It was t-shirt weather in the Manor on the day of the much-anticipated Global 12 Festival. Ran by Shodement, the festival brought together the freshest musical acts from around the globe, pitting their talents against each other in a battle to be the best.
The festival took place in Cargo, a club situated in spirited Shoreditch, which is built into the arches of the Overground line. Daubed in graffiti and replete with thatched roofs and greenery, Cargo provided the perfect backdrop for this impressively eclectic lineup. The atmosphere was excitable, as people poured in the entrance, mingling with the acts who would in turn mingle with each other.
Amongst the twelve acts competing to win best act were Tri Nguyen, Senar, Alex Attril, NI NA, Ryan Koriya, Scott McLain, DeeWain, Angelica Lopez, Piqued Jacks, July Jones, and RUA. This was an incredibly diverse mix of sounds brought together, from the world music of Tri Nguyen, to the French dancehall of Senar, to the contemporary country rock of Scott McLain.
We will break down the best performances of the day, and hope to bring a bit of the upbeat vibe of Global 12 to you, but before you read on, here is a short video brought to us by Shodement introducing you the glory that was Global 12.
The first act that needs mentioning is the wonder that is Angelica Lopez. The Columbian singer gave what was probably the most energetic performance of the night, from the music down to the frequent costume changes. She enters the stage with flare, backed up by her nine-strong band. Her music is influenced by traditional Columbian folk, but is a definitively more contemporary sound, sitting in the areas between rock and funk. I immediately regret not being able to dance because I’m writing, as Lopez brings the crowd to a Columbian fury.
The band are tight, as they switch from intense riffs to downtempo grooves, which are provided beats by the three separate percussionists. It’s stirring stuff, and the crowd are dancing passionately, becoming, what I wrote on the day rather pressed for words and affected by east-London vernacular, “well and truly gassed”.
Piqued Jacks have been delighting us with their heady mix of rock and funk for some time now. The Italian four-piece bounced onto the stage in matching outfits, representing a unique vibrancy that set themselves apart from the other acts. Powerful vocals, raucous guitar, funky bass, and talented drumming filled the room which was lit by strobes. Their tracks ranged from the heavy to the anthemic, reminding me of bands such as The Mars Volta, Envy On The Coast, and Biffy Clyro.
Their set had a number of great songs, and particularly stunning was the final number from the group, a moving song called Home Is Forever, which felt very sincere coming from a band playing to a crowd of people from all over the planet. Piqued Jacks were awarded with ‘Best Performance’, coming in second overall after Angelica Lopez, accumulating over 2,000 points with their set. The boys from Italy are definitely a band to watch, and if you get the chance to see them live, don’t throw it away. And also, they throw out condoms at their gigs, so it’s a unique experience.
The London-based electronic musician was unknown to me before Global 12, but since watching her set, I’ll be keeping track of her music. With her black leather jacket emblazoned with the words ‘July Jones’ on the back and her distinctive white-blonde hair, she stood out against the dark backdrop of Cargo’s main stage. Accompanied only by her producer/keyboardist, she poured lyrics over ethereal melodies which tied in well with the simultaneous deep and brooding basslines.
Jones’ work is dark-pop, and is very evocative of deep, deep emotion, which plays against the relatively sweet sound of some of her tracks. Tracks like Mixed Signals and Jump In The Water (her latest single) stand out as being the most fun and also most intricate. The defining factor of July Jones? Her incredibly powerful vocals, which succeeded in entrancing all those who graced the inner rooms of Cargo. Jones was awarded 3rd place at Global 12 for her performance. She is definitely one to watch.
An artists who truly stood out against the others for his rare ‘world music’. Nguyen, a Vietnamese musician who originally played classical piano, now champions a little-used but well-respected instrument called the zither. He took to the stage in traditional Vietnamese dress, replete with wooden sandals, and seemed incredibly at ease with how he completely changed the atmosphere of the club, from one which had been, for lack of a better word, hyped, to one which was calm, reticent, introspective, almost soporific. It is the most relaxed the crowd has been, as Nguyen expertly picks the strings of the zither that lays on his lap. Tracks melt into each other, and a faint James Bond cover is picked up on, much to the crowd’s delight.
Nguyen produces a meditative quality that is felt by all. The simplicity of his set captivated the crowd to an extent which had previously been missed.
Best New Find
Georgia Crandon And The Vintage Youth
Georgia and her band were the first act to play at Global 12, so had a hard job in uniting the crowd, who had yet to visit the multiple bars that Cargo operate. Replete with a double bassist, drummer, saxophonist, and pianist, Georgia and her band come on to chants of ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’, and ‘Share some love’, provided by the festival’s wonderful compere Shahlaa (From Shahlaa Discovers). I wondered about the type of music they played, that is, until they started playing. It’s swing, damn jazzy swing! I feel like I’m transported back in time to a jukejoint.
Georgia And The Vintage Youth display a sound similar to the likes of Lily Allen or more accurately, Amy Winehouse. She croons out the tracks, The Girl, Tell Me To Go Home, Jack, and Barmaid Blues (“I was a shit barmaid” Georgia reveals). The band are tight, and switch from swing, to more bluesy numbers (Barmaid Blues), to a quirky, brassy East London ragga vibe. Georgia And The Vintage Youth have an EP coming out soon, so remember to stay tuned.
“My name is Senar. I come from France”, exclaimed the rapper as he came on stage. Senar was the first to lay down some real urban vibes for Global 12, with his music being a mixture of dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, and carib. He rips into his first song with a surprising flow and a thick accent, and the crowd begins to love his infectiously summery sound. Owning the stage, he bounces around, confident even with the knowledge that the crowd are not from his home country, and he sings in a different language. Need music for a summer party with lots of alcohol? Senar is your guy.
Why you should check out next year’s Global 12
Global 12 brought about a truly universal feeling, with the music breaking down barriers of language and cultural identity. From the acts themselves, the beats provided by resident Cargo DJ, DJ Tamika, to the cold cans of Coors Light that seemed endless in their supply, the event was a huge success, with a crowd that brought out the best of what music scenes have to offer. It’s a must-see on your festival calendar for 2018.
A final shoutout to Shodement and Cargo for putting on a stellar event.