ONBLACKHEATH FESTIVAL REVIEW

ONBLACKHEATH FESTIVAL HEADLINED BY SQUEEZE AND PALOMA FAITH

A huge two-day music, food and family friendly festival that took place on the beautiful green spaces of Blackheath on 8th and 9th September

A review by Tanya Howard

Hosting four stages with Stages One and Two showcasing tops acts such as Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae, De La Soul and more, Stage Three was home to Gordon Mac. Founder of Kiss FM and the man behind Mi-Soul Radio, the home of soul, R&B, reggae, drum n’ bass and funk Gordon put together a cracking line up including Brandon Block, Matt White, Bob Masters and Jumping Jack Frost amongst others, with MCs Shaq D and Craig Williams presiding. Stage Four was reserved for The Piano Works, Farringdon’s hottest nightspot and London’s only non-stop music venue, who brought their unique style of music and took non-stop requests all weekend.

I went along for the Saturday session, unfortunately missing the Sunday due to a nasty cold that came about overnight, and my music highlights from the day started with Koates, a trio of guys who played their own instruments and write their own songs. Frontman James spent two years looking for the perfect band before finding bassist JoJo in a guitar shop and drummer Joe in a curry house. We got to hear their new single ‘Escalators’ which is available now to download from Spotify and iTunes, and you can see a snippet on our Twitter page.

Louis Antoniou was another great act with a really unique style, he has previously said in interviews that he would describe himself as a 1960s inspired, alternative rock singer songwriter, and likes to merge the classic old sounds with a newer indie song writing style. From Louis’ alternative style to another unique style we then saw The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, who were narrowly beaten in the final of Gareth Malone’s BBC2 show Sing While You Work. Made up of 27 members of staff across the local NHS and they had a Christmas number one with A Bridge Over You and have previously sung with headliners Squeeze on the OnBlackheath stage. They had amazing voices, their harmonies were on point and I was loving the energy and passion that you could see so clearly going into their performance.

Alongside an amazing music line up OnBlackheath had an incredibly large range of street food, there was truly something for everyone there. London’s Street Food Union brought stands including Yorkshire Burrito, which brings you Sunday Roast in a wrap, Popdogs, the Camden specialists of Hotdogs, and Only Jerkin’, offering a selection of Caribbean food. If you are vegan, they have you covered with a large range of vegan street food including Young Vegans, a pie and mash stand, Greedy Khao, a Thai stand, and Feral Food Stall, offering a selection of burgers.

To keep the kids happy after dinner, and us adults who have a massive sweet tooth, there was also an array of dessert stands including Lickalix Ice Lollies which offers organic puddings, Churros Garcia and a number of Pick N Mix and Ice Cream vans. There was also an Eat Natural pop-up version of their makery where you could make your own fruit and nut bar, complete with dippings and toppings. I had to give that a miss though due to a nut allergy, but it looked very popular.

Not only was there food for the kids, there was an entire Kids Playground with lots to keep them entertained throughout the weekend. Cbeebies Sid and Rebecca were there to meet and perform for their little fans, as well as Lets All Dance who brought music and movement with The Teddy Bears Picnic and The Princess and The Frog. There was storytelling, a bubble tent, Munchkin Sports, Pop Bingo and so much more so it really was a festival for all ages and I would definitely recommend you looking into getting tickets next year.