It was 28 degrees and the sun was shining on the typical laidback Shoreditch atmosphere. A couple of strawberry ciders later and the Magners Original Sessions were underway. Held at the Vibe Bar in the heart of East London’s Brick Lane, it was a fitting venue to hold live music and reveal up-and-coming talent.
Magners showcased some great cabaret in-between acts, including hula hooping, which saw gig-goers getting free lessons in the popular 50’s craze. People were enjoying themselves, showcasing their hidden talent and flexibility, whilst reliving their childhood. As well as a DJ playing a versatile selection of music – from the likes of David Bowie to The Black Keys – there seemed to be something for everyone. Every wristband holder received a card with a popular party game such as Jenga, Spin the Bottle or Twister on. People then had to interact and match their card with others to receive a free Magners cider. It was a great way to meet new people in a friendly atmosphere.
With our upfront seats we had a full view of the stage and when 4:30pm arrived, Essex band Longy started their set. The band, who had just come from Huntington’s Secret Garden Party festival, opened with Promise To My People. Frontman Longy captured the audience’s attention with his solo performance and his gritty voice syncing brilliantly with his acoustic guitar. In between songs the band partook in audience interaction and got involved with the festival atmosphere.
The second track, TV and Magazines, which was released as a single from Longy’s forthcoming EP, saw the band’s trumpet player enter through the middle of the crowd to take centre stage. The track’s lyrics were quite soft and poetic, allowing the brass instrument to add definition to the song. Longy’s voice was both emotive and gravely, showing feelings and passion in his performance. His style reminded me of Scottish singer Paolo Nutini, in particular his ability to captivate the audience through both his voice and performance.
The full band took to the stage on the third track, Love Schizophrenia, giving a more raucous and brash presence to the Magners Session. The instruments took over the lively city bar and the speakers were turned up to eleven, making East London’s residents aware of the five-piece band.
The closing track, Victoria, was a fitting song to close the 30-minute set. Catchy, upbeat and memorable, the track seemed like a great summer festival song.
Longy are a band who aim to leave their audience wanting more. Their ‘Who is Longy?’ campaign took off because they wanted to be a band who aren’t just about image. They let their music do the talking and already have a large following. If all their gigs are this enjoyable, they should be gaining fans by the day.
Magners promised great music, tasty food and a unique experience, and they delivered. The Original Session provided a variety of music demonstrating different genres coming together on one stage. Next stop on the Magners tour is Glasgow on Aug 2nd – if you love live music, you won’t want to miss it.