Plus, Liars' Angus Andrew in a wedding dress
Five years in from its debut, Visions Festival, spread out across five or six venues in Hackney, east London, continues to set the bar in terms of eclecticism of line-up; this is no meat-and-potatoes guitar band tread-through, but an excitingly diverse bunch of acts playing an equally diverse range of spaces.
The ‘bigger’ acts climb onto the stage at Oval Space, worthy of note for its never less than excellent sound as well as its position next to the canal, overlooking the area’s famous, dystopian-looking gas works. At the opposite end of the scale, at the festival’s southernmost point there’s the classic indie pub vibe of The Sebright Arms. You get the feel that this is the artists’ festival – the programme notes on each act are written by another of the acts playing, which is a nice touch.
Early on in the wooden-built Brewhouse, a small room attached to a former brewery with an oddly Scandinavian feel, Croydon rapper Denzel Himself introduces himself with a shield of blistering white noise. Eyes almost permanently closed, he brings a blind energy to his set, like an animated statue. There’s an uneasy backdrop to his vocals, often delivered over crunchy guitar noise.