Yes Way 2011

It was all going off in Peckham yesterday. After making the hallowed pilgrimage down saaf (with a can of M&S G&T for company and thus trying to avoid the staggering numbers of police at the station as I went), I arrived at the Bussey Building on Rye Lane to be greeted by some delectable Jerk Chicken BBQ aromas and varying shades of tie-dye. This year’s venue may have been a little more out-of-the-way than last year’s Auto Italia but people had nonetheless turned up in their droves for arguably one of the most important get-togethers in the London underground music calendar, not TFL’s Christmas karaoke do but Upset the Rhythm’s Yes Way.

Now in its third year running, this year’s highlights included Upset the Rhythm chieftains Way Throughs pummeling, visceral, self-proclaimed “pastoral punk” set, the post-hardcore of Left Leg, a trio who fight against the 90s lo-fi/grunge grain and win, using abrasive high-pitched shouting and not so simple chord progressions (in the vein of Cursive ) to punctuate their message. They were a breath of fresh, geek friendly air and a band who veer off left and do their own thing, sticking two fingers up to the musical zeitgeist. Let’s Wrestle brought along their excellent, highly charged pop-punk vibes, whereas Gentle Friendly were out there flying the flag for bewitching bedroom electronics. Naturally, Peepholes helped things go out with a bang, rounding off the day on a primal, synth-heavy, reverb soaked note of epic proportions, but Saturday’s surprise had to be for me the super jangly, super friendly Fear Of Men, this year’s Veronica Falls, if you like. I am biased because I hear the word ‘jangle’ and my ears prick up, but they covered one of my favourite songs – ‘Pink Frost’ by The Chills (whose 1986 debut ‘Kaleidoscope World’ is one of the most underrated albums of that decade), which was a welcome addition to their set and scored them extra kudos.

Today’s line-up is set to be a scorcher so I am thoroughly displeased that I feel far too hungover and physically exhausted (after taking a wrong turn last night) to make the journey across the river again. No Way. Not today. Roll on 2012!

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