The world wide sporting event has drawn the nation’s attention to the excellence of sporting talent prevalent within our country but it has also provided a platform to showcase musical excellence.
London winning the Olympics led to an unprecedented and dedicated effort to improve the infrastructure and appearance of the UK and particularly London. The event has done wonders in giving residents motivation for new-fangled pride and looks to inspire a generation. However it has not only provided opportunities for sporting stars but for musicians too.
Hackney Weekend offered a variety of artists at the very height of their game the opportunity to reach and inspire new audiences, the opening ceremony bought the attention of the world to acts such as the Arctic Monkeys, leading to one tweeter, whether in a instant of humorous irony or stupendous ignorance remains unknown, stating ‘who the fuck are the Arctic Monkeys?’ The closing ceremony equally looks to showcase great British guitar music with Muse recently added to the already impressive and nostalgia filled line up.
Yet it is not acts at the peak of commercial accomplishment that look to gain most from the influx of people into the capital, a variety of smaller venues and free evenings have appeared giving many talented acts and bands the opportunity to perform, gain new support and increase their fan bases.
Last night I visited the new ‘pop up’ venue Hackney House in Shoreditch, an impressive venue, a high ceiling tent, raised stage and fairy lights in trees climbing the lighting frames provide an atmospheric setting with an air of exclusivity which guarantees the Railroad bar, filled with local beers and ales, is crammed full of Shoreditch trendies. The Sheffield band Slow Club provided the evening’s entertainment with a chilled and mellow indie-pop set reminiscent of Two Door on ketamine with a Florence Welch-esque singer.
The 100 club has also been caught up in the renovation of music venues hosting another free music series, the Converse event, which has showcased performances from the likes of Plan B, Paul Weller and Toots and the Maytals, tonight sees Overkill and Pulled Apart By Horses take the stage.
One thing is for certain the Olympics hasn’t just given the residents of London the opportunity to witness first hand world class sporting performances in an assortment of freshly built and impressive venues for a reasonable price, it has also provided the opportunity to view musicians from all genres and at all stages in their career completely free.
By Joe Longhurst