Live review \\ Peckham Rye Festival – Saturday

Peckham – for its musicians, producers and labels – has established itself amongst the most genre-bending music scenes in the UK, if not the world. Peckham Rye Festival – although young – is more than justified in programming a full ten days of music, spoken word and art.

On its opening weekend, the outdoor stage gathered strong attention; Alfa Mist performed material from his latest EP, Antiphon. Balancing a fluid mesh of sounds, he was complimented by Johnny Woodman’s sensitive touch on the trumpet. Laura Misch performed a charming one woman-show, relaxed as she looped saxophone melodies with soulful vocals that levitated over self-produced tracks. When introducing her track How – which she collaborated on with her brother Tom Misch – she shared, “my little brother is a good musician too, you should look him up”. 

Between live sets, Al Dobson Jr – affectionately nicknamed by locals as ‘Peckham Dilla’ – created chill space, and The Busy Twist, with their Ghanian influences and world music – brought gorgeous fun. Sean OD, Tom Esselle and Will Lister equally shaped the mood.

Oscar Jerome’s set was a surge of energy with hotly-anticipated new tracks; ending on his soul-jazz signature track, Give Back What You Stole From Me. Highlight of the day is Kokoroko, who take the festival from chilled appreciation to dance. The band enveloped the crowd in bold brass and irresistible afrobeats, with trumpet (Sheila Maurice-Grey), trombone (Richie Seivwright) and saxophone (Cassie Kinoshi) front of stage. Accented by brass and guitar solos and a dance lesson to the audience, the band provided a clear insight into South East London’s live music values.

Peckham Rye Festival is an expression and testament to the creativity coming out of the area. Each act celebrates and promotes their fellow musicians with humility and love. It is more than geography, it is community; it is a family.

Check out Peckham Rye Festival 12-21 May.

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JS | Nina Fine

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