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Review: BBC 6 Music Festival at Victoria Warehouse rocked with indie sleaze and modern masters

Gossip and The Smile rocked the Victoria Warehouse over the weekend at the BBC 6 Music Festival.
BBC 6 Music Festival

The BBC 6 Music festival was back in the UK’s best music city this weekend, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.

With an incredibly eclectic mix of artists and bands this time around, would it live up to last year’s billing?

We went down on Friday and Saturday to see what it was all about.

The Gossip at BBC 6 Music Festival – Friday 8th March

Gossip, making their long-awaited return to the UK stage after four years, delivered a show-stopping performance that left the audience electrified (and wishing they had never gone away in the first place).

Beth Ditto’s powerhouse vocals filled the venue as the band treated fans to a mix of beloved hits and unreleased material.

She is still one of the great frontwomen going and had the crowd in the palm of her hand.

Beth, after launching into the first two numbers and then finding her outfit too uncomfortable, launched it off into the audience.

I’m sure we’ve all felt that way with dodgy fitting and abrasive outfits, and it was awesome to see her jettison it and live the dream of performing to a sell-out crowd in Spanx. Respect.

Alison Moyet’s surprise yazoo rendition

One of the many highlights of the evening came when Gossip was joined on stage by the legendary Alison Moyet for a surprise rendition of Yazoo’s “Situation.”

The chemistry between Ditto and Moyet was there for all to see, and the audience was treated to a truly unforgettable moment.

Ditto’s emotional reaction to sharing the stage with Moyet only added to the magic of the performance, showcasing the genuine passion and admiration between the artists.

Speaking to the crowd, Beth revealed he had some English ancestry.

She said: “Beth Ditto said: “I have this huge […] British part of my family, they’re my British family (I’m trying not to cry, why?) from Stoke-on-Trent. And they’re over there and my friend Amy – Amy, you alright duck, you alright? You alright? I’m not good at it but I try […] I’m looking over at her and she’s waving and I’m like ‘stop it’! I can’t take it – she’s had a baby, that baby’s like seven […] I can’t even, I can’t take it […] I’m telling you, I’ve got a big old thing for Stoke-on-Trent, I don’t know what it is.

“Even before the show about pottery, I already knew about the pottery! I already knew. I know that was y’all’s industry over there, I knew it! And when it came out I was like ‘Oh I know this already […] I already know about the history of this’. I explored that Victorian folly that they call a castle there by myself, I was there, I’ve been there.”

CMAT also supported and got the whole Victoria Warehouse rocking, and line dancing, on their stage with her infectious energy, captivating the audience with her unique blend of pop and country influences.

The surprise appearance of John Grant for a performance of “Where Are Your Kids Tonight?” added an extra layer of excitement to CMAT’s set, marking the first time the duo had performed the track live together.

Saturday night took a huge right turn from the Indie Sleaze era, with Radiohead titans Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood’s The Smile and Jordan Rakei changing the gears.

Saturday 9th March, The Smile, Jordan Reiki

BBC 6 Music Festival

Headlining the Saturday evening was The Smile, off the back of their highly anticipated second album by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner, accompanied by the London Contemporary Orchestra for a world-exclusive performance.

The collaboration between The Smile and the orchestra marked a historic moment, as it was the first time the project had ever performed with orchestration.

The synergy between The Smile and the London Contemporary Orchestra was incredible beautifully recapturing the nervous energy and beautific soundscapes of their second record.

You just have to respect how long they played for – a whopping one hour and forty minutes. They showed no sign of letting up either – I’m sure if there wasn’t a curfew they’d have steamed on.

And no less than EIGHT encores, not quite Prince’s 15 at the AO but you have to tip your hat.

And there wasn’t a bum note all night. Incredible stuff.

From the haunting melodies of “Wall of Eyes” to the ethereal sounds of “Tiptoe,” each song was elevated to new heights by the orchestral arrangement.

The seamless integration of electronic and orchestral elements showcased the artistic prowess of all involved, leaving the audience wrapped around Thom’s finger.

Johnny Greenwood flitted between piano, bass, a harp, to a, erm, cello. The man could get a tune out of anything!

Most of all, they all seemed to be having such fun. There’s life in them yet.

Jordan Rakei

Jordan Rakei supported and graced the stage with his soulful vocals and captivating presence.

Joined by Pip Millett for a performance of his track “Freedom,” Rakei delivered a set filled with heartfelt melodies and introspective lyrics.

Tracks like “Learning” and “Wind Parade” resonated with the audience, highlighting Rakei’s ability to evoke emotion through his music.

Throughout the evening, both The Smile and Jordan Rakei demonstrated why they are among the most exciting acts going on today, and it was another fantastic edition of the BBC 6 Music Festival.

You can find out more and watch these performances on the BBC’s website by clicking here

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

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