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12 Jul 2016

Young DaDaFest 2016: Music Review

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“In the prestigious Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, where such a rich heritage of talented musicians have performed, the night’s Young DaDa performers more than left their mark.

The audience buzzed with anticipation, body heat and pride filling the room. Waiting for the event to start, we all inspected the wide range of instruments: fourteen different types of drums, not including the three drum sets (two electric and one standard), bass guitars, xylophones, keyboards and state of the art equipment catering for performers with mobility issues. I sat next to the Lord Mayor, giving the event an even more special feel. She made it her duty to introduce herself to as many of the performers as possible.

The Arden Rockers opened with a seamless mash-up of Under Pressure, Chasing Cars, Here Comes the Sun and All You Need is Love. In response to this year’s theme of Scratch, they approached the subject of stress and loneliness and combined it with the act of asking for help and coming out the other end. They closed their set with a cover of Walking on Sunshine, which really got the party started.

Next, Bank View School’s own band, Six For Tennis. Liverpool’s answer to Talking Heads. Scratch and Thinking About You were rocky, punchy and downright cool. Here’s hoping to seeing them headline the Echo Arena soon.

Young DaDa Ensemble: Explore continued the set, making all fourteen drums come to life. All toes were tapping in the room with the brilliant samba rhythm. The deconstructed music brought all the instruments together with a more relaxed, experimental feel. They eased into the song with the lyrics, ‘feel happy / feel free / if you want to feel free, come dance with me.’ Drummers rarely get the recognition they deserve, but Tyler was relentless. The ensemble closed the first half with charisma and cheer.

 

After the interval, Evolve came onto the stage chanting, clapping and stamping. Their set began with beatboxing from Kyle and a song dedicated to Liverpool.

‘City of cathedrals
Shore of seagulls
Beat of The Beatles
Flight of an eagle’

If Coldplay wrote a song about Liverpool, this is what it would sound like. Throughout the evening, we witnessed some of the best stage presences to be seen (Ben’s eclectic dance moves were a particular highlight) and that’s after a week in Glastonbury.

But it wouldn’t be a party without an after-party. Batucabraille and Pourquoi Pas Nous (Why Not Us), two French samba bands, combined for a final and energetic send off. This night wasn’t just to celebrate young disabled people and their talents, it also to make their voices known. My ears will be ringing all year!London band Electric Fire, the UK’s answer to Daft Punk closed the show with a colourful, futuristic set. OMGCola and Do Your Own Thing were excellent closers and reasons enough to keep an eye out for Electric Fire. They’re pretty hot right now (I’m not even sorry).

– Tammy Reynolds


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