Bushstock 2011 @ Various, Shepherds Bush 04.06.11

The beautiful sunshine rays itself down onto these 4 Shepherd's Bush venues - The Shepherd's Bar, Ginglik, St Stephen's Chuch, The Goldhawk - as they prepare for an energy packed, heart warming festival to begin the season.

Jun 4th, 2011 at Various, Shepherds Bush / By Joshua Edwards
Daughter Starting off the entire event is solo artist Marling-esque singer songwriter Elena ‘Daughter’ Tonra. For such a quiet performer, her soul hugging lyrics and drawn back acoustic sound creates a loud reaction from the audience in St Stephen's Church. Her interaction is minimal but her words prove vital for understanding her ambiguous songs; a true songwriter. However moving swiftly to the Goldhawk indie rockers Cattle and Cane praise the stage. Their stage presence to the miniscule audience doesn't seem lacking in energy or enjoyment. Playing catchy tunes like ‘Sold My Soul’ (title track from their new EP), Cattle and Cane delve deeper into the hearts of their listeners and pull out raw emotion from them; receiving a few tears from some spectators. A small cry at 2:30 p.m. isn't too early for some.

Darting back to St Stephen's Church and the sounds of preaching, hallelujahs, and gospel chants are hailed from the building. Some may think "surely Communion aren't attempting to convert?" No, this is the sound of Norwegian soul artist Jarle Bernhoft. Equipped with only a loop station, an acoustic guitar and his vocals. His powerful vocals and uplifting soul funk songs have everyone off the pews and two stepping whilst clapping. Running down the aisle forcing crowd participation with ease is a true weapon for this songwriter. His approachable personality and romantic pitching to the ears helps him win over every single person that enters this church. An uproar of applause is a first for this quaint place of God; and is well deserved.

On the walk toward the underground venue Ginglik with no intention to eavesdrop, mentions of the band Three Blind Wolves are constantly said, proving them to be a band that couldn't be missed. Dropping into the former public toilets Ginglik is a small and fair-lit venue. Three Blind Wolves embark on their set with a new song avidly named ‘New Song’. Their blend of blues, hard rock, folk and psychedelia throws back the crowd as they stand on steps, chairs, and tables just to get a view of this much anticipated band. Ending each song with a near fade out and then a low dynamic beginning to the next song shows these boys know how to create their own symphonic style of a show. Giving speeches to individuals in the audience and the Communion organisers, this truly appreciative band are on their way to making it big as performers on bigger stages.

Ending the evening for all four venues could not have been an easier task for songwriters and band: Fink (St Stephen's Church), Foy Vance (The Goldhawk), Peggy Sue (Ginglik), The Guillemots (Shepherd's Bar). For Fink it took no difficulty in being honoured as one of the best artists of the festival. With a back catalogue of 5 albums and an array of enchanting acoustic, ambient tracks. Fink held his own and gave the audience what they wanted. A perfect end to the St Stephen's venue; ending as they started, well thought lyrics, clever musicality, the works.

Foy Vance struggled to win over the audience at first with his down to earth, straight to the point guitar work and songs. Following on from folk indie outlet Goldheart Assembly, the audience that remained took the chill a little too seriously and continued to interest themselves with banter at an inconsiderate volume. However introducing surprise instrumentalists to the stage aided to his struggle and led to a collective reception from the audience. Better late than never.

Peggy Sue told it like it was, entered the stage with her band and bled themselves dry with passion. Taking down any audience member a peg or two with their reality check lyrics and interweaving tales of truth and heartbreak.

But the real ones to talk about were The Guillemots. Sweat pouring out of each member on the small Shepherd's Bar stage to the completely packed audience. Unable to take anymore people into the venue the condensation gripped the windows as the band hit such songs as ‘The Basket’, ‘Vermillion’, and ‘Tigers’. Heart attack energy smashing the microphone from lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield, and crashing backing from the band lead them into first place as the REAL headliners of the festival. No one left displeased.