Molotov Jukebox at The Spiegeltent, 24 May, and “It’s Your Festival” 25 May, NNF14
Sadly the Norfolk and Norwich Festival cannot run throughout the summer – I love having the Spiegeltent and Festival Gardens as such a hub in the city, the heart of the Festival – but such good things have to come to an end and despite feeling immensely tired (maybe that’s why festivals need to end at some point?) was back at the Spiegeltent for a sort of end of festival party with Molotov Jukebox. Once again it was absolutely packed, rocking and jumping with a real party mood, slightly at odds with my exhausted mood but not wishing for Festival’s end. The band certainly know how to whip up a great crowd atmosphere and accordion player and singer Natalia Tena is highly charismatic and engaging, and I’ve rarely seen such frenetic dancing in the Spiegeltent, although there were large sections of the audience who were practicing more traditional dance moves too.
They played a mix of Gypsy, Ska, Balkan and Latin, with moments where Natalia’s voice put me in mind of Amy Winehouse, and although I didn’t come away with any especially memorable earworms in my head (rare but due to tiredness) they were enjoyable, as evidenced by the stomping of a packed Spiegeltent that greeted the end of each song.
On the Sunday it was time to bid a farewell to the Festival with an “It’s Your Festival” day of music in Chapelfield Gardens and various locations about the city centre where local bands had more of a showcase. I spent most of it in Chapelfield’s Festival Gardens which just has a special vibe during the Festival and where in the Adnams tent there is always a likelihood of meeting good friends.
In the Bandstand I caught performances by Das Fenster and the Alibis, and the Kett’s Hill Gang. Somewhat at odds with their darkness the sun came out just as DF started their half hour set but they were well protected under cover of the Bandstand roof. They gave away badges, played a few new ones, and sounded really tight and on form.
The afternoon was spent with good company, delicious pizza and, in the absence of the always running out Ghost Ship, a pint or two of Mosaic until it was time to reluctantly head home and accept the Festival was over for another year.
Farewell to a wonderfully enjoyable Norfolk and Norwich Festival, I loved it.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014