Words and photos by Ged Camera.

Many years ago there was a TV programme called “The Tomorrow People”, which incidentally starred Martin Kemp who would go on to start in a band called Splendid Buffet, or perhaps it was Spandau Ballet. Anyway, these youngsters had the ability to “Jaunt” from place to place without the need of a transporter such as the one in Star Trek. Such a personal transportation system would have been a great advantage on a day when there were at least two all day music festivals, plus a host of decent bands at other venues. So whilst the Stay Fresh Fest II had an inviting itinerary, the people at Very Bon also have an excellent reputation for intriguing line ups. Hence, for the admirably cheap, and less than the price of a pint, it’s Soup Kitchen that was “jaunted” into for A Very Bon and Duds Engagement. It didn’t disappoint, and here we highlight two acts from the night, The Hipshakes and Irma Vep.

“The last time we played here, one person clapped”. That is the opening introduction from the Hipshakes. There weren’t that many at the start of their set to see and hear them create their own musical formula to banish the January blues, but don’t let that put anyone off catching some glorious dispatched, sparkly, sparky numbers. With punkish overtones but less phlegm, the Derbyshire based four-piece ripped through a thoroughly enjoyable set that may have included a Dammed cover to finish with, but then again, I’m on the wrong side of 40 to remember things clearly. Yes, several more than one person did clap.

Don’t turn up to an Irma Vep gig expecting to stumble across three minute pop nuggets that will go straight in to number one in the charts. In addition, and just to avoid any confusion, whilst there maybe four males in the current line up, they are most definitely not a boy band. Edwin Stevens is the fulcrum around which Irma Vep, revolve and his participation in other bands provides a cross pollination of sounds, so, having previously seen Irma Vep on a number of occasions, the one thing to expect is the unexpected. On some occasions, you may find Stevens delivering a solo set from inside a one person tent (Klondyke Club) or you may find a full band line up. Irma Vep delivered an impressive performance that seemed to capture the appreciation of those present. Even with one guitarist who was sat on a chair looking as though he had a plaster cast on his ankle, momentum was not lost. With the red lights casting an almost ghostly glare over Stevens, shuddering chords were dispatched, agonised vocals relayed, across the subterranean part of Soup Kitchen that was packed, suitably fitting for an event that is part of the Independent Venue Week.

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A Very Bon and Duds Engagement took place at Soup Kitchen on Saturday 28th January 2017.

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