Cro-Cro Land is the new multi-stage South London Indie Music Festival, which was being held for the first time this year. It was staged at the Urban Xchange @ Lansdowne Hotel, 1 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, CR0 2BX on Saturday 6th April 2019.
The line-up mostly consists of up-and-coming bands, with a couple of ‘buzz’ artists (The Lovely Eggs, She Drew The Gun) and a long-established headliner, Blood Red Shoes. So far, so good.
The venue initially seems a rather odd place to hold a festival, but the rooms hosting the three stages have a good atmosphere, the staff are friendly and helpful, and everything seems to work quite well. However, the bar facilities were slightly lacking and the staff seemed pretty overwhelmed much of the time. Maybe some additional temporary bars next time?
So, what about the music, I hear you cry? By and large, the quality is pretty high. Berries, who I’ve seen a few times are a rock three-piece who seem to improve constantly. They’re very tight and powerful and deliver hard rock with a loose funky edge. Think Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Living Colour. There’s always something interesting going on musically and singer / guitarist Holly could probably already give old Mr Page a run for his money. I have no idea how she sings and plays like that simultaneously. That’s not to say that Lauren and Lucie are by any means slouches. This band are one to watch. They’ll feature in all your playlists before too long.
Frauds are by far the funniest band I’ve seen for a while. A duo comprising guitar and drums, they pretty much redefine the term ‘out there’. Each performance is midway between a song and a sketch, with I should add, superlative playing.
The Weird Things are something else again. A bunch of blokes of a certain age who are veterans of the punk wars and probably have the scars to prove it. They are fronted by singer Leila (who is neither a bloke nor of a certain age) who was performing one of her first gigs with the band and she clearly was born to front a band. Anyway, they rock like nothing on Earth.
I’d heard lots of good things about She Drew The Gun, and for once the accolades are more than deserved. Singer Louisa Roach performs with a quiet cold anger which is at times somewhat unsettling. Good. That’s precisely what these troubled times require. Many of her songs are highly politicised, and don’t doubt that she means every word.
I’d never previously heard of Nova Twins, and that’s very much my loss. They’re another three-piece who take a hard-rocking approach to rap, and are an electrifying live act. Definitely worth another look.
The Lovely Eggs unfortunately didn’t live up to the hype. Maybe they were having a bad night. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but eventually had to give in to the evidence of my eyes and ears.
Headliners Blood Red Shoes are always a good live proposition, and really don’t get the appreciation that they deserve. They are playing with an expanded line-up that does justice to their newer material. They commence with two tracks from their current album Get Tragic, and play three more during their set. They concentrate on the last three albums and remind everyone of just how good they are. They play again in the UK in November, including a date at The Haunt in Brighton on the 14th.
I think the organisers can congratulate themselves on a very successful first festival. They curated a very interesting and quite diverse line-up, and I look forward to next year’s bash!
The full line up for Cro-Cro Land was listed as:
Blood Red Shoes / The Lovely Eggs / Nova Twins / Bang Bang Romeo / She Drew The Gun / Moses / Frauds / Chorusgirl / Sisteray / Bugeye / Fightmilk / Feral Five / Berries / Arxx / Fragile Creatures / Smiley & The Underclass / Pink Cigar / Couples / Weekend Recovery / Useless Cities / Drusila / Kath & The Kicks / The Weird Things / Tiger Mimic / Jetstream Pony / Werecats / Jemma Freeman And The Cosmic Something / The Petties / Farenheit 451 / Emily Magpie / Kristina Stazaker / Rob Doherty / Deuxes / Jelly Cleaver / Riya / Indie Strings / Ciro & Rick / Stunflower / Martha Makes Mistakes / Goddammit Jeremia.
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