The seventh Hanwell Hootie
The Marshall amplifier, the embodiment of loud, raucous, rock’n’roll, blared the power chords again in this west London suburb at the seventh Hanwell Hootie.
So many great acts- it should last a week!
It is London’s biggest, free, one day music festival- and, frankly, one of the best free or otherwise musical events in the capital full stop. The birthplace of the mighty Marshall amplifier and the original stomping grounds of legends of British rock (the Who, Deep Purple, Queen,… Jamiroquai anyone?) should not be shrouded in obscurity but be a place of pilgrimage. And so it is in W7 for one Saturday in May.
From modest beginnings the Hootie has grown to its current size- 100 bands, 18 venues, tens of thousands of music fans cramming the pubs and parks of this postage stamp of a suburb. So many bands and artists that one day is not enough to adequately sample the diversity of genres on offer- predominantly indie, but mixed with punk, prog, folk, blues, rock, soul, funk, singer-songwriter- anything really, as long as the artists are happy to plug into a Marshall stack!
From the opening “Minute of Loud” held in remembrance of Jim Marshall, this year blasted out by juvenile punks Queensway, to the Dirty Brasstards brassy singalong finale in St Mellitus Church, the intensity did not let up.
Musical highlights we managed to catch included Jack and Tommy (and the other guy)- a fusion of the soul of Otis and the picking of (Jimmy) Page- think Neil Young joining Crosby, Stills and Nash- or Joe Walsh joining the Eagles. On the Sandy Park stage Giant Party managed to emulate Talking Heads and Arcade Fire transforming the field into a … well…. giant party. Bang Bang Romeo, support act to Pink on her upcoming European tour (yes that’s the calibre of acts at the Hootie), maintained the momentum through their energetic power pop-rock and the imposing presence of vocalist Anastasia Walker.
So many great acts and so little opportunity to see them all- I haven’t even mentioned the Igloo stage with its programme of musical comedy, the Viaduct Meadow stage featuring signed acts on the Marshall record label, the blues stage at the Viaduct Pub, the busking bus (a London Routemaster) and the fourteen other venues we didn’t get to. It should be a week long event! Certainly prior planning is required- aided by the Hootie Spotify playlist. Check it out now to see what you missed. Here’s to the eighth Hanwell Hootie.