Live Reviews

Live Review: 6 Fest at 229 in London on 2 Oct

By | Published on Tuesday 12 October 2010


BBC 6music is a shining beacon of hope in the ever tedious world of British music radio.

So much so that when bosses at the British Broadcasting Corporation – which is surely meant to be the bastion of all that is great about popular culture in the UK – announced their plans to shut down 6 earlier this year, I genuinely worried about the state of the nation. Surely the ‘Loveliest Music Station In The World’ was the one thing it was actually worth paying the licence fee for? Well, that and the Eurovision Song Contest we all subsidise, of course.

But hallelujah! In a miracle surely up there with the parting of the Red Sea and turning water into wine (certainly if great new music is your religion), listeners and staff and artists and associated bodies rallied together, and petitioned and shouted, and eventually managed to save 6music from dead air. This great feat was definitely something worth celebrating, which is why earlier this month a motley crew of music fans ventured through the very wet streets of London for a twelve hour party at the capital’s 229 venue.

Upon arrival, the wise, dry early birds inside told me that I had missed out on an awesome opening set by Oompah Brass. Still, I was more than consoled by the Tom Robinson mask clad Total Shambles, the 6music house band, fronted by a certain Shaun Keaveny. Though really there for light relief more than musical magnificence, they proved to be an enjoyable appetiser ahead of Erland & The Carnival, whose native London gypsy folk had a wonderful whiff of the Balkans about it, and worked very well in this London club.

In fact, the entire line-up really hit the spot. Obviously the acts were aided by the celebratory mood already filling the house – joy at 6 being saved, and at being indoors as the torrents of rain continued to fall outside – but each performance provided the goods in its own right. Ellen & The Escapades, in particular, were a tonic to the elements, while Metronomy – although taking their time getting to the stage – were the definite highlight of my night, spreading their infectious dancing disease about the room. Though its compere Adam Buxton who deserves the award of oddest performance of the night for his NWA parody.

When we finally wandered back out onto the rather damp Euston Road, the general consensus was that the night had been a huge success. Though I did suffer the slight disappointment of winning nothing in the raffle, despite purchasing two whole rows of tickets in two very different colours. MB