Dutch Uncles Bringing some of the best in alternative and left-of-the-radar bands to the city, alongside some of our local favourites, This Is Tmrw have truly won the hearts of Birmingham. Last weekend saw them launch their first festival: All Years Leaving. And with a line-up as enticing as the one they offered, it’s no surprise that it turned out to be a hit.
Hoopla Blue Against a fabric backdrop coated in projections, Hoopla Blue were the first act to open the event. Dulcet, romantic, and utterly spellbinding, their performance kept the room in a trance. Soaring vocals and chiming chords echoed through the venue, a touch of the ethereal easing the festival into life.
Kins Kins’ seemingly effortless showcase of talent proved enrapturing, their hypnotising vocals drew the crowd along drifting melodies with a pied-piper-esque charm. Distinctive spiralling riffs, simultaneously ambient and rich, resounded hauntingly around the room. The band’s spaced out and meandering melodies mark them out as a band unlike any other, and earned them no shortage of warm receptions.
Boat To Row The harmonic folk of Boat To Row has already seen them championed on the local circuit, and their set at this festival was no different. Floating vocals, flying harmonies, vivacious violins, and surging rhythms placed the band in the hearts of those gathered. It was their final song, however, that really cemented that adoration, as they took leave of the stage for their last song, gathered in a circle around a single camera flashlight, and performing acoustic and unplugged, leaving the room a-buzz with excitement.
Frankie & The Heartstrings Making their way to the stage with a bounce in their step, Frankie and the Heartstrings brought a splash more energy to proceedings. Engaging in banter and hijinks between songs, they had no trouble keeping the crowd entertained. The band’s energetic indie added a new vigour to the night. With catchy, melodic songs (that wouldn’t sound out of place sound-tracking an early 90s teen drama) and contagiously animated dance moves, they pleased those gathered with ease.
Dutch Uncles If infectiously frenetic dancing is what you’re after, then Dutch Uncles take every prize going. When you hear the frontman’s moves described as “worth the ticket price alone,” you know you’re in for a treat. If you’ve seen the band before, or if you’ve seen the music video for their track ‘Flexxin,’ you know just how much of a treat it was. Their gliding falsetto vocals, bubbling refrains, stuttering synths, tighter-than-tight drumbeats shone alongside their stage presence, infecting the room in an instant. Come the band’s closing cover of ‘Slave To The Rhythm,’ dance moves were in full flow all around. With a longer and stronger lineup set to follow the next day, there wasn’t a single person at the venue who wasn’t feeling the buzz. And if you thought all that was exciting… Photographs by Jonathan Morgan