even managed to conduct a successful singalong. A favourite of mine from the night for sure. 

Some unfortunate sound issues turned everything on its head when Virginia Wing took to the stage. From what I saw, I thought singer Alice Merida Richards was very talented and incredibly artistic with how she presented herself. Sadly, that was all ruined by the strop keyboard player Sam Pillay performed. Complaining about the sound for him on stage, the crew tried their hardest to sort the problem and quickly but with him mouthing off as they did so it made things rather difficult. After having a pop at the photographers in front of him I had seen enough. I went for some air.

When I returned and stood on the balcony they were done and I watched as he stood over various crew members with his aggressive attitude and shouted the odds, bringing one of them almost to tears. Thankfully, Richards acted with more tact as she apologised to them on his behalf. When I spoke to someone working the festival she explained that Richards was more annoyed at him than them which was a relief to hear. One thing that stood in my mind is how of course it is a man who sh*ts all over the womxn’s event. Anyway, moving on…

Quickly, I decided to check out the Live Algorave where two women were frantically coding to make “music” in The Studio. It was more interesting to see than hear but I am very glad I had a look.

I finished the night catching the talented Tusks. Emily Underhill’s band played a variety of indie tunes all with flare and emotional vocals. They also struggled with sound issues but handled them much better and managed to get through the set whilst entertaining what was left of the crowd.

I really enjoyed the festival all-in-all and would definitely go again. It was a great night for womxn and I have so much respect for the organisers.

The festival wasn’t perfect with the sound issues and poor timekeeping throughout the night clouding what could have been an incredible event. I hope in the future that proceedings run more smoothly because the concept and the hard work deserve the results. Next year, it would be great to see more of a crowd to support the up and coming talent by womxn in the industry.

Thank you to Boudica Festival for the entry and again to Freya Baker for the brilliant photos.

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