ForzaFest @ The Big Shed, Nottingham, UK, June 8, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, July 21st, 2024  

The Chase

The Chase, Bored Marsh, Penny Moon, Mollie Ralph

ForzaFest @ The Big Shed, Nottingham, UK, June 8, 2024,

Jun 15, 2024 Web Exclusive
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​Meet Forza Garibaldi, the supporter-driven movement behind Premier League football club Nottingham Forest. Formed in 2016 - initially to mark the club’s 150th anniversary. Forza Garibaldi has become something of a conduit between the Nottingham Forest supporters, those running the club on a day-to-day basis and its owners. As well as encouraging generally positive vibes around the stadium on match days, whether it be through their eye-catching displays or inclusive mentality where anyone can become part of the group if they so wish, they’ve also proved quite vocal in recent years, campaigning for safe standing, reduced ticket prices and better communication from the club itself. All with positive results by and large, So, earlier this year, three of their members decided they were going to organise an all day music festival, ForzaFest.

Situated in the Big Shed, a relatively new semi-outdoors venue that sits at the back of one of Nottingham’s most popular pubs, the Trent Navigation. With a capacity of up to 800 people (600 indoors then a further 200 around the outside), it’s a cavernous space but one that works well for such an event as this. It’s also probably the biggest stage some of these artists have played on to date, yet every single one of them rose to the occasion.

Penny Moon
Penny Moon

Hosting a line-up almost exclusively chosen from within and around Nottingham, further highlighting the city’s vibrant music scene right now. The inaugural ForzaFest laid down its foundations for future events in emphatic style. Although barely six months old as a band, Set In Motion show off their undoubted potential. Playing a mid-afternoon slot not long after doors has opened might be daunting for some, but the embryonic four-piece takes it in their stride. Ones to watch for the future.

Watching Mollie Ralph develop and grow into one of the city’s most revered artists in recent years has been a joy to behold. Playing with a full band here, her seven songs set is nothing short of a revelation. Falling somewhere between the jazz/rnb of a latter day Amy Winehouse or Rumor with an alt-rock edge akin to Paramore or Pink, it’s an interesting conundrum debating which way she’ll take her music next. Nevertheless, with radio friendly bangers-in-waiting like “Glue” and “Leeches” it’s clear for all to see Mollie Ralph might just be the next Nottingham artist to break on a national scale.

Mollie Ralph
Mollie Ralph

Fusing elements of 90s grunge and shoegaze with a pop sensibility circa Wolf Alice, Penny Moon are also a revelation and one that creates a mini-moshpit at the front of the stage. Made up of members from Nottingham bands of bygone days, the four-piece channel the spirit of bands like The Breeders and Smashing Pumpkins but with an East Midlands twist. They’re also one of the loudest bands on today’s bill which makes for a glorious cathedral of noise at various intervals.

Continuing their never ending upwards trajectory, Bored Marsh highlight once again why the smart money is on them to break sooner rather than later. Pulling the biggest crowd of the day so far, their darkwave-tinged post-punk is a masterclass in delivery. Playing six songs this evening including three off their forthcoming Idiot EP, Bored Marsh exude a confidence and panache usually reserved for household names rather than bands who’ve barely been together eighteen months. They also play another brand new song in “Crumble”, which suggests even better things lie in waiting.

Bored Marsh
Bored Marsh

Mansfield five-piece The Publics might be the nearest thing ForzaFest has to a band from “out of town” as it were, but their anthemic indie rock goes down a treat with all and sundry. Many of whom are clearly here to see them. Although they’ve had a line-up change or two since the last time Under the Radar set eyes on them, The Publics have an onstage dynamic that’s impossible to ignore and sets the scene impeccably for this evening’s headliners.

Having recently played sold out shows at the city’s Metronome and Rescue Rooms venues, The Chase are no strangers to big stages and bigger audiences. Nevertheless, the fervent level of devotion that greets their arrival on stage suggests they’re already about to ascend to the next level. The five-piece - named after a pub in the St Ann’s area of the city - play a set that traverses eras and genres. There’s elements of rnb (the sixties kind), ska, reggae and indie rock in their make-up while in “Trumpet” they have a certified banger that threatens to bring The Big Shed’s roof trembling to the floor. There’s crowdsurfers, probably the friendliest circle pit we’ve ever encountered and just a general feeling of camaraderie elicited by the five musicians on stage.

As the very first ForzaFest draws to a close, it’s probably fair to say the event has been an overwhelming success. Bring on Year Two!


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