EDitorial ± 12-Jun-2023

Brighten The Corners Ipswich 2023

Been a long wait since 2021 for the latest incarnation of The Swich's very own alt music festival. That'll be 'cos the powers that be swi'ched the time of year from October (brrr) to June (swoon). Also, that Sound City name is so last year, darling, so this one's called Brighten The Corners. And why not? Fished out my early bird order from way back in December 2022 and kicked off the weekend by flashing that QR code to the volunteers in The Ancient House. Cheers, they said, and here's a wristband for you. Sweet.

Finished WFH Friday and took my two wheels into town shortly after 5pm. First stop, St Stephen's church, the old tourist information site where I know I can lock my... Where's the bike parking gone? Oh well, that disused barrier will do, I guess. Flash my band and in we go.

Day 1 -- Friday (hot, dry)

  • (17:30) Three Years Younger at St Stephen's -- East Anglian power pop harmonies, first to play newly refurbished church once they'd turned on the piano
  • (18:10) Jessica Winter at The Baths -- nice back to the crowd start, discarded not one overcoat but two then a jacket, all layered over pulsing club EDM
  • (18:45) Flip Top Head at St Stephen's -- four guitars, then trombonist put that down to pick up his own guitar; organic and over too soon
  • (19:10) Ditz at The Baths -- quite the noise, intense and wonderful, stepping out with bleeding ears after ten minutes to catch...
  • (19:30) RarelyAlways at Smokehouse -- immaculate beats and words in shades and sweatshirt; Is It Worth The Cost Of Further Uncertainty?
  • (20:15) muva of Earth at Corn Exchange -- Badu vibes from harpist backed with double bass & keys; quality jazz reminded me of Emma-Jean Thackray
  • (20:50) Lianne Kaye at Cornhill -- ate my jumbo sausage meal deal watching LK bang out some top tunes to some crazy outdoor dancers
  • (21:15) O. at St Stephen's -- schedule gone away so missed entire set due to late start
  • (21:30) Suep at Smokehouse -- messy Porridge broth -- "We love this city!" -- with everyone having a good time
  • (22:10) Jehst at The Baths -- cut-above rap
  • (22:30) 86TVs at Corn Exchange -- three guys lined up on their gee-tars; mighty popular Dad rock

Day 2 -- Saturday (hot, dry)

  • (16:15) Antony Szmierek at St Stephen's -- had to queue to get in but pleased to catch charming AS do his excellent Loyle Carner meet the Happy Mondays
  • (16:55) Gaffa Tape Sandy at Corn Exchange -- great noise from keen-as-a-bean Bury St Edm*nds trio
  • (17:40) cowboyy at Smokehouse -- not sure they'd started, those three lads in black T-shirts, Black Midi-esque and heavy on the fx pedals; quick chat with Gaffa Tape Sandy while wandering in Tesco, as you do
  • (18:20) Nuha Ruby Ra at The Baths -- solo female in cap and shades with terrific vocals riding on Lynchian rhythms c/w piercing screams
  • (19:00) Triptides at Corn Exchange -- American friends from outta the 70s with relatable songs about life in LA
  • (19:40) Kyoto Kyoto at Smokehouse -- relentless pounding while pinned to wall with vague view of female flautist; more fun that it sounds
  • (20:05) Fat Dog at The Baths -- messianic figure, reverb set to 11, serious BPM and the moshing crowd in his sweaty hand
  • (20:50) Karma Sheen at St Stephen's -- sitar and guitar and Triptides guys nodding along to the cosmic noodling
  • (21:30) Rozi Plain at St Stephen's -- had great spot for mellow stylings of headliner who'd very much been to Crown Pools; crazy hot in there

...and still missed Heartworms, Memorials and The Go! Team.

About to cycle from town centre to Smokehouse post Triptides, stopped to help an obviously lost woman near the Giles Status wheeling a small case. Was none other than Nuha Ruby Ra ("I loved your set!"), very gracious and needing directions to Wagamamas. Down there, turn right, can't miss it.

Hats off, as per, to Joe and Marcus and the whole BTC team. More, please.