Godiva Festival Saturday, 6th July 2019

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As the sun struggled to peek its rays through the clouds, it looked as though the second day of Godiva Festival could be a miserable one. The acts didn’t let this dampen their spirits though, as the performers loaded in with bright eyes and bushy tails, ready to play their hearts out to the people of Coventry.

As the crowds started to arrive the nerves would have undoubtedly started to kick in for the first few acts, seeing as the majority of these artists gained their performance slots through winning Godiva Calling. Despite being young and inexperienced, this didn’t stop the competition winners nor any of the other acts from giving their sets their all, and so the day unfolded…

Barbdwire

Barbdwire’s set was one that was not only incredible to listen to, but it genuinely left you feeling bewildered by the end of the set. The hypnotic vocals of lead singer Cherelle Harding were rich and enticing, the sort that grabbed you from across the other side of the festival and made you run to the Rhythm tent in order to listen properly. This unique band are a special kind of ska/rock fusion with strong Caribbean influences slinking in and out – something that thrilled the crowd from both inside and outside of the tent. The use of brass instruments made the songs even more captivating, particularly the soaring sound of the trumpets that created a fun, inviting atmosphere where everyone could have a boogie.

For fans of:  Madness, The Specials.

Myriam Adams

For a band that contains members who can’t be any older than 18, these lads sure know what they want, and you can see from the determination in their eyes on stage that they definitely plan to get it. This hungry-yet-humble Stratford-based band that came runner up in the Godiva Calling Indie Rock heats managed to put on a performance which gripped you from the off and made you want to dive into their Spotify discography immediately. Their stage dressing of pink accessories and petite flowers is perfect for a festival setting and matched the boys’ pink eye makeup perfectly.

The set list contained a few songs from their EP I think I Might Die including ‘I Want to Punch My Brain In the Face’, as well as songs such as ‘I Want To Go home’, a sensational  tune that built in suspense and got every single member of the audience head-banging along. The small gathering of followers at the front enjoyed the show just as much as the newly recruited fans dotted around within the crowd, and everyone watching couldn’t help but move to the synthy, chilled rock music.

For fans of: Lower Than Atlantis, The 1975, Palaye Royale.

Brass Hip Flask

Up next were runners up from the Godiva Calling Alternative Heats, Brass Hip Flask, who bared their filthy guitar riffs to provide the audience with a confident yet mysterious performance. This dynamic trio have a quiet confidence that chills you to the core as they deliver a small-but-perfected set. Songs played include ‘Shake My Feathers’ as well as their most recent release on Spotify ‘The Mountain’, a punky head-banger that includes a generous amount of attitude. The band have moved away from their more traditional Blues-y roots and seem to be heading hard and fast for quite literal drum and bass-focussed music, but regardless of what direction this band head in it will inevitably be incredible.

For fans of: Royal Blood and Foo Fighters.

Cornflakes at Kelly’s

Following on from Brass Hip Flask came the cheeky Coventry-based punk-rockers Cornflakes at Kelly’s. Despite being crowned overall winners of 2019’s Godiva Calling Alternative Heats, this charismatic four-piece have miraculously only been together for a mere five months and are already charging into the music scene all guns blazing.

Their set included a collection of original songs such as ‘Dynamite’, a passive-aggressive anarchy creator that won the attention of the festival-attendees immediately and ensured every member of the audience got moving. The lads’ stage presence was enviable and their audience participation left nothing to be desired, particularly when the crowd was split in half and encouraged to compete against one another to see who could scream angsty lyrics “SO SICK OF YOU” from their song ‘Sapphire Heart’ the loudest.

Part of the appeal of Cornflakes is their on-stage banter, particularly between bassist James Robertson and lead singer Jack Cole who unknowingly take on the roles of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee with their witty remarks and cheeky personas. The set ended with the newly released banger that is ‘Honey It’s Kinda Hard’, which starts with 16-year-old drummer Tyler ‘Badger’ Bosworth drumming his heart out. The single is a colossally catchy toe-tapper with delicious vocal harmonies from lead guitarist Tyler Sheil woven throughout which tie the entire song together.

For fans of: Sum41, Green Day, Alkaline Trio.

Evergreen

Evergreen were faced with the difficult task of following on from the hard-hitting punk-rock band with their cosy acoustic performance. The psychedelic, country-infused group of pals were the overall winners of Godiva Calling’s Indie Rock heat. The soulful vocals are endearing and make you feel as if you’re floating atop the clouds, meanwhile the music itself is so gentle that you could easily be led into a trance. This floral four-piece are only just beginning their career, however the confident performance alongside the blissful harmonies and mass of instruments ensured that nobody was left disappointed after the set. Bassist Erin O’Rourke gave an insight to their set after their performance, which was not only helpful for the Birmingham Live team but also extremely humbling. Songs performed include ‘Walking Disaster’ and ‘Sunny Lady’ and it won’t be long before we see this bandana-wearing, flower-power group again, as they will almost certainly be back for more.

For fans of: Fleetwood Mac and Mumford and Sons.

Romeo Sincere

German rock-band Romeo Sincere were invited to play Godiva festival as part of a partnership with ‘Kieler Woche’, a festival that’s held in Coventry’s twin city Kiel, located in the North of Germany. The beautiful vocals are raw and honest, although unfortunately they’re not sung in German. Sigh. Nonetheless, the band did a fantastic job of playing to an unfamiliar crowd and making the most of the opportunity they obtained. The set contained single ‘In Rainbows’ that was released early last year, however it’s been rumoured that the band are preparing their next EP, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh music from these lovely lads.

For fans of: Counterfeit and Marmosets.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

It’s confession time – it’s a proven fact that half of the Birmingham Live team actually watched Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s set from in a carriage on the festival’s Ferris wheel. Who said you can’t do two things at once? It certainly provided a good view of the stage, and unbelievably the sound quality was actually pretty damn good from high in the sky.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, also known as Sam Duckworth, played a mellow set with his acoustic guitar, playing a number of hits to fill his time slot. Songs included acoustic gems ‘Once More With Feeling’ and ‘I-Spy’, and the audience certainly enjoyed the act thanks to the refreshing cool-down period the set brought to the main stage.

For fans of: Front Porch Step and Beans on Toast.

Robbie Raps

23 year old Robbie Raps is a Coventry lad through-and-though and earned his chance to play the Rhythm Stage by coming runner up in the Urban heats of Godiva Calling.

Despite not being the favourite style of music of this part of the Birmingham Live team, the performance was unarguably incredible, and the crowd were in danger of turning feral as they went wild for the young Coventrian. The set featured latest single ‘Reptiles’ which can be found on Spotify, and the word’s been going around that Robbie is currently working on his first EP titled New Material.

For fans of: Sean Paul and Eminem.

Eliza

ELIZA, formally known as Eliza Doolittle, made a sassy-yet-sweet appearance on the main stage of Godiva festival. The set made good background music while spectators ate festival food and relaxed on the grass, however the set couldn’t be more different to the acts that appeared on the stage only hours before.

There’s a strong sense that maybe the act had been placed on the wrong stage, as despite having quite a large social media following, the music would have been far better placed amongst the urban artists on the Rhythm stage. Nonetheless, the performance was strong and overall quite pleasant, however transitioning from the extravagant, big-band music of previous years to overall quite an underwhelming set doesn’t seem to have paid off.

For fans of: Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen.

The Twang

Brummie boys The Twang stormed the main stage on Saturday evening with their enticing yet relaxing set. Playing a festival so close to home was a special night for these lads, especially as they’ll be playing shows across the UK this summer. Having released five albums to date, the band’s set consisted of a multitude of tunes that spanned their discography. The next nearby shows for the boys will see them play Inner City Live in Birmingham at the end of July and then at De Montfort Hall supporting The Kaiser Chiefs alongside The Vaccines in mid-August.

For fans of: The Courteeners, Reverend and the Makers, The Enemy.

Reef

The Glastonbury gang Reef played a spectacular set on Godiva’s main stage and managed to hook the crowd without resistance as they effortlessly grooved their way through the set. The band are difficult to pigeon hole due to the fact they have the amazing ability to blend genres; you’ll find most of their songs combine a rock-foundation with a hint of country and a dash of synthy-goodness to create a feel-good concoction of angst-ridden happy-go-lucky tunes.
 
Gary Stringer’s vocals were captivatingly confident and songs that highlighted the set include ‘Place Your Hands’ and ‘Naked’, which did a fantastic job of keeping the varied crowd entertained.

For fans of: Jason Mraz, Hozier, Smashmouth, Stevie Wonder.

Feeder

Welsh rockers Feeder took over the main stage on Saturday evening to show all the bands from throughout the day what years of dedication and perseverance can look like. Choosing a setlist when you have ten studio albums under your belt can never be easy, however Feeder’s setlist contained a multitude of fan favourites to keep the Godiva-goers happy.

The set opened with ‘Feeling A Moment’ a goose-bump-provoking crowd-swayer of a song that accidentally tugs at your heart strings and makes you feel alive inside. This led into ‘Shatter’, an absolute belter of a track that was undoubtedly a firm fan-favourite of the night. As the set progressed and more tunes were played nobody could resist singing along to Feeder’s most popular song ‘Buck Rogers’, and for that one song it seemed like the crowd sang as one whole unit rather than as a few thousand individuals.

Upon watching the set, it appeared that Feeder genuinely seemed to be one of the most chilled-out, laid back bands to have headlined the main stage. This might be why the crowd generally seemed far less engaged with the band than at the Levellers main stage headline set the previous night, as the audience consisted of either retired hard-core fans in the form of middle-aged men or bored teenagers with nothing better to do. That being said, near the end of the gig the camera operators zoomed in to show the mass number of fans that cluttered the barrier as they sang their hearts out to ‘Just a Day’, one of Feeder’s most appreciated songs.

For fans of: Stereophonics and Razorlight.

As the festival came to a close on Saturday, there was a content atmosphere as the crowds reluctantly made their way towards the exits. Thankfully day three of Godiva is just one sleep away, and the Birmingham Live team cannot wait to do this all again tomorrow.

Review: Cara Jackson
Photos: Chris Bowley

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