Friday, 1 August 2014

Brenda Holloway / The Night Beats at the Euroyeye Festival, Gijon, Spain 31/7/2014

The 20th Euro Ye-yé festival is taking place in the city of Gijon in the north of Spain this weekend. It's a 4 day festival of 1960s style and music - especially all things Mod, Beat, Garage, Psych and Soul. There are bands, films, all-nighters and even a march of the mods scooter parade through town. It's a week-end long celebration 60s cool.

60s Motown star and Northern Soul favourite Brenda Holloway kicked things off last night with a free concert in the Town Hall Square in the center of Gijon. It was a very short (35 minutes) set that included her old hits "Every Little Bit Hurts", "When I'm Gone", and "You've Made Me So Very Happy". To be honest, the Town Hall Square is not the best place to see any band as the sound is truly awful. The square is surrounded by buildings of concrete and brick on all four sides and the sound just bounces around all over the place and is invariably echoey, shrill and distorted. And every year the local council puts gigs on there. Work that one out. Anyway, despite all that she managed to put in a surprisingly energetic and enthusiastic performance with a local pick-up band as support and her voice, even at the age of 68, is still in fine form with a more overtly gospel influence in evidence nowadays.

A short set but one that left everyone wanting more.

The Night Beats are a Seattle psych garage rock band with two albums already under their belts. Playing at the Sala Acapulco venue - a nice smallish sized gig with usually pretty good sound - the band tore through a powerful 60 minute set that finished around 2 in the morning. Primitive, raunchy and shambolic (in a good way). I thoroughly enjoyed them.

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