Neighbourhood Weekender, Warrington, UK, May 27-28, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, April 16th, 2024  

Self Esteem

Self Esteem, Pulp, Picture Parlour, CMAT

Neighbourhood Weekender, Warrington, UK, May 27-28, 2023,

Jun 04, 2023 Photography by Andy Von Pip Web Exclusive
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This was my first time at Neighbourhood Weekender festival in Warrington, and admittedly the major draw was Sunday night headliners Pulp. Sadly, at the eleventh hour, we weren’t allowed to photograph them during their set, despite having a photo pass for the festival. Perhaps somewhere in a parallel universe, the ghastly spectral form of Michael Jackson emerges to moon (walk) at Jarvis Cocker in protest. But those are the breaks. We did have a wry chuckle that the band who once wrote a rather wonderful song inspired by Margaret Thatcher’s closure of the pits, which led to the miner’s strike (The Last Day Of The Miner’s Strike), chose to close their own (photo) pit with just two hours’ notice.

Self Esteem
Self Esteem

So let’s focus predominantly on who we did shoot. Fellow Yorkshire artist and genuine woman of the people, Rebecca Lucy Taylor, aka Self Esteem, gave another inspiring, empowering, and often moving performance. Headlining the other stage, pop star Anne-Marie proved herself to have a remarkable set of pipes and outdid Pulp in the chandeliers-on-stage stakes. It was probably Dublin’s enigmatic CMAT who stole the show on the bigger stages with a brilliantly barking and hugely entertaining, energetic set, which left you wondering what the hell was coming next.

CMAT
CMAT

At Neighbourhood, as with other festivals of this size, it’s more often than not on the smaller stages that you can unearth some gems. And so, betwixt some of the rather samey indie lad rock aimed squarely at the ubiquitous bucket hat brigade, we found Picture Parlour, who produced an absolutely stellar set. Katherine Parlour’s voice, which ranged from nettle-sting yelp to smoky soulful blues, allied to some killer riffs from guitarist Ella Risi, made for a potent and enthralling set. They’ve yet to release a single, but they certainly proved themselves to be a band headed for a bright future. There was Glasgow’s The Joy Hotel, whose genre-traversing performance was mesmerizing, whilst Liverpool’s Stone, powered by the unhinged charisma of Finley Power and Elliot Gill’s raging guitar, have really come on in leaps and bounds.

Picture Parlour
Picture Parlour
Stone
Stone

The festival site was compact, and each stage could be reached in good time if you were prepared to get your skates on and swim against the tide of aforementioned bucket hats, who always seemed to be headed in the opposite direction. However, the one drawback of the space being easily traversed was that no matter where you stood, you could still hear Scouting For Girls on stage, no matter how hard you tried to avoid them. Saying that, we did manage to bypass the bulk of a set that initially appeared to present itself as some sort of psych rock parody act performed with a straight face and the air of earnest po-faced mystic “rawk” only added to the hilarity . Turns out it was Kula Shaker.

As for Pulp, well, clearly something changed, and their setlist, with zero “Razzmatazz” was a rather strange choice for a festival. However, they sounded bang on form, and with iconic tracks such as “Disco 2000,” “Babies,” “Do You Remember the First Time?,” and of course, “Common People” in your canon, the assembled throng would have been in raptures had Jarvis played “Agadoo” on a nasal flute between the classics and deep cuts. Ultimately, it was a welcome and unexpected chance to see Pulp again, perhaps for the last time, a band who, against the odds, have acquired the status of ‘national treasures.’

Their reunion dates have been announced under the tagline ‘This is what we do for an encore.’ However, at the time, I couldn’t tell you what they actually did for an encore as, to quote Father Ted, ‘I’ve just heard on the news that they’ve taken the roads in - Yes, they store them in a warehouse on the South side of the Island,’ as bizarrely a decision to close roads at 10pm before the end of the festival meant we had to leave early. Still, the sun shone all weekend, there was good company, and after the last few years, it’s nice to see events getting back to a what is starting to resemble a degree of normality.

This is as near as I got to Pulp:

Pulp
“I Spy” Jarvis

Pulp setlist:

I Spy

Disco 2000

Something Changed

Dishes

Pink Glove

Sorted for E’s & Wizz

This Is Hardcore

Weeds

Weeds II (The Origin of the Species)

F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.

Do You Remember the First Time?

Babies

Sunrise

What they actually did for an encore:

Like a Friend

Underwear

Common People

PHOTO GALLERY

Heidi Curtis
Heidi Curtis
Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie
BER
BER
Dolores Forever
Dolores Forever
Gaz Coombes
Gaz Coombes
Heidi Curtis
Heidi Curtis
Paul Heaton
Paul Heaton
Paris Paloma
Paris Paloma
Picture Parlour
Picture Parlour
Rachel Chinouriri
Rachel Chinouriri
The Big Moon
The Big Moon
The Goa Express
The Goa Express
The Joy Hotel
The Joy Hotel
The Kooks
The Kooks
The K's
The K’s





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