So farewell then Mezefest. In its cheery lack of pretension and favouring of enthusiasm and love of new weird music over logistics and financial worries, it’s been my highlight of the year. Cheap drinks too. For the last band night of the month, Little Deaths make the train-based adventure a little more special. It’s music that, if the band were skinny jeans-wearing coathangers, might be tiresome, but played by three uncool, personable champs, finds favour and then some. Pulled tight guitar, antsy rhythms and vocals yelped over the top mix with understated technical work and a good dollop of playfulness. Yeah, I’ll take that.
Possibly the shyest person ever to walk through Newport, Midori Hirano sits behind her table and lets things snowball slowly. The amalgamation of sounds she produces starts so quietly the usual crowd chatter feels part of the enveloping soundscape, but give it a few minutes, with barren piano notes looped and crunched together, delicate vocals floating amongst them,and knockout beauty emerges. Kind of impossible to describe without coming over all Jilly Goolden and letting rip with the gradually melting iceberg imagery, Hirano creates music of chilly gorgeousness, keyboard and laptop conflagrations of no little wonder.
Dirty Goods. Ah.
For all the kit and effort on show from Max Tundra, the thought that keeps bouncing around my brain is “You funny little man”. No finer sight than a small balding dude, dancing on the spot, becoming ElectroPrince, and sometimes the tunes reach the same heights too. Ben Jacob’s winning pop is a selection box of homemade, wonky charms, brightly coloured keyboard noises and malfunctioning Spectrum beats, but the real fun is in how much is invested in the performance. There is excitable stomping in the vocal gaps, random grabs for a recorder or other sonic toys every few minutes, arms and falsetto reaching to the audience like lost friends. Clone him by the thousand and sort Britain out: a superlative festival’s happy endpoint.