The inaugural Stag and Dagger took place last night around Shoreditch, bringing out artists, film makers, and tons of bands. Londonist took on the challenge of trying to determine just how much we could pack into a six hour space.
We started our evening early at Black Rat Press to see, appropriately enough, the works of French street artist Blek le Rat (Londonist had the priveledge to see him in action at the Cans Festival a couple weeks ago, but didn't get to see the final product). Apparently, this is Blek's biggest exhibition yet, so if you're a fan be sure to make it out to Rivington Street by the end of the month.
Next we trekked over to Leonard Street and the AOP Gallery to see the winner's of the Photographer Awards. No music, no war zones, just stunning photographs (and worth the walk from Rivington Street if you're already in the neighbourhood).
After a quick curry (we were on Brick Lane after all), we set out to Vibe and our first bands of the evening.
The first floor space at Vibe was full of comfy leather seating and decorated with canvases of stills from Persepolis (if you have't seen the film/read the books yet, do yourself a favour, please!). We went out to see Wave Machines, who started their set while wearing identical paper masks of some personality or other (it was too dark to tell who from where we were standing). Their shiny happy dancy music got us moving and tapping our feet. All of the sparkly synths were a great way to start the evening, and get us energised and excited for the rest of the night.
As the last chords were ringing, Londonist made a mad dash down the stairs to our bicycle and peddalled as fase as our little legs would let us from Brick Lane to the top of Great Eastern Street (note to all future concert crawlers: bicycles are awesome for this reason). We stumbled through the doors of Favela just as Slow Club were beginning their first song. They played quirky pop songs on an acoustic guitar fed through effects pedals with energetic drums. Think a folky White Stripes but not as dirty and better drumming. Their songs are sweet but not cute, kind of like their harmonies. We're very excited for their debut album.
We thought Slow Club might have been our favourite act of the night, until we got to Old Blue Last. When we heard that the Black Lips were playing a late set, Londonist made our way over early to ensure we got a spot. This is how we ended up catching Lovvers.
Lovvers caught our attention when they opened their set with a cover of Wire's "Ex-Lion Tamer" and held our attention when, about 20 seconds into said cover, their frontman dove into the audience and proceeded to perform the better half of the set while thrashing around in the crowd. Their set went by in a blur of moshing and flash bulbs to the soundtrack of seering guitars, crunched beats, and general wailing. It was loud and punky and at times a little violent, but intensely fun.
Sweating profusely, soaked by the many and varied beverages that had been spilled on us, and pretty sure the night couldn't be topped by what we had just seen, Londonist decided to forgoe the Black Lips and call it a night on what was hopefully the beginning of a very exciting new tradition.
All photos by Amanda Farah.