We all had a splendid afternoon yesterday at the Rise Festival – a diverse collection of musical groups that combined together to support racial tolerance in the form of a free concert in Finsbury Park. The weather had been threatening all morning, but once we got there and met up with Chris et al the weather stayed lovely and sunny for the most part. Of course none of us had brought suntan lotion so there are a few tan lines today.
We arrived in time for the Dub Pistols, who I don’t really know, but they were accompanied by Terry Hall from The Specials who I do know which meant we all got very excited when they played some Specials tracks. They also played a dub version of Peaches by The Stranglers which made me think for a moment they had some of those guys up there with them as well, but unfortunately not. And as Terry Hall reminded us, this festival is not really about music, it’s about saying ‘F*ck the BNP!’ Nice. In-between the main bands we were entertained by beatboxing from Beardyman, who is something quite special indeed with his beatbox versions of most popular dance anthems.
My personal highlight of the day was CSS – who were as strange and bouncy as ever, even if the sound was a bit off. Although they got most of the crowd bouncing, they were outdone by Jimmy Cliff who played some classic tracks that had the whole crowd swaying along. Lovely stuff, and the sunset that accompanied him was perfectly timed.