CREDIT: Niall Lea
CREDIT: Niall Lea

Exploding onto the streets of Manchester, Neighbourhood festival is in its first year with an impossibly brilliant line up, overflowing with the most talented new music acts.

Spread out across 11 venues, 100+ acts are littered across one day in a schedule absolutely heart-breaking in terms of clashes, but also commendable for the fact that there won’t be any given moment where an incredible act isn’t performing – this isn’t a festival you’ll have any chance of being bored at.

Including a variety of more established acts such as Blossoms, White Lies and Twin Atlantic, as well as more unknown acts – there was a slight issue with queues that unfairly brought about a lot of complaints. But considering it’s a metropolitan festival, where venues have a limited capacity, queues are unavoidable and instead it encourages a higher attendance for acts that might not get it otherwise. For a new music festival, this can only be beneficial.

Motivated largely by a curiosity of what a live set by London’s Girli would be like, we came to find that it’s completely chaotic, but in the absolute best way. The atmosphere is electric, which is unsurprising as she performs each track with insane amounts of energy, ‘Girls Get Angry Too’ sees the most energetic response from the front half of the crowd, who seem to bounce off Girli’s energy and vice versa. Running around both on and off stage, it’s clear that Girli is all about fun – for everyone! Getting half the crowd up on stage with her at one point, before joining them off stage crouching in a circle with them to finish the set off.

Contrastingly over in The Deaf Institute, Babeheaven perform an incredibly smooth and refined set, each track soothing in its own individual way. Ending the set with their popular track ‘Moving On’, a delicious ending to a near flawless set.

CREDIT: Niall Lea

Drawing in quite a large crowd, an impressive feat, seeing as half the festival seem to be queuing for Blossoms outside. Lake Komo perform a consistent set, scattered with a few infectious tracks here and there, but that, unfortunately, seems to lack a certain something to really push the crowd (and performance) from good to great.

Backed by a steady, powerful drumbeat. Lao Ra commands the stage, her music as interesting as it is infectious, we’re almost definitely sure that everyone left the set with the repetitive “Junga Junga Junga” from track ‘Drum Machine’ resounding in their heads. 

Relatively local band, Girl Friend, deliver quite possibly the most charming set of the day. Frontman and woman – who are also brother and sister – seem to move with a fascinating synchronisation that almost seems choreographed. They fit and blend together so perfectly it’s no wonder that they’re quickly picking up a lot of attention online and otherwise. Their tracks are melodically infectious, which is only exemplified in a live setting. 

Fresh from the release of her debut album ‘New Skin’, Jones takes to the stage with a subtle yet powerful presence, proceeding to deliver a completely stunning set. The focus might just be all on her vocals, but where others might falter, she does not, encapsulating the entire audience throughout the entire set, tracks ‘Hoops’ and ‘Melt’ allowing her to showcase how her vocals are suited to a variety of tempos.

Our personal headliners of Neighbourhood, Anteros exceed expectations (which were pretty high). A high energy, flawless, set, that sees front-woman Laura at her best, effortlessly connecting with the crowd. They blast through popular track ‘The Beat’ and more recent hit ‘Breakfast’ mid-set, clarifying that there’s no true favouritism when it comes to their catalogue of tracks, an impressive feat for an upcoming band that will no doubt serve them well in what should be an exciting upcoming year for them.

Neighbourhood festival sure made a grand entrance onto the festival circuit and boy, are we happy to have them here. Bring on next year!