Following the success of 2Q Festival in Derby in April of both 2016 and 2017, organizers decided on an additional setup in Lincoln for Saturday 28 October this year. Lincoln boasts a number of distinctive spaces capable of hosting live bands and the day passed seemingly without a hitch, with the only small snag being the overwhelming amount of people wanting to get in to see bands in some of the smaller venues. Apart from a little drizzle the weather remained tolerable— cold, but that was the perfect excuse for festival goers to huddle in to any participating bar and discover their new favourite band.
Grunge and pop aren’t usually two words that you’d use together to describe a band’s sound, but that’s exactly what comes to mind when listening to Birmingham trio The Cosmics. They were first on at Red Five and so had the stressful job of kicking off the day’s events, but did so with such ease that you’d not think they were so early on in their career. Frontwoman Erin Grace had the small crowd before her mesmerized; it truly was an impressive sight.
Later on in the same venue Blackwaters took to the stage, performing a truly spirited set. Max Tanner, who heads up the band, could be compared to the likes of a young Pete Doherty or perhaps Jarvis Cocker when you take in to account all factors; his talent and attitude were second to none and were only amplified by the determined way the rest of the band played. ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ is a huge hit, or at least should be, with riffs so intense that it was a shock it didn’t cause a commotion among passers-by outside the tiny bar.
One of the more better known acts on the lineup, but billed for surprisingly early in the day, Clean Cut Kid offered up a first-class set compiled of hit after hit. Husband and wife Mike and Evelyn Halls front the group and delivered a glittering variety of pop that had an evident effect on the audience in the Engine Shed, the largest venue on the festival’s route. Singles from the band’s debut album Felt, such as ‘We Used To Be In Love’ and ‘Make Believe’ were enough to waken the crowd, and got the ball rolling as the sun began to set for the evening.
As JAWS were playing one of their final shows of 2017, it was no surprise that they packed out the Home Nightclub from wall to wall. Despite this, and despite the band giving it their absolute all, the crowd appeared to be somewhat lacklustre after the first three rows of what were clearly dedicated fans intent of having a good time. Perhaps that is the limitation when playing at a festival, but JAWS did not let it phase them as they performed some fantastic cuts— ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’, from their second album Simplicity, and the titular track from debut Be Slowly stuck out as particularly brilliant, demonstrating that JAWS are at the top of their game.
Back over at Red Five, Bang Bang Romeo were embodying all things 1960’s. They are a contemporary effort to prove that style of music can still draw a crowd and have a small but steadily growing fan base. They’ve taken up support slots for the likes of The Struts before, so it’s quite evident that they’re capable of spectacular things with a little more push. Vocalist Anastasia Walker possesses a range like no other, as she hit notes capable of raising both eyebrows and hairs. Bang Bang Romeo performed an exhilarating set of powerful tracks, all a striking brand of blues-y rock ‘n’ roll which you just don’t hear anymore. They’re niche and it works for them, as they were most definitely had one of the most unique affairs at 2Q Festival.
Peace fans have been desperately clinging to what information they can learn from the handful of shows the band have played in the last two years. They’ve been working on the follow-up to 2015’s Happy People and so it’s been near enough radio silence on this end, though since the start of October they’ve been billed on several smaller, indoor festivals. 2Q was their penultimate performance in this series, and the buzz of excitement in Home was very much apparent. Lead singer Harry Koisser can come across as fairly awkward in person, but his stage presence is absolutely inspiring. Wearing a Davy Crockett hat and glasses that seemed more a fashion statement than a necessity (he passed them on to a tech’s face mid-set), he strutted to centre stage and marked his territory clearly.
Drummer Dominic Boyce is currently sporting a broken wrist but insists on playing one-handed, showcasing just how much the experience means to him. While he’s handicapped he’s joined by Sam Doyle, formerly of The Maccabees, who had a kit set up next to Boyce’s. 45 minutes didn’t seem like nearly long enough, but Peace still took the opportunity to play old favourites such as ‘Money’ and ‘Wraith’, a new track titled ‘Mental Head’ and their legendary cover of Binary Finary’s ‘1998’. Koisser stated this would be the last time they would play it, likely due to the imminent arrival of new material. Finishing up with classic ‘Bloodshake’, Peace’s diehard fans were left satisfied— for now.
Trampolene played quite late in the evening at the Red Five bar, so it was disheartening to see them only draw a small crowd. It’s in no way on account of their talent, as this trio have a certain flair that even some kingpins in the indie scene would be envious of. In December they’re due to support Liam Gallagher at a handful of his arena shows, something that will hopefully see them more prominently on music fans’ radars, but even at 2Q as they played to a handful of people they were remarkable. Luckily these people all seemed to be devoted Trampolene fans, leading to singer Jack Jones truly putting his all in. He spent as much time off the stage singing right in to the faces of the audience as he did on it, and they hung on every word as if it was their life and soul. Trampolene have just released their debut album Swansey To Hornsey and the festival gave them the chance to show just how well those tracks translate live. The answer to that is brilliantly, ending 2Q Festival on the brightest of notes.