Review of Swingamajig Festival 2014
This past weekend, the two biggest electro-swing Music team fans headed to Digbeth to report and enjoy the vibes of Swingamajig festival. The pair of us were keen to see what this small independent festival had to offer, and we were not dissatisfied.
The first thing that struck us as we entered was that, despite this being a relatively low key event, it had captured the essence of a major festival perfectly. There was everything you would expect at a top of the range musical event – from face painting to souvenirs, interwoven with several buzzing stages that could have easily duped you into thinking that you were in the middle of a festival complex, were it not for the enormous industrial buildings reminding us that you were in the heartland of Birmingham’s old industrial community.
One of the first acts we witnessed after our arrival was an outstanding set from the talented Little Violet. Little Violet struck an imposing and iconic figure onstage, clad from head to toe in vintage wear straight from the golden age of swing. Her set was outstanding, and by the time it had finished the crowd was raring to go.
A little later it was time for the hosts themselves, Electro Swing Circus to take to the stage under the tunnel and the lights. The setting made for an outstanding atmosphere as the sun began to set on the city, and the performance was riveting and energetic. The band demonstrated to us in their set why they were one of the headline acts of the festival. As fan favourites ‘Swingamajig’ and ‘Valentine’ were thumped out you could have looked backwards across the crowd and easily been duped into thinking you had fallen back in time, vintage clothing and enormous facial hair swamping a crowd truly thrilled to be listening to such a delightful musical performance.
Following the festival organisers Electric Swing Circus on the set list, Molotov Jukebox had the head line spot at midnight and played an assortment of songs from their newest album ‘Carnival Flower’, including ‘Neon Lights’ and ‘Tropical Badboy’. Featuring multi-talented singer-actress Natalia Tena (Osha from Game of Thrones) as their front lady, Molotov Jukebox are a 6 piece “genre-dodging, leviathan of an experience”, or so says their facebook page…
As you can probably expect from the talent in the band, the stage presence was phenomenal and the size of the venue meant that despite headlining it was still a very intimate performance. Following a vivacious hour of vigorous jiving the crowd still hadn’t had enough and the set finished on a brilliant high after the band returned to the stage for an encore.
Swingamajig continued well into the night with street performers and music to keep the festival revellers going, however unfortunately our own night was cut short by a dancing injury which rendered our friend unable to walk, but we were almost thankful for it, because we had totally worn ourselves out in a truly immersive miniature festival!
Alfie Thompson and Gaz Pullen