Seven Dials Soundtrack: a Soulful Success
The sun was shining, the skies a searing blue and an air of trepid excitement all over as I approached the astroturf greenery at Seven Dials. Everything looked cool, but would this festival really deliver? I feared that the event would only be superficially cool – a bit of instagrammable (I’m making this word up, but y’all get me) floral decoration, some mediocre live music, and discounts at already over-priced shops that I wouldn’t even attempt to walk into… But with a little creativity and investigative effort, it turned out that Seven Dials Soundtrack had so much more to offer.
First, the background info. Saturday’s venture was the first attempt that organisers have made at Seven Dials Soundtrack: a free, one-day music festival organised by the Citadel family. All singer-songwriters were sort of engaging in a free-marketing technique: they’re all going on to perform at Citadel and are names that (at present) remain largely unknown in the wider population, so the win-win nature of having free music whilst they slightly expanding their audiences was a smart-move. And whilst, for a free first-time festival, it couldn’t have got much better, there are a few aspects of the day that can (and should) be improved for next time to make it the SEAMLESS central London fest it has the potential to be.
But onto the first winner of the day – the music. As it obviously SHOULD BE at a music festival. My friend Sara and I arrived too late to hear the first act, runners up of The Voice, Into the Ark (that free drink upon arrival created a bit of a distraction…). But I only heard good things about their set, so we’ll give them a solid 9/10 for kicking things off.
Next was an indie-rock band from Glasgow. These guys weren’t on the original lineup (which means I TRAGICALLY can’t remember their name – bad, I know) but very much added to the relaxed, punk vibes in the air around the seven dials stage. Without meaning to sound rude (I’m not sure if this is what they’d like to hear or not, but), they played the perfect background music for a festival that suited mainly being background noise; you could still chat to your mates, enjoy a drink and tune in and out of listening to their peacefully energetic songs. Because to be quite frank, this day was all about tuning in and tuning out – it was a do your-own-thing kinda vibe. So they matched their style to the style of their environment perfectly.
Now after this band there was a one-hour gap between their act ending and the next one beginning (more about that later…), so my friend and I decided to explore what Soundtrack had to offer. We went off around the surrounding (and lest we forget, TRAFFIC FREE) Seven Dials streets in search of some cheap and cheerful entertainment. Whilst not initially crystal clear, the goods were eventually delivered: we ended up returning for the penultimate act with glittered-up faces (cheers The Glitter Shine), funked up souls from the Silent Disco, and full stomachs following a cheeky falafel wrap. All of which only came to the detriment of £4.50 to our purses, which was more than worth it for that piece of falafel heaven. So like I said, whilst all these free goodies didn’t initially appear to be obvious or abundant, with a little digging we managed to uncover what made the festival so worth it if you were just willing to put in a little time to get out what you put in.
Last but not least for us came Ten Tonnes. Probably one of the most well-known acts of the day (I could tell by the number of teenage girls around me whispering ‘ooh, this one’s my favourite!’) they managed to pull in the crowds at a time when the energy was lagging. Headed by George Ezra’s younger, Ten Tonnes are clearly in the earlier stages of what will be an extremely prosperous career. Their ability to liven up the atmosphere because of their indie tunes and chill vocals was very impressive – so BIG UP Ten Tonnes (and let’s keep our eyes peeled for where they go in the future…).
Now not to end on a low, but I just have to slip in the downside of the day. Because the one and only flaw in the festival’s organisation came to a head at the end. After the set from Ten Tonnes, Sara and I were ripe and ready for the next one. And yet that didn’t come. In fact, nothing came. All through the day the gap between acts had been WAY too long – with not even a soundtrack or two pumping through some stereos to keep us in high spirits in between. And I’m sorry, but at a music festival this just misses the mark. The optimal atmosphere that is so easily achieved was missed – and all if you just fill these slightly elongated musical voids with, well, music. So if you’re reading this Seven Dials organisers, KCL Radio wants you to pump out some more tunes between your acts! Could we even be cheeky and recommend you use us as your DJs…? I’m guessing not, but it was worth a shot.
So, to summarise gang, Seven Dials can only go UP. With a few slight amendments, this free summer fest has the ability to become one of the staple events of the summer music scene. And hey, when you get a free glittered face in between it all, how bad can it really be?
Till our next summer adventure Kings & Queens!!!!!!!!!
Alexa (your Entertainment GAL) xoxo