The Electronic Beats showcase for this year’s OFF Festival was, I think, a surprise for many. First of all, the coordinators did a really great job. Like, reallygood. The venue itself, a strange and unexpected little place hidden by a glass dome, came complete with a T-Mobile photo booth (which saw heavy use as the night progressed and people got more and more WOOOOO with their booze) and dozens of those glowing EB cubes that you always see at EB events. The thing is, they weren’t given any—they chose to source and make those themselves, and the venue looked fantastic. So kudos to them, and to my unlimited bar access.
After a hefty period (eww) of waiting, in which I slammed my weight in vodka and negotiated myself into a porn shoot, Bubble Chamber took the stage. I was pretty much going into this blind, so with a name like that I had expected a twee indietronic sort of thing. The three guys in Bubble Chamber were far from twee, however; not an ironic sweater in sight. In fact, their ‘live dubstep’ vibe, complete with drums, bass guitar and sample bank, had my body wracked with danceflow. There was an unfortunate bit of reggae jamming in the middle, but they picked it back up in the end. They were followed by The KDMS, and a finer wedding band I’ve never seen. With beats borrowed from ‘This is Radio Clash’, the London band had the crowd surging and clapping their hands faster than you can say ‘We’d like to thank the bride and groom’, though I found their vanilla-Gossip vibe unconnectable. Nevertheless, I didn’t see a single unclapped hand by the end, so they obviously know their stuff when it comes to making a party their own.
A sizable portion of the crowd, a diverse cross-blend of Katowice’s different alternative scenes (goth girl in the creepers, holla) had clearly been waiting for Chew Lips to take the stage…at least if I’m going by crowd reaction. A sea of surging limbs followed singer Tigs as she bopped across the stage, doing her damnedest to channel Patti Smith by way of sixties girl-groovers. I was musically less convinced then the crowd (the ‘benefit’ of a half-lifetime of promoter skepticism, perhaps) but there was no denying the energy that was filling the venue, nor the look of pure enjoyment on the faces of so many. It was a hell of a pleasant night, and I’m sure most there would agree with me. A toast, then, to the organizers, my lovely colleagues, the bands, the bride and groom, unlimited bar access, and this bed, which I’m going to climb into while I ignore the rising sun. Dobranoc.